Be Miss America. Be a Lookout, complete with Basilisk Slayer badge. Be the Ambassador from China.
Be whatever you want, with a DIY brown paper bag sash to prove it.
I started this project with the desire to make something special for my Girl Scout troop to wear as they represented China for World Thinking Day this year, but now that I’ve made several of these brown paper bag sashes, I’m excited by the possibilities! It would be such an easy way to add something special to any celebration.
And the best part–to me, at least–is that there’s no requirement to keep these things forever! They’re made of nothing but brown paper bag, marker, and tape, so when you’re done with them, feel free to peel of the tape, pop the paper in the recycling bin, and move on with your life.
Intrigued? Inspired? Here’s how to make your own!
1. Modify the sash template. I used the Skill Badge Sash template from Adafruit. This one worked well for me because I was crafting mostly for children, but it just barely fit the 11-year-old in my troop. It would, of course, be easy to lengthen this template to fit an older child or an adult.
You’ll find that most sashes are designed to be fairly wide–this works fine if your sash is made from fabric, since even stiff fabric has some drape, but a brown paper bag sash will need to be about half that wide. Cut your template in half lengthwise, or cut the finished sash in half. Either way works.
2. Lay out the sash template on a brown paper bag. If you use this particular template, you’ll be able to make one complete sash from one brown paper bag. You’ll need to cut out the template twice, and your finished sash will have a right side and a wrong side. Lay it out so that the inside of the bag will face out on the completed sash (unless you’d rather advertise for Kroger’s than your own stuff!), and don’t forget to flip your template when you cut out the sash’s second half.
3. Cut out the sash, and tape it together. Since this particular template includes a seam allowance, I just overlapped the pieces by that seam allowance and then taped them together on both sides using clear packing tape. You can also tape down any sticky-outy parts of the bag at this point.
The only part at which you’ll need to deviate from your tutorial is where the sash overlaps at the hip. The tutorial for a fabric sash will have you simply pin this overlap together, to make the sash adjustable, but for this temporary paper sash, it works better simply to slightly overlap the two end pieces, then tape those together, as well.
4. Decorate! Sharpies or other permanent markers work best on this sash, since there are parts that are covered with slick packing tape. You can also glue on embellishments, however, or add stickers. In fact, decorating this sash would make an excellent activity at a children’s party!