Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I’m really excited about how well this turned out!

Finished product hung on the tree

Click here to see the complete tutorial @ Penny Couture Crafts!


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I just got back from a quick trip to Target, and saw that the Christmas stuff was already pretty picked over. Retailers expected 2009 to be a lackluster year of sales and unfortunately ordered accordingly.

There only had a few small trees left, and it was only $10, so…  I now own a 32″ fiber optic tree. I just assembled it to make sure nothing is missing, then repackaged it for next year. I was planning to spend a little more for a bigger, traditional tree, so the little guy seemed like a good purchase, especially since the fiber optics eliminated the need for strands of lights. I wonder how energy costs compare, though.

A couple of little glass birds, purchased for 50 cents on clearance last year.

It’s interesting to see that there are Christmas items not in the seasonal department. I stopped by mensware and found a display, but then decided that buying xbox360 boxers for AT would probably just be a waste of money. Lose-lose situation: either he wouldn’t use them, or I’d end up hating them. Just can’t win sometimes.

That was the only Christmas item I bought since it was the only thing that had specifications besides being cheap. I asked the very sweet checker if she knew when clearance would increase to 75% off, but she didn’t.

Things I’m still looking for: wine glasses, fabric, ribbon, non-Christmas knick-nacks & decorating supplies, etc.

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After-Christmas clearance is quite possibly my favorite shopping event of the season. I always find a lot better bargains hunting through mismatched shelves than during other massive sales events like Black Friday.

It’s always a bit of a surprise to see what a retailer such as Target considers to be Christmas gift items — I always keep my eyes out for specially packaged makeup, jewelry boxes, etc. Snowflakes are usually a good clue.

While the 26th of December is hyped as a huge sales day, I think it’s worth waiting until the closeout discounts start. There’s nothing that I’ll be devastated if I don’t get, so why not wait ;)

Things I’m planning to buy–

  • Artificial Christmas Tree — while there’s no law requiring it, I’d really like to have one in my apartment. Probably wait for 75% off for this one.
  • Lights and ornaments — for use, see above.
  • Tissue paper — in white so that it is not seasonal. Planning to use this to wrap gifts and play with some photography lighting ideas.
  • Gift bags, gift wrap — Snowman, holly and santas will still be in season next year, so it’s a great time to stock up on wrapping paper and other supplies at a steep discount.
  • Crafting materials — ribbon and richly colored fabrics are often on clearance. I’ve gone as far as to buy table cloths at 90% off for sewing projects. This goes under the only-buy-it-if-you’ll-really-use-it category, though.
  • Gifts — I’m really looking for things like picture frames and sweaters that will be just as good next year. (AT*’s birthday is coming up, too!) I look for things like a mirrored frames that will always be stylish.
  • Ornaments for repurposings — At $0.25 cents apiece, I bought some small gold frames that were meant to be used as ornaments, then stuck prom photos in them for a wall display. At the very least, I thought it was cute :)
  • Candy — I’m thinking about chocolates wrapped in red foil for valentine’s day, or candy canes to crush and decorate a cake. Yum!

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Christmas always generates a ton of trash — pretty packaging, not to mention the containers the items always come in.

What do you do after presents are unwrapped?

At my house, we traditionally toss bows back into a bag to reuse (double stick tape does wonders), but have thrown away the wrapping paper. This year, I saved the somewhat wrinkled and tattered pieces, and came up with some ideas to reuse, saving money and Mother Earth:

  • Use a shredder to create long “ribbons” of paper that could be used to fill a gift bag next year. You could store this in a plastic container to have an interesting alternative to tissue paper. This would also be pretty good for filler when mailing packages.
  • Make envelopes out of the paper.  Take an envelope that you like the size/shape of, then get the glued edges slightly wet. As the glue dissolves, carefully unfold the envelope to create a “template” to cut the wrapping paper, then fold & reglue in an envelope shape. If you’d like to mail you’re envelope, glue a plain white label to the front of the envelope on which you can write the address. You could probably line the envelopes with more wrapping paper, too.
    If you need a card to stick in,  you could always use  card stock — or card stock and more wrapping paper!
  • Decoupage a shoebox with scraps of wrapping paper. For this one, I envision cutting out characters/pictures (Santa, candy canes, Frosty, etc), then adding multiple layers of the paper cutouts sealed with a mixture of non-washable glue and water, applied with a foam brush.
  • Make mini wrapped-present ornaments. You could use cardboard from a cereal box to make a solid base, then cover with a small piece of the used wrapping paper (lightly iron if too wrinkly?). I’m going to try this to start my own ornament collection :) Watch for a tutorial later this week!

I’m really excited to finish these ideas. Be warned, some projects, like paper mache, might not work as well with wrapping paper due to its high gloss and  low absorbency.

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Merry Christmas!

To those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a lovely Friday to everyone else!

Custom-make package tags of Rosebud-- actually, free photo cards cut in half! See Rosebud's cameo appearance in the photo's upper right-hand corner?

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