How To Make A Brown Paper Goodie Bag!

paper bag

I’ve been working on a “top secret” project this week, but I know I can trust you to keep my confidence so I’ll share the secret with you. :-)

It’s a “goodie” bag for my fellow panelists at Alt Summit this week. It’s not quite “ready for prime time” so I’m keeping the details under wraps, but I wanted to share something that I ran across while trying to figure out what to put my “goodies” inside of.

I remember bookmarking this idea from Oh Happy Day quite awhile ago because I thought it was just so dang adorable! I thought it would make the perfect DIY bag for this “top secret” project…but alas, I just couldn’t quite make it work for what I have in mind. But it’s STILL dang adorable so I decided to show you how to make one anyway! Because I have nothing ELSE to do this week!  ;-)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a paper craft so I was pretty excited to try this. I just love that it’s made out of plain brown paper. I don’t know why, but I have definitely got a thing for brown kraft paper. It’s such a blank canvas that can be dressed up or dressed down and has a natural vibe that I love.

brown paper gift bag

Anyway, Oh Happy Day has done the hardest part of this paper craft for us…the template! All you have to do is go to this webpage and look for FREE PRINTABLE TEMPLATE. Click on it, download it and print it out. You’ll only need one copy because you are going to use the same template 4 different times.


(This is what you are looking for.  You’ll need to scroll down the page a bit.)

oh happy day

(Oh Happy Day website)

Once you print it and cut it out…you are ready to go. You will need a roll of brown paper, the thicker the better. Butcher paper would be great…mine is just a roll of mailing paper that I picked up at the grocery store. It’s nice and thick. I also tried this with a roll of brown gift wrapping paper I had…but it didn’t work as well because it was a bit on the thin side.

brown paper gift bag

You’ll need a piece that is at least 18 by 24 inches. I just unrolled the paper and started tracing. As you can see from the picture you are going to start with the template in one corner, flip it horizontally, then vertically, then one more time horizontally. Make sense? Use a pencil so you can erase any unnecessary lines.

brown paper gift bag 9 copy

After you’re done tracing the template 4 times…it’s time to cut the whole thing out. I love that it’s just one big piece! So simple.

brown paper gift bag

The last thing you’ll do before assembling it is take your Xacto knife and cut the slits and cut out the handle opening. You could do it with scissors, but if you have an Xacto knife, it’s much easier and cleaner-looking.

It’s going to want to roll up on itself, but that’s ok. Once it’s assembled it won’t matter.

brown paper gift bag

Now take both of the ends with the slits in them and overlap them, lining up the slits.

brown paper gift bag


brown paper gift bag

Weave the handle through both slits. Now repeat on the other side.

brown paper gift bag

And that’s it! You have just made a darling brown paper bag for filling up with a picnic lunch or whatever your imagination can conjure up! :-)

Thanks Oh Happy Day for making my day oh-so-happy!


If you read One Good Thing By Jillee posts in a feed reader you will notice that we recently have started truncating the posts. Why?
Two reasons:
1). Because there are websites (called “scrapers”) that will steal entire posts (images and all) from the emails that are sent out. I work too hard to just allow scrapers to come in and steal the content. The only way to protect it is to truncate it. You can still access the entire post THROUGH the email simply by clicking on the headline.
2). Up until recently the emails were ad-supported, allowing One Good Thing By Jillee to monetize them to a small degree. But at the end of 2012 Google discontinued that service. So now the only way we make any money is if you come to the actual website. I know some people won’t like it, but we’ve had to weigh the pros and cons on this one and this is the decision my team and I have made. I hope you will understand and stick with us. I promise to make it worth that extra click! :-)


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  1. krystina Bibb says

    dont know what is wrong but for some reason this week I am not getting the full email. Did you change something? For instance on todays email it ended on the sentence where you said that you are keeping the details under…. and thats it.

  2. Hazel says

    Thanks Jillee, these are super cute, I’ll be shrinking them down and fill them with candy for my little ones birthday party favorites, I’m heading to michael’s to buy cute princess stickers and ribbon to dress them up to match the theme :)

  3. Sly says

    I’ve noticed that the last several e-mails I have gotten from you only contain the first couple lines. So I have to go to the web site each day to read your Blog.
    Is this a new thing? Or something that is wrong?

