Coworker Christmas Gifts 2017

Someone I’ve managed to start a tradition of baking cookies and making paper gifts to give to the people who work in my department every Christmas. In the past, I’ve made cookie boxes, pretty tags and little jar-topper villages (like these). This year I kept it pretty simple, baking up 7 kinds of cookies with my mom (!!) and making a paper ornament to go along with each cookie jar.

3d ornaments close up

I made about 11 of these little ornaments, the shape of which I learned from one of my incredibly smart co-workers is called an icosahedron! He’s been reading a book on recreational math, nbd.

Hanging ornaments

I made these using the 3D circle ornament die from Altenew and lots of colored card stock from the scrap heap I have in my craft room! I die cut, and die cut, and die cut those little circles out for what seemed like forever, and scored, and scored, and scored and then glued, and glued, and glued!

3D Christmas ornaments

I ended up using Glossy Accents glue to glue them all together-this worked the best for me because it’s a super strong adhesive and also dries quickly enough that I could keep my assembly line moving at a good clip (but at the same time gave me a few moments to move the paper around to line everything up before the glue was totally dry). Basically, I prefer a liquid glue for this, instead of double sided tape or tape runner. But user beware: by the time I was finished my fingers were COVERED in glue!

Christmas ornaments on cookie jars

I made all of these ornaments in the smaller size. I might make a few in the larger size, if I’m feeling ambitious.

3D ornaments

I used fishing line on each ornament to give them something to hang by. I just made sure to glue the fishing line string into the top half of the ornament before I sealed everything up. Despite how complex the end result looks, these are pretty easy to put together once you get the hang of it – and Altenew gives easy instructions to follow. Although, I did put in a lot of hours making these! It was relatively slow going.

I added each ornament to my little mason cookie jars and packed them up! They looked so cute and colorful all packaged up and ready to head to work.

3D ornaments

Now to start thinking about what I’m going to make next year….!

3D cChristmas Ornaments
Happy Holidays!


Cards, DIY

Christmas Cookie Boxes!

Christmas gift goodie boxes

Every year I bake cookies and package them up to give to my staff as holiday gifts. Each year the packaging changes and is something handmade by me! This year, I made a bunch of gift boxes to deliver the cookies in. The gift box is assembled using the Mama Elephant Gable Box die and some double sided tape. Before I could assemble them, though, I had to stamp some patterns on them and color them up!

Poinsettia goodie boxes
Some boxes were cut from white card stock and others from craft card stock. Some had poinsettias and others had pine cones. I stamped most of them with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, but others I stamped with VersaMark ink and white heat-embossed the images. I then used either copics or colored pencils to do my coloring.

Pinecone goodie boxes

While I was finishing up coloring all of the boxes, I had to bake some cookies to go inside! This year I made four different kinds:

Christmas cookies

After I’d finished coloring all of the boxes, I cut widows in one side of them, using the same die set. Some had simple scalloped circle windows while others had a more ornate window that I gave a little dimension to by layering it on top of some fun foam. I then added some vellum behind the window. I thought about using clear acetate, but I used some Press’n Seal to line the insides of the boxes so they wouldn’t get dirty or greasy on the outside, so a clear window would have been obscured anyway.
Christmas gift goodie boxes

Then it was time to start adding my mini gift tags – more about those here.

Christmas gift goodie boxes

Christmas gift goodie boxes

In addition to the stamped and colored boxes, I also made some solid color boxes, just to change it up a bit. I wanted these solid boxes to be just as fancy as the others, so I added my jazzed-up mini tags onto those boxes.

Christmas gift goodie boxes

I managed to fit about 6-ish cookies into each of the boxes. It generally went like this: One snowball, one chocolate chip, 4 holiday bites and several pieces of toffee, broken up. Sometimes I’d add an extra snowball, if there was room.

Christmas gift goodie boxes

I really love how they turned out, and I had a lot of fun making them!

Christmas gift goodie boxes

Christmas gift goodie boxes

Happy Holidays!


Cards, DIY

Mini Christmas Gift Tags

Sharing a short and sweet post about these itty-bitty gift tags I created to go along with some gift boxes I’ve been making!
Mini messages Christmas gift tags

To create the tags I first used some tiny tag dies that I got from Simon Says Stamp, which I don’t think are available anymore. These are similar. I cut the tags from white and craft card stock and stamped various sentiments from my Mama Elephant Mini Messages stamp set in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I decided the tags looked a bit too plain on their own, so I cut some more tags from red and green paper, and then offset the colored paper behind the stamped pieces and stuck them together with some double sided tape. I then ran some twine through the tags to finish them up.

Wplus9 woodland basics die cuts

I decided I wanted to jazz up a few of the tags even more, so I took out my Woodland Basics dies and cut several shapes from some different colors of cardstock. Some of the die cuts were way to big for me to use on my tags, but the smaller dies turned out to be the right size. The above photo isn’t great, but I wanted you to be able to see some of the die cuts! This is a really great stand-alone die set. I especially love the pine needles!

Mini messages Christmas tag

So, I added some sprigs and berries here and there until I ended up with something I was happy with, gluing each piece onto the front or back of the tag as I went along. I only did this on a few tags but I really love how they turned out.

Mama Elephant mini messages on Christmas gift tags

Don’t forget to check back for tomorrow’s post to see how the tags look when I put them on the goodie boxes!


Cards, DIY

Christmas Tags + Goodie Bags

This year, I made lots and lots of gift tags. I used the gift tags for little goodie bags that I gave out to everyone in my department at work. It was a lot of work, but I had a lot of fun making the tags and assembling the bags. And, I imagine that the gift tag recipients might even re-purpose the tags as Christmas tree ornaments – two gifts in one.

Christmas Gift Tags

Joy To The World Gift Tag

I started off making some [what I like to call] graphic cards, with various stamps and die cuts, and then switched over to using watercolors for a totally different look. I didn’t want any two tags to look exactly the same, which can be kind of tedious when you’re making 12+ tags…I love to make my life difficult.

Watercolor Christmas Gift Tags

Water Colored Gift Tags

Then, I decided to use distress inks on the tags, for lots of color, and a different effect (and here begin the iphone photos). After stamping various backgrounds and sentiments with several stamp sets (here, here, here and here), I heat embossed them using versamark ink and clear embossing powder, and used a mini ink blending tool to apply distress ink all over the card. The embossing resisted the ink to create a colorful background while retaining the crisp white image made with the stamps.

Stamped and Distress Ink Christmas Tags

I had fun experimenting with all of the different techniques, but tried to keep them all pretty similar by using the deer silhouettes as the focal point throughout. After die cutting the bucks, I embossed most of them with Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing powder.   I also put together a few other tags using snowflake dies, and wrote the names of the recipient on the backs of the cards. Then it was time to assemble the goodie bags.

Goodie Bag Assembly

I slipped some cookies (Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Chip and Jingle Bell Bites), a candy cane and a gift card into each bag, and added some tissue paper for decoration. I tied the cookie bags with baker’s twine, and used jute twine to tie on the tags. These goodie bags are similar to the cookie boxes I assembled two years ago.

Christmas Goodie Bags

I used leftover tags (because I may have gotten carried away) to adorn some of the wrapped gifts I’ll be giving to friends and family.

wrapped gifts

Is anyone else adding a handmade touch to their gifts this year? Christmas just keeps getting more and more commercialized and I hate feeling like I’ve spent the holiday season at the mall. To me, making these homemade tags and little goodie bags is so much more satisfying. Although, next year I think I’ll start making the tags in July… :)

Happy gift-giving!