I know I promised a gift-guide, but I'm hoping to have it finished by Monday.
In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple more DIY ideas I love to do around Christmas...
#1 Put your tree up at Thanksgiving.
I know this seems absurdly early, but make it a family event. When Thanksgiving dinner is over and everyone is sitting around, have everyone partake in decorating. Also, time slips away so fast between Thanksgiving and Christmas and you won't have to stress about having time to get the tree up...plus you will have more time to enjoy it...I call this a win-win-win!
#2 Make your tree look full with flowers
I like my tree to look classic and full. I do this by using only white lights, and gold and silver balls. I then add all of our family ornaments which are in wide variety of colors. Then when every ornament is hung in the right spot, I take large bunches of fake poinsettias (in red, gold and white) that I usually by at Michael's, I cut them into single flowers (keeping the long stem on each), and I fill the empty spots around my tree. The large flowers fill in the holes well, them stems make it easy to slide into the tree, and it makes any tree look absolutely beautiful!
Ideas for Creative Gift Wrapping
My favorite time of the holiday is when I buy that perfect gift for someone and come home and wrap it especially for them. I take great pride in my wrapping, and I am pretty much looking for good paper and adornments year round. Here are some of my tips:
#1 Always buy interesting paper
I never buy the standard red/gold, or green/red with Merry Christmas on it. I look for more interesting paper everywhere...from Michael's and the Container Store to Target and the Dollar Store. Solid colors are always great because you can dress them up modernly, and I love interesting patterns such as plaids and stripes.
It also doesn't have to be wrapping paper...some every day papers might be personal and special...such as the comics or music sheets. If you wanted to go with a natural look, pick up some inexpensive burlap at a fabric store or simple craft paper.
You can also make your own paper on the computer. Simply print out special sayings, words, or even photos onto lightweight paper.
I love the idea of using photo strips (you can make these on the computer too) to wrap your gifts, or just use as gift tags...the possibilities are endless!
Every holiday I start with a trip to the Dollar Store. They have fabulous ribbon and adornments. I buy everything from tree ornaments, and dried cranberry flowers, to cinnamon sticks and door knob bells for the tops of my gifts. Ornaments and door knob bells are super easy to use since they already have the hanger...and at $1 a pop they are cheaper than anything you will find at Michaels!
I love to make my gifts look as over-the-top as possible. If you are working with a striped paper, don't be afraid to wrap a large plaid bow on it. I love the mix of patterns, colors, textures...everything really works--you'll be surprised.
Additional DIY Gifts
#1 Photo Books on Blurb--these are the perfect gift for anyone on your list. I love the idea of making baby books for your parents or a honeymoon book for your husband/wife.
Check out the blurb wedding books I did for my parents and in-laws here!
#2 Subway Signs - Has a person on your list traveled a lot? Make a subway sign (check out where I did it here) and get it printed at Kinkos...instead of modpodging it onto wood like I did--find a beautiful frame that is already matted and slide your Kinko's print right in. It will look 100% personal and professional!
#3 Enlarged Baby Photos - When I was dating my now husband, I never knew what to get my future-in-laws. My mother-in-law has tons of amazingly cute photos of my husband and his twin brothers when they were little. I found one perfect photo of my mother-in-law on a plane with my husband when he was about 3; and one photo of my father-in-law sitting on a bench with the three boys and their golden retriever...I had them blown up at Kinko's and framed to match. It was such a personal gift. I made sure the frames went with their decor, and they hung them in their bedroom...success!