. . . these are a few of my favorite things! I've had this idea for awhile--I always love in magazines how they'll throw in a few very simply wrapped gifts and it just makes the picture appeal to me more. I thought it would be fun to have a "present display" on a shelf in my hutch for Christmas this year. If this idea appeals to you at all, here's what you need.
1) After finishing a box of cereal, macaroni and cheese, cocoa, etc. save the box and tape it shut. (I originally had plans to use styrofoam but my goodness is that stuff expensive!!!) Instead, I went through my trash . ;o)
2) Purchase some brown craft wrapping paper from Hob.by Lob.by for $2.99 and use your 40% off coupon. Or use some saved brown paper grocery sacks--free. While at the Hob Lob get some craft cinnamon sticks in the Christmas crafting aisle that seem to be 50% each week and some jute twine.
3) Show your kids you are wrapping EMPTY FOOD BOXES, there are NO PRESENTS INSIDE.
4) Wrap the boxes--I used a glue stick to secure mine because I didn't want any tape noticeable.
5) Tie a nice little twine bow around them
6) Scavenge around for a Christmas-y looking garland and discreetly snip off evergreen parts to stick under the twine. Or go into your yard and trim some trees. Add a cinnamon stick. Your present is done.
7) Arranging--the hard part--I seriously messed with this for the last two days because it just didn't "feel" right (I agree, perhaps a bit neurotic for a bunch of fake presents) but anyway, what kept bothering me was the clean, straight lines of the presents and empty space. I kept scavenging around my house for things to tuck around them. First, a red berry garland that I cut into lots of little pieces. Then I added pine cones. Then I took them away. Then I rearranged . . . Finally, I climbed up on the arm of my wing chair--something I tell my kids not to do, and particularly not the smartest idea when you are 8 months pregnant and have a slight balance issue--and grabbed a handful of grapevine garland from atop my armoire. ;o) Then I started shoving bits and pieces of sticks all over the place. I discovered the messy woodsy look made me the most happy. SO glad that crisis was solved! Should have known it needed grapevine . . . ;o)
Anyway, a very cheap and easy project if you have an empty spot somewhere. ;o)