Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Greening Up Your Holidays

With the economic pinch forcing families to rethink their Holiday spending, consider the traditional route when it comes to gift-giving!

Crafty Cards
You can make a thoughtful, heart-filled statement making your own Holiday cards! You can buy blank note cards or folded cards and pair it up with scrapbook backgrounds and scrap paper. Here's a great hint: Holiday scrapbooking packs. They have stickers and patterned papers that are already color coordinated. For extra eco-friendliness: collect Holiday paper packaging from stores and simply reuse them.

Sweetness!
Baked goods make an easy Holiday treat, and can be a great present in itself. Many stores sell Holiday-themed tin boxes that you can easily line with wax paper and fill with baked goods. For extra eco-friendliness: Purchase a tin box from a thrift store or reuse one from last year.

Sewing is Not Just for Housewives
If you took home economics in middle or high school, chances are that you can sew. You don't have be so advanced that you can make an elaborate outfit. Anything retangular will make a great beginner's project; like pillows, bags, and even knit skirts. For you more advanced sewers, reconstructed clothing revitalizes worn and old clothing into something completely new. For extra eco-friendliness: Use an old sheet or old clothes to reconstruct into something new. You can make a patchwork quilt, new scarf, or even a shawl.

Needlework Fun
The younger, crafting generation has taken needlework by storm! The beautiful think about knitting and crocheting is that they are extremely versatile; from toys to clothing to household decorations. You might want to rethink your grandma's old blanket and put a modern twist to it. Scarves make a great beginner's project and if you want to up the coolness factor, consider making a snake scarf, or scarf of toasts, or other neat things. If you like miniature, cute things, consider the Japanese art of amigurumi. For extra eco-friendliness: Look for yarn at thrift stores on clearance, or pull apart an old sweater for yarn.

Paper Goods
The scrapbooking boom has made it easier to make personalized, thoughtful scrapbooks for friends as well as family. Consider making a genealogy scrapbook or even a framed page for grandparents. You can also purchase a $1 paper box, wooden trinket box, or dish from a craft store and embelish it with patterned paper. In most cases, a clear veneer of shellac can be used to seal the paper in to give your items a nice, glossy finish. For extra eco-friendliness: Collect paper from grocery stores, recycling bins, magazine clippings, and more.

Hand-Painted on Glass or Ceramics
You can create beautiful designs with simple dots or diamonds on dinnerware. You don't need to know how to paint landscapes in order to make a great piece. After creating your piece, consider its use. If you painted a glass vase, present it with fresh local flowers. If you painted a glass dish, present it with treats or a savory food. For extra eco-friendliness: Purchase glass or ceramic dinnerware from the thirftstore.

Whatever you choose to do this Holiday season, consider these budget-saving ideas and have a little fun while doing it!

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