Sunday, November 30, 2008

DIY Wrapping Paper

I hate buying something that will only get thrown away. But I feel that gift wrapping is an absolute must. I hate getting a gift that isn't wrapped. It feels more like they're pawning off stuff they have and don't want. Add that to the fact that anything remotely affordable rips before you get it off the roll...this year I'm making my own. gift wrap.

I have an overabundance of paper bags. I use them to corral the recycling, but I seem to buy more groceries than I I brought out the stamps and made my own gift wrap.


Paper grocery bags: 1 wraps about a shirt box plus a ring box



Stamp ink

Preparing the bags:

Cut down one side and around the bottom on three sides so it unfolds and lays flat. Turn it over so the inside of the bag is facing you. )The inside of the bag becomes the outside of the paper)


Next, gather your stamps and stamp the bag at random intervals to make your gift wrap.

I used one appropriate color for each stamp. Green wreaths, red candy canes. For the light bulb stamps I used four colors and evenly distributed them through the paper.

The lay flat and let the papers dry, then wrap like normal. I use twine to tie it and leftover bag bits for name tags.

  • If you cut it right you can leave the bag handle on and wrap it so it's on the top and use that as the gift tag.
  • Color code or stamp code your presents so you don't need gifts tags: Red candy canes for mom, green trees for dad, multi colored lights for the kid, gold stars for grandpa, blue stars for grandma...
  • Make sets of grocery bag gift wrap for your green friends as frugal gift.
  • Use this tutorial to make gift bows from leftover bag bits.
  • Don't over saturate the stamp or else it will look clumpy
  • Don't have stamps? Use markers to write a message appropriate for the gift occasion. You your best handwriting.
Total time: Less than a Lunch Hour (Less than 30 minutes for 5 bags)
total cost: FREE (I had all the supplies on hand. A stamp pad can be had for $1 or 2 and foam stamps sell for as low as $0.39 each.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome To Life Prettified!

Picture created with the help of the NGA Collage Maker.

Welcome to my new project. I have become so sick of shoddily made, cheap plastic stuff hawked at a price far more than it's worth. I've decided to refurbish, buy and create pretty things that make me smile when I see them, when I use them, and even when I give them away.

I got to this point because I've got too much mass market crapola shoved in my face each day . Not only is the stuff just plain ugly, but it always seems to break. I bought an expensive perfume a while back and it came in this cheesy plastic bottle. I'm paying over $40 a ounce and the bottle looks like I dug it out of the dollar bin! The first time the hair gel cascaded out of the medicine cabinet and hit it, the sprayer part broke off making it unusable. Thank you Gucci.

It only gets worse around the holidays when the habit to spend and splurge is practically mandated by the media guy and your friends and family.

So I'm going to ask one question whenever I go to buy something: Do I love it? If I do then great. If not I must find an alternative. I might take that so-so object and prettify it to make it grand, find something else all together, or make do without until until I find something that meets my needs.

If you are as sick of the ugly cheap bits of plastic they try to sell you every time you go to the store, please join me in this quest to surround myself with objects that beautify and endure.