A home made Christmas - Cards & Wrapping
Brown paper packages tied up with string!
There was a time when everything was bought from a high street shop and presents wrapped in garish shiny paper topped with pre made tinsel bows, but not anymore. Brown paper packages tied up with string are now the mainstay of our house. Our Christmas tree is decorated with wooden teddy bears, popcorn strings, chillies and pine cones amongst other hand made (looking) decorations. I’ll admit, most are bought but we always add our own hand made touch and so we like our gifts to match and complete the whole home made effect.
A good quality brown paper can be bought from the post office but don’t buy their string. Pale thin string from stationers/post offices just doesn’t look right and so we get ours at the garden centre for a more rustic and deeper brown finish. The tags are made from a thick grade, but not card, pale brown or fawn paper. If you can, try and tonally match your brown wrapping paper with your tag paper. As for the tags themselves, I cut them like old fashioned luggage labels and then use my stamp set, this can be time consuming but the end effect is worth it, to write Christmas messages on one side and to and from on the other – the recipients name and mine is then hand written. I tend to lay out all the labels for one person, load the stamp and the print the first letter on all the tags, then the next letter and the next. Once you build up a rhythm the process gets quicker. Don’t worry about stamp edges printing through or your lettering being rod straight, rustic is what I go for and the odd mistake or slightly wonky letter just adds to the effect. Finally I use chillies tied in a bunch in lieu of a bow, fresh work brilliantly but dried look great too.
I don’t know about you but I tend to spend a fortune on cards. I try and find Christmas cards that will be unique but it’s impossible – unless you make your own. I am a big fan of stamp sets and my collection is steadily growing. The Range have a fantastic selection from everything to letter sets to phrases and Christmas scenes. I bought a pack of 50 plain cream pre folded card and envelopes for around £10, and we have just let our imagination do the rest combining stamps and ink colour. Tying coloured raffia around the spine with a neat bow adds a splash of colour and a lovely finish. It can be messy, keep some kitchen towel and wet wipes on hand and keep checking your fingers before you pick up a new card – we’ve lost a lot of card to finger smudges. Beware the curious cat, disaster was averted when I caught Roxy eyeing up the dining table where the cards were drying just before she jumped up! This is a lovely way of sending a totally unique card that can also be personalised. You can also use your stamp set to make decorations for your home, my favourite is my 'Twas the night before Christmas' poem stamped onto hand made paper and hung in my loo for a festive read!
Buying the stamps, inks, paper card and glues can be expensive but remember most of it will see you through year after year with careful storage and you’ll just have to top up a few items. Start now, in the Autumn and do a little each day, that way you will have finished before you know and will still have time to enjoy the festive season with the satisfying feeling of being prepared and relaxed and even a little smug about hand making your own Christmas.
Merry Christmas and Happy crafting!