wrapping paper http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10215/all en-US Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/santa_sane.jpg" alt="Santa&#039;s mugshot" title="Santa&#039;s mugshot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I started this article desperately wanting to coin a new term that combined the words &quot;recession&quot; and &quot;holiday.&quot; Much like &quot;staycation&quot; implies a slightly downshifted and saner vacation, I think we need a word that describes a smarter approach to holiday spending and the crazy expectations that give rise to it. Alas, my linguistic skills have failed me; I&rsquo;ll leave it up to the readers to coin a term that fits the concept best. Meanwhile, how can we get a head start on our holiday festivities and not get caught up in the preholiday madness? Below are some tips for holiday decorating on a budget; they just might help curb the high price of decking the halls and leave a bit more green in your wallet:</p> <h2>Wrapping and Bows</h2> <p>The wrapping and presentation of gifts can be a great chance to challenge your own creativity and engage your kids. Newsprint, road maps, old wallpaper scraps, or rolls of standard brown shipping paper can each be personalized and embellished for a custom gift-wrap look. Swing by your local newspaper &mdash; often they just toss out remaining rolls of paper if the roll won&rsquo;t complete an entire printing. You can sometimes get yards of the stuff for free. I use brown shipping paper and unroll just the right amount for each gift. Then, using a ruler or T-square, I create graphic grid patterns and designs with markers or colored pencil. If you&rsquo;re a stamper or scrapbooker, this is a perfect canvas for leftover supplies and some holiday inspiration. It&rsquo;s customized, durable, reusable, and far less expensive than the big rolls of the glossy holiday-specific stuff.</p> <p>Bows don&rsquo;t need to be satin or silk &mdash; go for a totally organic look by using pinecones as the &quot;bow&quot; on plain brown paper and fasten with raffia or colored twine. Shells, small twigs, sprigs of pine, or family photos can also be used to replace the standard bow.</p> <h2>Gift Tags</h2> <p>I took a few calligraphy classes in college, but with a computer and printer, that skill is no longer a prerequisite for cool gift tags. Use your printer to make customized tags, then embellish with drawn or collaged holiday scenes. Fasten your tags with self-adhesive photo corners or frame them in small vintage frames from a thrift store. Dissect some old holiday cards for colorful and abstract folded gift tags that really pop on plain brown paper or newsprint.</p> <h2>Ornaments</h2> <p>Many of us have heirloom holiday ornaments for the tree, but if you&rsquo;re buying new, the prices can be outlandish. One quick online search put the average price for a dozen glass bulbs at $14. Try a new approach to trimming the tree &mdash; one that uses less cash for decorating and leaves more for merriment.</p> <p>First, choose a color palette for your tree. One or two consistent and repeating colors can help unify all the various ornaments you&rsquo;ll make and give the tree a more intentional look. Next, work with your family to craft ornaments from things around the yard and in the house &mdash; mist natural pinecones lightly with spray paint in your tree&rsquo;s color palette, or weave small twigs together to create stars or snowflake shapes using yarn that fits the color scheme. Wallet-sized school photos can be framed with Popsicle sticks and hung with twine to make a family of ornaments. Those old slotted clothespins can be painted to look like toy soldiers, animals, or other characters.</p> <h2>Garland</h2> <p>Popcorn is a classic here, but let&rsquo;s think outside the popcorn box. Evergreen boughs can be tied together and laced with dried fruit or dried flowers for a natural garland. Old wooden spools, beads from broken necklaces, even small glass ornaments can all be strung together for a unique handmade look. Anything that has a hole to loop through or a surface to weave through can become material for garland. Remember, with any natural tree, safety comes first. Always use properly sized tree stands, keep your tree moist, and use low-heat lights.</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s one thing this recession is teaching us, it&rsquo;s how to do more with less. Challenge yourself and your kids to create memories while you work on projects together. You never know what creative impulse or burst of artistic pride will define this holiday as one of your kids&rsquo; best. Now, back to that elusive new term for our frugal holiday&hellip;any ideas yet?