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How to Create a Paper Shopping Bag in Adobe Illustrator

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a shopping paper bag using Adobe Illustrator. We'll work from basic shapes to create this multi-use illustration.


Step 1

Hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and height boxes then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK. Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid).

Next, you'll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 300 by 210px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 3

Next, you'll need the Round Any Corner script. You can find it in the Vectortuts+ article 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Save it to your hard drive, return to Illustrator and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Focus on the shape made in the previous step, select the bottom anchor points and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 3px Radius and click OK. In the end your shape should look like in the second image. Move to the Layers panel and name it "body".


Step 4

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard then duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies made in this step, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Minus Front button. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image. The white numbers from the gradient image stand for location percentage while the yellow zeros stand for opacity percentage.


Step 5

Reselect "body" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and change its Blending Mode to Multiply.


Step 6

Reselect "body" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below, change its Blending Mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 50%.


Step 7

Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, move it 1px to the right then duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new copy and move it 2px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.


Step 8

Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, move it 1px to the right then duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new copy and move it 5px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.


Step 9

Reselect the thee shapes made in the last three steps and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical box then click on the Copy button. Select the resulting shapes, enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and drag them to the right as shown in the third image.


Step 10

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect "body" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=218 G=175 B=127.


Step 11

Reselect "body" and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 4px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image.


Step 12

Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, move it 4px up then duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image.


Step 13

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 165 by 245px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select it along with the "body" copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 15%.


Step 14

Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 330 by 75px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select it along with the "body" copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 25%.


Step 15

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape made in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 35%.


Step 16

Select all the shapes created so far and Group them (Control + G).


Step 17

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Focus on the top side of the shapes created so far. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 270 by 25px, fill it with the first linear gradient shown below, place it as shown in the first image then make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), move it 1px down then duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.


Step 18

Reselect the rectangle made in the beginning of the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the first linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 10%. Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and use the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 135 by 25px shape, place it as shown in the fourth image, lower its Opacity to 10% and fill it with the second linear gradient shown in the following image.


Step 19

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the rectangle made in the beginning of the seventeenth step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=237 G=28 B=36, we'll get back to this path later. Now, select this red shape along with all the shapes created in the last two steps and Group them (Control + G).


Step 20

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Focus on the right side of the group made in the previous step. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 40 by 25px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image. Keep focusing on this new shape, grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top, left anchor point and move it 10px down.


Step 21

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape made in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light. Keep focusing on this new shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the anchor point pointed by the arrow in the third image. In the end your shape should look like in the fourth image.


Step 22

Reselect the shape made in the twentieth step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the rectangle made in the seventeenth step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it along with the shape made in the beginning of the step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Focus on the resulting shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the anchor point pointed by the arrow in the fifth image. Fill the remaining path with the linear gradient shown in the sixth image and lower its Opacity to 10%.


Step 23

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). With the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 55 by 15px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image. Keep focusing on this new shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the top, right anchor point.


Step 24

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape made in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Focus on the resulting shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the anchor point pointed by the arrow in the third image. Fill the remaining path with the linear gradient shown in the final image and lower its Opacity to 10%.


Step 25

Reselect the shape made in the twenty-third step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.


Step 26

Reselect the shape made in the twenty-third step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the final image and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.


Step 27

Reselect the shape made in the twenty-third step along with the shape made in the twentieth step and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Select the first copy and move it 3px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Focus on the resulting shape, grab the Delete Anchor Point Too l(-) and simply click on the anchor point pointed by the arrow in the third image. Fill the remaining path with the linear gradient shown in the final image and lower its Opacity to 10%.


Step 28

Reselect the shape made in the twenty-third step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the bottom copy and move it 2px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=237 G=28 B=36, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and remove the anchor point pointed by the arrow in the third image. Select this thin red path along with all the shapes made in the last eight steps and Group them (Control + G).


Step 29

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the group made in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. Select the newly created group, drag it to the left and place it as shown in the third image.


Step 30

Select the three red shapes created so far and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 8%. Focus on the Layers panel, select this new shape and drag it inside the group made in the nineteenth step.


Step 31

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 50 by 130px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none, but add a 4pt stroke. Set its color at R=210 G=126 B=142 then go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom, middle anchor point and simply hit the Delete key from your keyboard. Make sure that your path is still selected, move to the Appearance panel, select the stroke then open the Stroke panel and check the "Round Cap" button from the Cap section.


Step 32

Reselect the path made in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 30px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Shell Lower. Enter the data shown below and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Finally, send this path to back (Shift + Control + [ ). We'll get back to it later.


Step 33

With the Rectangle Tool (M), create a new 50 by 130px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Again, remove the color from the fill and add a 4pt stroke. Set its color at R=210 G=126 B=142 then go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and delete the bottom, middle anchor point. Make sure that your path is still selected, move to the Stroke panel, check the "Round Cap" button from the Cap section then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 30px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Shell Lower. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 34

Reselect the path made in the previous step, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Fill the resulting shape with R=39 G=170 B=225 (only to make it stand out from the rest of the shapes) and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 35

Reselect the rectangle made in the seventeenth step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it along with the blue shape made in the previous step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shape, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with the linear gradient shown below and lower the Opacity to 25%. Move to the Layers panel, select the compound path and drag it below the front pink path.


Step 36

Reselect the pink path made in the thirty-third step, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Again, fill the resulting shape with R=39 G=170 B=225 and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 37

Reselect "body" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it along with the blue shape made in the previous step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shape, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with the linear gradient shown below and lower the Opacity to 30%. Move to the Layers panel, select this compound path and drag it below the front pink path.


Step 38

Reselect the top pink path, focus on the Appearance panel and add a new stroke using the Add New Stroke button. Select it, set the color at R=246 G=246 B=246, decrease the size to 2pt then go to the Stroke panel and check the Round Cap button from the Cap section. Return to the Appearance panel and add a third stroke for this path. Select it, set the color at R=231 G=186 B=195 and the size at 2pt then go to the Stroke panel. Check the Dash box, enter 2pt in the dash box and 2pt in the gap box. Move to the right and check the button that "aligns dashes to corners and paths ends, adjusting length to fit". 


Step 39

Move to the bottom pink path and add the same properties used for the front pink path. You can easily do it using the target icons (the little grey circle from the Layers panel which indicated that your item contains Appearance attributes). Focus on the Layers panel, hold Alt, click on the target icon that stands for the top pink path and simply drag onto the target icon that stands for bottom pink path.


Step 40

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 300 by 25px shape, fill it with black and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new shape. Select the top, left anchor point and move it 5px to the right. Move to the right anchor point, select it and move it 5px to the left. Make sure that this new shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill, lower its Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown in the third image, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel and add a second black fill for this shape. Select it, lower its Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the data shown in the fourth image, click OK and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset and click OK.


Step 41

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 360 by 70px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with R=60 G=36 B=21, lower the Opacity to 18% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 22px radius and click OK. Continue with the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 300 by 50px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Fill it with R=60 G=36 B=21, lower the Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK. Reselect both shapes created in this step along with the one created in the previous step and Group them (Control + G). Select this new group and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ).


Step 42

For the final steps you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 15px circle, fill it with the radial gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image. Move to the Layers panel and drag this new shape below the top, pink path. Select this circle and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=218 G=175 B=127.


Step 43

Reselect the circle made in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select it, set the color at R=218 G=175 B=127 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -4px Offset and click OK.


Step 44

Reselect the two shapes made in the last two steps and Group them (Control + G). Make a copy of this group (Control + C > Control + F), drag it to the left and place it as shown in the second image.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look.

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