I love love love holiday decorations and I love love love making things and I love love love saving money and I love love love re-purposing things, so I'm going to do a series of posts combing all of these things!
I'm starting off with a couple of ideas for re-purposing all of those pretty Christmas cards we hoard (the real "ghosts of Christmases past") because we're sure we'll find something to do with them! I have three ideas today, and three more in the wings...
The first two ideas actually came from my mother - which may be where I got my hoarding/repurposing/crafting genes... The idea that requires no tutorial and almost no explanation is very straightforward and simple: Separate the card front from the rest of the card and use it as a gift tag - attach it to the front of a gift bag or use it as the "centerpiece" on a wrapped gift. Simply write the to/from info on an area of the card that doesn't have a lot of busy pattern going on...
The second idea does need a bit of a tutorial, so I'll provide that now:
TUTORIAL: Christmas Card Boxes
- Christmas card(s)
- Gridded ruler
- Paper trimmer
- Scoring tool
- Strong adhesive (like red-lined tape)
After you've selected the card you wish to use, measure from the motif you'd like to center to the outer edge of the card at the narrowest point and trim the opposite side to make them even. On my example, I had 1 3/8" from the white frame around the tree to the edge of the card on one side, and 1 1/2" on the other side, so I trimmed it so that they were both 1 3/8". Trim the back of the card at the same time, so the front and back are the same size. The card front will be the lid, and the card back will be the box:
Determine how much of the motif you want to leave showing, and measure from that point to the edge. In my example, I wanted to leave a 3/8" border on each side, which left me with 1" to play with. Now that you've determined the outer border dimension, divide it in half. Score all four sides of the card front at both dimensions. In my example, I scored at 1/2" (half of the finished measurement) and 1" (the finished measurement):
Trim the corners so that you're cutting away the three little squares at each corner. Also cut from the long edge down to the inner score line to form a tab. Trimming the edges of the tabs so that they taper slightly will make it easier to assemble the box:
Pre-fold all scored lines, then add adhesive as shown (sorry about the blurry picture, but you can still get the idea):
You could put adhesive across the entire side and end flaps, but I'm the Queen of Cheap, so I just put enough to hold the thing together... Fold the short ends up toward the box, then tuck the little tabs toward the long sides and fold the side flaps over them to form the box sides (sorry I didn't get a picture of this step...) Fold the short ends to the inside to finish:
Repeat these steps with the back of the card to make the box bottom, and you're done!
My mom used to make a bunch of these, tie them up with ribbons, and add them to wreaths...
Lastly, I've been seeing a lot of cone ornaments this year, and thought that it would be kinda cool to make a few out of Christmas cards. Larger cards would work best for this. Before I move on to the tutorial, I will point out that this is the prototype, and not as "perfect" as future cones will be, but I wanted to put this tutorial up before the season was over, so I'm letting you see it, warts and all, k?
TUTORIAL: Christmas Card Cones
- Christmas card
- Strong adhesive (red-line tape or similar)
- Coffee filter or crepe paper
- Hole punch
- Stapler (I used a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher)
- Scrap paper
- Bone Folder
- Needle and thread
Determine which part of the card you wish to have as the focal point of your cone. On my example, I wanted Santa (duh):
Measure from slightly above where you want the top of the cone to be down to the bottom of the card, then cut a square from scrap paper roughly twice that dimension. Fold it in half on the diagonal several times and trim the wide, open end of the triangle to make a rough circle:
Trim out one quarter of the circle to make your pattern:
It's obvious that this isn't actually a "pattern" - think of it as a rough guide. Here's what you do: find the center point of the bottom edge and determine where you want the sides to stop and cut a line between the two. I actually used a point slightly below the bottom of the card, and slightly above where I wanted the side edge to stop:
Cut the other side to match and trim the top round, again using the pattern as a rough guide:
And you'll end up with something like this:
Please note that I don't have a pointy bottom edge and that the top corners of the sides are missing. I needed the extra little bits, and by the time everything is stuck together, you'll never notice. Trust me - "keep calm and carry on"...
Because purchased cards are generally heavier weight than the cardstock we usually use in papercrafting, it's a bit more difficult to roll into a cone shape, so take your bone folder and pre-form it a bit by placing it down the length of the card and pulling the card out from under it:
Pretend I'm holding the lower left corner - I only have two hands and one was holding the camera - and pulling that corner up and to the left while leaving the point and bone folder stationary. Repeat this several times, and the card wil be a bit more bendy:
Put strong adhesive down the backside of one long edge, roll your cone and stick it down to the other edge:
I wanted a tassel at the bottom of my cone, so I looked around to see what I could make one out of, and landed on my dollar store holographic icicles:
I trimmed off a small section of the icicles, folded them in half and cut the fold, then folded them in half again and tied that fold with some gold thread (I could've used anything, since it's not gonna show, but I had the gold thread handy). I had to open the bottom of the cone just a bit to get the tassel snugly in there, so you may want to do that before you stick everything down well. Then trim the ends of the icicles, which are now your tassel, even.
Punch small holes on either side of the cone and make a ribbon handle. I fed the ribbon through, then stapled them in place. The staples will be covered in the next step.
I wanted a glittery frill around the top of the cone, so I trimmed a coffee filter like so:
You could use crepe paper, as well, but I had the filters (they are super cheap) and this way I didn't have to worry about sticking the ends together - no seam! Using the needle and thread, sew a running stitch down the center of the strip. I took a tiny stitch at the beginning to hold that end securely when I pulled the other end to gather up the strip. Don't gather it yet, and don't cut the thread.
Working a section at a time, add glue to each edge and dip it in glitter (easier and less mess than pouring glitter on it). Since I had the "basket" part of the filter just sitting there, I dumped my glitter in that for this step. Easy to pour back into the jar after, and no guilt when I threw it away...
Now go find something to do while the glue dries... Make another box, peel the potatoes for dinner, whatever.... Okay - back again! Put a strip of tape around the top of the cone but don't take the liner off yet:
"Dry fit" the frill by pulling the threads to gather it, slide it onto the cone, and adjust the gathers until it's close to fitting (it doesn't have to be exact, just close). Tie off the thread and trim the ends. Remove the liner from the tape and stick the frill down, adjusting as needed for a good fit. Cut a piece of ribbon and adhere it over the gathering stitches, and you're done!
What I'll do different next time: A longer handle and different glue for the glitter, mostly...
I hope you've enjoyed these tutorials, and that you have some fun making your own cones and boxes! The other three ideas will be along in the near future, so check back. Thanks for stopping by!