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Published on February 14th, 2009 | by Jackie Hernandez

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Make Brown Paper Bag Recipe Cards

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Brown Paper Recipe Bag Cards

Use our free printable template to make your own recipe cards from brown paper shopping bags!

These easy and quick brown paper bag recipe cards were inspired by the Brown Paper Seed Packet Business Cards.  I loved the idea of repurposing brown paper bags, but didn’t really need business cards.  What I needed was recipe cards to fit in a new recipe box I got as a gift.  I created a recipe card design and printed it onto pieces of brown paper bag.  Two thicknesses of paper make these cards durable and allow for overflow directions on the back.

To make your own brown paper bag recipe cards follow these easy step by step instructions.  Make a set of blank cards to give as a housewarming or wedding gift.

  1. Open brown paper bag along all seams and lay flat.  If the wrinkles bother you then use a press cloth and iron them out.  I leave my paper wrinkled because I think it adds character.
  2. Cut brown paper into 6.5″ x 8.5″ rectangles (sized for the PDF included in this tutorial).
  3. Download and open this PDF featuring my recipe card design (offered under Creative Commons Attribution license).  Set print paper size to custom: 6.5″ x 8.5″.  Set all print margins to 0.  You may have to do a few test runs to get all the settings right.
  4. Insert brown paper into printer.  For my printer I needed to insert the paper plain side down.
  5. Print PDF onto brown paper.
  6. Score and fold recipe card along the light grey line in the middle.
  7. Apply glue to one half of the back side of paper.  Press two sides together.
  8. Use paper cutter or scissors to trim recipe card to the light grey lines on three raw edges.

Creative Commons License
Brown Paper Bag Recipe Card by Jackie Hernandez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

[Images courtesy of Jackie Hernandez, Crafting A Green World]

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About the Author

I am a work-at-home mom busy chasing after my son and establishing my eco-business, Tiny Décor. I also write the Tiny Décor Blog aimed at modern parents trying to go green for their kids. Tiny Décor has allowed me to turn a passion for sewing, craft, and environmentalism into a business. Blog writing has become an outlet for me to share my experiences going green, being a parent, and loving the planet.



  • Pingback: Free Printable Recipe Cards – A Nice Collection : TipNut.com

  • http://tipnut Debbie

    i cannot find the pdf required to make the brown bag recipe cards.
    where is it?

    • Bev

      Just hit where it says "pdf" in the instructions. That will take you right to the file. By the way, PDF is printed in orange so it does stand out. It is in instruction # 3. Good luck

  • http://familyfocusedfun.blogspot.com/ Jamie – Family Focused Fun

    I thought this really looked neat but my printer couldn’t handle printing on the paper bags, it threw a little fit…neat idea but won’t work for me!

  • http://familyfocusedfun.blogspot.com/ Jamie – Family Focused Fun

    I thought this really looked neat but my printer couldn’t handle printing on the paper bags, it threw a little fit…neat idea but won’t work for me!

  • http://familyfocusedfun.blogspot.com/ Jamie – Family Focused Fun

    I thought this really looked neat but my printer couldn’t handle printing on the paper bags, it threw a little fit…neat idea but won’t work for me!

  • http://familyfocusedfun.blogspot.com/ Jamie – Family Focused Fun

    I thought this really looked neat but my printer couldn’t handle printing on the paper bags, it threw a little fit…neat idea but won’t work for me!

    • susie

      try the craft paper they sell in bulk in the scrapbooking department at JoAnn’s

      • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

        Is that paper eco-friendly in any way? I’d love to find bulk paper that’s made from sustainably harvested trees or recycled!

  • Kristian

    I just love this idea! I homeschool my children, so I use paperbags to make books for their “news articles”, literature summaries, etc. I love how the paperbags help with the vintage country style. Your absolutely right with adding texture for the distressed look. I think I will add some coffee rings,wrinkles and stains to help with the distressed look. I will definately pass this along with family members. :)

  • Kristian

    I just love this idea! I homeschool my children, so I use paperbags to make books for their “news articles”, literature summaries, etc. I love how the paperbags help with the vintage country style. Your absolutely right with adding texture for the distressed look. I think I will add some coffee rings,wrinkles and stains to help with the distressed look. I will definately pass this along with family members. :)

  • Kristian

    I just love this idea! I homeschool my children, so I use paperbags to make books for their “news articles”, literature summaries, etc. I love how the paperbags help with the vintage country style. Your absolutely right with adding texture for the distressed look. I think I will add some coffee rings,wrinkles and stains to help with the distressed look. I will definately pass this along with family members. :)

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  • http://www.adeputyswife.com Angie

    I think this is a great idea! I too forget to bring my reuseable bags. I hate when the clerks automatically grab plastic. At least with paper, you can repurpose them. Another benefit is that by making recipe cards or business cards or whatever out of these, you are helping the environment as by not buying the commercially made ones which use chemicals to bleach them white….yuck!

  • http://www.adeputyswife.com Angie

    I think this is a great idea! I too forget to bring my reuseable bags. I hate when the clerks automatically grab plastic. At least with paper, you can repurpose them. Another benefit is that by making recipe cards or business cards or whatever out of these, you are helping the environment as by not buying the commercially made ones which use chemicals to bleach them white….yuck!

  • http://www.adeputyswife.com Angie

    I think this is a great idea! I too forget to bring my reuseable bags. I hate when the clerks automatically grab plastic. At least with paper, you can repurpose them. Another benefit is that by making recipe cards or business cards or whatever out of these, you are helping the environment as by not buying the commercially made ones which use chemicals to bleach them white….yuck!

