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Archive for the ‘Christmas Ideas and Crafts’ Category

5 glittery gifts1. Removing sticky price tags and labels.

I wish that I had known this one when my kids were little. Removing labels or anything sticky from most surfaces is a cinch. Just spray the label residue or the label itself with WD40. Let it sink in and then rub the sticky stuff off with a rag or a plastic scrubby. There may be a little oily residue on cardboard but that is not important. Just don’t use it on fabric.

2. Wrapping multiple children’s gifts.

Colour code the paper. Use the same colours every year.  Child #1’s gifts are all wrapped in red paper. Child #2’s are wrapped in green. If there is a third and fourth, have one all gold and one all blue. This way kids know which gifts are theirs, even before they can read – and can spot their own from across the room, when they can read. You don’t even have to put gift tags on gifts from the big guy, if you use this system just for ‘those’ gifts.

3. Recycle, recycle, recycle

Use store gift boxes year after year until they are only good for starting the Christmas fire. Fold them back flat and store them in a large cardboard box. This way you always have gift boxes. The same goes for gift bags. Save and reuse until they are falling apart. Keep all your bows and ribbons, you rarely have to buy any after a year or two. Store them in large gift bags, so they don’t get crushed. I also save tissue paper that is not torn and even metallic wrapping paper and reuse until it no longer looks good.

These little pointers will reduce the expense and stress of christmas!

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Professional looking gift wrappings are really easy to do. You need scissors and clear tape (not magic tape, it shows too much), lots of tape and a little bit of patience (not a lot).

The first thing to do is put the gift in a box of some kind. This automatically makes it easy to do a good job. I keep my boxes from year to year to year, so I always have lots. I also use anything that is the right size. Shoe boxes, Tea boxes, cereal boxes etc are all grist to my mill. Whatever logo is on the box, usually has nothing whatsoever to do with the contents!

place your box on the paper

place your box on the paper

Place the box across the paper as shown. Place the edge of the box slightly less than the thickness of the box, from the edge. At the other side, fold the paper up along the side of the box and mark. Lay the paper down and roll the roll to the mark. Draw a guide line right along where the roll meets the mark, using the roll as a straight edge or ruler. Cut along the line and put the roll aside

start at the bottom

start at the bottom

Make sure the box is centred on the paper. Pull the bottom edge up to just past the centre of the box and tape into place. Then fold the top edge over so that when it is wrapped, it covers the first edge. Crease the fold with your finger. Make sure that the outside edges overlap evenly, if not shift the box a little (without untaping if possible) and try again. When the edges are even, tug on the paper a little so that it is nice and snug, not sloppy. Tape the centre down firmly.

Nice, neat ends are easy

Nice, neat ends are easy

Place the box so the seam is on top. Start at one end. Push the top edge down and crease, right to the sides. Tape it down in the centre. Make an angled crease at each end as shown and crease it neatly with your thumb and finger. (Always press every fold and it will come out so much more neatly) Each neatly creased fold makes the next step easier and neater too.

Fold the sides in and finger press

Fold the sides in and finger press

Fold in each of the sides and finger press, then tape into place.

Fold the bottom edge

Fold the bottom edge

Fold up the bottom edge so that when it is folded up the folds make a perfect triangle — see the next picture.

Triangle corners

Triangle corners

Tape each corner and the centre for the best result

Finished end

Finished end (bottom side is up in the picture)

Now to tie a simple bow properly

Take a dollar store spool of wired ribbon. Find the middle. Place that on the front side and bring both end around to the back. Before you cross them, measure them out with your eyes to make sure that one end is slightly longer than the other. Now cross them and bring them around to the front.

How to make the tie come out straight with the tails the same length

How to make the tie come out straight with the tails the same length

Wrap the shorter end so that it comes out behind the knot and the longer end is on top of the knot. Grab the shorter end and make a loop with the tail on top and facing you. Wrap the longer end around the loop from above (over your finger holding the other loop) going from right to left. Tuck it under the front loop but over the knot. Pull snugly. If the loops are too big and the tails too short, start again but makes the loops smaller at the beginning.

Puff up the loops and bend the tails into a pretty bend. Cut the ends into a V  and tape the tail to the paper with a little roll of tape underneath.

Ta-Da, one beautiful gift.

Ta-Da, one beautiful gift.

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Easy Christmas tree to make

Easy Christmas tree to make

To me, Christmas crafts are one of the best things about this time of year. Get a bunch of kids together and have a Christmas tree making party. This little Christmas tree always comes out looking good and it costs almost nothing. It can be made in the traditional green or it could be white or pink or whatever suits your fancy.

If you want to make a more upscale version, you can buy a styrofoam cone and some thin green craft felt or fabric and cut it out into circles instead of squares and attach it to the cone with the sewing pins that have different coloured beads for heads or use a glue gun (I always manage burn my fingers and generally make messes with hot glue)

1. Materials needed

Materials needed

Materials

  • 1 small package of Dollar Store tissue paper
  • 1 sheet of construction paper, bristol board or cardstock
  • white glue
  • unsharpened pencil or pencil with unused eraser
  • ruler
  • pen
  • sissors
  • a bit of red and green coloured foil (I used foil Christmas wrap)

Choose a sheet of construction paper or some other heavy paper that is the same colour as the tissue paper that you have chosen. The size of the paper will dictate the size of the finished tree. The one shown was made from a 9×12 in sheet of construction paper from a pad of mixed colours. For a smaller tree just cut it off shorter, for a taller tree use a bigger sheet. Bristol board cut to an appropriate size would work best for a larger tree.

