By Christina VanGinkel
With the holidays coming up fast, making a few simple gifts for those unexpected guests is somewhat of a tradition around my house. With paper crafting (scrapbooking and card making) tops on my list of favorite hobbies, I often turn to my paper crafting supplies for both ideas and materials.
This year, I am making bookmarks, tucked into a variety of books that I picked up at our local dollar store. The books include a few books for children, a couple of titles that would be appropriate for a woman, and even a couple of titles that are more fitting for a man or teenager who is sports oriented. I am also going to make a supply of decorative and fun, candy bar wrappers that will fit a standard sized chocolate bar.
As to the bookmarks, they are crafted from cardstock and an assortment of embellishments, then are laminated to give them wear and tear value and to provide that special finishing touch.
To start, trace an existing bookmark onto cardstock. Repeat for as many bookmarks as you are going to make. If you have a graphics program on your computer, check to see if it has a bookmark pattern if you plan to make quite a few. Print directly onto the cardstock you plan to use from your printer. Cut out all of your blanks once they are traced or printed.
I plan to give these to both kids and adults, so I chose embellishments fitting for a wide age range and along a variety of themes. Do keep your embellishments to those that are as flat as possible. You can use markers, stickers, brads, eyelets, ribbon, dried flowers, just about any embellishment that you might ordinarily use in card making or scrapbooking. Laminate each bookmark when it is finished, then top them off by using a paper punch to make a hole at the top of each and run a length of ribbon through. If you happen to be a beader on top of enjoying paper crafts and have spare beads you would like to use up, slip a few in coordinating colors onto the ribbon for some added bling. Place each in a book that would appeal to the age or genre of the bookmark, and keep in a basket for quick and easy gift giving when you suddenly find yourself in need of a last minute gift.
Holiday Candy Wrappers
These are quite simple to make, yet they are the perfect gift for those unexpected times you need a quick but unique gift during the holidays. These candy wrappers are also fun to tuck into gift baskets and stockings for those extras that are always nice to include.
You will need a standard sized chocolate candy bar to use as your pattern. Carefully unwrap and use the wrapper for your pattern. Trace onto holiday themed or plain colored paper that you can decorate. Once you have your pattern, cut out, and decorate as simply or as lavishly as you would like. You can also buy ready-made patterns that you can print directly from your computer and printer. I came across several very seasonal patters at an online store that I frequent for lettering that I use when scrapbooking. You can check them out at Lettering Delights online. You will need to pay a small fee for each pattern (when I checked, each cost just one dollar, or five dollars for the Christmas Candy Bar Wrapper Bundle), then download them, and print (they come in the easy to use .pdf format which requires the free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader). Trim each before wrapping around a pre-made candy bar and run a small amount of non-toxic glue along the back of each to adhere.
To find all of the holiday patterns they have available, just put the words candy bar in their on site search box and you will be provided with a long list to choose from, including:
Christmas Candy Bar Wrapper Bundle
Season's Greetings Reindeer Candy Bar Wrapper
Merry Christmouse Candy Bar Wrapper
Ho Ho Ho Candy Bar Wrapper
Hark the Herald Candy Bar Wrapper
Happy Holiday to Moo Candy Bar Wrapper
Friends are Flakes Candy Bar Wrapper
You will also need a colored printer to fully appreciate these designs, but the results are fun to use and everyone you give a gaily-wrapped candy bar to will love the very thoughtful gift!