The holidays are roaring in, folks. Just yesterday, I saw Christmas decorations at the big box. Good Gracious, it’s only mid-September. But it did get me thinking ahead…
I don’t know about you, but I’m not keen on the usual baked goods holiday gifts that usually come from friends and co-workers. I was thinking this year, I would give the gift of Rainbow soap, or Cookie Soap. It’s easy to make, cheap, and it makes the kitchen smell good. It also takes a few weeks to dry before it is recommended for use. That means the soap should be made now in order to be ready for the holidays. So I while I was whipping up batches of soap, I began to wonder how I would deliver it to my friends without using one-time use paper products.
Now, I happen to really enjoy coffee, and as such, I frequently have various sizes of coffee cans to be recycled in a month. I just happened to be on the last bit of my grounds the other day, and decided the can might make a nice gift box, if it were dressed up a bit. I love decoupage; it is a great way to dress something up using a repurposed container and paper that might be hanging around. The choices of paper to use are endless, but for this project I used a book and some wrapping paper.
If you are in the habit of giving gifts, you likely have some remnants of wrapping paper that can be used to give a can an easy new look to an ugly container. Of course, you can get a roll at the Dollar Store, there are a lot of colors, patterns and themes to choose from, but they are shrink wrapped, so that is something to think about.
If you choose to use wrapping paper, or other large paper, simply measure the size needed to cover the container and cut. Wrapping paper usually has a grid printed on the back that makes it easy to cut in a straight line. Any straggly lines can be trimmed with a razor once the project is completely dry.
For a more adventurous experience, try using a picture book; they are usually less than $1 at the Thrift Store. If you are using a picture book, or other paper, cut the size you need to cover the container and decide how the pieces will be arranged on the surface of the container. Another technique is to rip pictures/paper and arrange them on the surface of the container like a collage.
To decoupage a holiday gift box, begin my preparing the surface of your container. Remove as much of the label or other stickers as you can and wipe clean. When the surface has dried, brush a thin layer of white glue on and stick your paper pieces in your preferred design. Once the paper has been adhered to the surface of the container with glue, use more glue to brush the surface of the paper. In this way, you will be gluing both sides of the paper.
Continue gluing, overlapping pieces as necessary, until the surface is covered. You will notice bubbles forming on the surface, under the wet paper, don’t worry; smooth them with your fingers. Expect that some bubbles cannot be smoothed, and more may appear as the glue dries. It is unlikely your dried surface will be completely smooth. Tips to minimize bubbling: smooth with your fingers and use glue sparingly.
It will take overnight for the gift box to dry before it can be packed up. Once it’s dry, it helps to trim up any dried glue and straggly paper edges with an razor blade. The plastic lid of the container can be covered with a bow, if desired. I recommend using a can to deliver gifts like soap or homemade candy. The container will keep it fresh, and the packaging will be an interesting story.
Get the kids involved and have some sticky fun!