Get Crafty: Woodland-themed gift tags and wrapping paper
The craft opportunities in December are endless - cards, wreaths, baubles, crackers, table centrepieces and oh so many more. Although after writing that, I, Rachel, am wondering why we don't add more handmade touches to our homes all year round. Why do we save all the magic for Christmas?
I can understand why in the summer months when the weather is finally warm enough for families to spend evenings outdoors. But surely from January through March, days are dreary and children are bored. The smell of oranges slowly baking in an oven would definitely cheer up a dull day and painting pretty pots to dot along a dining table would occupy little ones whose wellies are too tiny to paddle through the inevitable downpours.
Shall we make a pact to get our craft on post-December, too? Let's not see December 31st as the end to making things for yet another year. While this might be the last craft tutorial on Make A Happy Home for 2018, I promise to come up with many more for 2019. Are you in?
Until then, what I have I got for you today? Well, how about gift wrap and tags based on the stunning Woodland collection? While not specifically for Christmas, the use of green, gold and red paint adds a wonderfully festive touch. The parcels look perfect sitting under a Christmas tree.
So, what do you need?
AIR DRYING CLAY GIFT TAGS
Well, while you can rustle up some salt dough with salt, flour and water, I prefer to use air drying clay - it's reasonably priced and easy for children to roll and cut. It dries overnight and is then perfect for painting. The leaves are made using children's cookie cutters - great for craft projects AND for baking. Don't forget to make a hole to push the thread through your gift tags - a straw, a pencil or even an old biro are all great sizes for doing this. You could even go one step further and stamp names on your tags using letter stamps (before the clay dries, obviously).
POTATO PRINTED GIFT WRAP
To get the leaf prints on the paper (plain brown craft paper cut to the size of your gift), it's all down to the humble potato. If you research potato printing, you'll come across all sorts of weird, wonderful and sometimes complex methods. Young children don't need complex though, do they?
The quickest/easiest method is to simply cut through the widest part of the potato to create slices approximately 1cm thick, or thinner than your cutters so that they push right through the potato. Cut out the shape using your cutters and then wipe off any excess starch with a piece kitchen roll. Use a small fork to pick up the shape, dip it in the paint and then dab it on the paper. Simple! Don't feel the need to add more paint after every dab; the leaves look so nice when they're not completely uniform.
FINISH WITH A FESTIVE FLOURISH
Finally, all you need to do is wrap the present, pop on the tag, add a final flourish and give it to your chosen recipient. Your handmade woodland gift wrap and tags ... or your children's, if you choose to let them get involved (sometimes I like to keep these crafts to myself, but don't tell anyone).
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