How to: Paper Bag Gnarly Tree

I am not a craft-sy sort of person. paper-bag-gnarly-tree This is not because I don’t like the look or function of crafts. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy looking at crafts that other people have made and the color and character that said crafts add to their homes.

I have two main problems with doing crafts myself: 1. I just don’t have the “eye” for them. My crafts tend not to come out looking all that “cute” or “decorative” which detracts from my motivation to spend the time on them. 2. Making crafts requires lots of colorful, cutesy “stuff.” I do not have lots of colorful, cutesy stuff. But what about the local craft store? Sadly, the grocery store gets all my business. Perhaps someday I will have money to spend at a craft store and I will learn to make lots of lovely little goodies.

In the mean time….

Several days ago I had a strange, unexpected urge to decorate. This is strange because with the exception of a handful of Christmas decorations given to me by family members, I have never decorated for anything. (Yes, I am very boring. Let it not be misunderstood, I love looking at other folks decorations. Indeed, if you have a decorating nature, please continue. You make my life interesting.)

My goal in decorating for this Autumn/Halloween season was to do it entirely with materials already in my possession, so that it would not become an expense. Incidentally, I broke that goal by spending 75 cents at the thrift store on a bag of silvery leaf-thingies. This was a mistake. I keep finding them strewn about the house. Which brings me to another reason I don’t decorate…certain young people think that decorations are toys. Since my boy can scale almost anything in the house, that basically only leaves the ceiling as a “safe” place for decorations…oh well.

Anyway, I was thrilled when I found this idea on Pinterest from Pikadilly Charm. All it takes is a brown paper bag and a pair of scissors (ok, so my craft scissors are a pair of slightly broken kitchen shears. So what? they work). The original tutorial suggests glueing on bits of paper for leaves, but I was going for Halloween-spooky, so I left that part out.

The result may not be a polished, shiny something from a home decorations and whatcha-ma-callits store, but it is so my style.These trees just have so much, well, character.

Plus, I was able to sit on the floor with my kiddos and make these while they played with extra paper bags and kiddie scissors.

You could make a whole “Forbidden Forest” of these!

How to make a Paper Bag Gnarly Tree:

1. Take a plain paper lunch sack.










2. Make several cuts straight down the sack, about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the sack.










3. Twist the sack between the cuts and the base to make the “trunk” of the tree.


4. Pull down two or three of the strips at a time and twist them together to make branches. Bend them any which way you like.

twist-bag-tree    paper-bag-tree

Enjoy your Halloween Gnarly Tree!


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