Paper bag journals are a fun inexpensive craft perfect for trips, camps, or fun summer memories. My family made these at our summer family reunion in Laguna last year (filled with beachy words, photos from the Hollywood sign, and souvenirs from “Pink’s”) and the kids from 6 to 15 loved making them. For YW camp last year they were a hit as well.
At a regional camp meeting last year I saw a great journal craft. I took their idea and put my own twist on it. It is an inexpensive project and with a lot of prep work, goes very smooth in the woods.
Supplies (per journal):
- 3 lunch bags, folded and pre punched with 5 holes
- 22″ twine, taped on one end for easy threading
- scrapbook paper pre-cut to fit pages of the journal (16 total, 3 sizes)
- velum labels (printable below)
- testimony card for insert (printable below)
- 1 mini zip lock bag 2″X3 1/2″ for nature souvenirs insert
- 1 small envelope for letters insert
- pictures of Christ torn out from church magazines
- ribbons and embellishments
- glue stick
Inserts: Since there are three paper bag openings in one journal, I made three separate inserts for the girls to use (of course they could make up any other ones they wanted to add to them as well).
I had a “Testimony” card with a sheet they could write down their testimony (an activity we did in the woods) with a temple cards (we had on hand) on the back side. They could attach a piece of ribbon as a tag to pull it out.
I also found mini zip-lock style bags at the craft store (I think $1 for 25?). They could gather small pieces of nature from a hike or campsite to keep in there.
An envelope with a ribbon tag is a space for letters from home to be stored or letters from secret sisters.
Embellish! This is where the girls creativity comes out. I printed off labels for the different activities I knew we would be doing to help guide them as to what to put on the pages (printable found below).
Photos: You might notice this book has pictures in it…that turned out to be a fun surprise. We made the journals on the second day. I took tons of photos for the first two days of camp. I had to go home for a day to my babies and then came back up for the last night. While I was home, I printed the photos off and cut them with a paper cutter. We passed around the photos in a zip-lock back and each girl was able to choose 6 to glue in to their journals. When they got home, they already had something to show their mom’s and dad’s from their camp. After we got back from camp we had another activity where the girls brought more photos from their cameras and other leaders photos that they could add to their journals.
Click HERE for Testimony insert PDF
I found subtle parchment style scrapbook paper in our closet that I printed this on.
Click HERE for page labels PDF in Red and Orange
Click HERE for page labels PDF in Green and Fuchsia
Click HERE for page labels PDF in Brown and Blue
There are 6 different colors of labels, each journal need half a page. Our YW traded so they each had different colored labels on each page. I found velum in our closet and these turned out cute printed on it but would look good on any paper.