Wrap up Christmas with a personal touch


POSTED: Sunday, December 06, 2009

Black Friday has passed, and hopefully you were able to find lots of bargains. If your shopping adventure was successful, you probably have mounds of gifts waiting to be wrapped and delivered.

Like bargain hunting, creating original gift wrap is another way to keep costs down. A variety of recycled materials can be used for the task, such as plastic bags, junk mail, shopping bags with handles, used envelopes, used gift boxes, or cardboard and other odds and ends around the house, waiting to be perked up with a few craft supplies such as glue, double-stick tape, glitter, ribbons, plain tags and foil.

No patterns are necessary. Just put your imagination and creativity to work in using paint, markers or crayons.

A plain brown paper lunch bag can easily be transformed into the perfect gift bag. Start by cutting snowflake shapes out of regular copy paper that's been relegated to a recycling bin. Using a glue stick, attach the paper snowflakes to the front of the bag. The top of the bag should be folded over to create a simple flap. Next, glue white glitter to the top of the flap. Using a hole punch, make two holes on the flap and tie ribbons through them. Finish with handmade tags and other embellishment, if desired. These bags are perfect for packing treats like party mix, homemade cookies or fudge sealed in a small tin, food container or plastic bag.

Don't worry about creating perfect packaging. Often, it's the imperfections that make handmade creations endearing.


Snowball Pompoms

Step 1: Cut a plastic grocery bag into long strips that are about 1 to 3 inches wide. Strips will be about 10 to 14 inches long. They need not be even in color if using printed bags.

Step 2: Gather your strips and trim to one desired length. This makes it easier to shape the pompom.

Step 3: Cut the strips in half for several short strips.

Step 4: Cut at least 12 inches of string, dental floss or ribbon. Fold your short strips in half. Tie the strips down the center, and tie the string into a knot to secure.

Step 5: Hold the top part of the pompom where it fringes out. Trim the pompom so it's all even and one desired length.

Step 6: Fluff out your pompom.

Step 7: Tie your “;snowball pompom”; onto a gift bag, a gift box, a gift tag or other item.

These crafty ideas were provided by Stacy Cheng Suzuki of Stacy's Designs 88. Visit Suzuki's three Etsy Online Shops: stacysdesigns88.etsy.com, bluelovebirds.etsy.com and lilikoicottage.etsy.com. For other tips and project ideas, visit Stacy's Thoughts and Designs blog at www.stacysdesigns88.blogspot.com.

”;Handmade”; will present a simple craft idea for the holidays each Sunday through Christmas. E-mail Nancy Arcayna at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).