About two days after ordering my new sofa, I discovered that I had no business doing such a thing. Faced with state budget cuts, my wonderful boss had a choice to either lay off one third of her staff or to cut pay by 10% across the board and reduce the amount she contributes to the cost of our health coverage. She chose door #2. Sooooo, maybe I shouldn’t have just spent $500 on a couch, but I had saved up for it and the deed was done anyway, so no use crying over lovely white sofas already on their way to my door. I did decide, though, that I would try to make my Christmas more cost-effective.
One of the ways I minimized stress and spending last year was by avoiding wrapping paper like…I don’t know, I don’t have a simile here. I used brown craft paper instead and put my energy into adorning each box with a pretty bow. My biggest expense, though, was ribbon, and it did add up. So this year I decided I would only use things I already have. I’ve got some ribbon left over from last year, but I’ll be getting creative in what else I use to pretty up my boxes. Here’s my first endeavor in crafting something pretty out of crap I already had lying around:
I present to you, the wax paper pouf.
Sorry I didn’t take a more glamorous picture of it. I probably should have stuck it on a fake box or something to give you some context. If you can’t tell, it’s about the size of my fist and just purrrfect for adding charm to a brown paper package tied up with string. I added the cat reference there because it would also make a lovely cat toy. Here’s how I made it. First, I gathered my supplies. Wax paper, string, amd scissors. You could use wire instead of string, but the string was handy so I just went with it.
Roll out two roughly square pieces of wax paper.
Cut them each in half.
And in half again, giving you a stack of eight small squares. I had to trim mine a little bit to get it looking more square-ish. No biggie.
Stack your squares neatly and then begin folding them all up together like an accordion.
Then, trim the ends to the shape you desire. You can make them rounded for a softer look, or pointed for something a little more funky. I went with rounded edges.
Tie a bit of string, or twist a bit of wire, around the middle. No need to squish.
With your wire or string holding it all together in the center, start spreading out your folds.
This is the most important part. Carefully peel up one layer of paper on each side. Do a really good job of pulling it up nice and straight because you don’t want the dividing line to be obvious later.
Don’t follow my example here. I should have done a better job of pulling them up all the way, because I had to do some squishing later to camouflage the center.
Then, just keep pulling up layers. I knew I’d be using this on a gift so I kept the back flat, but if you think you might want to make a garland or hang them in the air be sure to distribute your fluffiness evenly all around.
And finally, ta-da! My completed pouf. Took only a few minutes and zero dollars.
There’s a bit of string sticking out the back side that I could tie some fishing line to and hang it up, if I so desired. Or, I could use a needle to thread a bunch on a piece of thread to make a garland. Lots of possibilities here!
Since I’ll be using this on a gift, I’ll probably just stick it on there with a bit of hot glue. And speaking of hot glue, I’ve always struggled with getting tape to adhere well to craft paper in the past, so I’m thinking I may use hot glue this year instead. More money saved, since I have a giant bag of hot glue sticks in my crafting stash and I always have to run out to get tape at the beginning of the holiday season.
I made like five of these in thirty minutes while watching TV. I’ve got a ton more ideas for decorating boxes with stuff I’ve already got, so I’m really excited to see how it all turns out. I’ll probably make more poufs like this out of book pages and tissue paper. I wonder if it would even work with scrap pieces of fabric?