How to make a Newspaper Carrier Bag


We had a wonderful newpaper carrier bag making workshop at yesterday’s launch opening of the

I have attempted a low cost / no cost version.  Will be donating them to the shop.  Hopefully, this goes some way towards cutting down those plastic bags that pollute the Bagmati.




Materials needed

Materials needed

Glue (ideally PVA glue)


Hole punch









1. Stick the sides of a tabloid size newspaper with glue.














2.  Use a box to shape the bag by wrapping the paper around the box and gluing the sides right to the ends.











3.  Wrap the bottom of the bag by folding the two insides together neatly and glue the sides over.











4.  Now mark the inside of the bag, by drawing a line around the edge of the top of the box.










5.  Reinforce the two wide ends of the top of the bag by sticking 2 small pieces cardboard under the line previously drawn.










6.  Put glue all around the inside of the bag, on top of the line previously drawn and fold down neatly.










7.  Reinforce the bottom of the bag too,by sticking a larger piece of cardboard inside the bottom of the bag.









8.  Punch two equidistant at the top of the bag, through the inner reinforced cardboard.












9.  Make the handles by knotting a piece of string through the holes.  Hey presto you have your bag!!

Finished bags

Finished bags










About Daphne

I’m Daphne, normally live in Vauxhall, London. I am blogging to keep track of my adventures. After volunteering for 3 years with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), in Nepal, at the Ministry of Education in Kathmandu, I am now in Tanzania, volunteering with VSO on a Youth Economic Empowerment Project.

7 responses »

  1. Sorry Daphne, but it won’t make the slightest difference to the plastic bags that pollute the area. The only people impressed will be tourists and I doubt it’s they who litter.
    Do you think that Nepalis aren’t capable of creating such bags for themselves and wouldn’t already be doing so if the paper bags had any advantages? I can assure you that necessity is the mother of invention and locals do not need to be educated in inventiveness. Plastic bags are stronger, cheaper, waterproof, don’t rot, more compact. Waste newspaper is not a nuisance. Compost it or feed it to goats if necessary! Sure, plastic bags are a big problem, but how do you think you’ll persuade locals to spend precious extra rupees on recycled paper bags when it’s better spent on just surviving?
    Tourists will like them: You might be able to supply tourist shops. You might be able to persuade some tourists to carry them home and sell them there. You can turn waste magazines into jewellery, table mats and so on. That might all employ some women in social enterprises which is really good, of course. It will allow visitors from overdeveloped countries to feel warm and fuzzy and less bad about the environmental damage they caused getting there (if they actually gave it a second’s thought).
    I’m no expert but I believe you’d need government awareness drives, waste handling provisions, incentives and possibly biodegradable plastic bags to reduce their pollution.

    (I can provide details of a social enterprise in S.India which, amongst many things, recycles newspaper into bags, where I worked for 18 months)

    • Thanks for following my blog and for the comments Clive. Shop with a Story, is a shop promoting local social ventures is in a complex that is frequented by tourists, so I believe we are on the right path, avoiding plastic bags there. Interestingly, I put up this post about the bags, as a number of my VSO volunteer colleagues were keen to introduce paper bags in the remote districts that they work in. It will indeed be interesting to see how they got on there. Aside, I would be keen to find out more about the S. India social enterprise you mention. Always looking for opportunities for the Bhattedanda womens cooperative too.
      Thanks again.

      • Hi Daphne, thanks for replying to my (upon rereading) unnecessarily grumpy comment. I was having a bad day, obviously!
        The organisation was SISP. It’s a whole raft of social projects near Vizhinjam in Kerala. You can read a bit about it here:
        What they achieved is pretty amazing. I worked in the school where they try to bring education to child labourers and kids who have somehow fallen out of the ed system and can’t get back in. On that web page you can see some of the bags they make. By the way, they didn’t use a box as a template -they just folded the newspaper according to its size or cur it down for smaller bags. They used a flour-and-water glue which would be cheaper than PVA and strong enough. They did use PVA for other things though, like earrings, pendants and table mats that they made by rolling and shaping pages from glossy magazines.
        With everything they made they charged tourists near-Western prices, explaining that they could only pay fair salaries if the prices were fair. I think that’s reasonable.
        Keep up the excellent work!

    • So true Sara, although if you see how the Bagmati river here is so clogged up with sweet wrappers and plastic bags, just makes us want to do some little thing to at least create awareness of the problem.

  2. Well done my girl for trying to help improve the environment. It is something we all have to do whether we succeed or not…. only by trying again and again can we succeed. So keep it up my clever daughter. Sorry I wasn’t there to assist as you have always got me helping with something or the other with your projects….. Lavender bags, elderberry flower drinks, etc. What next?
    Lots of love,

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