I love Christmas. I love the music, the decorations, the snow, the warmth, the family time, the snacks, the movies, the lights. If joy were to take a tangible form, it would be Christmas. What I don’t like, however, is how it has come to be a holiday filled with more stuff, overspending and greed. This is sillyness.
On average in the United States, we throw away 25% more garbage between Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day (barf). Why is this? Because our holidays are being taken over by endless shopping, blowout sales and 2 AM clearance prices which amounts to mounds and pounds of stuff covered in packaging that gets thrown away almost instantly. Not only that, but for Christmas we have to wrap our 90%-off-box-of-whatever in paper and bows made out of non-recyclable, unsustainable materials that serve the sole purpose of being ripped off and tossed in the trash.
What if there was another way? What if you wrapped your presents in materials you already have found throughout your house? Newspapers, magazines, paper bags, maps, envelopes, cloth, craft paper, etc. All of these can be easily and creatively made into wrapping paper suitable for the Christmas morning ‘rip and snort’ (as my dad would say) present opening extravaganza.
But what about the ribbons and bows and tags and glitter? Well, first of all, no one likes glitter. Secondly, as for the bows, prepare to have your mind blown at how simple it is to make the coolest and cheapest gift bows of all time. Kids, husbands, the “not so crafty”, the elderly and even those people who don’t like chocolate can make these bows. So let’s get to it!
Step 1: Choose your page!
Find a magazine, newspaper, book or map from around your house to work with. Choose the page that has the color theme you want to go with. Want an all green bow? Find a page with mostly green. Going for a bright white? Lots of opportunity there! Pick the page that best fits your theme for each gift.
Step 2: Cut into strips.
Using scissors or a paper cutter, cut your page into the following dimensions:
3 strips: 10 1/2″ X 3/4″
3 strips: 9 1/2″ X 3/4″
2 strips: 8 1/2 ” X 3/4″
1 strip: 3 1/2″ X 3/4″
(notice my strips aren’t perfectly cut. Don’t sweat it, this is supposed to be fun and easy).
Step 3: Make each strip into loops.
Create a loop on both sides, forming a figure 8 shape. Secure with a piece of tape or a staple in the middle. Do this with the 10 1/2″, 9 1/2″ and 8 1/2″ strips. Make the 3 1/2″ strip into a single loop and secure with tape.
Your strips should all look like this when you’re done. Nice job. You’ve successfully done 90% of a craft. You are no longer “not a crafty person.”
Step 4: Layer the loops to form a star.
Starting with the longest loops (10 1/2″), layer them on top of one another forming a star pattern. Secure each piece with a loop of tape underneath.
Step 5: Continue layering.
Layer the next size of loops (9 1/2″) in a star pattern that’s slightly off line with the bottom layer.
Step 6: Layer with the final loops.
Layer the final strips onto the bow and place the small loop in the center. Secure all layers with loops of tape or a staple. Drum roll……You’re done! Bring out the bubbly and chocolate covered strawberries it’s celebration time!
Congratulations, you’ve successfully made a beautiful Christmas bow out of a freakin’ magazine! This is a great craft project for kids and helps you easily get rid of those holiday catalogues they won’t stop sending you.
Need a few more Christmas decorations? I use these bows around the house to add some more Christmas charm.
Reuse these bows year after year or recycle them if they get damaged during rapid Christmas present opening. Your family and friends will be jealous so get ready for a lot of affirmation and possibly an eye roll from your competitive cousin.
Now go put on your favorite Christmas movie and start jotting down your DIY Christmas gift ideas! Merry Christmas!