Introduction: Hexagonal Organizer Made From Paper Bags

Picture of Hexagonal Organizer Made From Paper Bags

If you're a college student with one too many paper bags from occasional trips to Trader Joes, or simply a person who has collected quite an amount of paper bags over some time, this project is for you.

Step 1: Materials You Need

Picture of Materials You Need
  • 12 paper bags (I'm using Trader Joes/Safeway bags)*
  • liquid glue
  • glue gun
  • scissors
  • marker*
  • thin straw or skewer*
  • thick/boba straw
  • cardboard (big enough for your hexagonal organizer)
  • matte board or a hard/not slippery surface to work on
  • clothespin (optional)

* depending on the amount or size of these materials, your end product may look a bit different. However, feel free to experiment and even expand this project even further by increasing the amount of paper bags!


Step 2: Carefully Rip the Bottom Side of the Paper Bag

Picture of Carefully Rip the Bottom Side of the Paper Bag

First, grab a paper bag and lay it out in front of you with the bottom side facing up.

Look for the folds at the bottom and carefully open the bottom by ripping the bag so that it can unfold like so.

(If you happen to rip the bag a bit during the process, don't worry! Ultimately, you just want to unfold the bag so that you can work with a flat single layer later.)

Then, remove the handles of the bag by carefully ripping it out.

Step 3: Flatten the Bag + Cut

Picture of Flatten the Bag + Cut

After ripping it, your paper bag should look like the picture above.

Next, cut along the side of the bag. Be careful notto cut the other side of the bag because you want to unfold the bag and lay it out in front of you so that all you see is one flat single layer.

Step 4: Measure + Mark + Cut Your Bag

Picture of Measure + Mark + Cut Your Bag

Grab a ruler and a pencil.

Ultimately, you want to create 6 equal sections of the entire sheet.

(The total length of my bag was about 37.5 inches and the width was 18 inches. Dividing the total length of my bag by 6, each section should be 6.25 inches.)

Draw marks on your bag to help guide you and then cut!

Step 5: Start Rolling

Picture of Start Rolling

With one cut section, grab a thin straw (or skewer) and place it at the lower right corner.

Angle your straw diagonally or at about a 45 degree angle from that corner.

Look at picture above if you need help knowing how to position straw

Carefully start rolling the paper with the straw, making sure that it is tightly rolled.

As you continue to roll, the rolled strip will get longer, and so from time to time, tug the straw out a bit from one end so that it won't get lost in your roll.

Once you get near the end, put glue at the tip and then roll to finish the strip.

Take out the straw.

Step 6: Flatten + Roll Again

Picture of Flatten + Roll Again

Next, flatten the roll with your marker. (Making it flat will help you in rolling the strip.)

Once you have flattened it out, place the marker at the bottom perpendicular to the strip.

Similar to the previous step, start rolling it carefully and tightly, this time making sure you roll it straight.

Rolling the strip will be quite hard to do because we have rolled the strip once already, but you can do it!

As you roll, from time to time place a tiny amount of glue on the strip so that the roll will stick together.

And once you get near the end of the strip, put glue at the end to finish.

Step 7: Clamp With a Clothespin

Picture of Clamp With a Clothespin

Carefully remove the marker from the roll.

If you have a clothespin, clamp the roll at the end of the strip.

This step is not necessary, but it will help ensure that your roll will stay.

Step 8: Repeat

Picture of Repeat

This is what one roll should look like.

Repeat steps 5 - 7 to create more rolls.

In the end you want a total of 54 rolls.

Step 9: Glue Rolls Together to Make One Panel

Picture of Glue Rolls Together to Make One Panel

The hexagonal organizer will be comprised of 6 sides/panels

& One side = 3 x 3 rolls.

Using a glue gun, stick the rolls together to make a 3 x 3 panel like the picture above.

Step 10: Glue One Long Strip As a Border

Picture of Glue One Long Strip As a Border

Once you have one panel, create a long roll strip (step 5) and flatten it. This strip will act as a border.

Using a glue gun to stick the strip, wrap it along the sides of the panel.

Do this for all the 6 panels.

Step 11: Create a Frame - Measure and Cut

Picture of Create a Frame - Measure and Cut

In order to make the 6 panels into a hexagon that could stand, we need to create a frame.

Repeat steps 2 - 3 of unfolding the paper bag, but now instead of marking 6 equal sections, create 6 sections 5 inches in length. And with another paper bag, create 6 sections 6 inches in length.

And then cut!

The measurements of the frame may differ depending on the size of your panels, but you can also shorten them later.

Step 12: Roll Once More

Picture of Roll Once More

To make the frame, take the sections you cut and with a thicker straw (I'm using a boba straw), roll the strips straight.

Once you get near the end, add glue.

Do this for all the strips you cut.

Step 13: Glue the Rolls to the Panel

Picture of Glue the Rolls to the Panel

Taking the 5 inch roll, use a glue gun to stick it to one side of the panel.

Right next on the other side of the panel, glue on the 6 inch roll.

Look at the picture above for reference

The 5 inch roll is where you will attach another panel, whereas the 6 inch roll will act as an edging frame.

When attaching the panels together, make sure to glue it on at an angle.

Continue to do this for all the panels until you attach all 6 panels together, creating a hexagon.

Step 14: Create a Backing for More Structural Support

Picture of Create a Backing for More Structural Support

Put the hexagon on top of the cardboard, making sure that the rolls of the panel are at the bottom (and not facing up.)

Take a pencil and carefullytrace the inside of the hexagon.

Then, cut your traced hexagon shape.

Once cut, place inside your structure.

Step 15: Glue the Backing Onto the Structure

Picture of Glue the Backing Onto the Structure

Glue the cardboard backing onto the structure with a glue gun.

Look at the picture above as reference to know where to glue

Step 16: Finish

Picture of Finish

Great job, now you're done!

Feel free to add mod podge for a bit of a glossy finish or personalize it even further by painting it.

You can have this hexagonal organizer standing up or simply laying flat like a basket.

Enjoy your hexagon however you see fit!

Comments

janelees (author)2017-02-24

I love this! I'll definitely be making one of these.

mrsmerwin (author)2017-02-14

I love this. I never have enough brown paper bags but I am sure I can find other paper to use. Great idea.

Swansong (author)2017-02-13

That looks really nice! Great way to reuse your old bags :)

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