Easily craft beautiful hope and joy napkin rings for Christmas dinner with this quick tutorial, and then send free printable nativity cards that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. In this way you may offer the message of abounding hope and joy for the Christmas season.
In order to make the napkin rings, you will need a wired ribbon of 1.5 inch width. Choose any pattern of colors to coordinate with the table linens you plan on using. You will need to cut a 6 inch strip for each ring you plan to make, and then you can use the leftover ribbon for coordinating wreaths or packages. You’ll also need miniature word ornaments or scrapbooking embellishments. (This ribbon was 40% off at Hobby Lobby, as were the adornments which were available in various metals and words.) You can also go a step further by bending wire to form a cursive word… but on this day I was going for a quick and easy 5 minute project!
Place a line of glue along the decorative side of the short end of the ribbon. Slightly overlap that edge over the other, and press firmly for lasting adherence. (Use a silicone finger guard to protect yourself from the heat while pressing.)
Flatten the rings with the seam centered on the underside. Use a glue like E6000 to adhere the metal to the glittered ribbon, as it grips unlike surfaces well. Just use a dot of glue at the center of the word. Let them dry overnight.
My free printable card is a great way to send Christmas blessings celebrating the true meaning of the holiday to everyone on your list. Print out the exact number you need, when you need them, without having to go back to the store for extra boxed sets. It’s much simpler and far less expensive to buy bulk boxes of envelopes for year round use. (Check my arts & crafts webpage or index webpage for my ever-growing selection of free printables… free for noncommercial personal use only!) To print the cards, simply right click on the image above and select print. One page equals one 5×7 card… so choose the number you want to make, and select color and photo quality settings.
Cut along the colorized edge of the rectangle and fold in half. If you really want to make the card shine, spread opalescent glitter glue over the halos and stargazes, and then let them dry overnight before sending. (In person, the dramatic difference is worth the 10 seconds per card.) You can handwrite a line of scripture (like the one below), or use a dollar bin stamp as an easy way to add a special Christmas message of your choice to the inside of each card. (Le fidèLe Designs affiliate store Michaels offers these often.) This is a great project to involve the whole family with an assembly line of printing, cutting, folding, stamping, glittering, and then group signing. You spend less money, and the hand crafted card is appreciated more by the recipient (at least from what I’ve experienced.)
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13 KJV
Why buy a set of bunny ears napkin rings when you can make your own for a fraction of the cost that suits your décor perfectly? This was the thought that sparked one of my cutest projects. 12 feet of 1 inch wide orange burlap ribbon was enough to make 6 rascally rabbit rings for my leaping bunny topiary theme, but many other ribbons would have worked just fine. Hot glue, scissors, and a ruler were the only tools needed to finish the napkin creatures in half an hour. What a perfect project for a spring “crafternoon”!
Each bunny will use about 2 feet of ribbon, so plan accordingly. Note that one inch wide ribbon is the perfect size for this project. Cut 2 lengths of 7 inch strips for each ring… or 12 strips for a half dozen rings.
Cut 2 lengths of 5 inch strips for each set of ears… or 12 strips for a half dozen rings.
Fold each 5 inch strip in half, and press a crease into the folded edge. Lay down a thin strip of hot glue along each vertical side edge, in order to glue the fold into place permanently. (Try using a cool temp hot glue gun to avoid burning your fingers with the hole-filled burlap.) Leave the bottom non-folded edges unglued, forming a tiny sack. At the top folded edge, take the right corner and fold it over toward the center. Then take the top left corner, and fold it over the right one. It will make the top of each ear. Glue the folds into place with a dot of glue, under the left corner and over the right.
With all your ears made, assembly line fashion, get started on attaching them to the rings. Take one of the 7 inch strips and fold it in half to locate its center. Cut centimeter length slits, about a centimeter away from that fold, perpendicular to the fold. (You just made two ear canals.) Fold the bottom open edge of an ear in half, and slip it into a slit opening. You should see about a half centimeter sticking out.
Glue the outside of this protruding portion to the 7 inch ring strip. It should fan outward. Repeat with the other ear, making sure they’re facing the same direction.
