DIY: easy last minute banner made from paper bags + tutorial


This is something I made for our friend Eric, who’s leaving on a medical mission to Africa in just a few weeks. He’s not one for decor and spending money on cutesy things, so I figured he’d appreciate us throwing him a beach bonfire party with this low-key, very cheap banner as the main decor. That and 50 glow sticks! Note: always bring glow sticks to night time beach parties. See pictures below.

We went out to Newport Beach where there were bonfire pits to roast our vegan & non-vegan dinners (we have such a diverse group of friends), and went night bouldering around some caves on the water’s edge. It was a dreamy night filled with good food, good friends, and way too much laughter (can there be such a thing?).

foggydress_bannerfoggy dress foggydress_banner foggydress_banner foggydress_banner foggydress_banner foggydress_bannerI know…the sign looks very un-amazing in the picture above, but at twilight the shiny paint gave off a soft  sparkle, and after all it was supposed to honor this low-maintenance, no-fuss friend.

See the simple tutorial, made with left over brown paper bags from the grocery store, some blue painters tape, and spray paint…


  • about 3 large brown paper bags (found at your local grocer)
  • scissors
  • painters blue tape
  • spray paint (assorted colors if desired)
  • pencil
  • some string or a shoelace



  1. Use some paper bags that have as little writing on them as possible. You can always use the inside of the bag if you have, for example, those Trader Joe’s paper bags that have print on all sides.
  2. Cut out the back side of 2-3 bags, depending on how big you want your sign.
  3. You can use both sides of one bag, or just cut out the blanks sides from a few bags. Winco has great, almost completely plain brown bags.
  4. Lay them out side  by side, horizontal or vertical. Use a pencil to lightly draw the message in big letters. Space them out so there’s about .25 inches in between the letters–they will be outlined with blue tape! I was inspired by the font in the first picture that reads “banner”.
  5. IMPORTANT: Before you tape around the edges make sure the tape makes contact with your skin first. The oils from your skin will make the tape less sticky, which is important so that it doesn’t tear the paper when you take it off because it was sticking too much.


foggydress_bannerI used silver & gold spray paint, purchased from Walmart; about $4 each.


Spray inside the blue tape as much as possible, follow drying directions on the can, and then peel off the tape.

foggydress_bannerI used a shoe lace taped to the back of the sign to hang it. You can also use string, or just hang it up in a doorway using thumb tacks.

Bon Voyage, my friend! 

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