Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I have been recovering from the flu all week, and either the cold medicines or the sinus pressure has made my head a bit fuzzy. The flu is definitely making its rounds in my daughter’s school, and thankfully she is already recovered from her bout with it. From my many hours in bed this week, I have learned a few things.
1. Watching Contagion probably isn’t a good idea for your state of mind when you are sick in bed with the flu. Good movie, but seriously disturbing in regards to getting sick.
2. Nyquil may help you sleep, but you can have some really trippy nightmare-ish dreams with it.
3. When your body aches so much that you can’t sleep, and you can’t watch one more episode of “Say Yes to the Dress“, the Pinterest app on your phone can keep you occupied.
That is exactly how I stumbled upon this handy tip, and I knew I had to try it. Did you know that you can print directly on paper bags? I would have never thought to try and feed a paper bag into my printer, but now that I have, the customizable treat bag possibilities are endless!
I had some plain white small gift bags on hand, and I found these cool red colored lunch bags at Target recently.
The trick to printing on a paper bag, is to create a custom printing size within your printer settings. I plugged in the exact dimensions of each bag and labeled them accordingly. I now have a “lunch bag” setting and “gift bag” setting in my printer settings.
Secondly, be sure to feed the bag in with the bottom of the bag facing up (see image above).
Finally, in your printer settings be sure to flip the orientation of your print horizontally. That way when it prints on the bag, the words and design will be right reading after you fill your bag.
One note: I found that I got a better print when I planned my design to print on the middle of the bag instead of at the bottom where it was thicker. I think because of the extra paper from the bottom of the bag, the printer liked to add some extra printer smudges on the front. As long as I planned my printer above the bottom fold, I was able to get a nice clean print on my treat bag.
Another note: Make sure to purchase bags that are uncoated, or that have no glossy coating. The ink will not dry and rub right off.
I created a couple quick bag designs that I am happy to share with all of you if you would like to try and print on your own bags. In the spirit of Valentines Day coming up, and because I somehow had this song stuck in my head, I decided on a “All You Need Is Love” theme.
Get your FREE printables here:
Paper Gift Bag Printable with Love
Lunchbag Love printable bag design
Then you can fill your bags with yummy chocolates for a quick and easy Valentines gift bag idea:
Or, for a great “Get Well Soon” gift bag idea, fill it with a few things that might make getting over a cold a little easier. My suggestions after this week are, tissues, chapstick, Airborne, soothing tea, and of course, chocolate. You can’t ever go wrong with chocolate. = )
After filling your bag, you can fold over the top, punch a couple holes a the top and tie with with a pretty ribbon or string. Lovely!
Enjoy printing your own treat bags, and I am wishing all of you good health, happiness, and love.
Looking for another clever trick? These homemade scratch off Valentines are so crafty from Crafts by Amanda!
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You are a genius!!!
I tell my sister that all the time – but she doesn’t listen to me. Thank you for commenting!
Thank you so much for this! I’ve been searching for ideas for wedding favors and this is perfect. It’s cost effective and personal. Super cute! We could easily put our names and wedding date with some stars around the words.
sounds lovely! That’s sounds perfect for wedding favors.
This is one of the greatest ideas ever! Where did you get your white bags? Have you tried printing on the brown lunch bags? I’m going to go try this right now.
I purchased the white bags at my local Michaels and the red ones at Target. Hope that helps. Happy crafting!
I have a ton of bags that are left over from a project now I can do something with them!
Adorable. I have done this before and people love it. I just need your cute artwork. Also printed scavenger hunt list on bags for kindergarten scavenger hunt. I love these bags. There are a million ideas for them.
Thanks for the great comment Tracie. Fabulous ideas on how to use this technique!
Yes! This was my “go to” every time I was snack mom. Slap a fave football, baseball, basketball team or player and voilà! Cool mom status!
so cool! Love it!
ugh… I love this idea sooo much. My printer isn’t as crazy about it. I can’t get it to feed???… dunno what I am doing wrong. I did the measurements… fed it properly…but, it wouldn’t take it…. please help!!
Trying to be a really cool mom…for sons 1st birthday party!! 🙂
First of all Gyana, you are definitely a cool mom already. = )
Did you make sure to make a custom print size in your printer settings first, by chance?
I put my printer settings for the 5×8 index card, and that worked in my printer. I think letting the printer know that the bag is thicker than normal paper helps in the printing process. Hope this helps!
Great suggestion Sarah!
What would be great is a printable like this but for Easter, can’t find any on line. Lunch bags are a great size for Easter goodies.
Thanks, love ur website.
I can’t find where you change it to horizontally. I went to orientation and it does not give me that option. Mine just gives portrait or landscape. Please HELP. My printer did not like my bags. I changed settings for the size of my bags under custom.
I just updated the Spring paper bag printing post with a visual example.
