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Smash Bag Book

Handmade Memory Lane Book

By: Lisa Minckler, Artistic Guide

Supplies and suggestions for this project:
3 paper lunch sacks (Local market)
Sewing Machine
Scraps of Paper and Ribbon (Artist's stash)
Assorted Punches (Stampin' Up!)
Assorted Dies (Spellbinders) and Cutting Machine (Big Shot by Sizzix))
Gems (Stampin' Up!)
Knick knacks around the house or specific memory items of your choosing
Digital Images (Nicecrane Designs, Stampin' Up!, Unknown Origins)

Here's a little book that I think is a great idea for preserving memories, keeping organized, gift giving, or just about anything you come up with to use it for.
Smash books have become very popular again and they are basically a collage and collection of random bits of trinkets and whatnots, flopped or "smashed" into a book to preserve ideas and memories.  Here is my rendition of a Smash Book that I call the Smash Bag Book.

The above supply list is only a suggestion.  I will show you how to make the basic book and decorating it is strictly up to you. 🙂  I hope you enjoy this tutorial.


  1. Begin with three paper lunch sacks and lay them in the corresponding fashion as seen in the picture below.
  2. Stack the lunch sacks like; left bag over center bag, over right bag.
  3. Once stacked and lined up together, fold directly in the center and crease to create your book division.
  4. Place the three bags in the sewing machine and stitch along the creased line you've just created.
  5. Now as you can see you've created the pages for your Smash Bag Book and you'll want to utilize the "ends" of the bags to make pockets.
  6. Begin by locating each end section of a bag and sew seams on the left and right side of each end; as seen in picture below.
  7. NOTE:  Make sure to only put one bag under the needle at a time.  I wasn't paying attention and sewed the whole book together on my first attempt!
  8. As you can see here, you now have storage pockets for your Smash Bag Book!
  9. Begin decorating your book according to the theme and purpose you have in mind.

 Here are a few pictures of the Smash Bag Book that I made for my son's friend for Christmas.  She loves butterflies and movies, and anything Korean, and memories of High School with her and her friends.

 Here are a couple other ideas you could use a Smash Bag Book for as well.

  1. If you have a child who's gone off to college and you're concerned for their nutritional intake.  Use the pages to display a recipe and then inside the pockets, slide in some coupons that pertain to that recipe.
  2. If you want to make a coupon organizer.  You can tab each section with a different venue of shopping, (ie. frozen foods, produce, meat, shelf items) and then separate the coupons accordingly.
  3. Lastly, one that I think I may do for myself.  Make a Christmas gift idea organizer.  List the people in your family on each page and use the pockets for journaling down ideas when you think of them or clip out pictures and stuff them in the pockets or adhere them to the page of that corresponding person.  Might make it easier when you get closer to the holidays to jar a memory you had several months back.  Would work the same for birthday ideas too!

Well, that's it for me and I hope this has been inspirational.  I would love to see what you come up with if you decide to use this idea.

Hugs and Happy Crafting...
Lisa xx

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4 Responses »

  1. Thank you all for your comments. That made my day. I'm very happy you enjoyed this idea.

  2. This is a wonderful Smash Box Lisa! What a wonderful tutorial. You always make things look so easy!
    Marie XX

  3. I think this is great, I needed a shot of inspiriation this morning and this really fits that bill. Thanks to all the creative people that share their ideas with the rest of us.

  4. I am sure your son's friend will love the book! Great ideas! Thank you!