Spark creativity by making coloring books from gift bags!  It is a fun kids activity that will keep kids designing and being creative.  If you are looking for more boredom-busting ideas check out all our summer crafts and activities  ideas to keep kids active and entertained this summer!  SKIP is sharing fun kids crafts! From making pom pom bracelets to  3D Chalk Recipe you will find fun creative ideas!

Create a custom coloring book from a gift bag with this simple and crafty upcycle! Two gift bags with child's name on .
Cute and Useful

When you think of summer vacation, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For me, it’s road trips.  Long, hot drives in the car, with children who can, and likely will get tired and irritable after the first 2 hours.  (Oh, who are we kidding, after the first 20 minutes, right?)  I like to think of myself as somewhat proactive, and before we go on long car rides, I always have my girls create their own custom coloring books.  Now we have a fun new way to hold our coloring pages together now!

We created these coloring books covers out of gift bags – and they are hardcover, so they don’t flop around like normal coloring books!

To make your own here’s what you will need

  • a gift bag (I like the ones that are about 8″ square)
  • coloring pages (click here to view some of my favorite sources for printable coloring pages)
  • coordinating cardstock, two pieces cut to the same size as your bag
  • foam board, one piece cut to the same size as your bag
  • brads
  • double sided tape
  • stickers (I used some journaling and alphabet stickers from American Crafts)
  • scissors
  • hole punch or mini hole punch
A gift bag with the bottom opened up and a black line down the side seam of the bag to be cut.

To Start

  • Unfold the bottom of your gift bag, and cut down the fold on the right-hand side. Make sure it’s the right-hand side or the back of your bag will be the front of your book.
The gift bag is shown after being cut and opened up.
  • Cut out the excess from the flaps as shown below.
The cut gift bag is folded creating a spine in the middle section of three folds.
  • Create a spine by folding the middle section (which was once the left side of your bag) into three folds.
  •  Hole punch through all of the folds except the pieces that create your front and back cover (so punch the middle two folds).
The gift bag is opened up showing holes punched in the folded spine portion. A yarn handle is attached through punched hole.
  • On the back section of the book/bag, place the piece of foam board (it can be a scrap piece, it will be fully covered up), and fold the flaps around it.  Use some double-sided tape to stick the flaps down.
  • Place the cardstock over top, and adhere.  You may need to trim down the foam board and the cardstock a little – I like my foam board to start right under the rope for the bag handles, and the cardstock to cover the ends of the rope.
  • turn to the inside of the front cover, and repeat the process but with cardstock only.
Cut opened gift bag shown with foam board, cardstock, and handle attached. A handheld hole punch is laying on top of the project.
  • Cut your coloring pages down to size.  Usually, when you print from an official TV website, the images will have a border with a lot of text like when the show will come on and the show logo and station logo.  I cut all of that off, which makes the coloring sheets the perfect size for my 8″ bags.
  • Line up the pages under the holes you already punched, and punch again.  I used a mini hole punch because my brads were very small, but if you have bigger brads, you could use a regular-sized one or a mini one.
Completed custom coloring book cover with coloring pages attached.
  • All that’s left to do is a little embellishing.  I added a journal sticker to the front and used the alphabet stickers to write my daughter’s names on the front.
Young girl coloring in the gift bag coloring book.

I love that the girls can add whatever pages they want, and we can mix it up by adding some mazes, word searches, and crosswords for my older daughter.  And my younger daughter – she doesn’t have to bring fifteen coloring books so she can have all of her favorite TV characters.  And yes – she’s coloring on the front lawn here, and not a bit of buckling!  The foam board really does the trick.

  Visit Sarah at her blog, Becoming Martha.


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