Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mother's Day Tutorial and Detail

Here are some detail/tutorial helps with the mother's day paper bag album from yesterday's post! First, start the project with two brown lunch size paper bags. Lay them together with the openings facing opposite directions. Sew down the middle. On the ends, use a strong craft glue to glue the two ribbons. I do this before I give it to the kids because it eases a lot of frustration for all of us if that ribbon is secure right from the start. The first opening that you can see in the picture below is where we put a little card that the kids can make on their own. This card is where they can say something about how pretty or beautiful their mom is. I love to teach the kids to make this card because they can make it on their own in the future at home or.......anywhere.
The shirt in the photo is just a cream color but as in the directions later, I usually use a piece of scrapbook paper. I let the kids choose a color or design that they would like for their mom.

Start with a rectangle of scrapbook paper--I forgot to measure the one I have a school--it is probably about 4 x 8. Just play around with it!

Fold paper in half --crease.

On the end where the fold is, come down about 5/8 in. and make a 1 inch cut.

Lookin' good....

Then do the same thing on the other side. Lay flat.

Now, fold down each cut area as pictured below.

Now it looks like the collars! Lightly glue down the bottom of the collars.

Lift open the "shirt" and the child writes a "you are so beautiful" message to his/her mom.

Finally, the front of the card can be decorated as desired. Add stitching, pockets, loopy lines for lace, buttons, etc. Let the kids be creative!

The second opening where you tuck a little note, I use tiny pre-made cards that the kids can write any message in. Yes, you could make a card, but for my little ones, I have found that they just love using a little card. The teapot card was a Mary Engelbreit design. I couldn't find that at Michael's this year but below is the cute one I got for this year. It is very sweet!
Well, hopefully that takes care of needed details. I wanted to comment, though, about the endless possibilities of this book. It is done very simply here because this is what works for my grade/age level children--first grade! You can make it more simple or with older students many more details and embellishments can be added. One of the beautiful things about this project is that kids can see how something as ordinary as a brown paper bag can be turned into something special. They believe it especially when they see the tender, emotional reaction of their wonderful mothers. If you have any questions or if there is something I didn't explain well enough, please feel free to e-mail me. If you are looking at this and you know someone who might enjoy this idea, please send them over to my blog. Happy Mother's Day to all of you! Have an awesome week!


  1. That is a darling Mother's Day gift. Do you do that at school with all your children? That is a huge project! YEAH for school teachers!! I need your physical address so I can send you a little something! Please email me, sherihoward22(at)

  2. this is SUPER cute dottie!!!
    thanks for sharing it!!!

  3. the little shirt is darling!!