Paper Bag Books

I have been dishing out the secrets behind all of my favorite foldable teaching tools for the classroom. So far, we have explored mini-books, envelope books, and modified lapbooks. Today, we will take a look at a book made from paper bags!

Learn how to make a paper bag book for your classroom with just two bags and a rubber band. Bag books are foldable teaching tools that will motivate your students.

So, you have probably figured out by now that I will make a book out of just about anything that folds. Whenever I see a bundle of inexpensive paper objects (bags, folders, envelopes, etc.), my mind instantly begins to imagine ways to fold something cool that will motivate students.

Paper lunch bags can usually be found at the dollar store. You can use any size bag you like for this project. Just make sure they are the type of bags that sit flat on the bottom. I wanted something with a little more space on each page, so I upgraded to a larger bag. I found a bundle of 500 (DURO #20) bags for under $15 at my local paper supply store. The measurements for these larger bags are 8.25″W x 5.25″D x 16″H, but don’t feel limited to these dimensions. I have made some really cool bag books from smaller bags. Once, I even tried it with grocery store bags and that worked well for an extra large book. Now, let’s go ahead and make a bag book!

You will need two paper bags and one rubber band to make a bag book. First, fold both of the paper bags in half like this.

Now this is the important part. In order to maximize the space {and make the book interesting for kids}, you will want to create some flaps. Open both bags flat again.

Lift up and then fold down the bottom flap on each bag. Here is what it looks like when folded properly.

Then do the same thing to the second bag.

It will look like this.

Now, place the two bags on top of each other. Notice that the flaps are facing toward the left on the bottom bag and toward the right on the top bag.

Learn how to make a paper bag book for your classroom with just two bags and a rubber band. Bag books are foldable teaching tools that will motivate your students.

Line up the bags and fold them in half again, on your pre-folded midline.

Next, you will secure the book with a rubber band. The large, thin, stretchy rubber bands work best. When making paper bag books with my students, I always test out the rubber bands ahead of time. If the rubber bands are too small or tight, the book will bunch up. Here is a view from the front cover.

You can write or cut and paste information inside the flaps.

The book will also have two handy-dandy storage pouches for folded papers, flash cards, and other small pieces. This picture shows one of the pouches and the centerfold.

Here’s one more view of the inside. Now you are ready to teach! Be creative and add whatever floats your boat (or teaches your students). 😉

Here’s an example of a bag book that I use in my classroom. You can see how I paste paper on the flaps. For more information about the economics bag book, click here. You might also want to take a peek at my back to school bag book, Thanksgiving history bag book, and weather bag book.

Happy folding!


  1. Angel Nusrat
    December 29, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    Helpful post.

  2. Hannah Garrett
    March 4, 2019 / 8:14 pm

    I’m using your bag book this week and next! What other resources did you use while teaching this unit?

    • undercoverclassroom
      April 17, 2019 / 8:17 am

      Awesome! I hope it went well for you and your students. 🙂 I’m not sure which bag book you used, as I make a few, but I usually use read aloud books from the library to reinforce the topics.

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