Super Quick Gifts to Make
Paper Flower Bouquet
No watering necessary with this book-page bouquet. Use a watercolor wash (mix watercolor paint with water) to paint cast-off pages. Let dry. Cut petal shapes from the paper and crinkle to make them more pliable, then straighten. To make a petal, pinch the bottom of the cutout piece to create a curved shape. Glue petals together. Let dry. Roll back the edges to open the bloom. Insert florist¿s wire into the bottom of the bloom for a stem. Secure with glue.
Linen cocktail napkins boost the sophistication factor at any party. No one has to know you crafted them for pennies apiece! Cut pieces of linen to 5x5 inches. Create fringe by pulling threads from each side until the fringe is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, or use scissors to cut fringe. Give as is, or stack and glue several pieces together for added weight.
A plain tea-light holder gets an eclectic makeover with a strip of crumpled paper. Tie a piece of jute around the paper to add contrast and keep it in place. A simple wire looped around the rim and formed into a handle finishes the look. Make these candleholders in multiples for easy and scented gifts.
Decorative Flower Plates
Leafy Picture Frame
Nature's greenery makes for eco-chic art. Use small leaves to stamp a white mat board for a pretty picture frame. Place the leaf vein side up on a piece of scrap paper. Using a sponge, dab it with crafts paint until evenly coated. Flip the leaf over and push it against the mat board for natural stamps.
Artful Reusable Bag
Upgrade a solid-color tote into a fashion statement with a flower pattern applied to image-transfer paper. Iron the image onto a piece of white cotton fabric. Cut out the image, leaving 1/4 inch all around for a seam allowance. Topstitch the sides and bottom of the pocket to the bag.
Tied Together Basket
To make an ordinary square basket gift-worthy, drape two tea towels over the edges. The towels lay across each other, lining the inside. Add a grommet to each corner. Thread ribbon through each grommet, then tie the corners together so the liner fits snugly around the basket.
Give a book or journal serious personality with tea towels. Cut fabric so it's 2 inches taller than the book. Press top and bottom under 1/2 inch, repeat, then sew a 1/2-inch hem. Use scraps to make ties. For each tie, cut two 8x2-inch strips, place right sides together, and sew 1/2-inch hems along the two long sides and one short side. Clip the corners, turn right side out, press, and topstitch the edges. Pin two strips to one short side of the book cover 4 inches from the outside edges; sew. Fold sleeve over the book, then determine the best placement of the matching ties. Fold under raw edges of the ties, and sew in place.
Gather inexpensive supplies--cardstock, photos, photo corners, and ribbon--for this easy-to-make card and frame combo. Cut a sheet of cardstock in half lengthwise, and tape ends together to make one long piece. Fold every 4 inches. Attach photos with photo corners. Punch a hole in the back and thread ribbon through to wrap around the booklet.
Treat Box with Button Garland
A clear flat storage container lined with colorful waxed paper offers the perfect nest for any home-baked treat. String buttons of various sizes, shapes, and colors onto a long piece of heavy waxed thread to make the button garland. Loop the thread through the buttonholes. Wrap the garland several times around the container, and tie the ends into a bow.
Wrapped Gift Jars
Handmade Bath Gifts
To show off bath salts in pretty glass containers, cut a square of cellophane, lay it flat, and sprinkle cut strips of crinkled paper in the middle. Set the bottle in the center of the cellophane and gather the sides. Tie a colored ribbon around the bottle's neck.
Perfect for candy lovers! Dress up a jar of candy with even more candy. Cut decorative paper into a rectangle long enough to cover the jar. Wrap it around the jar and secure with tape hidden between the two ends. Wrap red pull-and-peel candy around the jar over the paper. Tie the candy ends.
Box of Sweets
Purchase a plastic divided box and decorate with scrapbooking supplies. Trim patterned paper to fit the exterior of the lid, and embellish with stickers and painted chipboard. For a nonsugar alternative, fill with scrapbooking supplies or small trinkets.
