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Tricks to Make Bags a Treat! (Part 1)

I've been working on a new set of digital downloads the past few days & I'm currently construction a number of them to see how they construction & what the final product looks like. Before offering any designs up for others to enjoy, I like to make sure that making them is either intuitive or very simple. I also find it really important to see the finished, built product because reality is very rarely captured perfectly in the imagination. Imbalances in proportion, placement, & overall look often only become apparent when the piece is completed.

This iteration right here is hopefully the final one and it's at least the third (but more probably the fourth) version that I created. Previous iterations has handle straps that were too narrow and short, dotted lines (hard to see from this far) that vanished into the design too much, & an overall shape that didn't make as nice of a opening to the bag as I'd have liked. There were also some color modifications along the way.

Cutting out the bags & handles was easy. I only needed to use the tiny detail scissors for the tiny wedges that needed to be cut out around the tongues of paper at the bottom of the bags. The rest of it was easy (& faster) to cut out using my big ol' clunky scissors, which makes a difference when I'm trying to cut half a dozen bags out at a time. You can see the dotted fold lines clearly here that will help to create folds in the right places.

One thing I've found in working with this paper is that it's easier to get a good fold by gently bending the paper in a bit of a curve & sort of nudging that curve to center itself onto the dotted line. Once it's placed, I can crimp it into a fold. I don't know if that makes sense, but so far attempting a sharp fold hasn't gone well. If there's a trick to it, it's one I've not yet stumbled upon in my reading about making paper miniatures.

One the folds were in place, I marked the placement of the bag handles, which are the lines at the bag opening. I've placed them about 3/16" from the side bag folds after looking at other bags to get a handle on the proportions. For this particular bag, I decided to do something fun & removed the bag handles from a full-sized tote, untwist it, cut an appropriate-sized strip, then retwist it and apply it to my bag.

I am completely delighted by all the different everyday materials that can be repurposed for use in making miniatures. While I also am making bags that use my own paper handles, which I'll show in my next post, I think using something that perfectly reflects the kind of real-life detail that those bag handles evoke adds another layer of fun & interest to the miniatures.

Speaking of my next post, I think I'll wrap up this fun little project with the next post. I've made great progress in constructing these little bags, but I'd like to have the full collection constructed in all their tiny glory as my end piece!


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