    • kel says

      Sad that it’s so hard to make one extra click to read the content. I, too, miss the full feed in my reader, but it’s certainly worth it to make one more click to read all she shares with us! Good grief, people.

      • margaret haviza says

        I TO,,, will be doing that one click more—-i just love this Jillee lady …LOL—-keep up this good work—so i won’t have to? funny funny—I do not know where you come up with most of these…–must havwe a very well organize team!

      • Tasha says

        Seriously- does everyone realize how long Jillee works on all of this!?! It’s just one extra click people- what is the big deal??? Keep up the excellent work Jillee. Your work, pictures and humor are much appreciated!!!!

    • Gina says

      Jodi – are you serious? Did you actually read WHY Jillee had to change the way she sends us “One Good Thing”? If you did and you still decided to leave, we really don’t want you here anyhow! Thanks for the explanation Jillee – I feel that you (and “One Good Thing” are definitely worth One More Click!

    • Linda says

      What is your problem? Don’t you have internet service?! It takes just 1 click to go to her webpage. And, can’t you read? She states at the end of the post as to why she had to do this. I’ve been clicking on the heading in the email anyway as I like to read the comments made in the posts. You learn a lot more getting feedback from everyone. The one big thing I’ve learned by reading the comments is that most people don’t read. The same questions show up over & over. It pays to read people! Also, don’t be so lazy that you can’t click on 1 link!

  4. Denise says

    I wasn’t able to get the template even when I typed in Oh Happy Day’s URL–there, too, I wound up in the comments section after being promised the template “after the jump,” so I think it’s something that Oh Happy Day has to fix.

  5. Gail says

    I found the template. Click on Jillee’s link above. On the Oh Happy Day page, at the top, click on Printables. Scroll to the bottom (try not to be distracted by all the other good ideas!). On the left side, click on Older. The brown bag template is the second one down. Follow the embedded links to download the template.

  6. Gail says

    This is an ad-supported blog, ladies. Traffic generates revenue. If you don’t come here to read the posts, no revenue. Hence the ‘teaser’ e-mails. You wouldn’t begrudge Jillee making a living would you?

  7. Beth says

    Gail, I have tried your directions twice, all I get is a “jump” to the comments page, even the 2nd page of the comments is not a template. What am I doing wrong? Seems like since there has been a change to the way Jillees emails come it’s nothing but confusion when trying to get to a project.

  8. says

    I was able to get to the template. Here’s the link that worked for me.

    Instead of flipping this template 4 times, as someone who sews, I would fold the butcher paper to one quarter size and place the template “on the fold” and cut all four sections at once.

    I can think of so many things I would use this for! I can’t wait to make one (… or ten) and play with the sizing.

  9. Gail says

    Once you get to the final ‘jump’ where all the photos are you have to click on the download link. Or just follow the links a couple of others have posted above. That will work too. :-)

  10. CTY says

    Thank you Jillee– you rock ! Looks like I found another ace to keep up my sleeve. So many applications. All I can think about is what to use instead of paper. I think flannel backed vinyl tablecloth would work. How cute would that be as a picnic basket. Maybe a patriotic picnic basket filled parade necessities, bottle of water, pinwheel, American flag, foam visor, funky sunglasses, sun screen, water gun, gum and a few night time glow stick things– maybe patriotic Mardis Gras beads. Poolside bag or beach bag to carry the wet suit. Would make a great bag for the outdoor movie nights in our town. I see Girl Scout Sit Upons with matching bags.
    What about a fireside survival bag filled with graham crackers, marshmallows & Hershey Bars–and one or two moist wipes. My mind is reeling! Easter Egg Hunt bags. Valentine card holder. OKAY– last thought– dog on the go -bag– (I am making one right now from the 46LB Dog Chow Bag. Jillee–I’ll send a picture!). Later today we have a 2+ hour trip to L.A.

