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DIY holiday project: A card hanger for holiday greeting cards, and homemade gift wrap

December 6, 2009 | 11:00 am

Holiday card holder Earlier this year we asked Jeannine Stein, author of "Re-Bound: Creating Handmade Books From Recycled and Repurposed Materials" (and the Times' fabulous fitness reporter) to come up with a few DIY projects for the holidays. One idea she had was this card hanger that can display dozens of holiday greetings and is easy to put together.

When made with cardstock, the panels are sturdy, and each will hold several cards. Make them in different colors and patterns and hang them up all year to store letters, bills, tickets, coupons and grocery lists. Instructions are below, and to make things even easier, here's a pdf template that you can download to get you going. And for Jewish crafters, here's a template with a Jewish star.


Materials:

Several sheets of legal-size paper
Large sheets of cardstock
Scissors

Craft knife
Strong double-stick tape
Scoring tool (also called a stylus)

Instructions:

  1. Print our template on legal paper
  2. Trace the pattern onto cardstock.
  3. Cut on all solid lines with a scissor or craft knife and score on all dotted lines with a scoring tool.
  4. Cut star shapes with a craft knife, making sure not to cut through at the top and bottom.
  5. Fold the bottom panel up and fold the tabs toward the back, adhering them with double-stick tape. Carefully pop out the star shapes.
  6. Inserting the top tabs into the slits in the back of the panel above it to link them together.

If you want more holiday crafting projects check out Stein's story on DIY giftwrap after the jump.

Jeannine Stein's DIY Gift wrap

You don't have to leave home to create one-of-a-kind gift wrap that will set your packages apart. Turn plain brown grocery bags into stunning wraps using scraps of paper found around the house, some shoe polish and a few simple tools. There's no need to spend $8 or more for a roll of fine wrapping paper when materials are free and right at your fingertips.

Giftwrap_polkadot Project No. 1: Polka-dot scrap wrapping paper

Materials:

Brown paper grocery bags
Scraps of paper from magazines, newspapers, envelopes, sheet music, catalogs, junk mail, maps, etc.
Scissors
Pinking shears (optional)
Glue stick
Strong double-stick tape
Sewing machine and contrasting thread, or needle and thread
Miniature brads or buttons
Pushpin


Instructions

  1. Cut along the seam along the back of a paper grocery bag, then cut out the bottom. This will leave you with a piece of paper about 14 inches by 37 inches. (For a larger piece, overlap two bags and adhere them with strong double-stick tape, or sew them together.) Gently press the seam open with your fingers.
  2. Rough cut circles from different types of paper. Don't try to make them perfect -- the funkier, the better. Cut some circles with pinking shears for a different look.
  3. With the blank side up, smooth out the grocery bag and place the circles along imaginary lines across the paper. When you like the look, secure the circles in place with a small amount of glue stick. After the glue has dried, sew the circles in place with lines of straight stitches. If you don't have a sewing machine, tack down the circles by hand with needle and thread using a simple "X" stitch.
  4. In place of a ribbon flower, cut several circles in incremental sizes. Poke a hole through the center with a pushpin and insert a brad to hold them together, or sew on a button. Adhere the flower to the box with double-stick tape.

Tips and tricks

This is a great project to do with kids, who can help cut out paper circles and glue them down. Older ones can man the sewing machine or do the hand sewing.

Instead of circles, try various shapes, and layer them.

Use fabric scraps instead of, or in addition to, the paper ones. Incorporate photocopies of pictures of the gift recipient.

Use decorative machine embroidery stitches if available, or vary between straight and zigzag stitches.


Project No. 2: Faux leather gift wrap

Giftwrap Materials:

Brown paper grocery bag
Kiwi shoe polish (brown was used for this project)
Makeup sponge
Rubber gloves
Paper towels
Scissors
Gold metallic stamping ink (optional)
Pinking shears (optional)


Instructions

  1. Cut the bag along the back seam with a scissor, then cut out the bottom. This will leave you with a piece of paper about 14 inches by 37 inches.
  2. Crumple the bag with your hands until it is wrinkled all over. Smooth it out with your hands.
  3. With the paper blank side up, use the makeup sponge to smear the paper with the shoe polish. Aim for even coverage, and wear rubber gloves to avoid getting polish on your hands. Work in a well-ventilated area. Wipe the paper with a paper towel to remove any heavy globs of shoe polish.
  4. Allow the paper to air dry. After about an hour or two, the smell will dissipate.
  5. If you desire, lightly brush the top of the paper with the gold metallic ink pad.
  6. Use the paper as is for wrapping or cut it into strips and use as an embellishment. Use pinking shears for a decorative edge. For this project, a strip of this faux leather paper was wrapped around another grocery bag decorated with rubber stamps.

Tip

Because the paper will have a slightly waxy finish, use strong double-stick tape when wrapping.

Photo credit: Card holder, Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times; wrapped boxes, Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times.

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