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Crafty Holiday Gift Wrap

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and once you are finished with all your holiday purchases, it’s time to get wrapping. Gift wrapping can be such a creative outlet, so go ahead and put those crafty items to use and jazz up those boxes this year!

Sure, I like traditional wrapping paper just like the next guy, but newspaper can work too—and can cost nothing.

Start with a plain wrapped box. I like to use the property sales section of the paper since it is all words and no pictures.

Next, simply add some bakers twine and some punched snowflakes. Here, I used the Martha Stewart Alpine and Himalayan snowflake craft punches, as well as her red and white bakers twine.

Another option would be to use those snowflakes directly on the newsprint and write the recipients name with marker.

Or jazz up this idea with some of the Martha Stewart glitter glue. Here I added the garnet, onyx and carrara marble.

Look at all that sparkly glitter, with none of the mess!

Don’t like or have newspaper? Try some plain tissue paper. I like to double wrap my gifts in tissue so that none of the print from the box shows through.
You can decorate simply by adding a piece of your favorite patterned paper like I did here with a strip of last year’s holiday paper from Cosmo Cricket.
Or you can create a cool paper snowflake for the top that will wow anyone on your list. First, you will need six pieces of white copy paper cut 2″ x 2″.

Fold each piece on the diagonal.

Then you are going to use a ruler and mark one of the pieces like below, so that you will be making even cuts on each piece but not all the way through the top. Cut each piece using this first as a guide.

Next, open the pieces and begin gluing the centers together. I used Scotch Quick Dry Tacky Adhesive because, well, it’s quick. If you are using patterned paper or cardstock you will need stronger glue but for this light copy paper, I just held each in place for a few moments and they were set. The first piece with look something like this.

Then, flip it over and glue the next. You will alternate with each section.

When you are finished, your piece will look like this. Glue each of your six pieces—it may take a little time, this part took the longest at 15 minutes.

Finally, glue the petals together. I used a button in the center, adhered with my hot glue gun, to hold the whole thing together. You can tie it on your package, and the recipient can use it as an ornament next year. I know this may seem slightly tedious but the entire process took me about 30 minutes. And don’t the very special people in your life deserve a paper snowflake?

There are other really great crafty gift wrap ideas online. Here are just a few to inspire you:

Got a great gift wrapping idea of your own? Is there a tutorial on your blog you’d like to share? Using your crafty products in a cool way this holiday season? Share your ideas in the Comments Section—we would love to hear about it!

Vendor Spotlight & Giveaway: Martha Stewart Holidays Gift Boxes and Bags

Reported by Julie Tiu


Who doesn’t love receiving homemade goods? Especially when they’re wrapped with love and a little help from Martha Stewart Holidays. As I reported at this summer’s CHA Show, Scandinavian design has made its mark on the 2010 Martha Stewart Holidays line, but “buyer beware”, no cookies or candy. I love their disclaimer.

I received these food packaging goodies to check out: Treat Bags, Compartment Treat Boxes and Banded Boxes. You can find these at your local Michaels craft store or directly at the Martha Stewart shop website. Either way, check quickly because these are hot sellers and quantities are already diminishing.

Technical Details

Each kit comes complete with accessories to finish your wrapping or packaging needs. A thank you note is also included from the people at Martha Stewart Holidays. Would you expect anything less? All paper items are pre-scored and pre-assembled flat. You just have to “pop” them open and into place.

Treat Bags come eight in a kit (incidentally also a cello bag) with ribbon, tags and adhesive strips. Dimensions are as follows.
Paper trays: approximately 3” x 3” x 1-3/4”, Cello Bags: 3” x 3” x 10”

The bag size is quite generous!

Compartment Treat Boxes come six in a project kit. Dimensions are:
Lidded Box is 6-1/4”x 6-1/4”x 2” to accommodate (4) 3” x 3” x 1-3/4” compartment boxes.


Lastly, the Banded Box also comes six in a package and is 5-7/8” x 8-7/8” x 2-5/8” with scalloped edging on the band (or sleeve) and on the box.


In Practice

The boxes are made from sturdy, quality materials, but I had a couple of mishaps with assembling the paper trays. They just popped apart, oops. If you’re patient, some clear tape will do the trick.


I can’t wait to share my baked goods in these packages with neighbors and friends, but who says you have to use these with only food? Wouldn’t this be a cute idea for a teacher, an office coworker, or a babysitter? The trays can come out and be used at the desk, too.


The cello bags lend themselves for lots of other treats. A sewing enthusiast might enjoy some new notions and specialty scissors! The banded boxes are large enough for a number of different ideas, too.