Give a basic wooden basket a makeover with paint, patterned paper, and a bit of imagination. After painting the piece, trim paper strips to fit the basket and use decoupage medium to adhere and seal. Add a decorative tag and fill the basket with goodies.
Turn a bag of candy into a cupcake look-alike. Fill a sandwich bag with candy and close tightly. Place the bag with the closing down in a colorful plastic cup. Top with a red pom-pom cherry.
Transformed Wine Container
Trimmed Hand Towels
Turn ready-made linen napkins into towels ready for the powder room by trimming them with ribbon. Sew trim to one side by machine or by hand, or iron it on with heavy-duty washable hem tape. Stack a group of towels and tie with ribbon.
Cut a library pocket from double-sided patterned paper. Assemble using a strong adhesive. Embellish the pocket front with coordinating patterned paper and ribbon. Back a clear decorative tag with a cardstock circle. Decorate it with glitter glue and ribbon. Adhere the tag to the front of the pocket using foam dots. Print a greeting on coordinating cardstock. Trim it with a die-cut tab and then insert into the pocket along with a gift card or cash.
Paint a flowerpot and saucer with glossy white paint. Use a foam brush to paint the rims a coordinating color. Fill the container with potting soil and a packet of seeds. Turn the saucer over on top of the pot. Tie together with ribbon, and tuck a trowel in the bow.
Cookies in a Colander
Nestle cookies inside a classic colander, wrap with ribbon, and personalize with a handwritten note on a round tag.
Paper Cone Basket
Cut and fold paper into a cone basket. Cut slits around the top edge of the cone, wind a ribbon length through the slits, and attach a flower with a brad. Create a handle from a length of paper cut with decorative-edge scissors and topped with a length of satin ribbon. The basket is perfect for little treasures, such as flowers, candy, or tins of seeds.
Decorated Treat Jar
Trace around a jar lid on paper; cut out. Glue the paper circle to the lid. Cut a piece of ribbon to fit around the center of the jar, and glue it to the jar. Fill the jar with goodies and finish with an ornament and ribbon attached to the lid if desired.
Purchase a plain mug and adorn with ribbon. For a handmade tea tag, cut a small piece of paper and decorate appropriately. Tie to purchased or homemade tea bags. Tuck in cinnamon sticks for added smell and taste.
Garden Gift Set
Fill a large glass cloche with theme gifts, such as these items for a gardener. Other options could be newborn baby supplies, cards and board games, or spa day necessities. Sticking with the theme, choose a coordinating ribbon. Tie it in a large bow and attach at the top of the cloche. Embellish with a silk flower.
Wine Bottle Bag
A wine caddy can be dressed up or down with a painted design. A sophisticated silk rendition can include hot-glued or stitched seams, pinking-shear edges, and stamped initials and crest. Acrylic paint is brushed onto a stamp and then carefully applied to the fabric.
Decorate a box for a CD by punching occasion-appropriate shapes from colored self-adhesive seals and decorative papers. Stick and glue the shapes to the box. Add a few small jewels for a bit of sparkle. Tie the box closed with a ribbon.
Dress up a mug by gluing a scrapbooking border just below the rim. Set the sugar-cube-filled mug on a small plate and add a tea ball and lidded clear tubes filled with loose-leaf teas. Identify the teas on computer-typed labels.
Hobby Gift Tote
Collect little finds to pull off this great gift. Know a knitter? Pack a roomy tote with yarn, fancy needles, books, patterns, and a jar of funky buttons. For the collector (ironstone, transferware, porcelain, glassware), fill a big bowl or tray with a variety of smaller items. Cushion fragile finds with classic red-and-white tea towels.
Personalized Lunch Box
Packed with personality, a heartwarming cardboard lunch box is ideal for a faraway loved one. Send along a photo with a message. Just cut away the background from a snapshot and glue the image on scrapbook paper sized to fit a plastic photo holder. Attach the photo inside the lunch box and fasten a coordinating luggage tag with the recipient's name and address to the handle.