I will agree that discussing the environmental impact of trash over the holidays dampens the spirit a bit. However, when you consider that you are not bound to use wrapping paper and other wasteful materials during the holidays, it is a quite liberating and wonderful thing! There are many alternatives to wrapping paper! And many of them provide you with that same feeling of pleasure diving into a present.
This is what Juju thinks about using less paper over the holidays:
She is also very proud of her Rudolph gift box but we'll get onto to that later!
I designed these boxes to be a complete package that can be stored away easily and in small spaces. These boxes are completely collapsible. The ribbon is fully affixed, meaning that next year, you will not need to find the boxes AND the ribbon! They will remain together all year long, tucked away in a narrow space, out of your life until the season strikes again! Of course, they would also work well for birthdays!
So, how is it done? So glad you asked!
* Shipping boxes (as many as you want to make!) Aim for boxes like these below.
*Acrylic paint of your choice. We used pink, white, blue, brown, red, and gold.
*Stamps (You can make some like ours or buy some stamps.)
Find our Bunny template here.
*Ribbon (you will need a considerable amount of ribbon. Look for bulk. You can also use fabric scraps. Sew or glue them together to form a long piece.)
* Foam brushes/ One round
1. Prepare your box by removing as much tape and label as possible. Do not worry if you have torn pieces or little bits of label stuck on. It will be hidden by the paint and the prints.
2. Lay the box flat and put a piece of parchment paper between the top and bottom layers.
3. Paint desired color. Apply thick layers of paint. You may need two layers or more. Repeat on the other side once it has dried.
4. Decide on the print you would like to make! Each of our designs uses a fingerprint to complete the look. I thought it would be fun to pull these out each year and see the tiny fingerprints from the year before. I also wanted to make the process as kid involved as possible.
The designs are:
1. Twigs and berries
2. Twigs, berries and bells
4. Vintage bunnies
5. Dip a piece of evergreen into paint. Slap the piece onto the box, covering it. Repeat on the other side. Use fingertips to apply berries if desired.
6. Stamp on the bells if desired. Use your fingertips to make the clapper portion of the bell.
7. For the bunnies, use this template to make a stamp from foam. Use these instructions for foam stamp making.
8. Apply the bunny stamp in many directions to randomize it. Use your fingertips to apply the bunny tail.
9. For Rudolph, use a round or oval shaped foam brush to apply the face. Use fingertips to apply the nose. Draw on antlers with a Sharpie paint pen.
WAIT FOR THE PAINT TO DRY!
The most difficult part of any project, no doubt.
Now for the ribbon. This part is a bit more complicated. Bear with me!
10. Apply the ribbon. Lay the box completely flat on the table. Measure the height of the box and add two inches. Cut 4 pieces of your desired ribbon to this figured length. Lay the ribbon in the middle of the box corner edges, half on each side of the corner. The intention here is to hid the edges of the cardboard, which sometimes have a rough look. Skip this step if you like the look of the cardboard edges!
11. Note the box has two short flaps and two long flaps on the top and bottom. This is important to note because we will be gluing the ribbon to the box on the side with the long flaps. See diagram below.
12. Repeat on all four corners edges. Glue the other side of the ribbon down but only in the middle portion of the box. Gluing the ribbon in this fashion, allows you to hide the edges AND collapse the box when you are finished for the season.
13. Now apply glue to the inner side of the box on long flap.. Press ribbon end down into the glue. Use an object like a tip of a spoon to avoid burning yourself.
15. Fold over the outer edge of the ribbon to create a point. Apply a small amount of glue to the inner side of this angle. Press down to finish edge.
16. Measure around the entire box beginning at the outer end of one long flap. Multiply this number by 4. This measurement is for the long piece of ribbon that will wrap around the box several times. Measure and cut ribbon to that length.
17. Determine which side of the box you would like to be the bottom. Now find the middle of your long piece of ribbon simply by folding it in half. Glue the ribbon down to the box on the inner side of one long flap leaving half the ribbon unglued and hanging off the edge. This will cover the other long flap edge when the box is tied up.
You did it!
Juju says, WHOOOHOOOO!
Did that feel complicated? It really isn't! Just give it a go! Remember, you will be saving the environment from holiday waste AND saving money AND collaborating with your kiddos! What's more, you will have a beautiful and sentimental keepsake that can remain with you forever.
Fold the short flaps in on the bottom. Using your fingers, tuck the corner ribbon in and fold the long flaps down. Grab the long ribbon. Turn the box over, fill with goodies. Fold the short flaps in and then the long flaps, tuck ribbon into corners. Bring the long ribbon up around the outside and tie in the middle, securing the box closed. Now wrap the long ribbon around the middle of the box, go down under the bottom and come back around to the top. Make a few loops and fluff it up!