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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Christmas Countdown

I am going to start a " Christmas Countdown" post every other week until Thanksgiving. Some of you are probably much younger than I am and time is not whooshing by as rapidly for you as it is for me. School here begins next week, Halloween junk is already out in stores, I will blink twice, close my eyes and it will be Thanksgiving and I will be in a panic trying to get all the work that goes
into Christmas done so I can simply enjoy the holidays. So I started my Christmas prep accidentally last night.

I was cleaning out a drawer in my kitchen and found last years Christmas cards bundled in the bottom of the drawer. I separated photo cards from regular cards and stuck all the photos on my freezer in the laundry room to enjoy for a bit. Then I took all the remaining cards and separated them into 2 piles. Those that could be turned into boxes and those that couldn't. The latter went into the recycling bin and the former went to my work desk (AKA my kitchen table) to become gift boxes for Christmas. I truly did not mean to begin this project at 2 am, but yes I did it anyway.

I tend to have multi presents for each person in the family and I like everything wrapped and bowed and looking pretty under the tree. Many of the presents I give are either freebies or homemade items and a lot of those are very small items. I would never purchase boxes for them so I make them with leftover cards each year. Since I have many gifts on hand, instead of just storing them, I prefer to have them boxed and taped. Amazingly even though they are adults Sons 1, 2, and 3 are not beyond a little snooping. These boxes help with the peeking issue tremendously.






Begin by opening the card so the inside is showing and place it flat on a work surface. Measure and mark a border using a ruler and ball point pen around the four edges of the back of the card (side with the message). You need to press hard while drawing your line as it will create a scored line for the next step. Do this for the inside front of the card but make it about 1/8 inch larger. Now cut the card at the center seam and you will have the beginnings of a box top and box bottom.



You will have to decide how much you measure based on the design of the card. Some are naturally thicker boxes and some are thinner, just because of the card design. If the card has a border on the design I use it as a natural measurement. If not I just wing it, centering the design of the card (maybe) and make it whatever size I need.

When you do your measuring you will have 4 little squares on the corners of each end of the card pieces. Cut up to your measuring line from the bottom end  and down to the measured line from the top end  and it will create 4 small tabs. (The bottom end will be the end the where the card was signed)
If your card has a vertical design the end will be the shorter side, if it is a horizontal design the end will be the longer side (I have used both types in these photos)

The one at the right is a vertical card, and the one below is a horizontal design.





Now begin the actual assembly part. Fold upwards at the pencil lines to create the 4 sides of a box.








Flatten the card and put dots of glue on the four corners of the top and bottom flaps (See illustration with marked glue spots. The glue placement will be the same for either horizontal or vertical card designs, just remember bottom is always the end the where the card is normally signed)
I highly recommend using a glue stick for this.



Now fold the tab inward and press to adhere the two surfaces. Do this on all four corners and you will now have your box bottom. Do the same for the front of the card making sure to fold toward the inside front of the card so the design will be visible on the top of the box.
Trim as necessary to make everything even and enjoy your free box.



I took a picture of a few of the items I have for Christmas gifts, just so you can see what will fit in these. Here you can see a bracelet and necklace set, retractable tape measure, usb powered computer fan, gift card (I want the Levy's gift card!)  and small  wallet. If you look closely you will notice handwritten notes in the box tops of some of these. Since these will only be given to family members who have already seen all the cards, I am not worried about the greetings. If I were making these to give to random people in my realm I would make them from unused cards leftover from last Christmas or would buy a box of cards with a pretty design from the dollar store.







So now I have a few gifts boxed and taped and stored in my gift closet. All these pretty boxes will need is a tag and then they will be ready to go under the tree, which will free up some time that will be badly needed come December.

22 comments:

  1. My three grown children would snoop! I am 70 and older than you, but you cannot imagine how fast things go by as you get older. I love the boxes and have made a few. You really are getting a jump on Christmas. Most people just mean they are shopping not wrapping/boxing. You are so right about the holidays coming on top of each other and zooming into view.

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    1. If I were in court I would swear June and July lasted only about 2 weeks. It seems to me that once school starts (and I have no one in school) the holiday season is almost here.

