23 Dec DIY Gift Packaging: Mini Christmas Wreaths
Each Christmas, the ladies in our family give each other gifts. Most of the time they’re handmade. Sometimes they’re store bought. But they’re always thoughtful, and always inexpensive.
We come from an incredibly creative, artistic family. We have photographers, painters, knitters, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs. There is literally no shortage of talent and we usually take any opportunity we can to put our skills to use for each other. Ladies Christmas has become an enduring tradition that all generations are taking part in (the guys tend to be envious… I told Brad that next year we’ll come up with something fun and creative for Dudes Christmas) and it’s always so fun to see what everyone has come up with.
This year, I had a bunch of ideas pinned that I couldn’t decide on until, in the spirit of thriftiness, I threw them all out the window when a coworker gave me his mom’s recipe for homemade hot chocolate. I knew immediately how I would package it, and that’s what I’m sharing today. If you guys are interested in the hot chocolate recipe, I’ll ask if I can share it. It’s so so simple and really delicious and creamy.
So! Here we go. The packaging. I love love love a pretty package (remember bouquet bows?) and I also love mini things. This idea isn’t necessarily new (you can probably find a bunch on Pinterest) but I put my own spin on the mini-wreath and found materials that worked for me.
To make the wreaths and complete the packaging you’ll need:
- Hot glue gun + extra sticks
- Scissors (thanks for my awesome gold shears, Danielley!)
- Sheet of kraft paper or other cardstock cut into strips (must be cardstock, you need it to be stiff)
- Garland forms (Hobby Lobby!)
- Pen or marker
- Resealable coffee bags (these are 1/2 lb)
- Ribbon (I got this awesome velvet ribbon from World Market on sale)
This is what the garland form looks like. I saw a mini boxwood garland online, but it was $15 and by the time I went to order it on Amazon, I couldn’t find it anymore. Just as I thought all hope was lost and I’d have to adjust my idea, I found these garland forms at Hobby Lobby. The wire that you’d use to tie on your garland elements is covered in fake greenery and can easily be pulled off the main wire. The best part? They were exactly the length I needed. I also only needed one wire per wreath. I thought I might have to double up but because of the size of my bags the single strand worked great. The second best part? The whole thing was only $2.50 thanks to Hobby Lobby’s 50% Christmas deals.
To start, make your wreaths. Pull off as many wires as you need from the garland form and straighten them out as best you can. Bring the ends together, and cross them with around 1/4″ on either end. Then twist the ends around on each other to join the loop. After your circle is complete, work out the kinks to get it as round as possible.
Keep track of your wreaths and keep them in a secure bag if you don’t plan to finish this project all at once, especially if you have cats. They seem to think mini wreaths are the perfect toy that you made especially for them. This is, of course, not true. Charlie.
Next, you’ll make the banner. This was the part that I had to trial and error, making sure that my phrases weren’t wider than the wreath itself, and figuring out what handwriting style to use that would best fit the space I had to work with. I practiced a bit to get the feel of writing on such a short space and also determined the width I wanted for my banners. I found that 1/2″ width looked the best. Then I cut the rest of my kraft paper into 1/2″ wide strips.
Instead of cutting each banner to length before writing, I worked on the whole strip and only cut after writing my phrase. I basically left 3/4″ of paper before I began writing my phrase. Then, I cut the strip another 3/4″ after my phrase. That way I could be sure that my phrase would be centered, no matter what.
Stick to phrases that are 2 words or less, and if you’re doing a few different phrases like I did here, make sure they’re all around the same length/character count.
Take your banner and center it on a wreath. Fold each end of the banner so that it’ll hang off either side of the wreath.
Fold the edges back the other way to create depth.
Clip “V” shapes into each side of the banner.
I couldn’t get a picture of this, but the next step is to put a dab of hot glue on the right side of your wreath and stick the right side of your banner to it. Then do the same on the left side. You don’t need much glue and it’s alright if the banner sits a little crooked (at least in my opinion).
Now it’s time to add the ribbon hanger. Starting on the backside of the wreath, add a thin line of hot glue to the top. I always made the top the part where I joined the ends of the wire. That way the bulky part is hidden by the ribbon. Stick the end of your ribbon to the hot glue.
Next, feed the ribbon through the wreath and flip the wreath over. Add another line of glue to the top, and pull the ribbon up so that it’s wrapped around the wreath and held upright by the glue.
Finally, it’s time to attach the mini wreath to the bag. Assuming you’ve already filled the bags with goodies (in this case, hot chocolate), your bags should be sealed up. Hold the mini wreath in front of the bag to measure where you want it to fall, and trim the ribbon so that it’s flush with the top fold of the bag.
Put a dab of hot glue under the fold, then slip the ribbon under and press it down on the glue.
Ta-da! Your bags are complete, and not to mention completely adorable. Bonus pic: Charlie posing with the finished bags, acting like he did all the work.
I just love how easy this packaging came together and how it can be modified for any occasion. Check out your local craft stores for their after Christmas sale items and these bags can be made for super cheap! I think each one breaks down to around $.75 a bag, not including the hot glue guns, pens or paper (because I already had those items).
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your holiday season has been filled with good food, fun projects, and lots of time with family.