  11. Linda says

    I have always followed the email to your site. Another blogger that I follow explained that the only way she enertes revenue is if people click through to her site. As much as I enjoy your blog, why in the world would I NOT click through so you can make some revenue and keep on sending out all your useful information?!?! Too bad for those who don’t think it’s worth 1 little click to get here.

  12. Diane says

    no problem at all to click to website – to get to one good thing everyday. can’t imagine why one extra click would discourage anyone – especially when the former way would allow some underserving thiefs to seal Jillee”s hard work.

  13. Jane Thatcher says

    Personally, I’m glad you changed the emails. It’s really no big deal to click and go right to the website! I don’t know why some women are upset about it! It makes them easier to forward to my friends and sends them right to the full website where they can access all of Jill’s great ideas! Live with it!

  14. says

    i’m new to your blog and just got your first email today. one of my friends truncates (i did not even know what that meant until you explained it!) her blog so i knew to click on the title to get to the entire post. i can see though, how it would be confusing, especially since everyone was used to getting the entire blog post in an email. i love your blog and your information. it’s no big deal to click once more. :)

  15. says

    Just made one! Actually 2. But the first one was just practice and that’s now for my daughter to carry things around. :) The second one I’m using to give a gift to a friend. My daughter (almost 3) helped me decorate it with markers and crayons. I think I will be using this quite a bit – a fun project using materials I already have in the house. Love it!

    I also just made another batch of the DIY Dove body wash (the men’s for hubby) and now that we’re almost out of the detergent that came with our washing machine 5 years ago (!) I plan to tackle the homemade laundry soap for the first time this week. :)

    Thanks for all of the work you do to share these ideas! This stay-at-home mama loves ‘em!

  16. says

    Obviously, I don’t mind the extra click because that’s what I’ve done all along…I didn’t know I didn’t have to as a couple of other blogs that I follow have always been that way…lol! I wouldn’t miss what you have to share for anything…you’ve always got wonderful ideas! Downloading this cute bag next. I’m thinking how I can use it to hold little goodies for an English tea party I’m giving my 7 granddaughters the last of March. One of my daughters is moving to England, the last of April for four years, with her USAF husband, 4 daughters (ages 6 weeks to 10 years) and son (age 2)…going to miss them big time.
    Thanks Jillee…your the best!

  17. Beth Sherrill says


    So happy to see you have found a way to protect your work! It is terrible that a few must destroy things for all.

    Have fun on your trip. Thanks for the goody baskets, perfect for little gifts for my co workers.

  18. Comet says

    I was soooo thinking that this would be great in a re-cycled (upcycled?) leather!!!!!!! Only to see some one mention it already!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!

    I often find leather items like skirts and vests with perfectly good leather that is just not “in style” and hate to let it go to waste. Latest “find” was a calf length “trench” in soft black leather for—-$2. Half price day at the Sal Army. If you stitched or riveted the edges on this pattern you would have a great bag with extra detail—I would double or re-inforce the handle tho.

    Thanks Jillee—you are worth EVERY click!!!!!!

  19. Arthur Casey says

    Hi Jillee,

    I am a feed reader and subscriber, really enjoy your emails with so many helpful ideas , its a pity that you need to truncate your emails because of scrapers ! Fine with me ,i always visit your website anyway so i can pin to Pinterest and helps you and me (It’s Linked to You) . Thanks for notification at end of post :)

  20. flerbiejean says

    While I’m a day later (and a dollar shorter!), I have clicked through the email messages for a while now. I want to read other readers’ comments! So for me, it’s business as usual!

    Thanks, Jillee, for keeping me informed and savvy on awesome tips and tricks!

  21. CTY says

    Wow a whole new look to you site. I do like it. Very pretty! One problem– I was systematically reading each of your posts. On this new layout I don’t see the dates for archives. Also could not find the “Home” tab (you know when I go off on a tangent through your site– but need to get back to the post of the day.

    • says

      Thanks for the feedback CTY! We probably do need to add back in an archives link. There isn’t an actual link that says “Home” but if you just click on the title of my blog at the top it will take you to the home page.


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