Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun Christmas Gifts

We aren't really doing gifts for Christmas this year, but I love to give gifts so I kept it really cheap and made a few things. Most of my money went on pictures and paper.

I took the origami box I made from the instructions here and modified it to have a few less folds. It is also bigger, about 4 inches tall. Here is a website with a list of many different origami boxes, baskets and containers. The box could be done with children so if you run a daycare or need an activity to do with your kids you could do this with them. You might want to use regular Elmer's glue because the glue I used dries quickly and there is little time for repositioning, not that you need to reposition anything.

For friends and family I made an origami box with a cat shaped origami bookmark and a photo I took with an adhesive magnet on the back to make it a refrigerator magnet. I was also able to slide a wallet size picture inside a small magnet made for holding a picture, but since I only had four of the magnets I had to get cheaper and buy flat magnets with adhesive backing. Here are some pictures of the box I made. I used scrapbooking paper that was thick so the boxes could hold up to a little handling and so they would look nice. First, you fold a square piece of paper in three like a business letter
Unfold it and do it again on the opposite side so you have 9 squares.

Then fold the four corners to the edges of the closest creases. I like to keep the corners a little further back from the creases so when the box is assembled the edges look better.

Then you want to fold the corners in like this

When you have all the corners folded in like the second picture you need to glue them down. Here is a picture of the glue I used (in case you're visual)

Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive - I love this stuff because it doesn't string and as it says in the name, it dries quickly so I can work faster.

I glue two sides of a corner so the outside of the box will look like a box when I'm done and I did the inside like a pinwheel, but I could have glued two corners on one side. It all depends on the look you want.

As I glue each corner down I use a tooth pick to get the stuff that comes out and I reuse it on the next corner.

Here is the box:

I don't have a paper slicer yet, but if you do you could cut off a couple millimeters on all four sides so you can have a top and bottom.

And here are a couple things I did for my friends that I put in the boxes (and these are the two boxes I constructed today for my fiance's parents)

I bought next year's calendar (Ocean themed) and scanned the days and the mini pictures that are the same size as each day's box. I went to google and searched "this day in history" and found some websites that have the birthday of famous people so I was able to type a different person that each of my friends share a birthday with. I inserted the picture that corresponds with the month and inserted each day, resized them so they would be small, but not too small to read the text, set my printer to print well for the pictures, printed them on card stock, and cut them out. The cutting would have been easier if I had a paper slicer, but I don't.

Then I copied/scanned a card that was mailed to me as a post card, cropped it, and glued it to the calendar date and image as seen at the bottom in the next picture. I also placed adhesive magnets on back at the top and bottom.

You can also see the two origami cat bookmarks. I bought a cool multicolored string (DMC) to use as the tail. I punched holes and set eyelets so the string wouldn't break the bookmark. I also glued down all of the folds so the bookmark wouldn't come apart. Here is a link to the origami cat bookmark. It's in spanish and since I don't know spanish I followed the pictures and it worked for me.

The next picture shows the gist of everything I did for my friends. I bought scrapbook refill pages, decorated one side with pictures of pets each person owns (and scrapbooking paper, brads, stickers, stamps, and anything else I felt like decorating with) slid the whole thing back into the plastic sheath, and I put colored book rings through the holes and a piece of cardboard that came with the refill pack and voila. The picture in the bottom left corner is a picture of my oldest cat enjoying the sun coming through one of our windows. The picture right above it is of the shadows of my fiance and myself at Laumier Sculpture Park. I don't have extremely wide hips, I just have a couple of bags with me. :) The scrapbook picture above that are pictures of my fiance's mom's cat. In her box I used a gold embossing stamp color and placed four gold paw prints on the bottom. Between the boxes is a picture of her cat slid into one of those photo magnets...

I didn't make anything christmasy so that they can be used all year 'round. Obviously these gifts could be made for any occasion and the possibilities are endless. Have fun!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!