Make a cone

mark tissue for cutting

mark tissue for cutting

To make the cone, you take a sheet of construction paper from a standard pad and curl it into a cone. Tape the loose edge down and then cut off the bottom so that it stands up straight. (This is the hardest part of the whole project)

Next, take your package of tissue paper and unfold it so that it is about 6 tissues thick. With your pen, mark off a strip 4″ wide. Mark off three more strips beside the first one and then score across these strips every 4″ until you have a bunch of 4″ squares. Cut off a strip and cut the strip into squares. Repeat.

wrap the square over the pencil end

wrap the square over the pencil end

Now the fun begins. Take a small dish or a piece of plastic and squirt a small puddle of white glue on/in it.  Then take one of those squares and wrap it over the blunt end of the pencil, dip it lightly in the glue and press on the top of the cone. Place another folded square close to the first one. Go around the top, and then start moving down the cone, constantly filling in the gaps. Every so often wipe off the pencil as it starts to get sticky.

9. Work your way down the cone

Work your way to the bottom all at once or a bit at a time, like I did. (That gives the glue a chance to dry too)

Check it over carefully and fill in any gaps with a folded square.

Put two or three folded squares at the top to finish it nicely

You can enjoy your tree with or without decorations as shown below.

Finished tree (not decorated)

Finished tree (not decorated)

Easy Christmas tree to make

Easy Christmas tree to make

To decorate the tree, crumple up small bits of coloured foil or even coloured tissue paper and glue them randomly around the tree. For a more polished effect, use small coloured beads or little coloured baby’s buttons or anything that is the right size for your tree.

You could even make 3 in graduated sizes to make a pretty grouping.

Now you have a beautiful Christmas tree that you can use year after year.

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Blue and silver tree trimmings and coordinating gift wrappings

Blue and silver tree trimmings and coordinating gift wrappings

A tip to help you get that decorator look to your Christmas tree. Add something unexpected. Look around your collections of this and that for something that would add interest to your tree.

I like to stuff flowers in my trees. One year it was filled with artificial white poinsettias. Another year I filled it with red ones. One year I took tiny puffs of pillow stuffing and put it on the tips of many of the branches so that it looked like snow had just fallen. This year I used sprigs of glittery white berries with leaves and some baby’s breath. I also inserted large silver snowflakes inside the larger ‘holes’ in the branches. I also curled curling ribbon and draped it in long curls randomly down the tree. It all adds up to one very pretty and rather elegant Christmas tree this year.

Blue and silver ornaments augmented with white flowers

Blue and silver ornaments augmented with white flowers

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I did a whole new colour scheme for my Christmas decorations this year. After endlessly changing up red, gold, white, crystal and a touch of pink, into various themes and combinations, I went out and bought a tree full of blue and silver decorations for next to nothing at my favourite discount store, XS Cargo. Once the tree was up, I realized that the gold chunk of fabric that I have always wrapped around the base, since I started having an artificial tree, would not do at all. After going out specifically to get a hunk of suitable fabric, I got home and realized that I had forgotten to do that in the midst of all the other things that I decided to do once I was out.

So, rather than go back out, I got to thinking “What can I use?” and realized that I had a great source of nice fabrics, right in the dining room. I rooted around in my collection of tablecloths, (most of which, I never use) and found the perfect silver blue tablecloth and tossed it around the base of the tree. Voila, one very elegant and free tree skirt.

I think it looks pretty good!

For another low cost DIY Christmas decoration see Christmas Mantle Decoration under the category “Make it Yourself Decor Ideas”

https://asyoulikeitdesign.ca/2009/12/16/christmas-mantle-decoration/

 

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No/Low Cost

Mantle Decoration

This pretty mantle decorating didn’t cost a dime, and yet is very striking and a little out of the ordinary.

I started with the ‘snow’.  I laid down a layer of polyfil pillow stuffing, enough to cover the entire mantle. If you don’t have any new stuffing, just take apart an old bed pillow or a couple of old throw cushions and use the stuffing from that. I never throw out old pillows and cushions, I keep them for the stuffing.

Next, layer on fresh evergreen clippings. I cut back an overgrown Mugo Pine in my garden for mine and clipped some bits out of the White Cedars that are all around my house. Free and fresh – what more could you ask!

Then I just added some dollar store red poinsettia, and a few other things from previous mantle decorations.

I pulled and pushed and rearranged the snow until it looked somewhat like a fresh snowfall, higher here, blown away there, until I was pleased with the effect.

I added a string of white LED lights and covered each bulb with a little puff of stuffing, which softened the glare of the LEDs and gave each bulb a ‘halo’.

Presto – one pretty mantle at no cost or at least very little.

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