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/ Jenn

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this awesome idea and let you know that I mentioned you on my blog: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/. Thanks for your creative ideas and free printables. I hope you will come take a look at my blog as well. Cheers! -Jenn

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/ Jenn

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this awesome idea and let you know that I mentioned you on my blog: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/. Thanks for your creative ideas and free printables. I hope you will come take a look at my blog as well. Cheers! -Jenn

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/ Jenn

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this awesome idea and let you know that I mentioned you on my blog: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/. Thanks for your creative ideas and free printables. I hope you will come take a look at my blog as well. Cheers! -Jenn

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/ Jenn

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this awesome idea and let you know that I mentioned you on my blog: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/. Thanks for your creative ideas and free printables. I hope you will come take a look at my blog as well. Cheers! -Jenn

  • Brooke

    I really I these recipe cards and want to use the pdf but for some reason when I click on the link to the pdf it gives me an error message saying this file is damaged and could not be replaced =(. is it just me or are others experiencing this problem?

  • Brooke

    I really I these recipe cards and want to use the pdf but for some reason when I click on the link to the pdf it gives me an error message saying this file is damaged and could not be replaced =(. is it just me or are others experiencing this problem?

  • Brooke

    I really I these recipe cards and want to use the pdf but for some reason when I click on the link to the pdf it gives me an error message saying this file is damaged and could not be replaced =(. is it just me or are others experiencing this problem?

  • http://willowbranchdesigns@blogspot.com Pam

    Brooke, I had the same problem. I tried back in December & I got the same message as I got tonight “file damaged, etc”. I’d really love to be able to print this out.

  • http://www.tidymom.net TidyMom

    LOVE this!! I added it to my Tumblr blog http://tidymom.tumblr.com/

  • http://www.tidymom.net TidyMom

    LOVE this!! I added it to my Tumblr blog http://tidymom.tumblr.com/

  • http://www.tidymom.net TidyMom

    LOVE this!! I added it to my Tumblr blog http://tidymom.tumblr.com/

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com Jenn

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve got a new FEATURED BUTTON. I’d love it if you’d stop by: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com. Cheers, Jenn

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com Jenn

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve got a new FEATURED BUTTON. I’d love it if you’d stop by: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com. Cheers, Jenn

  • http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com Jenn

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve got a new FEATURED BUTTON. I’d love it if you’d stop by: http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com. Cheers, Jenn

  • http://www.rookno17.blogspot.com Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17

    I love it! I found your project through Delicious Ambiguity today. Your project really stood out. I love repurposing, and hadn’t yet tried printing on grocery bags. Fabulous! Thank you for the inspiration and great project!

  • http://www.rookno17.blogspot.com Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17

    I love it! I found your project through Delicious Ambiguity today. Your project really stood out. I love repurposing, and hadn’t yet tried printing on grocery bags. Fabulous! Thank you for the inspiration and great project!

  • http://www.rookno17.blogspot.com Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17

    I love it! I found your project through Delicious Ambiguity today. Your project really stood out. I love repurposing, and hadn’t yet tried printing on grocery bags. Fabulous! Thank you for the inspiration and great project!

  • http://www.rookno17.blogspot.com Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17

    I love it! I found your project through Delicious Ambiguity today. Your project really stood out. I love repurposing, and hadn’t yet tried printing on grocery bags. Fabulous! Thank you for the inspiration and great project!

  • Bev

    Just hit where it says "pdf" in the instructions. That will take you right to the file. By the way, PDF is printed in orange so it does stand out. It is in instruction # 3. Good luck

  • Bev

    Just hit where it says "pdf" in the instructions. That will take you right to the file. By the way, PDF is printed in orange so it does stand out. It is in instruction # 3. Good luck

  • http://Web beckydjd

    love it!!!

  • http://lifeinprogress-jesslope.blogspot.com/ Jesslope

    this is an awesome idea. can’t to try it. thanks for sharing.

  • Bev

    Just love this ….. great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://redkitchenproject.com RedKitchenProject

    These are beautiful, and I love the brown paper. I am definitely going to put my worn-out ALDI sacks to new use now whenever I rip a hole in one! Thanks for the brilliant creation. :)

    Gracie @ The Red Kitchen

  • http://berniew.myopenid.com/ Bernie

    I just stumbled on this and am going to be making it for a Handmade swap I’m in. I’m also going to be linking this to my blog on Thursday. Thank you so much!!

  • autumn

    awesome idea!! i think I’m going to do this for a project for school A+ coming my way ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/erisha.ling Er Ling Foo

    After searching for recipe cards online, I’m glad I found this page. This is my favourite thus far :D

    By the way, I’ve featured this over in my blog and I hope you wouldn’t mind :)

  • Chocolate Lady

    Love it!  going to try to make it to sell at a Farmer’s Market!!

  • Guest

    Is it possible to type on the template and print it out with words already on it?

  • Happy!

    TFS! I’ve been looking for something like this for forever! OMG, THANKS!

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  • https://www.facebook.com/Zbich Desiree Hesse

    If the Paper bags WON”T work in your Printer you can use The Brown Packing paper that comes on a roll (like wrapping paper) Just trim it to the size you want

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  • Brittany

    I used brown kraft scrapbooking 8.5×11 sheets. They worked great and I got the same look.

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