Thursday, 2 April 2009

Bag-a-lope Tutorial

A "Bag-a-lope" is basically making your own handcrafted block-base bag from an envelope! Block base bags are the type you get in department stores or even Kraft bags for making paper-bag albums and are available in a variety of sizes!
I've seen quite a few instructions for bag-a-lopes but not seen one for the DL size [standard letter envelope]. A lot of the instructions indicated making a very fine trim at 1 narrow side of the envelope to make the opening. I have actually trimmed off 5½ to 6 cm off at that point to make the bag-a-lope smaller in height.
This bag-a-lope tutorial will have a finished product measuring around 10½ cm high, almost 6cm wide and 5cm wide at deepest part of bagalope. I have found that using Asda/Walmart own brand white envelopes have a weakness with the perforation idea [for when opening the sealed envelope] whilst trying to create this bag-a-lope. I would suggest going for any similar sized and/or colour DL envelope with no perforations and no window.
This is my adaptation:
Follow instructions as per these images until separate instructions are indicated.

Ensure the flap has been sealed and secure in position:

Fig 3. Score 1" from the edge on 2 x longest edges and 1x short edge. At this point you can trim off the suggested 5½ cm from the remaining short edge.

Should you wish to embellish or make your own background using stamps, this is the ideal time to do it prior to folding into shape.

Fig. 3

Once the scores have been made, make firm creases by folding back and forth at scored areas of envelope. This will make it easier to manipulate into the bag-a-lope shape. Open up the adapted envelope so that it resembles a box shape.

All going well, the closed end of the envelope should look something like this:

Add some adhesive to each corner flap as shown here:

Once the adhesive is in place, press both corner flaps firmly to the envelope this will now be the base [double sided tape can be used] and should now look like this:

Now 'pinch' the sides as per this image to bring the bag into shape:

To give more detail to the bag, crop the corners at the open end of the bag with your corner rounder [optional]:

I made a 1cm fold at the top of the bag-a-lope like this:

Many gifts bought from stores have transparent circular seals on them. These may be available in craft sections of shops, however, I have found the repositional ones to be totally *pants* at staying in position or secure!

To make my own seal, I used the remaining 5½ cm part of the envelope I had trimmed to create the opening of the bag-a-lope. I placed a few strips of double-sided tape on this scrap piece as shown in image. I then positioned my 1" circle punch over where the DS tape was and proceeded to punch a circle. Fill up your bag-a-lope, fold over top edge. Remove backing strips from the newly made seal, position and press down to secure.

Mini gift bag or bag-a-lope idea:


  1. Thanks for sharing how to make these. I will definately have to find the time to give this a go.

  2. Online Printing Company
    love the colours you have used. would like to try that when I get my craft room sorted. (hope my birthay is in the book.