Paper Bag Valentine Satchel

Our friend and blogging inspiration, Rachelle from TinkerLab, has organized a Creative Challenge on Paper Bags, and we were so excited to participate!  The rules of the game are simple: projects should be child-directed, but grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun if the mood strikes. And at least one paper bag (of whatever variety) has to be used. You can follow the Paper Bag Pinboard on Pinterest to see all the great ideas that have emerged! And if you have a paper bag project to share, you can join the fun! See details on how to do so at the bottom of this post…

We’ve no shortage of paper bags around here, but I must admit, I was stumped for awhile on what to do with them.  But with Valentine’s Day coming up, my daughter S and I thought it would be fun to make a purse (or “a satchel”, which is what I called it for my son H), to transport Valentine cards to school for her friends.

We started by cutting the bottom off the bag so it would lay flat.  I left it folded over, and drew a large heart on half of the bag, ending at the fold on the bottom.  I placed dots on the heart so S would know where to punch the holes.

S cut the heart out by following the lines I’d drawn.

Then we punched the holes.  To be honest, it was hard for a 4-year-old’s hands to manage.  She recruited her big brother to help out.

Then S chose a festive ribbon we had to lace up her purse.  She started at the top, leaving about 10″ of ribbon free at the end.

Lacing (or “sewing” as she calls it) is great fun for S, and such good practice for fine motor skills!

After she finished lacing up her purse, S wanted to decorate the brown paper.  I got out some Valentine stamps I’d picked up at Michael’s (hello, $1 sale bin!), and she went to town.

After she’d finished with the stamps, S turned the heart over to decorate with her markers.  You could do all kinds of things with that wonderful brown paper canvas….

S was so pleased with her creation, and is looking forward to putting her Valentine’s Satchel to good use!

Pinterest Contest

We’re excited to introduce a fun new way to interact with this challenge through a Pinterest Contest. Simply share a link to your project and we’ll upload it onto a Pinterest Board for everyone to see. The project with the most repins by February 29, 2012 at 9 pm PST will win a $100 VISA gift card and 3-month subscription to Kiwi Crate (Kiwi Crate subscription is only open to U.S. residents).


  1. Add your project to the Link Party. We’ll ‘Pin” the image that you upload into the Link Party and share the description that you add to your link.
  2. If you have another way that you’d like us to describe the pin, please leave the description in the comment section.
  3. If you don’t have a blog, you can still enter! Simply upload your project onto an online photo storage site like Flickr or Picasa, and share your photo’s URL in the link party.


  1. Contest ends February 29, 2012 at 9 pm PST
  2. The pin with the most repins will be selected as the winner
  3. Kiwi Crate subscription is open to U.S. residents only. $100 VISA gift card is open to all entrees.
  4. Participants are welcome to share their pin widely to encourage repinning
  5. Tinkerlab and Kiwi Crate reserve the right to edit descriptions or select post images at our discretion.
  6. You do not need to have a Pinterest account to join
  7. One entry per person, please

Here’s the list of the other great bloggers participating in the Challenge:

Paint Cut Paste, Imagination SoupHands On: As We Grow, Child Central Station, Putti Prapancha, Irresistible Ideas for Play-Based LearningTeach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Nurture Store, Small Types,Make Do & FriendThe Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Red Ted Art, Kids in the Studio, Rainy Day Mum, Glittering Muffins, Sense of Wonder, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, Come Together Kids, My Creative Family, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Angelique Felix, The Golden Gleam, Clarion Wren, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Let Kids Create, De tout et de rien, PlayDrMomCreativity My PassionTinkerlab

2 Replies to “Paper Bag Valentine Satchel”

  1. Lara, your photos always make me want to buy whatever you’re selling! What a sweet satchel — my 3-year old would like to place an order, but with the bounty of paper bags we’ve accumulated I suppose we can make our own. Someone could make a lot of money if they could figure out how to make a paper puncher that little kids can use by themselves!

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