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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Turn Winter Bills into Holiday Thrills

The Cap'n and I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and for voting- so far it seems like Juneau may be winning, but I have a secret sneaky feeling that a tropical destination could still pull ahead!  Anyhow, keep voting, and we'll let you know what really develops.  

In the meantime here are a couple of projects I've posted a bit about before, but now you can have a more in-depth look at getting rid of dreaded bills by crafting them out of your life!!
With the holidays ramping up and the temperatures dropping off, the bills are bound to begin piling up around your house.  To defeat those winter bills blues think outside the box by using the bills themselves (ok, their fabulous textured envelopes) to spread some holiday cheer!  Here are two projects to take you from down and out to in the holiday spirit.
Winter Windowflakes
The interior patterns of security envelopes abound with perfect patterns for snowflake-style décor.  
Step 1: Gather a few of the white and blue interiors of envelopes, a circle punch, floss, and some small white circle stickers (the kind you use for pricing items at garage sales).
Step 2: Punch a bunch of circles out of the envelopes so you have a stack of white and blue circle snowflakes.  Pull out a long length of dental floss and lay it along your work surface.
Step 3: Slip your snowflake circles under the floss at 1” intervals with the blue side down. 
Step 4: Use a circle sticker to attach each snowflake onto the string.
 Now hang your winter window strings anywhere the house could use a little lift.  Drape them on a holiday tree for a touch of winter snow.  Swag them around the bedroom windows so each room gets spruced up.
 Alt. versions:  Cut the circle stickers out of the equation by stringing the cut envelope circles directly onto the floss.  Using a needle and the floss as the “thread”, simply punch the needles through the circles one at a time.  Or, instead of using a circle punch, cut your own snowflake patterns from the envelopes and string them on the same way. 
 Creative Gift-Card Holders
If you’re the kind of gift-giver who knows that gift-cards would be more appreciated than another holiday hat, why not enrobe that plastic card in a handmade recycled outfit.
Step 1: Arm yourself with a sewing machine, a few envelopes, scissors and some red and green thread.
Step 2: Cut two rectangles of envelope slightly larger than your gift card.
Step 3: Flip the rectangles so the blue wintery side is out and align them together.  Sew three of the edges together with a 1/8” seam allowance using red or green thread.  This may dull your sewing needle so make sure to change the needle before your next project.
Step 4: Cut a small triangular notch out of the open end of the holder to easily access the card. Use the circle punch from the first project if you have it handy.  Trim your thread ends.
Simply slip in your gift card and pop it under (or on) the tree! 
Alt. versions:  Create a gift-topping card the same way, but sew up all four sides so the recipient gets to tear entirely through (because everyone loves those rippy sounds).  For another kind of wrap job, use this same principal but go bigger.  Take some pages from a holiday magazine spread and sew up the three sides.  Insert a small gift, and sew or tape up the forth side. 
Recycled wrapping, cards, and décor ease up the holiday budget and use up the holiday bills to make holidays merrier and the future just a tad bit brighter.

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