What do you do with your used coffee bags?
If you’re like most people, you probably throw them in your trash or recycling bin without a second thought.
If your’e a hoarder like me though, you shove your used bags into a drawer in your kitchen until it’s so full, you have to make art out of the coffee bags.
Now, by no means am I an artist, so feel free to stop reading if the following is ugly to you…
If you think this looks kind of cool though, well, keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how I made it.
Step 0: What you’ll need
- About 15-20 used coffee bags
- Gorilla Glue (or equally strong adhesive)
- Canvas board (any size, I like 8×10)
- Heavy object (textbooks are great)
Step 1: Buy coffee that comes in cool bags
I honestly hate that I’m telling you to judge a book by its cover, but since we’re trying to make some decent art here, you’re gonna need some decent looking coffee bags.
Now, let me actually revised this step with the caveat that you should only be buying coffee that primarily sounds delicious. However, if the delicious-sounding coffee also comes in a delicious-looking bag, buy it!
Step 2: Store your bags once you run out of coffee
This step may seem obvious, but if you’re gonna make coffee bag art you must remember to actually keep your coffee bags.
Don’t throw them out or put them some place you can’t find them.
I recommend a small drawer that is tucked away in the corner of your kitchen. Kinda like this one…
(Yep, mine is literally in a small drawer in the corner of my kitchen, but this is by no means a requirement for your coffee-bag-storage purposes)
Step 3: Cut your bags (optional)
Once you have about 10-20 empty coffee bags, you’re ready to start creating your coffee bag collage.
Before you get to cutting and/or outlining (the next steps), you’ll want to empty out your drawer and take stock of your coffee bag inventory.
The coffee-bag-cutting is optional, but I personally like to cut off the pieces of a coffee bag that make it look so pretty.
At the very least, this usually consists of the roaster’s name and logo, as well as the name of the coffee itself.
Of course, you can keep whatever parts of the coffee bag you want to keep, but I usually only use about 10% of bag when actually adding it to the canvas.
Step 4: Draft your outline on the canvas
Remember in high school when you had to create outlines for all of the essays you would be forced to write?
I know, it sucked.
But of course in hindsight (some 20 years later maybe?) you realized that outlines are actually really useful.
In fact, pretty much everything that is of any remote significance has an outline behind its eventual development (yes, coffee bag art is significant…I mean, you’ve already read this far into the tutorial so it must mean something to you).
So start mapping out how you might like to arrange your coffee bags on the canvas.
Personally, I like to lay out all of my pieces of coffee bag and start loosely arranging them on the canvas like a puzzle. It gives me a sense of how the different combinations and arrangements might look in the final piece.
You might be wondering why I’ve got a bunch of coins laid out on top of the cut-outs of the bags. This is to keep them flat on the canvas, considering they roll up around the edges once they’ve been cut. Without some kind of weight on the bags, it will be hard to put an outline together.
Step 5: Start gluing!
Once you’ve finalized your outline, you’re ready for the gluing phase.
I use Gorilla Glue for its considerable strength, but you can probably get away with adhesives that aren’t quite as strong.
If you use Gorilla Glue, it helps to have a little spray bottle full of water, as well as a heavy and flat object handy.
The former is used to activate the Gorilla Glue, while the latter is used to tamp your coffee bags and give them a better hold from the Gorilla Glue.
Step 6: Frame it (optional)
At this point, you should have a pretty bitchin’ coffee bag collage. If not, I’m sorry I wasted your time.
The final step now is for you to decide if your beautiful piece of art merits an over-priced picture frame. Personally, I find this last step the easiest to procrastinate on, so you might want to make a decision quickly here.
Share your coffee bag art!
Now that you have your beautiful coffee bag collage (or other piece of artwork) ready to show-off, please, share it with the rest of us!
Go ahead and leave a link to the picture of your coffee bag art in the comments.
If you’re looking for a quick way to upload and share an image, you can use a free service like Imgur to do so.