Burnt Brown Bag Box


Burnt Brown Bag Box

The a vintage technique and some Aleene's Tacky Glue for this project. If you like to make crafts from recycled materials, then you'll love making your own Burnt Brown Bag Box from Heidi Borchers. This is a great piece to display or give as a gift.

Burnt Brown Bag Box


  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue (the only glue we recommended for this technique)
  • Brown bag
  • Pencil
  • Cardboard- small piece to use as a squeegee
  • Wire – 18 gauge- approximately 8” long
  • Candle and matches
  • Rub n Buff- Gold

Materials For Box:

  • Paper mache box – 2-1/2” x 2-1/2”
  • Flat glass marbles- 4 – (for feet)
  • Rub n Buff- Bronze
  • Wire- 24 gauge gold
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters


  1. Draw pattern onto the inside of the brown bag with pencil.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  2. Squeegee glue to the inside of the brown bag.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  3. Place piece of 18 gauge wire into the glue.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  4. Press the two thicknesses together and line up the wire with the body of the butterfly.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  5. Let glue dry. Cut out along pencil line.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  6. Place glue onto the butterfly shape. You will be burning wet glue, do not let the glue dry.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  7. Place the butterfly shape with the wet glue into the top of the candle flame. NOTE: Use standard precautions when burning the glue including good air ventilation, and keep a bowl of water handy should the brown bag become ignited.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  8. Keep the butterfly shape with the wet glue rotating in the candle flame. Continue to turn it over to check progress. The burning of the glue will cause the glue to turn black and “sooty”.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  9. Continue until the entire butterfly is black. Let dry. (You may then repeat process for the reverse side of the butterfly.) After butterfly is completely dry, remove the soot with a paper towel.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  10. Lightly apply the Rub n Buff with your finger. You do not want to cover all the black area. If you add too much, you may reapply the glue and repeat the above steps.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box
  11. Repeat the process with the box. Twist the attached wire on the butterfly on a pencil. Make a small hole at the top center of the box, insert the end of the wire into glue, then into hole. If desired, make antenna from wire and glue in place on butterfly. Let glue dry.

    Burnt Brown Bag Box

For a comprehensive video tutorial of this project, check out How to Make a Burnt Brown Bag Butterfly Box.

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