This Wednesday was our first Chi Alpha weekly meeting. (It was a total blast! Indian, Chinese, American students from all backgrounds…wow. Read about it here)

We decided to have a little welcome gift for new students, and I thought I’d share it here.

A few years ago I saw this post about a printable treat bag for Valentines Day on Twig & Thistle. (Here‘s their updated printable PDF post) Here they are:

We were looking for something: meaningful, thoughtful, and cost effective.  It seemed like printed lunch bags fit the bill! We decided to print “Thanks for popping in” on paper lunch bags and fill the bags with popcorn, a Chi Alpha flyer, and a flyer about our small groups.

This was definitely a trial-and-error project and was relatively painless. It will depend on what mood your printer is in at the time. We finished it in a pretty short amount of time.  Here are a few of my flops:

Thankfully, paper bags are about 97c for 50bags.

Doesn’t it seem like all printers are temperamental? I used a combo technique from a few sources:

Perfectly Imperfect’s Printed Paper Bag Tutorial

Sweet Floweret’s Printable Lunch BagsTutorial

The Gunny Sack’s Printed Brown Paper Lunch Bags

This was a team effort that involved the entire internet.  Here are my additional tips:

*For what ever reason, my printer would only print if I sized my Word document the regular size and then put my bag in the middle of the printer paper tray

*DO NOT SKIP THE TAPING OF THE BAG! I tried it ONE time and it went horribly

*I found that if my printer was having a freak out, I would either restart the printer or select “align cartridges” from the printer menu and it went back to normal.

*I didn’t flip my image upside down. I did do a few test runs on a paper before going for the bag.

*This probably isn’t a project for projectionists.  Most of mine didn’t end up centered or even in the same spot.  We decided it achieved more of a “stamped on” effect and I was ok with that.

*We put the popcorn in plastic baggies before putting it in the paper bags.  We popped the popcorn on the stove in olive oil so it was a little greasy and would have gotten on to the bag.

We had students toss them out in the middle of our service.  It felt a little Oprah.  Very fun. I hope the bags made people feel special and welcomed. I think this would be a fun idea for…anything! Valentines Day, Christmas, party favors….It was an easy & thoughtful project- exactly what we were going for.


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