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  2. That's a very novel way to gift wrap. I actually kept some old cards because I enjoy cutting bits and pieces out of them to make new, original cards. And I was just thinking "goodness, she's already getting started with Christmas", but then I realized I already have about 5 gifts each for both my sons and daughters-in-law. I think it's just a question of having some ideas and then picking up small things that catch your eye isn't it. That way, at least, I enjoy it. If I left it all to the last minute I would hate it. Anna

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    1. I am like that and it is never intentional Christmas buying, but if I am out and I see something someone would like I do buy it.

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  3. Love your creativity. I am a multi-gift giver too. And wrapping is a trial and a torment for me. My recalcitrant hands don't follow instructions at all well.

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  4. I love beautiful packages, but don't like to contribute to all the excessive paper use and prefer to recycle things, as I use up my paper stash (bought from school fundraisers years ago) I am slowly going to reusable fabric wrappings for family gifts. I just have to save the wrapping and tying for lesser arthritic days because somedays the paws just don't function..

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  5. This is funny, Anne, because this morning during our walk I suddenly told Greg "It's August. Christmas is going to be here soon, I need to get started on my shopping!" and he looked at me like I was crazy, despite the fact that I always say the same thing, every year, ha.

    I love the boxes you made, you are so resourceful. If I had any old greeting cards, I'd try it, but we really don't get any of those anymore and if we do, I just pitch them after Christmas unless they're particularly pretty and then I keep them to display them again the following year. My brother from Paris sent me one a couple of years ago that is a skyline of Paris and I love it so it's now part of my Christmas decorations.

    I'm running out of inspiration for Christmas presents, though. This might be the year when we just give cash to everyone so they can buy themselves whatever it is they want or need. It's sad because I always loved having tons of presents under the tree and, with 6 kids at home for a while, we had tons of them. But nowadays everyone either needs cash or wants some expensive electronic gadget.

    I haven't seen the Halloween decorations in the stores yet but they're coming, you're right. Our kids go back to school in less than a week so the Halloween stuff will probably be up by next weekend, I'm sure :(

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  6. I was at Michael's Monday morning and Halloween was everywhere, then I saw the beginnings of Halloween candy on the shelves at CVS. It kind of freaked me out, because it's just the first week of August. We do cash and small gifts at Christmas for our sons, but I have a granddaughter and I get to buy her lots of fun stuff.

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  7. Seems we mostly get photo cards, but I'm not of a mind to see what I have left form odds and ends, and from by gone years. Love them for gift cards. I have a few gifts for my girls, and one of a similar item for all three purchased already. As we are hoping for the big family trip to France next summer, Christmas will be light and practical.

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    1. Light and practical is good. One year we went to Europe right after Christmas and everything was travel related. Nothing says Merry Christmas like TSA approved luggage locks right?

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  8. Some people think I'm crazy, but I've started my Christmas shopping with small things I find on sale. I've made boxes out of cards before. It's not very difficult and they look so cute.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I started as soon as Christmas was done. I even have a couple I wrapped before I put the Chirstmas paper away.

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  9. GMTA! I bought College Boy some Xmas gifties this morning in Pierre SD.....at a gas station convenience store of all places. lol

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    1. A gift with a story__what could be better?

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  10. Definitely not in the Christmas mode here. I hope I can remember this great idea in a couple of months.

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    1. I am not in Christmas mode, but time is whizzing past me and if I wait I will be behind before I ever start.

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  11. Anne, I love your card boxes! What a great idea! I have the cards I received last year, tucked away, somewhere - I shall make a few boxes using them!

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  12. They are great for those small things you want to wrap but have no boxes that will fit. And there is no way I would ever buy tiny boxes!

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  13. These are so cute! I don't usually buy too much at Christmas, we tend to give cash to our adult kids. I have been saving that however, Christmas comes far too soon each year if you are unprepared

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    1. It seems like time is just flying by, and I do know Christmas will be here before I am good and ready for it.

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  14. What a great Idea! I don't know if I can cut a straight line. But I will try.

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    1. I can't so I rely on a ruler and lots of trimming at the end!

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