Friday, September 30, 2011

Christmas Handmade

Christmas! Hard to believe it's almost that time of year again. The kids have been talking about it for weeks, discussing this year's visit to Father Christmas, and pouring over toy catalogues and making their wish lists. I'm a bit over all of the commercialism that goes along with Christmas though. I think when you have young children it's easy to get caught up in all of the toy purchasing, cheap throw-away gift wrap and the focus on receiving. 

Hand crafting your own Christmas gift tags and wrapping paper doesn't have to be difficult. You can still achieve big impact with quick and easy techniques.

For easy gift tags, purchase pre-cut blank tags from any craft or stationery supply store. Or cut your own simple shapes from blank card.  A rectangle with a hole punched in the top will work just fine! For an eco approach, start saving empty cereal boxes, and other packaging, and cut tag shapes from these. A bit of colour and pattern on the reverse from the packaging will give them a unique recycled look.

There are numerous techniques for decorating and embellishing gift tags, cards and wrapping paper, but for ease and style you can't go past a simple clear stamp and an ink pad.  There are loads of clear stamp designs available, to suit everyone's style. And the best ink for these stamps, which was recommended to me by a very good crafty friend, is StazOn. I tried other types of ink and couldn't get any of them to produce a solid image, but StazOn works a treat! And the StazOn Cleaner is awesome for cleaning stamps after you have finished.

For gift wrap, you can use exactly the same technique. Decorate a large sheet of paper with simple images, or try what I have done here and simply decorate a strip of  kraft paper to wrap around a plainly wrapped gift, or a white gift box.

To finish off, wrap Baker's twine around your Christmas gift a few times, and add a quirky Baker's twine pom pom!

Gift tags featured here are available from my shop

Happy (Christmas) crafting!