Paper Bag Valentine Satchel

We've no shortage of paper bags around here, but I must admit, I was stumped for a while 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.

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    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.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    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.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    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.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5
    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    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...

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Done!

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

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