Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tip Tues: Beyond Lunch; Other Uses for Brown Paper Bags

Today the brown bags are filled with a slice of pizza, a red organic apple and a granola bar. That's the brown-bag lunch menu for my kids today. We're brown bag people because we've lost way too many lunch boxes. I'm frugal to a point: When the hard realities of life battle against my frugal/green bent, sometimes I opt for practical, albeit costlier solutions. Therefore, I have conceded the battle over the lunch box.

But beyond lunch, there are lots of things we can do with a brown bag. Alternative uses include: carpet cleaners, mop cleaners, book covers and of course, the rainy day, mom-I-am-bored puppets, fashioned from decorated brown bags.

I've collected a few unusual brown-bag uses from Reader's Digest. Here's the link to the brown bag article.

Meanwhile, a past issue of Woman's World also contains a few good ideas for brown bag uses.

1. Clean your carpet: If you have a wax drip on your carpet, cover the drip with a bit of brown paper bag, then zip back and forth over bag with a warm iron (forget the steam). The heat from the iron should melt the candle wax, which will be absorbed by the brown paper bag.

2. Scrap paper: I would be embarrassed if any of my editors requested to see my notes. I take notes on anything: old envelopes, recycled paper and old magazine pages. I should try brown paper bags. Woman's World recommends cutting up paper bags and using the scraps to write grocery lists, daily to-do list and other notes.

3. Book Covers. I did this when I was little. You need the old-school big paper bags from the grocery store to cover most textbooks.

4.Masks: Paper bags of all sizes can be used for masks, costumes and all sorts of inside-the-house/outside-the-box activities for kids.

source: Women's World.

And here's a snippet from the Reader's Digest article:

Dust off your mops
Dust mops make it a breeze to get up the dust balls and pet hair around your home, but how do you get the stuff off your mop? Place a large paper bag over the mop head; use a piece of string or a rubber band to keep it from slipping off. Now give it several good shakes (a few gentle bumps wouldn't hurt either). Lay the mop on its side for a few minutes to let the dust in the bag settle. Then carefully remove the bag for easy disposal of your dusty dirt.

Make your own wrapping paper
Need to wrap a present in a hurry? You don't have to rush out to buy wrapping paper. Just cut a large paper bag along the seams until it's a flat rectangle. Position it so that any printing is facing up at you, put your gift on top and fold, cut, and tape the paper around your gift. If you wish, personalize your homemade wrapping paper by decorating it with markers, paint, or stickers.

Reuse as gift bags
What to do with those small gift bags with handles favored by most boutiques? Why not use them to package your own gifts? They're ideal for holding items such as bath supplies, jewelry, perfume, and even most books. Simply add some shredded crepe paper, a personalized card, and you're all set.
Source: Reader's Digest


The Frugal Duchess Boutique

1 comment:

HC said...

We use paper bags for shipping in my family, as we are wont to hold onto "branded" mailing boxes. The plain inside of a paper bag wraps nicely all but large boxes and doesn't confuse the post office.