How to Make a Shopping Bag from Paper Materials

One of the representative products of our company, The Pack America Corp, is customized paper bags. We produce the paper bags you see daily in the city.

Shopping bags, home delivery paper bags, flat-bottomed bags for food, and so on - these are familiar packages that you probably encounter in your daily life. However, there are various ways to make paper bags, even if they are all called "paper bags."

It would be a very long story to talk about all of them, so this time, we will focus on how paper bags are made in the factory and introduce them to you.

With just one piece of paper, you can make a paper bag!

Development - Paper Shopping Bag

Anyone can make a paper bag with a rectangular piece of paper and some double-sided tape:

  1. Stick the double-sided tape on one side of the short edge of the rectangular paper and roll it into a tube shape.
  2. Flatten and crease the paper along the edge, add depth to create the bottom, and fold the top to make the mouth of the bag (this takes a bit of practice), and in no time, the paper bag is complete!
  3. The bag can be used as a handbag by making holes and threading a string through them.

It may be a bit difficult to convey this with just words, so please try disassembling a paper bag you have on hand. If you peel off the glued parts, you will end up with a rectangular piece of paper similar to the one shown in the diagram. Paper bags can be made by printing the design on this diagram and then pasting and processing it using machinery or by hand. Almost all paper bags start from this rectangular diagram except for unique shapes such as trapezoids. It is such a simple structure that children can easily use suitable materials.

As part of our parent company - The Pack's CSR/SDGs activities, we offer educational support to teach children about the fun of creating things. For example, in collaboration with the NPO Higashiosaka Regional Revitalization Support Organization, which was commissioned by the company's headquarters in Higashiosaka City, we hold paper bag-making classes as one of the hands-on workshops for making things at elementary schools in Higashiosaka City every year (in 2020, the event was held in the form of creating videos and distributing them to elementary schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus).

Here, we share some exciting facts about hand-held paper bags and offer the opportunity to customize your bag by adjusting the design and handles. This year, approximately 540 children participated in the workshop. Although we could not directly witness the children's reactions, we hope to continue our activities to convey the fun of creating things in the future.

How to make a paper bag

Two types: Serrated Top and Turn Top

Serrated Top Edge Sample

We understand that suddenly encountering technical terms may make you feel uneasy, but there are broadly two ways to make paper bags.

One is the type with a serrated top. Serrated top bags are made using long rolls of paper, similar to those used for toilet paper, which is cut and shaped by machines into individual bags.

Roll of paper

The other type is folded over at the top to create a double layer. Turn top bags are made by cutting and processing individual sheets of paper, similar to copy paper, and shaping them into bags either by hand or with machines.

Turn top paper bag sample

Characteristics of Serrated top paper bags

What are the benefits and drawbacks of using Serrated top paper bags, and where can they be found? Two commonly used words to describe them are "suitable for mass production" and "low cost."

Serrated Top Paper Bag by Pack America

Serrated top paper bags are made from long rolls of paper (roll paper) that are wound like toilet paper, as previously mentioned, and this is a significant classification feature. In manufacturing, it is necessary to use up an entire roll of paper, and approximately 10,000 bags can be produced from one roll. This is the reason that they are considered suitable for mass production. If you wonder how much is regarded as mass production, please consider around 10,000 bags as a rough estimate.

Another characteristic is that no manual labor is required, and machines can finish everything, resulting in fast production speeds with relatively low costs. You may see them frequently in food stores, supermarkets, natural cosmetics shops, and casual fashion stores.

The two characteristics mentioned above, "suitable for mass production" and "low cost," can have advantages and disadvantages. Even if you want to keep costs low, producing an excessive amount of paper bags that cannot be used up is counterproductive. If you find yourself in this situation, our sales staff will propose the best paper bag options for you, so please don't hesitate to contact us.

Characteristics of Turn top paper bags

Next, we will introduce the advantages and disadvantages of Turn top paper bags. The words "suitable for small lots" and "luxurious" are often used to describe them.

Turn top Paper Bags Samples by Pack America

Although the two photos above may look completely different, both are Turn top paper bags. The cost greatly varies depending on whether the bag's assembly, such as attaching the handle and finishing the bag, is done by hand or by machine. In either case, Turn top paper bags have a folded double-layered opening, making them sturdy and suitable for situations where durability and a sense of luxury are required. They are often seen in department store cosmetics, gift confectionery, and select shops. Their durability makes them suitable for heavy clothing items like coats, as well as for holding documents for businesses and schools. By adding arrangements like turning the handle into a ribbon, using foil stamping to make the logo shine, or applying embossing, you can enhance the sense of luxury and customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, since Turn top paper bags are made from individually cut flat sheets of paper, it is possible to adjust the number of finished bags to some extent. If you need a small lot or a specific quantity, Turn top paper bags are ideal. Of course, they can also be mass-produced, and if hand processing is required, we can suggest manufacturing methods in countries like China to address production capacity and cost concerns.

The process and important points of making a paper bag

How to - section banner image

The paper bags we create at The Pack America Corp are all made-to-order. Unlike pre-made products, you can choose everything, including the size, design, and the type of handle. Of course, as packaging professionals, we will propose the best paper bag based on our extensive experience and track record at a national scale, so there's no need to worry if you've never made a paper bag before.

To get a custom-made paper bag delivered to you, there are roughly six steps in the process:

  1. Request Hearing
    Our sales staff will meet with you directly or discuss your requirements online. We will gather detailed information on design, materials, cost, production quantity, and delivery time.

  2. Proposal
    Based on the information gathered, we will propose the most suitable paper bag specifications. Please consider our suggestions based on the size, material samples, and quotations.

  3. Specification Confirmation and Artwork Submission
    Once the paper bag specifications are confirmed, please submit your artwork. The Pack America Corp also employs specialized packaging designers, so we can offer design suggestions and create data for submission.

  4. Proof
    We will prepare a proof sample that closely resembles the finished product based on the submitted artwork. If there are no issues, we will approve the proof and proceed with mass production.

  5. Mass Production
    We will manufacture the paper bags at domestic or overseas factories and prepare them for shipment. From proof approval to delivery, it takes about one month for domestic production and about two months for overseas production (excluding long holiday season).

  6. Delivery
    We will deliver the product to your specified date and location.

Since some steps required, if you request at the last minute, we may not be able to meet your specified date. By placing an order at least 1.5 to 2 months in advance of when you need the paper bags, we can manufacture your desired product without any issues. To place an order, please use our contact form. After reviewing your inquiry, our sales staff will get in touch with you.

At this blog, we will continue to share the latest packaging trends and valuable information for those considering packaging production that can't be found in other content! For inquiries or requests to The Pack America Corp, please use our contact form.