Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Easy, Cheap Holiday Crafts

OK readers, here are some tips to help out this budget holiday season.

First - have you heard of Google Docs? It's free and it's awesome. If you are looking for a free way to create your holiday newsletter, mailing labels or gift tags you can download templates here, just go to New and click on the down arrow and choose From template, you can browse All Types or or search by category.

You can also find many download-able gift tag designs and decoration templates from the Craftzine Blog. Look for the search bar and type in gift tags or ornaments or holiday or whatever and all of the related blogs will pop up. There are some cool projects out there. Many just require a printer.

There are two projects I learn from my days teaching Victorian Christmas traditions that can be made with things most people have in their home. To decorate your tree you can make a Victorian candy cone by taking any square paper (or cutting an 8 1/2 x 11 paper into a square)

and rolling it into a cone like this:

after it is rolled, glue in place and punch holes for a ribbon handle.

You can decorate the paper before you roll it using markers, glitter or anything you have. You can use fancier paper like wrapping paper or wallpaper or even fabric covered paper. Keep in mind the cone should be stiff so card stock, felt or wallpaper works best. If you have to use regular paper, glue several sheets together. If you want it to be lined you can glue two pieces of contrasting paper wrong sides together and then roll. When it is done, wait for the glue to dry and fill with your favorite candy!

Another great, easy decoration is a Victorian paper lantern, a nod to the era's Orientalism. Take any piece of paper and fold in half width-wise.

Cut equidistant slits on the folded edge leaving a border around the entire paper uncut like this:

Unfold the paper and glue or staple the sides together, you should have a lantern shape. These lanterns can be made in any size, small ones for the tree or large ones strung across the mantle or entire room. It adds a festive flare on the cheap! To hang or string just use a hole punch on two sides and use ribbon, yarn or string to hang. again, you can decorate the lanterns any way you want or use any color paper.

Happy Holidays!


Liz said...

Oh the memories....

brooke said...

Google docs is also a great way to back up documents that could possibly induce suicide, were they to be lost forever. Like, say, a dissertation chapter or three.