For years I have admired the decorator trees featured in magazines and on TV around this time of year. But decorator trees with small children around just seem out of reach. Not to mention the expense (I would rather spend money on gifts than decorations) of new decorations every year if you want to match the trends.
I gave up on having a decorator tree, and we happily put up a family tree covered in sentimental ornaments that the kids have lovingly crafted over the years and my favorite keepsake ornaments documenting events large and small.
But I never gave up on the decorator quality gift-wrap. Having beautifully wrapped matchy-matchy gifts under the tree for a month; that, I felt, was achievable. Someday. And Lawsy-Mercy, my day has come!
It all started with the discovery that Lowes sells kraft paper (unfortunately mislabeled “contractor paper”) in 140 foot rolls. It was $11. Oh, my heart sang as I imagined the possibilities! All the presents would match under the tree! At Hobby Lobby I was able to find 5 yard rolls of lovely Christmas colored cording to wrap around the gifts. The joy! Not to mention that with the careful application of appropriate stamps the paper could be customized for any occasion – as I was reminded by my very frugal 9-year old.
And at Pottery Barn, there were these lovely monogrammed gift tags with glitter. But, they were at the Pottery Barn. So, I just couldn’t do it. The price was just too much for something that would be trashed with the wrapping paper on Christmas morning. As I stood there examining the cuteness, I realized that it was something that I could duplicate with relative ease, and on the cheap.
And because it is the season of giving, I am sharing my technique here.
It all starts with chipboard – and in the spirit of recycling I used an empty cereal box.
I cut two sizes of circles from the chipboard – 1-1/2″ and 2″ – because that was the size of the tools I had on hand. I used the Creative Memories Circle Punch and Custom Cutting System. Yours can be bigger or smaller – just use what you already have!
Once I developed a decent stack of chipboard circles I opened Photoshop (but any word processing program would work) and started playing with fonts. I settled on Times New Roman for the monogram tags. These will be for my kids only, because they are the only ones who do not share an initial with anyone else. For every other tag I chose DB Circles – Tis the Season, but you can use anything you want. Monograms for everyone, your last initial, any doodled font or even pictures or clipart.
Size these to the size of your smaller circle. For the larger circle make up some “To/From” tags.
I printed the circles to cardstock. I added mine along the edges of my 6″x6″ December Daily pages to eliminate paper waste.
I punched these out (or cut them for the 2″ circles).
Then, using tacky glue – again, because that’s what I had on hand – I glued the monogram/snowflake circles to the 1-1/2″ chipboard circles and the “To/From” circles to the 2″ chipboard circles. I glued the cardstock to the printed side of the cereal box chipboard to eliminate the possibility of any garish colors showing on the finished project.
The edges of the cardstock will roll up if you are using a wet glue product. That’s okay. You can also use a taperunner or any other kind of scrapbook adhesive for a faster craft.
To help the circles dry flat I placed them between two pieces of wax paper and placed a heavy book on top to hold them flat while they dried.
Then, I applied tacky glue to the 1-1/2″ circle and glued it to the center of the back of the 2″ circle. Again place between the wax paper and set a heavy book on top. Allow to dry for several hours.
When the circles have dried together use a 1/4″ hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the 2″ chipboard circle.
Place glue along the “rim” of the 2″ circle and shake on some glitter.
Set aside on wax paper to dry.
Thread with a sparkly thread (or ribbon, or whatever you have!) and tie to your gift.
Voila! A custom gift tag, made by you!
This is an easy project that can be used in many ways. Use larger circles and pictures on one side, dates on the other for custom picture tree ornaments. Make smaller ones as ornaments for a tabletop tree. Use appropriate clip art to make decorations for a Jesse Tree. The possibilities are endless!