</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating" class="sharethis-link" title="Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-remodel-your-bedroom-without-demolishing-a-thing">7 Ways to Remodel Your Bedroom (Without Demolishing a Thing)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home budget decorating decorating holiday decorations Holidays home decor wrapping paper Mon, 15 Nov 2010 12:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 295324 at http://www.wisebread.com Last Minute Wrapping Paper: 5 Options http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-wrapping-paper-5-options <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/last-minute-wrapping-paper-5-options" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wrappingpaper.jpg" alt="Homemade Wrapping Paper" title="Homemade Wrapping Paper" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been known to wrap presents literally five minutes before the family has planned to open them &mdash; and that means there's no time for a last minute run to the store for a roll of wrapping paper. If you're in the same boat (or you just want to wrap presents with something you already have), don't worry about buying wrapping paper &mdash; you've got a couple of wrapping paper alternatives at home.</p> <h2>1. Drawings</h2> <p>If you've been wondering what to do with the drawings your children produce after you've run out of room on the fridge, consider re-purposing them for packaging. They'll be appreciated far more than what some factory produced. If you've got a box a little bigger than a standard piece of paper will cover, you may need to commission something a little bigger from your young artist. While butcher paper might be ideal, paper bags from the grocery store can work out just as well. Cut the bags apart and turn them inside out &mdash; if you're worried about getting colors to show up, this is an opportunity to break out the glue, glitter, macaroni and other craft stuff your kids enjoy.</p> <h2>2. The Funny Pages</h2> <p>I've been known to hoard the Sunday comics in the weeks leading up to the holidays. They're just as brightly colored as any other wrapping paper, and they're already on hand. And I don't get the feeling that I'm buying pretty papers just for the privilege of tearing them off of a package.</p> <h2>3. Fabric Bags</h2> <p>My grandmother used to sew small draw string bags in the time it would take me to wrap a present. These bags were always festive, and I've been known to reuse them in my gift giving. It's as simple as cutting a rectangle of fabric about twice as long as the gift you want to wrap, preferably in holiday colors, doing a bit of sewing and running yarn through for the strings. There's a great pattern on <a href="http://yarnenvy.blogspot.com/2006/04/how-to-make-my-leetle-bag.html">Yarn Envy</a> if you need a little more detail.</p> <h2>4. Tape, Tin Foil and More</h2> <p>While I'm pretty sure the box I got entirely wrapped in duct tape was a last minute emergency measure, it did have a cute little bow on top made from colored electric tape. That elevated the wrapping job from emergency measure to cute conversation piece. The same goes for the gifts I've seen wrapped in tin foil and construction paper: if you take a moment to personalize the gift, the recipient is more likely to think you're being cute than you were in a rush.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Skip the Wrapping Paper Entirely</h2> <p>The best gift I remember getting as a kid wasn't even wrapped &mdash; my dad got me this kitchen set that he just draped a quilt over. I didn't even care: I was playing with my little kitchen the moment the blanket came off. I think it's perfectly okay to do a minimal wrapping job for some presents, especially if you're working with little kids or oversized gifts.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-wrapping-paper-5-options" class="sharethis-link" title="Last Minute Wrapping Paper: 5 Options" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-wrapping-paper-5-options">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-dreaming-of-a-frugal-christmas-6-things-you-can-make-that-people-on-your-list-will-use-and-w">Dreaming of a Frugal Christmas: 6 Things You Can Make That People on Your List Will Use and Want</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deadweight-loss-of-christmas-economist-explains-why-gifts-are-inefficient">Deadweight loss of Christmas: Economist explains why gifts are inefficient</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-couple-of-morning-links-to-help-you-save-christmas-presents-anyone">A Couple of Morning Links to Help You Save (Christmas Presents, Anyone?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-holiday-gifts-that-arent-worth-the-money">13 Holiday Gifts That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-unwanted-gift-cards-into-cash">How to Turn Unwanted Gift Cards Into Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Shopping Christmas gifts presents wrapping paper Wed, 24 Dec 2008 16:41:39 +0000 Thursday Bram 2678 at http://www.wisebread.com