Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crafting Christmas

Holiday bleatings from EnviRambo.

Call me crazy, but my house is already decorated for Christmas.  Yep.  The tree is up and the LED lights are on - timers.  I think this is the first year since leaving retail that I am actually looking forward to Christmas.

I was a mall rat for six years and it has taken equally as long to purge the holiday hell from my system.  Now when I think of Christmas I get the warm fuzzies that I remember from childhood, not the two straight months of torture I remember from my retail management days.

Since my decorating is already done, I'm turning my attention to the main event.  The gifts!  Not the gifts themselves, but the presentation of them.

It has been YEARS since I purchased wrapping paper.  Really, years.  So long that the paper we're still using has Disney princesses and My Little Pony on it.  My daughter is a Freshman in high school.  Princesses and ponies are so not cool.

I'm really hoping this will be our final year with store bought wrapping paper.  I don't have much against paper per se, but the inks used in wrapping paper often contain heavy metals.  I like to jam out to heavy metal, but I don't really want to eat it.  Huh?  You say.  Well, I like to compost waste paper and then use the compost to feed my garden, which in turn feeds me.  Get it?

In hopes of moving toward repurposed, hand-crafted Christmas wrapping I've started scouring the web for inspiration.  Here's some creative thinking I've bookmarked for future use.

Paint by number gift wrap from Just Something I Made
Cathe Holden, the creative genius behind Just Something I Made, created this unique wrapping by scanning thrifted paint by number paintings and then printing on regular paper.  The possibilities are endless with this one.  How fun would it be to scan old family photos of Christmas past to wrap presents in.  You could even customize the paper by using photos of the person the gift is for.

Depending upon the ink used, this may not be well suited for the compost either.  But they sure are cool!  I can see using scrap paper to print on.  You know, that pile of homework papers and one-sided drawings your children have.  Great stuff for running through your printer.  Plus, it's free!

Paper favor cups also from Just Something I Made

Here's another one of my favorites from Cathe Holden.  They're little paper cups made with a pot maker.   Smaller scraps of paper, magazine pages, newsprint, sheet music, phone book pages - all would be perfect for repurposing into these.  They would be a cute and simple way to gift cookies, peppermint bark, peanut brittle and all those other wonderful holiday treats you make.  Or as centerpieces with paper whites, amaryllis, or small fir trees planted in them.  Your guests could take them home as a party favor.

Paper flowers from Scrappy Habits
This may not look like Christmas at first glance, but the tutorial Sandy has for these paper flowers on her Scrappy Habits blog has me thinking of Christmas bows.  You know, the first thing that gets ripped off the present.  Why not top your present with one of these flowers made from last year's Christmas cards.  If you're really good you could top your gift with a card received from the person the gift is for and then see if they notice.  I'm all about subtle nuances like this.

Custom canning labels from Local Kitchen
For those of you gifting homemade treats you canned with love, Kaela from Local Kitchen has just the thing for you.  A custom label tutorial.  She walks you through step by step how to make this cherry on top.  You could use the same steps to create gift tags for anything you're giving.

When you put so much thought into the gift you give it seems silly to stop at the wrapping.  

What's better than getting a gift you love?  Getting one that has been wrapped with love.


Cathe Holden said...

Wow! The daily double!! Thank you so much for sharing some of my projects. I love the idea of wrapping with a photo of the recipient: briliant!

Daisy said...

I stopped buying wrapping paper a few years ago. My family fights it a little, but I refuse to spend money on something so wasteful and un-environmental. It's much more fun and creative to find other ways to wrap. Old maps, old menus, brown bags from the wine store with a ribbon around the top... the list is endless, green, and often free.


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