No doubt that Halloween has been on your minds lately, especially if you have kids at home who have been hopped up on sugar for the past week. Even if you don’t have children, you’ve probably seen many fantastic costumes on social media from weekend parties, and of course, had to remember to grab some goods to hand out tomorrow evening. I finally purchased the last of my trick or treat goodies this week and wanted to assemble them in little grab-bags. Personally, I prefer to do a little prep before Halloween night and have my chosen treats thrown into little bags to give out to the kids. Let’s face it – kids don’t want to wait for me to reach into multiple containers to grab handfuls of treats for each of them, and I don’t want to fluster around when a group of 8 kids shows up on the porch. This just makes it easier for all involved, and it makes it a little more festive and enjoyable for me.
Last year, I purchased a few bunches of brown paper bags from the Dollar Store (I got 40 for $1.25) to put my treats into, and then tied the bags off with some Halloween themed ribbon that I also found at the Dollar Store. I still had quite a few paper bags left over from last year, so I decided to use the paper bags again, and tie them with some twine. However, I didn’t have any Halloween themed stickers or ribbon left and decided this wasn’t nearly festive enough for me, so I got onto Pinterest and looked for some Halloween printables to pretty up my plain paper bags. I found a super cute free printable on Goodiys and saved it to my computer. From there, I would *simply* resize the graphic and print it onto my paper bags…except nothing is ever that simple, right?
First off, I took my saved graphic and opened it up in Microsoft Word to resize it and print a sample off on some white paper. Once I was happy with its size, I tested out the paper bag printing, and quickly found out that my printer printed the graphic upside down on the bag. After figuring out the size, placement, and rotation of the graphic, I was ready to print…and quickly found out that my printer does not like paper bags. They would jam, fly through the rollers before they got printed on, and just refuse to feed through. This was turning out to be a bigger pain in the rear that I anticipated. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have a stubborn streak in me when something isn’t going my way. I think this trait comes from my paternal Grandmother, who was one of the most stubborn people I think I’ve ever met. So obviously I wasn’t content with only 5 printed bags and just using the rest plain. Oh no, I spent over a half hour individually feeding the paper bags through the printer, re-setting the printer when it jammed, and counting and re-counting my paper bag pile to make sure I had enough for my trick-or-treaters. As a result of all this time, I have some tips for you if you decide to try this paper bag printing method:
- Change your paper type on your printer. Under the Printer Preferences or Advanced menu in your printer settings, there usually is some sort of drop down menu that lets you select the paper type you are printing on. I chose “Envelope” as those are a little thicker than normal printer paper, and it slowed down the printer speed so they weren’t shooting out the bottom of the printer before they got any ink on them.
- Feed the bags in manually. This is a huge pain, but necessary for most printers. I would work in batches of 5 prints, and as soon as the top of the paper bag would disappear into the printer, I would place the next bag in. If your timing is off, the printer may jam, or it will just think there’s no paper in the printer and you’ll have to reset the printer – again.
- Watch how your printer works, and feed the bags in accordingly. There are so many printers out there and some of them flip the paper around all sorts of crazy ways before the paper feeds through. Save yourself some trouble and watch how yours works with some blank paper before you move forward with the paper bags. I fed mine through with the bottom flap folded up and on the backside of the bag, the top (wiggly part) of the bag was at the top (if that makes any sense to you).
- Smooth out the bags as much as possible. Mine were a little bent at the bottom end, and I found it easier when I smoothed out the dents before feeding through.
Even after all that bother, I really enjoyed this project, and probably will try it again for Christmas baked goodies that I give away to friends and family. This project is a budget-friendly way to add some custom charm to your next batch of holiday treats (or maybe even birthday party grab bags?). For a few dollars (plus some time, Pinterest, and printer ink) you can make these adorable bags to stuff with your favourite treats. Once you figure out the kinks in the process, the printing goes quite smoothly and in no time I had my 35 bags printed up and ready for treats. At the very least, this project may teach you a little about patience 😉 .
I hope you enjoyed this project, and I hope to get you some more great posts soon! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and play safe on Halloween night!