DIY Handmade bags and homemade glue your kids will love

Summer Holidays are a time for celebration. There will be playdates, picnics, theme parties and may be some birthday celebrations. And when there are celebrations there are gifts. And when there are gifts there will be bags to hold them. So this World Environment Day as part of our June-long series on fun summer activities, let’s make something that can be a huge gift to our planet. Gift bags made out of recycled newspaper and environment-friendly glue.

Did you know that plastic gift bags and shiny wrapping paper aren’t eco-friendly at all. According to “60,000 plastic bags are being consumed in the U.S. every 5 seconds”. Equally important for our planet is to recognise the harmful effects of the plastic and chemicals added in glue to allow it to stay fluid longer. Plastic, yes the biggest thing that is suffocating our earth.
Let’s begin and don’t forget to talk to your little one about the reasons behind this activity. Think green!

How to make environment-friendly glue at home

Age group: 8+
You will need:
1 cup flour/maida
1/3 cup powdered sugar
11/2 cup water
IMG_5277 1 tsp vinegar
and lots of enthusiasm
(The ratio of flour to sugar should be 3:1)

Method: sonu image
Mix flour and sugar. You can sieve the two together.
Slowly add a little water to form a lump free paste.
Add rest of the water and put on slow flame till the paste thickens.

Stir continuously. Adjust the quantity of water if the paste is too thick. sonu image
Add vinegar if you want to preserve the glue or if you want the glued article to last a long time. If you are using up the glue immediately or if it is for a temporary purpose, you can skip the vinegar.
Cool and store in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated and used for a month or even more.
Now that we are armed with glue, let’s put it to use.

How to make gift bags out of recycled newspaper:

Age group: 7+

You will need:
A sheet of newspaper
the glue you just made
hole punching machine
twine or ribbon for handles any other decorative materials

Take a full sheet of newspaper. I generally choose glossy supplements with interesting motifs
Fold 2-3 inches at the top.


Fold from the side as shown in the picture and apply glue. Now fold from the bottom and apply glue. If you want a smaller bag, fold more from the side and the bottom.


Your bag is now ready! We now need to punch holes for attaching handles. I had this piece of twine which I have knotted from the inside and pulled through.

If you are making bags for return gifts for a birthday party, print a picture relevant to your theme and paste it on the bag.

I once used a hibiscus picture to go with Hawaiian theme and an animal picture for a jungle theme. Your kid can colour it and feel proud of being part of the whole effort. Alternatively, ask her for decorating ideas and you will be surprised to see what ideas she can come up with!

Handy Tips: For the glue activity we suggest an older age group because of the use of the stove. The glue will be quite hot as it cooks.

Benefits: To start with, helping our kids be more aware about their responsibility towards their environment. The cutting, gluing and colouring will enhance their hand eye coordination as well as boost their creativity.

Once you get the hang of it, you can make a number of bags in half an hour. Make them in different sizes and keep them handy for slipping in gifts for any occasion.
Let’s teach our next generation to celebrate special days in a manner which is safe for our beautiful planet. Let’s learn to use recycled materials like newspaper for gift bags and feel better about our choices.

Check back with KetchupMoms for lots of fun and interesting ideas for you! Till then happy green partying and a very Happy Environment Day!

Mom to a 4.5 year old bundle of energy, I am a writer and an environmentalist at heart. Having lived in Germany, Sweden and the UK, my career as a freelance translator just happened to me. It gives me the much desired flexibility to spend time with my daughter and also blog at mysunshinemytempest and GreenTintedGlasses

Comments (1)

Sumeet Posted on Jun 12, 2015

great idea


Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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