Monday, December 8, 2014

Upcycled Cardboard Gift Tags (3 Ways)

So, have I mentioned how terrible I am at wrapping gifts? You'd think, being the crafty type, that I'd be at least decent at gift wrapping but no. I just can't seem to cut the paper straight or get the corners folded just so. By the end, my presents usually look like they were mauled by a wild animal. On top of that, I also always forget to buy gifts tags for things, so when we go to one of my kids' friends' birthday parties, I end up having to pull out random Christmas tags in the middle of summer. You'd think I'd stick to gift bags by now.

Rachel at Lines Across recently launched Let's Wrap Stuff, a website devoted to all things gift wrap related, and challenged a group of us to come up with a creative gift wrapping idea involving plain kraft paper. I was a little hesitant to accept because I'm pretty sure she wasn't going for "slightly mangled package" for my part of her lovely collage. Thankfully, kraft paper is more rigid than traditional wrapping so it's pretty forgiving, and the true star of my project is actually the gift tags!

Like I said, I have a problem keeping gift tags on hand but I also have a slight obsession with cereal (my go-to breakfast of choice!), so I  gathered up all my cardboard boxes and came up with three fun ways to make upcycled cardboard gift tags for the holidays. Less waste, and now I don't have an excuse for not having gift tags on hand!

Ready to rip some boxes apart??

SUPPLIES: cardboard boxes, gift tag template, scissors, pencil, acrylic paint, Mod Podge, glitter, duct tape or washi tape, hole punch.

Creating The Tags:

ONE: first, gather up your cardboard boxes. Carefully rip them open.
TWO: print out the gift tag template above, and trace onto one of your cardboard box panels.
THREE: cut out!

Duct Tape Tags:

Cover the printed side of your cardboard tag with duct tape and trim off excess. Done!

Glitter Gift Tags:

Coat the printed side of your cardboard tag with a generous layer of Mod Podge. Sprinkle on glitter and let dry.

Polka Dot Gift Tags:

Coat the printed side of your cardboard tag in your paint of choice and let dry. After your first layer is dry, paint or stamp on polka dots in a contrasting color.

And there you go! Easy recycled gift tags 3 different ways. And hopefully, people will pay attention more to the tags than my wrapping job ;)

Check out all of the amazing projects that everyone came up with using plain kraft paper!

Brown Paper Packages - 24 Creative Gift Wrap Ideas
1. Pom Pom Ice Cream Cone Gift Wrap by Let's Wrap Stuff 2. Embroidered Wrapping Paper by Lines Across 3. Holiday Lights Gift Wrap by Burlap and Blue 4. Printable DIY Watercolor Gift Tags by Dawn Nicole 5. Chalkboard Painted Wrapping Paper by The Winthrop Chronicles 6. Let it Snow Neighbor Gift Printable by Ginger Snap Crafts 7. Upcycled Cardboard Gift Tags 3 Ways by Eat. Sleep. Make. 8. Kraft Paper Gift Card Envelope Printables by Delia Creates 9. Make + Give Christmas Tree Gift Topper by Make and Tell 10. DIY Wrench Wrapping Paper by Maker Mama 11. DIY Stamped Trees Gift Wrap by Shaken Together Life 12. Brown Paper Packages by Delineate Your Dwelling 13. Yarn Tassel Gift Wrap 2 Ways by Hands Occupied 14. Holiday Writing with Washi Tape by Club Chica Circle 15. Glitter-Dipped Gift Tags by The Thinking Closet 16. Coffee Container Christmas Gift Tags by Simply Kelly Designs 17. Gift Wrapping Ideas by C.R.A.F.T. 18. Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas by Making Home Base 19. Sewn Brown Paper Gift Card Gift Giving by Dream a Little Bigger 20. Chalkboard Gift Tag & Ornament by Tried and True 21. Easy Holly Ornament Gift Tag by Rae Gun Ramblings 22. Printable Hand-Lettered Christmas Tags by Persia Lou 23. Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas by Eighteen25 24. Washi Tape Christmas Tree Gift Card Box by That's What Che Said

Monday, December 1, 2014

DIY Wood Burned Picture Frame

I've been wanting to try wood burning for the longest time. Every so often, I like to try new crafting methods to see what I can make, and this one was at the top of my to-do list. This month, Michael's challenged us to make a handmade gift for a friend or family member, so I took that as a sign that I needed a wood burner stat, so I picked up a wood picture frame and wood burner and sat down to make something (hopefully) awesome for my parents.

As someone who hasn't drawn anything more than a stick figure since high school, I was a little intimidated by the thought of permanently burning something into a piece of wood that my parents would have to look at forever (or at least when we visit and they have to dig it out of the closet.) After trying out a few simple designs on a piece of scrap wood though, I was hooked. It was way easier than I expected and the result was a really fun chevron-burned frame that I know my parents will love!

Moral of the story? If you're scared of wood burning, don't be. I can barely draw a stick figure, but I still managed to make this awesome frame without burning a finger - and that in itself is a Christmas miracle.

So let's make a wood burned frame!

SUPPLIES: a wood burning tool, unfinished wooden picture frame, photo, wood stain or paint (I used watered down acrylic paint by Martha Stewart), pencil, ruler, scrap wood -optional but highly recommended if you've never tried wood burning before, sealant.

If you've never tried wood burning, I recommend getting a piece of scrap wood and practicing first instead of jumping in and hoping for the best. You'll learn that different woods burn differently, and you can change the look and texture of the lines by bearing down on the wood burning pen differently. Practice until you're comfortable!

ONE: for a similar chevron design like I did, use your pencil and ruler to draw lines on your frame. I didn't make them symmetrical. I was going for a rough, sketchy look.

TWO: following the directions on your wood burning pen, heat it up and use a steady hand to trace over your drawn lines.
THREE: after your main lines are burned, draw chevron lines with your pencil and ruler

FOUR: trace over your remaining lines with your wood burning pen.

FIVE: stain with wood stain or, as I did, water down some paint and paint on with a paintbrush. Let dry.

SIX: after your paint has dried, seal with preferred sealant (I used a spray on matte sealant.)

After my frame was finished, I went to Target and had an 8x10 of my family printed up and put it in the frame. I can't get over Connor's face...the kid does NOT like having his picture taken! We actually had to have a pep talk about smiling for his school pictures this year, not that it helped any.

For the finishing touches, I picked up some bell ornaments, wood Christmas tags, and red twine from Michael's to wrap up my handmade gift.

I wrapped it simply in kraft paper, and tied the twine around it with the ornaments attached. For a special touch, I decided to also wood burn the tag. The pack came with 12, so I'm excited to make more for the other gifts I'm wrapping.

PS, wood burning curves is not easy :)

And that's it! A beautiful handmade gift that I know will get a LOT of use at my parents' house, especially as the grand kids grow over the years.

I hope you enjoyed my handmade gift and wrapping! Check out the other amazing handmade gifts from the Michael's Makers below to get you inspired for the holidays.

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