Easy Homemade Holiday Gifts
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To make gift boxes, you’ll need cardboard boxes — found in all shapes and sizes at craft stores — scrapbook paper, craft paint, ribbon, seasonal stickers and buttons, and glue.
For the bottom part of the box, you can either glue paper to it or paint it with craft paint. If you use paper, use a different colored paper for the lid. For instance, if you use solid red paper for the bottom, use a pattern paper, such as candy canes, for the top. If you paint the bottom, use a complementary paper for the lid. Dress up the edges of the lid by gluing ribbon to them, and add a sticker or button to the top of the box for a little pizzazz.
Gift bags are even easier to make than boxes. For variety, I buy both plain paper bags and colored bags.
Pick out a holiday-themed piece of scrapbook paper and cut it a little smaller than the front of the plain bag, allowing some of the bag to show around the edges. Center it and glue it to the bag. Add a shiny sticker in a bottom corner.
For more color, use two pieces of scrapbook paper. Cut one piece as above and glue it to the bag. Tear a strip from the second piece and glue it on top of the first layer. You can stop there, or you can add an embellishment for fun.
When working with colored bags, you already have color so you don’t need a background paper. However, you could use a strip of paper for a layering effect if you want. For simplicity, all I do is attach an embellishment or two, such as a glittery sticker along with a Santa or poinsettia sticker.
Moving on to gift tags, there are many ways to make these — large or small, layered or plain, with ribbon or without.
For a simple tag, cut a square of paper, making it however large you want it. Punch a hole in the upper right corner. Run ribbon through the hole and tie it in a knot. With a marker, write “To:” and “From:” somewhere on the square.
If you want to be more creative, try a layered tag. Choose two pieces of coordinating paper — a subtle pattern and a flashy pattern. Using the flashy paper for the background, cut out a rectangular shape, making it large enough so you have room to layer on the top. Now cut a square out of the subtle pattern paper. Write “To:” and “From:” on the square. Glue the square onto the rectangle at a 45-degree angle in the upper left-hand corner. Depending on the paper’s pattern, you can add a few embellishments.
A similar tag can be made by gluing the second layer onto the first layer, straight instead of at an angle. Run ribbon along the side, and finish it off with an antique-style embellishment glued on top of the ribbon.
Homemade Holiday Gifts: DIY Photo Album
If you’ve never worked with decoupage — an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish — photo tiles are perfect for a first project. They can be made with photos, poems, quotes, a birth announcement, an invitation, even an old love letter.
I used 6-inch-by-6-inch ceramic tiles because that’s what I had left from a remodeling project, but you can use whatever size you like. You can scrapbook these by hand or on the computer with a digital scrapbooking program, which can be found at most craft stores. You also can find online sources that offer free or inexpensive scrapbook kits on a multitude of themes.
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