Check it out here, and let me know if this makes it clearer:
Not all printer setting comes with ‘invert orientation’ features =(
mine only comes with landscape or portrait..
Portrait is vertical as in upright, landscape is horizontal as in lengthwise…hope that helps
Horizontal is landscape.
Ok, I figured out how to print the correct direction, but my printer will not feed the bags. I changed the settings for custom and it will not feed and always tell me paper jam. I was trying to do something on brown paper bags for my daughters Bachelorette party as a survival kit. Need help yesterday, please!!!!!!
I have to confess, I’m pretty sure I broke my printer doing this over the weekend. My hubby isn’t too happy, and asked if I was putting things in the printer that shouldn’t have been in there. I love the idea (and the bags that I got done before it broke were really cute), but I think next time I’ll stick to using sharpie, or printing on sticker paper and then applying it. Just a warning to anyone who may not be prepared to throw their photo printer in the trash!
In order to prevent headache and/or printer damage, you will want to make sure you change the paper setting. Most printers will have a setting for thick paper such as envelopes or card stock. The feeder will actually open further to allow for the larger media. Hope this helps!
Great tip Brooke. Thanks for that helpful advice.
I tried to do this but treat bags seem to be glossy.
The ink was wet and the image came out horrid.
Any suggestions? Also tried setting the paper to “Glossy photo paper” to see if it would work but no luck.
Sorry you were having so much trouble. Make sure to purchase bags that don’t have the glossy finish. Make sure they are uncoated so that the ink has something to stick to.
Are you using a laser or inkjet printer??
I used an inkjet printer.
TIP: do a test print to see which way your printer feeds. Mine fed opposite from the directions above. Also – You may need to temporarily tape the flap down so that it doesn’t get stuck in your printer. the first one got stuck and then i taped the flap down with some low-tack tape. It worked perfectly!
Great tips! Thanks Marilyn!
What brand of printer do u suggest? Awesome idea. I can’t wait to print bags for my students!!
I use an HP inkjet 6500 printer to print my bags. Have fun!
Hi, I was wondering if a printer will feed a brown gift bag with handles?
no, I wouldn’t feed any bags with handles through the printer.
I’ve tried this on regular paper lunch bags. I wouldn’t recommend trying it. I’m guessing that a heavier-weight lunch bag, like the ones pictured, feed through printers much easier. I’m a little bummed because this would have been super cool for our VBS send-home bags! Thanks for posting this! Your bags are adorable!!!
This is an awesome idea! Have you ever tried printing on paper bags with handles??? I bought these cute coloured kraft gift bags, but they have the twisted paper handles and I’m afraid to even try them in my printer (Canon)…do you think this could even work???
Hmmmm… I wouldn’t try printing on them with the handles. I think that would just jam up the printer, sorry.
Do you have to make the image upside down on your printer before you print??
Yep, in your printer settings, make sure to flip the image horizontally so that when it comes out, it will be right reading.
Absolutely love this! This is the best idea ever. Thanks for the info. God bless.
Thanks for this idea. I used it to make gift bags for my daughter’s 5th birthday. All the parents were surprised to find out I made them myself.
Has anyone tried this on a color laser jet printer? That is what I have and don’t want to ruin it before I do this. I have ran envelopes through it before with no problem, cardstock as well.
fantastic thanks for sharing just got to get me some bags now 🙂
Could you please tell me what model and brand printer you used? I am in the market for a new one, and I want to be sure it can do this type of project. Thanks in advance!
Hi Crissy, I use an all-in-one HP 6500 inkjet printer.
I was going to make little tags for my daughters treat bags for her birthday, but then remembered that I had pinned this and after a few tries, it worked perfectly!! Much less work and they turned out great. THANK YOU!
I love youyr blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this
website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz reply as I’m looking to construct myy own blog and
would lie to know where u goot thiis from. appreciate it
I designed all of the graphics, but I used the magazine premium wordpress theme as a template.
Hope that helps! Good luck with everything. Hope you are following along on our Creative Blog Talk series.
Thank you so much for this post/tutorial. I have always wanted to print on sacks. Crossing fingers.
Found this on Pinterest, Fabulous photos.
My area of expertise lie more in soap, candles and jewelry currently but I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to put my logo onto bags for craft fairs and shows. This is perfect!
I wanted to be able to make it myself but wasn’t sure of the best way to accomplish what I had in mind. I had considered making my own stamps with my logo or just using labels but this is perfect. Thank you so much.
This is such a clever and frugal idea that I *know* I’ll find a use for. Thank you!
Thank you for this! We were looking for something cute (and inexpensive) for the nurses during my mom’s recent hospital stay. Added some items (lifesaver, marble, candle, snickers, starburst, button, lollipop, mint, tootsie roll, gum, paper clip, and rubber band) with sayings in relation to nursing. This made is super easy to create an assembly line (that even my 3 year old niece could help with)