Sweet & Small Paper Crafted Projects

Studio 5 Contributor Susan Neal shows some ideas for mini-crafts.

1. Ornaments

If you own a Cricut die-machine then you have endless possibilities; cutting adorable little packagers from the Tags, Bags & Boxes cartridge. Simply cut, score, assemble and adhere. Decorate the front and customize with the recipients’ name. the perfect size to fit a gift card and a few extra goodies. Kids love it…it’s like a Christmas tree treasure hunt.

One of my favorite keepsake paper crafted ornaments to make are photo ornaments. Here I used a quickutz frame die, but there are so many die-cutting options, or cut a frame with a trimmer and use scallop decorative scissors to decorate the edge.

2. Party Favors & wee little gifts

There are so many opportunities to share the joy and say ‘thank you’ at Christmas time. Make these ahead of time (makes LOTS) and then LOOK for people and places to share them. Imagine your postal carrier finding one of these goodies when he/she opens your mailbox…SMILE! How about the bank teller you see every week? Going to the dentist or doctor? The school secretary? All those people you may not know very well, but who do, in small ways make your life just a little bit easier. What a sweet, simple way to say thanks.

These same little treasures make lovely little party favors. Line them up on a pretty tray or Christmas dish…and don’t forget, while these are on display during your party they can make eye-catching décor.

3. Stocking stuffers

Ah, there is SO much anticipation in our home with Christmas stockings! It’s probably because the kids are allowed to dig into these BEFORE they wake us up at 7am. Add to the excitement by hiding their little gifts in paper crafted gift boxes. Sometimes those stocking stuffers don’t wrap very well, so I collect little boxes all year long and re-purpose them simply and inexpensively with scrapbooking paper. I usually don’t add a lot of ribbon or bows, because let’s be honest, it’s always a tight squeeze in that stocking! So, make up for the lack of ribbon, by finding especially pretty paper. My particular favorite is finding paper with blocks on it, like this great paper pad by K & Company called Evergreen Specialty Paper Pad.

4. Gift Toppers

Half the fun of giving a gift is making it pretty. Irresistible. Scrumptious. This can be time consuming, but one of the quickest way to add that something *extra* is with a little treat. It doesn’t have to be much, but is always appreciated. I like to keep some paper crafted tags, some cellophane bags and some goodies on hand for a quick gift box topper.

You can also use the photo ornament I showed you earlier as a custom photo tag OR any of the small party favors make great gift toppers as well.

5. Neighbor gifts

One of the best things about moving to Utah 13 years ago was neighbor gifts. I can still hear the doorbell ringing those first few weeks of December, the kids would run to the door to see what neighborly elves brought them. Sometimes an ornament or other little Christmas décor, maybe a poem or Christmas story, and of course, the goodies! It’s such a lovely tradition.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task, keep it simple. Make something you can do blindfolded. Maybe it’s caramel corn, or something store bought, either way, it’s amazing how special it becomes when it’s dressed up with paper! The craft stores this season are filled with all sorts of containers (wood, glass, paper mache) that can be easily wrapped with decorative paper. The more ornate it is, the less you have to add. Or keep the paper simple and add some Christmas pick pieces for some bling.

P.S. Here’s the recipe for the Spicy Pear Jam, it is SO good! http://sueneal.blogspot.com/2008/11/foodie-yummy-stuff.html

We love to make our neighbor gifts a family affair. We all take part in the planning, making and delivery. Such great memories! So plan on a night and depending on the age of the children, you may want to some prep work. Have fun!

For more ideas, visit Sue’s website, www.sueneal.blogspot.com

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