I am always looking for a simple inexpensive way to create beautiful winter decor for my home. And it's an added joy when Holiday crafts are basically foolproof. These DIY paper bag snowflakes check all the boxes and they're so much fun to make you're going to be looking for excuses to make them for every holiday!
The first time I saw paper snowflakes I fell in love. And immediately wanted them as a part of my Christmas decor. For years I procrastinated, but this year I was determined to end my holiday season finishing all the Christmas crafts with a line across my ceiling of brown paper bag snowflakes.
And now I'm excited to adjust them to fit all of my holiday decor, including Valentine's Day!
Create a Winter Wonderland with Brown Paper Bags
One of my favorite things about making these brown paper bag snowflakes is their diverse intricate designs. But here are a few other reasons you need to try your hand at this great craft.
- Easy Craft. Literally a craft for kids of all ages, including adults. I messed mine up several times and it still turned out beautiful.
- Big Impact. If your time is as limited as your budget these charming giant paper bag snowflakes are a great choice to give the wow factor to your decorations.
- Unlimited Pattern Ideas. I'm going to give you several choices, but the design options are limitless. Be as intricate or simple with your snowflake pattern as your heart desires!
- Not Just for Christmas. Yes, they're snowflakes, but that doesn't mean they're just for Christmas. I plan on using them for party decor and trying different shapes like hearts for Valentine's Day!
- Sizes Can Vary. There are paper bags of varying sizes and this project works with all sizes. So you can use a smaller version of a paper bag which will make a smaller snowflake. Or use giant paper bags for large paper bag snowflakes.
- Christmas Tree Decorations. Creating small versions of these would be a perfect opportunity to use them as charming decorations on your Christmas tree this season!
Watch a Video Tutorial on How to Make Paper Bag Snowflakes
The supply list is pretty small for this simple and fun craft, which makes it all the more favorable to me!
- Paper Bags Brown Paper Lunch Bags or White Paper Bags
- Small Paper Bags 5x7 Brown & White
- String, Twine, Nylon Cord, or Fishing Line
- A good pair of Scissors
- Glue a glue stick, hot glue gun + glue sticks, or other Liquid Glue
- A Tack or command hook
- Hole Punch
- Optional* Fairy Lights
- X-Acto Knife
- Self-Healing Cutting Mat
How to Make Easy Paper Bag Snowflakes | Step-by-Step Instructions
Depending on the size of the bag you choose to use will depend on how many bags you will need to create a complete circle. Some wider bags may take 6, but the bags I used required 8. So, just be prepared to add more or use fewer bags per snowflake.
Step One | Drawing Your Template
The easiest way to get crisp clean symmetrical lines on both sides of your snowflake is to fold your bags in half lengthwise. Follow the directions below for perfectly clean lines!
Folding, Tracing, and Cutting
Fold your paper bag in half lengthwise before drawing your template.
Cut your design out.
When you unfold it there will be a perfectly symmetrical design on both sides.
Use your first bag as a template for all the remaining bags. You need 8 total bags for this particular size brown paper bag. Don't worry about perfection, when you put the bags together you will not notice if some are cut more sloppily than others!
Step Two | Glue Your Bags in a Stack
Before you begin remember these 4 things.
- Ensure you're gluing the bags on the flat part, not the side with the folded bottom area.
- Always stack them in the same direction.
- Also, "the top" is the open end of the bag.
- Keep the sides of the paper bags free of glue.
01 First Bag
When all 8 of your bags have been cut lay your first one down flat side up.
Continue them all in the same direction as you stack them.
Draw an upside-down "T" with glue. Add another bag on top of that.
Note: Hot glue will work as well as a glue stick. The purple Elmer's glue works the fastest and has the strongest hold if you go with a gluestick!
02 Second Bag + the Rest
Continue the same upside-down T shape starting at the top in the middle of the bag down to the bottom and across.
Then stack the same way until you've got 8 bags glued to each other.
Step Four | Different Design Templates You Can Use
There are so many options for patterns and designs you can use and they all make beautiful end products. But my advice is to start simple and go crazy with different patterns once you get a feel for it.
I made a very simple snowflake shape to start. But here are several options for you to try and really the sky is the limit!
Before you start try to connect the front to the back to make sure the amount of bags you glued together will in fact create a complete circular shape. If you cut your design out and find out the front and back won't touch that will be a huge setback!
Templates to Cut Out for Different Seasons
Choose your "snowflake shape" (or hanging paper decoration pattern). Fold the bag in half lengthwise. Then trace it onto the bag using a pencil or marker.
You'll need very strong scissors (a good pair of scissors will make this craft smooth like a dream) to cut your design through multiple bags if you choose to do that.
- Choose your "snowflake shape" (or hanging paper decoration). Fold the bag in half lengthwise. Then trace it onto the bag using a pencil or marker.
- You'll need very strong scissors (a good pair of scissors will make this craft smooth like a dream) to cut your design through multiple bags if you choose to do that.
- You can use a ruler for straight lines if you like precision. I freehanded my designs and honestly, I don't think you can go wrong either way! Also, try using a hole punch and making designs like that for added flare!
- For more intricate designs consider using an X-Acto Knife and a table mat.
- When creating your own shape, make sure the part of the ends that are connected stay intact. My first snowman shape didn't and in the end, I couldn't use it.
Step Three | Connecting the Front and Back
Now comes the reveal of your glorious art!
Draw a line of glue, once again, starting on the top bag in the shape of an upside-down T.
Take the glued side and open the snowflake and connect it directly to the back of the bag on the bottom of the stack to complete the snowflake.
Step Four | Hanging Your Snowflakes
There are all kinds of ways you can choose to hang these, but the best idea is to decide where you want them and then figure out how to hang them best in your situation.
I chose to hang my paper bag snowflakes from my ceiling for ease since my ceilings are like 10 feet tall in my dining room. All I needed was a hole punch, some baker's twine, and a few tacks.
Make a hole on the top of the snowflake with a hole punch to tie it with string.
Then hang them using tacks, command hooks, or another way.
Note: Varying their hanging heights gives it a very appealing look in my humble opinion. If you could vary their sizes and even their colors that would add even more visual interest.
Step Five | Extra Glam for the Paper Bag Snowflakes
I like simple, simple is classic, visually appealing, and blends in with a range of other more loud Christmas decorations. However, there is a time and place to go a little extra fancy. Here are some really fun additional things you can do to add magic to your snowflakes.
- Glitter. A beautiful way to add more magical whimsy would be to create a pretty pattern with glue and give your snowflake a good healthy dose of glitter.
- Draw or Color. The fun thing about using white paper lunch bags is, markers will show up better on white than brown. And you can really personalize your snowflakes for other seasonal events. Create "heart" shapes and outline them with a pink or red marker.
- Fun Shapes. Try all the shapes and sizes. Combine big cut-out shapes and small shapes as well. Half moon, triangles, hearts, diamonds, etc.
Handmade Christmas Crafts and Decor Ideas
If you love making handmade Christmas crafts or your home decor, I have a few ideas to inspire you! And also, hopefully, entice you into a few extra activities on your holiday season list. You know you want to!
- If you love handmade ornaments and also love books, these DIY Vintage Book Ornaments are probably going to be your new favorite thing.
- Create a beautiful bunting fit for the Christmas season using Vintage Christmas cards.
More Great Valentine's Day Home Decorating Ideas
Don't forget all of these craft and home decor ideas can be used for multiple seasons and holidays by simply switching out a few things! Check out these other great Valentine's Day Ideas.
- Create a beautiful neutral romantic tablescape with just a few simple elements.
Hi, I'm Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→