Take another 7 in strip of ribbon and glue it to the flat side of the bunny eared strip. The easiest way to begin is by gluing one end and tapping it into place. Continue on until the whole strip is joined. Make sure the ribbons are curved the same direction for a less troublesome experience.
Form the ring by gluing one end of the long strip to the other, by slightly overlapping the edges. (You just made a bunny face.)
Repeat this process until your rabbit warren is complete. (Know that they get easier after making the first one.)
I used sage green cloth napkins with a seam that is actually called a lettuce edge. These folded beautifully into a roll with a top that resembled a small head of lettuce.
With all of the miles of commercially produced wrapping paper that stores seem to stock at every corner… why make your own? Well, it can be made super-fast and super-easy without looking like it! With my simple repurposing trick, you can make handcrafted gift wrap inexpensively in a matter of minutes. It’s really easy to stamp any type of package, paper, tag, card or box… even one that gets addressed and sent in the mail! It looks even more adorable on matching notebooks, craft letters, or any other gift that would accept inking. With stamping, you can match the colors to your décor for a catalog worthy Christmas, and delight loved ones with one-of-a-kind gifts at the same time. And, I don’t know about you, but I really love it when someone has cared enough to make something just for me.
My simple trick to easy and fast polka-dot making (ahem, drumroll please)… bingo markers! The idea was sparked about 15 years ago when someone gave me a few of these because she thought I might want the ink in them. Let me tell you, I made so many spotted cards with them! Everyone was always surprised when I told them what I had used.
You can find them in so many colors. I’ve used pink, green, blue, red, and purple as examples here. They even come in shapes like shamrocks or hearts, but I’m sticking with polka-dots for now because they are just so classic and chic!
You can use any kind of paper for the gift wrap or bags. Glossy paper will leave more of a watercolor look, while matte paper will dry to a solid flat color. Both have their merits. Just know that glossy surfaces take much longer to dry. It’s great to buy neutral colored bags in white or kraft paper color, and then stamp them into personalized colors as needed.
You can match your décors theme, go with traditional colors, or even pick a different color combo for each family member. Pink is my grandmother’s favorite color, so that’s just what she gets!
Blue and pink polka-dots are perfect for gender-neutral baby showers.
The paper I’m showing here is the best I’ve found for wrapping. It’s thick enough to hide the contents well. It won’t tear like the commercial variety in transit or mailing. It dries quickly and evenly so you can make a ton of it and just roll it back up. The tag in the picture has dry ink on pink paper, and it’s sitting atop tan with freshly applied ink.
The roll is really inexpensive for quite a lot, so it fits everyone’s budget. It’s so versatile because you can do anything with it (spray paint it, paint a scene on it, write messages on it, have kiddos draw on it, make gift tags or cards out of it, etc…) What is this amazing product? (Another drumroll please)… rosin paper from a hardware store! It’s actually used in homes during construction. I learned about it from my interior designer mother of course. It’s available in pink, green, white and tan like kraft paper in rolls that will last for years. I even use this stuff for covering the backs of framed artwork. (I’ll do a DIY tutorial for this in the future. It’s really easy and will save you so much money.)
I try to stamp one color in a grid-like pattern, and then follow up in between those with a contrasting color. I have to admit though… sometimes it’s fun to just get stamp-happy all over the place! Do expect this when kiddos are involved. It’s fun to see the creations they come up with.
When making hand-stamped giftwrap for my Etsy store, I make long sections for wrapping purchased goods, and also package making kits complete with tag and twine.
I make my individual sheets much larger (36 x 30 inches) than others typically offer (20 x 30 inches) so as to fit larger packages. Each kit will definitely cover several small boxes.
If you want to make individual wrapping paper sheets for yourself, just use a T-square ruler to measure and mark straight distances before cutting.
Another idea, how fun would it be to have a holiday stamping and wrapping craft party with the gal-pals!
Here are traditional red and green packages for Christmas with added ornament decorations. You can see for yourself the differences between glossy, matte, box, bag, and wrapping paper.
I also used a stamp on them that says, “handmade for you, because you’re worth it,” as it really exemplifies what I’m trying to do… show that I care!