Pros:

  • As a big supporter for multi-use, these can be used for gifts other than food.
  • Well-made, gives your gift a professional presentation.
  • No fussy wrapping, just ribbon, tissue paper and tags.
  • Cost is comparable or less than some holiday gift packaging (especially if you can use coupons).

Cons (not too many):

  • I’d use the Cello Bags again for Valentine’s Day if it weren’t for the snow print on the bags.
  • Some of the compartment boxes broke during assembly.

Costs

  • $13.22-$16.99 for 6 treat boxes or 6 compartment boxes
  • $13.99 for the (8) Cello bags kit

GIVEAWAY
The kind folks at EK Success Brands will be giving one lucky winner their very own collection of Martha Stewart Holiday Gift Boxes and Bags. To enter, just leave a comment on one of today’s articles. Answer any one of these questions in the Comments Section right below this article on our website.

Have you used the Martha Stewart Gift Boxes and Bags? Did your recipient love them?

One comment per person, per article, please. You have until Sunday, November 21st 6pm CST to enter.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Lion Brand Pom Pom Makers

Pom poms are so cute! I know that you can buy them by the bag at craft stores, but it is way more fun to make them yourself and use up your yarn stash. I was browsing around the craft store looking for a tool to review for you, dear readers, and I found this Set of Three Pom Pom Makers by Lion Brand. Only $3 and I have a coupon? Perfect! I want to see how this pom pom maker compares with the sublime perfection of the Clover Brand Pom Pom Makers I reviewed recently for Craft Critique.


Cool! It stores flat! This is already an advantage over the bulky Clover brand tool. The Lion Brand Pom Pom Maker reminds me of the old-fashioned handmade cardboard template technique, except that this tool is made out of flexible, durable plastic. There are two matching halves and there is a little wedge cut out. This wedge will guide your scissors later in the pom pom making process. The package has directions right on the back. Once you know how to make pom poms, it’s like riding a bike and you probably will never forget, so the brave and confident can discard the instructions.

Honestly, it was not immediately evident to me how this thing makes three sizes of pom poms, but then I realized that the whole thing pops apart. Neato! Another storage advantage!

Let’s start with the larger yellow size. Pop out the inside templates and put the two halves together with the wedge cutout to the inside. You’ll need to cut off a length of yarn to thread through the tool. Since I don’t know how much yarn to use, this could be wasteful. With my Clover tool, I could work right from my ball of yarn instead of cutting off lengths. I used multiple strings because that seems to be the way it is pictured in the instructions.
All wound up! I found that springy yarns work better than slick ones. This is an inexpensive acrylic yarn.


The next step is scary. You have to carefully cut around between the two circles using the cut out wedge as a guide. If you aren’t careful, all your pieces will fall out and you have to start over. Tie it up with the template still in place.
Yipes! It’s pretty shaggy, but a little haircut will take care of that. Hmm.. it is considerably smaller than the template. This is the largest pom pom, but it is only 1 3/4 inches across.

On this even smaller pink and orange one, 1 1/4 inches, I had a very hard time tying the string really tight so there is a gap in the center.


Finally, how about the itty-bitty blue template? I had to thread my yarn on a needle to wind up this one. Yipes! This thing is less than and inch! I can do it. The pom pom I made with this size was about an inch in diameter.

Here is what happens when you can’t tie the string tight enough. The whole thing comes apart and you have to discard it. Alas.

Pros:
  • Space-saving flat design is easily stored in a crafter’s crowded supply drawer.
  • Inexpensive for a set of three sizes.
  • It’s nifty how the colorful sizes snap together for storage.
  • It occurs to me that you can probably make larger pom poms if you use two or three of the sizes snapped together.
Cons:
  • There is no way to know how big the pom poms you make will be. The sizes aren’t even marked on the packaging.
  • Awkward and fiddley in your hand. Binding up the pom pom is a delicate operation.
  • Makes only smallish pom poms.
  • You have to cut off a length of yarn to thread around the tool instead of just wrapping it.
  • Shaggy poms will need a haircut.
  • *sigh* I want to use my other pom pom tool instead of this one.
After struggling with a few pom poms using this Lion Brand tool, I found myself longing to break out my other tool. When I used the Clover Brand Pom Pom Maker, I probably made about 20 fun, large poms before quitting. Interestingly, I think Lion Brand knows that some crafters might prefer the other tool and they offer the Clover product at their yarn website. I think maybe this one is for traditionalists.
I don’t recommend this tool for serious pom pom enthusiasts. I highly recommend the pricier Clover Pom Pom Makers, but if you are determined and looking online, you can buy this Set of Three Lion Brand Pom Pom Makers directly from Lion Brand, Amazon, or JoAnns.
Gosh, pom poms are fun. I like to use them with my gift wrapping. What do you use yours for?