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Frugal Holiday Embellishments

I was so excited to hear that so many of you enjoyed the article for Thanksgiving that I thought I might plant a few frugal seeds for the coming Christmas holiday.

Our family enjoys gifting our neighbors, friends and acquaintances with homemade treats and I always like to have a handmade tag or container for them. I was informed recently that a few of my friends keep them from year to year for inspiration so I thought I would share some quick and inexpensive ideas with you.

As artists, we have collections of supplies in our stash and pantry that can be magically turned into heirlooms but seem to think we have to spend lots of time making them “fabulous”. With limited funds and TIME this year, let’s go back to the basics and see how creative we really can be. Our local craft stores have marked down their crafting supplies so I did make a quick run over there to see if they had something new I might just add to my collection without spending a lot. I spent $7 on some packages of foam Christmas stickers and a couple of wooden ornaments, but wanted to use my stash of craft paper, jars, Woodsies™ and paint. If you are not familiar with the Woodsies™ line, you need to get a package of various shapes for your stash because they are such a great basic start.

I painted some of the woodsies, covered them with left over scrap paper or glitter and used my Fine Line Painting Pen to add lines, dots and embellishments. The fun stickers added another whole dimension. If you are super pressed for time, spread on some glue and glitter or stick on a sticker and add a name with the Fine Line Pen and call it good!

For my family, I started a tradition years ago making ornaments that they could keep from year to year. Last year, however, I decided that instead of spending money on sticker tags, I would create an ornament/tag that would suit both purposes. This year, I found plain wooden ornaments that had the design already on them (in black) so I was able to paint them with one coat of paint and fill in the design. I got so into the painting that I added a few dots and a little shading/highlighting, but as you can see by the 2011 ornament in the picture, even keeping them simple makes them wonderful! I stretched my laziness to a new level by creating the inside lettering on my computer . This would work well if you added it to a present for an associate or friend who might want to regift it to someone later. (Spread the joy, I always say!!)

The little tinsel roses were wrapped in a circle with painted Woodsies™ in the center will be used for a bow on the packages. (I reused some tinsel that fell off my garland!)

I thought about how much time it would take to fight the traffic, lines, etc and decided to take out my brown craft paper, compressed sponges, and Spongit™ paint applicators and created my own simple wrapping paper. I kept the color scheme in red and white to avoid a lot of mess, but I have a friend who is totally into “glitz” and I could not resist making her a glitter star with wrapping paper to match.

I used a simple star shape cut out of a compressed sponge for my star design, but you could make any shape easily by tracing to the sponge, cutting out and then dampening in water to make it grow.

My hubby makes a million batches of his famous party mix for his work buddies and our neighbors so I jazzed up some Ball™ Jars with a simple ribbon in the center and added embellishments around them. I personalized them with painted Woodsies™. For the lids and tags, I changed the look by adding painted balls to the top.

Hubby’s party mix is delish but I think it somehow tastes even better when it is presented in a fancy jar!

When I bring the candy cane jar to my doctor’s office this year, they can share the fun by refilling the jar next year! Don’t you just love how cute the repurposed tin looks with the stack of painted Woodsies™ on the top?

In our area, school is getting out next week and I see lots of opportunities for you to share these fun ideas with the kids in your lives and make a lasting memory without spending a lot of cash or time. These could even make a great teacher’s gift!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, filled with simple creative moments.


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