Thursday, January 31, 2013

homemade gift bags with easy hand painted flowers

Today I'm reconnecting with my preschool roots and getting crafty with celery painting. Yes, I said c-e-l-e-r-y p-a-i-n-t-i-n-g. It's not just for four year olds in smocks with paint in their hair.

Lately I've been searching for new ways to cheaply package gifts. 99¢ cards still exist and you can find plain gift bags at the dollar store, but you often sacrifice quality (and prettiness) for the cheap price tag. My frugalish solutions - buy gift boxes and wrapping paper when it's 75% off or more after the holidays, reuse household items such as mason jars for gifts, and buy cheap paper that can be decorated to suit any occasion. This Christmas I bought a ginormous roll of butcher paper for the price of one measly roll of Christmas wrapping paper. Tip: some newspapers offer the end of their newsprint rolls for free. I could have stalked the local newspaper, but I decided my time and gas weren't worth it. Thus putting the semi in semi-frugal life.

Even though I used the paper for all of our wrapped presents during Christmastime, I still haven't made a dent. As awesome as butcher paper is, it doesn't wrap stuffed animals or obscure objects all that I decided to try making my own gift bags. Visit this link to see the homemade gift bag tutorial I used by How About Orange. I measured an old gift bag as the template to make a bigger bag. The purple/green bag is made from a 17.5" x 32.5" rectangle with 10" front panels and 5.75" side panels.
Let's be honest though - an all white bag is borrrriiinnng. It needs some jazzing up. Clearly the next logical choice is to paint with celery! Yes, I have the mind of a preschooler. But in my defense celery painting is super cheap, uses things you probably have lying around (old paints, celery, paint brush), and simple stenciling for those among us who don't have the artist flair.
The bags turned out beautiful, but a few thoughts if you're considering taking the plunge:
  • measure carefully - otherwise, the bag might look cockeyed...ahem 
  • measure the bag dimensions, cut, then paint - you'll be able to control the overall design better
  • if your celery stalk doesn't produce the flower you want - take the stalk apart and work your way from the middle out with the smaller stalks for the middle of the "flower" and bigger stalks for the outer "petals"
  • taking the stalk apart also allows you to create different size flowers
  • don't dip the stalks in the paint (you'll have a glob of paint instead of distinctive petals) - use a paintbrush!
The perfect gift bag for an upcoming Valentine's Day gift, birthday, shower, or Mother's Day! Now get your craft on! I promise it's ok if you get paint in your hair...all the cool people do...

1 comment:

  1. Nice home made gift bags. I like this design.