May Arts Ribbon Blog

Paper Bag Recipe Book

With the holidays upon us, I’ve already starting thinking about gifts that I can make for friends and family.  This year, instead of a cookie exchange, I’ve decided to create cute little recipe books for everyone.  Not only is this gift easy on the wallet, but it allows me to share some of my favorite Breakfast recipes with my friends and family.


If you decide to make your own recipe book, keep in mind that you can customize your recipe selections, creating a book full of your favorite appetizers or even a holiday cocktail recipe book.  The options are endless.



Here’s how my recipe book came to life…


Supply List:



  • Three brown paper lunch bags—I picked up a pack of 40 bags for $1.00 at the dollar store.
  • Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro Adhesive Gun and Ribbon Adhesive
  • Brads—Circle brads  and Holiday brads from Making Memories and Doodlebug Designs, Initial Brads from Colorbox
  • Hole punch


Step-by-Step directions:

  • First, I folded all three lunch bags in half.



  • Using a hole punch, I punch three holes along the folded edge of each lunch bag—starting at the top of the folded edge, I punched my first hole 1” from the top edge, my second hole 2 ½” from the top edge, and the third hold 4” from the top edge. 


  • Next, I created a paper edge from cardstock to cover the punched holes.  The cardstock edging will give the edge of my bags more support and prevent the holes from tearing, as the book is open and closed. I cut a piece of cardstock 5” long and 2” wide, folded the cardstock in half and punched three holes to match the spacing of the holes in my paper bags.



  • I stacked my folded paper bags on top of each other, with the bottom part of the bag on top. I then glued my cardstock edging around the folded edge of the bags.



  1. Next, I cut 2 to 3 pieces of narrow ribbon, looped it through the punched holes and tied it in a knot.  Now the edge of my recipe book is secure.



  • Next, I created 13 recipe cards, each measuring about 4” x 5”.  Some of the recipe cards will be glued to a page in my book, and a few will be slipped into the three bag openings within my book. 


       With the recipe cards cut to size, I began decorating each one with, ribbons, brads and other embellishments. This is where you can really be creative in determining how each page will look and how each recipe will be secured to the page.



       Here are two of the blank recipe cards before I attached the recipes.



I embellished each recipe page in different ways, with ribbon, felt appliqués, brads and three-dimensional stickers.



Here’s one of the recipe cards that fits into an open end of the paper bag.



Here I embellished one of the pages with a decorative paper, circle cardstock, a felt JOY appliqué and Ribbon.



On the right page, I added a mini envelope to the bottom of the page and inserted a special note, written on cardstock, for the recipient.


  • Once all my glued recipe pages and loose recipe cards were complete, I worked on the cover design and finished off the back of the recipe book.


  • Since all of my recipes were breakfast recipes, I created a cover to covey that.  I used Studio Calico Cardstock Stickers to spell out the word RECIPES and printed the word BREAKFAST out on my computer.  I then layered some paper, affixed my breakfast label, and the cover was complete.


  • To finish off the back of my recipe book, I simply added a piece of decorative cardstock, created a ribbon banner and wrote the year on my ribbon.



This was really a fun project and the perfect gift for everyone on my list. I hope you’ll make a few to share with friends and family yourself.



Blog Posted By: Shelly Dozier-Mckee

  1. Donna Przybylowski

    This is a wonderful family idea, great way to keep those family recipes together!!
    Great Job!

  2. jen shears

    what a wonderful idea! great combos!

  3. Charlene

    Very sweet. Shelley. I know this will be a treasured gift. Love the happy ribbon and paper combos.

  4. Pam Loris

    You did a wonderful job on this book! How clever! I have some of these lunch bags lying around, may try to whip one together! Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!

  5. Karen K

    Very cute idea. I was forgetting to look at the design because I was reading the recipes. Nice.

  6. Dana Tatar

    I LOVE that you made your album from paper bags! Thanks for sharing this great gift idea!

  7. Lisa

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  8. ellen s

    such a great idea! love all the brunch recipes 🙂


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