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It's in the Bag: Ingenious Party Decorations

Martha Stewart Living, April 2004

With a few snips and folds, and a little imagination, you can turn humble paper bags into party-perfect decorations.

Hanging Paper Bag Flowers

Here, brightly colored glossy bags are folded and snipped into a cheerful bunch of flowers above a table. The "vases" are merely plain brown lunch bags with their tops rolled down; inside each is a jar with roses.

Get the How-To for the Hanging Paper Bag Flowers

Paper Basket Bouquet

To make a basket bouquet for every place setting, all you need are small brown paper bags and baby-food jars or shot glasses to hold the flowers. A centerpiece requires a larger bag and a mason jar or drinking glass as a vase. The bags you use must be gusseted, with side pleats and a flat bottom.

Get the How-To for the Paper Basket Bouquet

Comments (11)

  • giselagriffin 22 Mar, 2009

    Can't find the bags in those colors. Anyone know where I can find them? Thanks.

  • julycoke 28 Jan, 2009

    I can't seem to fan out the flower with just 6 bags. If I use more bags, e.g., 8 bags, then it works. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Perhaps the bags I'm using are skinnier than normal? Help!

  • FJCruiserChick 19 Nov, 2008

    Use tape on the very bottome of the bag (the very center of flower/snowflakes). It makes the piece much more flexible than worrying about [filtered word] placement and tying the string too tight.

  • FJCruiserChick 19 Nov, 2008

    I have been making paper bag flowers/snowflakes for close to 8 year snow. I do not put a "[filtered word] punch" on my flowers. I tape the very bottom of the bag - similar to the taping of the sides of each bag (front and back). It makes the flower much more flexible and you do not have to worry about proper [filtered word] placement or tying the string too tight. Plus, less supplies.....only tape a pair of scissors and the paper bags.

  • flowerpistol 21 Jul, 2008

    I made four flowers and made some adjustments after the first two. I put the tape only on the bottom edge, where the [filtered word] is. It is important to have a loose loop of string that ties the pieces together. I couldn't fan out my first fan because my loop of string was tight and didn't allow the pieces to move freely.
    After reading the comments about the pom poms, I found them on the site and my friend made them. Awesome and easier than these flowers!

  • SoupAddict 8 May, 2008

    Hi sfantl, you can find ready-to-assemble pom pom kits here on this site (click Shop in the top nav above). The pom poms are really easy to make without a kit, though, and I've had good luck finding the colors I need at Target. Some colors they sell in large bulk packs of tissue, which is handy, and other colors in smaller 8-sheet packs. If you need large quantities of tissue paper (like for a wedding), there are a lot of sites on the web that sell the entire rainbow of tissue paper.

  • glorybees7 8 May, 2008

    You can find the bags at a party supply store, craft store, or sometimes I've seen them in the party sections of bigger variety stores.
    As for the tape placement - place the tape on each side, top and bottom/front and back, of each bag as you stack them. You should be able to fan them out to make the flower.

  • sfantl 8 May, 2008

    Where can you find colored paper bags as seen in the photo? Also, where can you find colored tissue paper packs for the tissue paper pom poms also shown on this site?

  • countrymusiclover 19 Apr, 2008

    I have tried to make the flower. I understand everything except where to put the tape. I am not understanding!! Very frustrated. Please help.

  • marwiz 13 Apr, 2008

    The bags held daffodils and ran down the middle of our Easter table. My diningroom is in shades of oranges and they played off the color so wonderfully!!!!

  • Superchic7 6 Mar, 2008

    I did this craft and makes simple paper bags look expensive!