This is an idea for a friend celebrating Hanukkah. I realized I had no appropriate bag decoration for it, so I took a couple of minutes to make one. To make your own, run the matching bingo marker over 6 popsicle sticks to stain them. After they’re dry, hot glue 3 into a triangle. Repeat this with the last three, then glue one triangle on top of the other. Tie on with coordinating twine, yarn, or ribbon.
This would be a great type of Christmas craft for the little ones making ornaments for the family. The bingo markers don’t make a big mess and the ink washes off of skin. Adding a year and a name in permanent marker would make it even more precious.
Here are some birthday gift packages with tiny frames as bag décor.
I went ahead and stamped them ahead of time because I already had everything out, and I’m planning an upcoming green and pink polka-dot theme birthday party. It fit just too perfectly!
Also, I’ve made some critter themed wrap in blue and green. It seems like there is always a little one being born or having a birthday, so I make a point of finding theme items throughout the year for gift baskets. I can always find cute things in ducks, frogs, and ladybugs.
Here are some attempts at making shapes with the bingo markers. I’m sure it probably would have been smarter to practice before doing this on the bag and boxes. Oh well, at least you can get the idea.
The Mickey / Minnie Mouse bag appears to have black ink on it because green ink appears black on the red paper. I also stamped polka dots onto a length of red paper ribbon to demonstrate the endless possibilities of decorating with ink. The green Hungry Caterpillar box just as easily could have featured a blue Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar.
The hearts on the box aren’t great because it isn’t easy to make a V-point with a round stamp. Although I did get better at it by the time I made the leaves for the flowers. Just use a Sharpie to draw in details like arrows or a wavy lined stem. The peppermint candies were made by a foam stamp inked with the bingo marker. I thought it might work, and was delighted to find that it did! I will soon be posting a Winter Candyland Party that this type of stamp is perfect for, but here it’s used for a “sweetheart” gift box.
It’s really great to just stamp the outside of gift boxes, and not worry about wrapping at all! Here I’ve use some Christmas yarn… purchased with a coupon so that it was a fraction of the price of baker’s twine. I have enough quantity to be generous with it without worrying about running out… and it’s just really cute.
The Rudolph decoration was manufactured, but it would be really easy to draw a silly character on poster board in Sharpie markers and glue on a red pom-pom nose. That could be a fun way to get the kids involved as well. Another festive idea is to stamp the outside of a mailing parcel then write the recipient’s address in black Sharpie.
Don’t forget to make tags for your “presies”. I just used several large punches to cut them out of the same paper.
I then stamped them in assembly line fashion… proof positive that quick can be cute!
I used the handmade stamp and candy stamp on some. The star tag was stamped with a foam star and acrylic craft paint. This way you can see the difference between how ink and paint look. Use a Sharpie marker to write messages on any of these as pens just don’t show up well.
As for the gifts themselves, why not make super-quick stocking stuffers with matching polka-dots?
I took boring kraft paper notebooks, and raised the cuteness factor exponentially with a little ink stamping and twine wrapping.
I also added some washi tape to one whose top was peeling slightly. I personalized that one with my name in Sharpie.
There is one thing which will save you some length on twine brands that have a tendency to unravel easily… tie two knots before cutting in between them. I found that the yarn that looks like twine actually unravels less.
Here is a collection of my various colors of notebooks that will be made available at Le fidèLe Designs Etsy store.
Another stamping idea that’s super-easy and fast is making message holiday décor. I bought the only “J” left in 3 stores, so JOY must be popular for the holidays. Really, any letters using different colors can be made year-round. A name would make a terrific personalized gift for a little one’s nursery.
I simply stamped haphazardly with the red and green, because it was more fun that way!
I went ahead and inked the back as well, for versatility. In this way I can set them anywhere, even freestanding in the bar area.
Lastly, I found some holiday charms and bells to tie on with Christmas yarn. It was easy and done in a few minutes.
The best part of all of these projects is that I found people really want to reuse some of the stamped wrap. (I even had one request that I not to write on the tag next time, so that she could send it forward… not the gift, just the bag and tag!) By hand-making your own wrapping, you are not only demonstrating that you really cared enough to go that extra mile, but it’s also beneficial to the environment when others want to continue passing it along. Reusing is even better than recycling! It’s yet another way to give when we are good stewards for His majestic creation.