Thrifty Christmas

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Paper Candy Canes

12/23/2013 9:00 am · 0 comments

by Tami

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Paper Candy Canes

Looking for a craft to do with the Kids while they are out for Christmas break?  These are great for keeping them busy, and then use them to decorate the house for the holidays when they are done!  I found the original idea here, and then let my kids get creative and make the stripes any way they wanted.  It ended up keeping 2 ten year old girls busy for over an hour!  Not bad for such a thrifty craft!

What you will need:

Paper (printer paper is fine)

markers and/or pens



Pencil or straw

Begin by cutting a regular sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper into a square.  If you haven’t done that before, you fold it into a triangle and trim off the left over rectangle.  Unfold to reveal a square.  Now that you have that done, begin your pattern.  If doing it with kids I would encourage something under the paper to prevent them from writing on your table.  Begin making large letter “L” shapes to cover your paper like this:

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Create this pattern 5-6 times.  Once you have done that flip your paper over so that the pattern is face down.  Take the end that doesn’t have the pattern and begin to roll around a pencil or a straw.  Once you have rolled it a few times, take the pencil or straw out, but continue to roll the paper.

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Once your paper is rolled into a tube shape, secure it shut with a small piece of tape.  (Should be in the middle where my thumb is in the photo)

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Trim the ends so that they are flat.  Take one end and roll it around a fat marker to create the cane portion.  This will flatten your paper, but will give it a nice cane shape.

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There you have it!  Create several and make a nice garland.  Hang a few from the Christmas tree.  Add some to a jar for a festive center piece.  So many possibilities for supplies that you have around the house!

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Gift of nothing~ Christmas gag gift, #Christmas, #gaggift, #joke, #gift, #thriftygifts, #thriftyChristmas

Gift of “Nothing”~ Christmas Gag Gift

I don’t know about you, but my husband is impossible to shop for!  Every year when I ask what he wants it is the same answer.  ”Nothing.”  The worst part is that he is serious!  It is like trying to pull teeth to get ideas from him!  Granted, I can usually come up with something that he will like or needs, but 12 years of “nothing” he has earned a little good natured  pay back!  This year I am going to make him think he is actually getting nothing!  I am sure it will be a let down, because I doubt I will get a reaction out of him.  More then likely he will probably thank me for finally listening! ;)  My husband is fun loving and silly so I know there will be no hard feelings.  If you can’t say the same about the person you want to pull this off on, it may not be a good idea!  It is Christmas after all.

I think we all have that someone on our list that always tells us “nothing”.  And whether they really mean it or just don’t want us to spend the money on them, it is time for us to get them what they ask for! *Disclaimer: I would really not recommend you not get your spouse or loved one “nothing” unless you are looking forward to a Christmas full of awkward silence and possibly sleeping on the sofa.

So here is a nice note, feel free to copy it for your own use!  I forgot to save it other then the photo I took of it, but if you were to open it in a free photo program (like Picasa or PicMonkey) you should be able to crop it and cut it out.  Sorry!

I am going to wrap mine up with a few rocks to really throw him off.  The key to making this work is making sure that any sign of other gifts is hidden.  You don’t want to leave the real gift under the tree.  Maybe even wait a while to give them the real thing (if you can pull it off that long!).

Good luck pulling off this Christmas prank!

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reindeer noses, easy Christmas craft, #Christmascraft, #Christmas, #reindeer, #santa, #Christmassnacks, #thriftygifts, #thriftycrafts, #wintercrafts, #winter, #rudolph,

Reindeer Noses~ Easy Christmas Craft

I’m not sure how Rudolph and his buddies would feel about their noses being considered food… but I am thinking these would be so cute to hand out to my kids’ classes at their school Christmas party!

What you will need:

Whoppers chocolate candy

Red jaw breakers or Atomic fireballs

Snack size Ziploc bags

Christmas card stock

White printer paper






To begin, the size of the Ziploc snack bags are 6 1/2 x 3 1/4.  You will want your card stock to be 6 1/2 inches wide so that it fits together seamlessly.

You can do a plain rectangle, or cut out in a design.  This is the shape I used for my base.   If you are going to cut it in a shape you will want to make sure it is symmetrical (so it can be folded in half and be the same on both sides).

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Find a cute reindeer clip art that is free to use.  I used my Silhouette machine to do my creating in.  It was, by far, the best gift I have ever received and I use it almost daily.  If you are someone that crafts a lot, I would highly recommend you consider getting one.  They are amazing.  If you know a crafter and are looking for a great Christmas gift, you can’t go wrong with one of the Silhouette machines!  They have two sizes here and here.   Okay, sorry about that.  I absolutely love my Silhouette and get a little excited when I start talking about it!

On with the tutorial.

If you don’t have a program to create in, there is no need for expensive products, just make it in Microsoft Publisher, or a similar program.  Just be sure that you are putting your clip art and text in with plenty of room to cut around.   It would also be cute if you made a finger print reindeer, and simply wrote “reindeer noses” next to it.  That would be a super cute way to get the kids involved too!  Remember, this is going to be folded in half also, so don’t put your design right in the middle!

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Cut the same shape as your base card stock around your words and clip art.  Glue that on to the card stock base.  Fill your snack bag up with whoppers.  I used one for each of Santa’s reindeer excluding Rudolph.  (Just in case you aren’t sure that would be it is 8.)  Throw in a red jaw breaker or an atomic fire ball for Rudolph’s nose.  Seal the baggie and staple your label on to the top of your baggie.  You want to cover the closure so it looks nice and pretty.

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There you have it!  A craft you can hand to the kid’s school class, use as party favors or keep by the door for those unexpected carolers!

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Santa wrapping-Easy gift wrapping for mailing, #giftwrap, #gift, #wrappingpaper, #santa, #Christmas, #thriftyChristmas, #creativewrapping, #diy,

Santa Wrapping~ Easy Gift Wrapping 

I have a big family.  A lot of siblings.  Unfortunately,  about half of us don’t live near by.  This is a bummer because I would love to see them all the time, but it also makes it hard at Christmas time.  We have a sibling gift exchange, and half the time this requires shipping gifts.  I could just do gift cards, but this year the kids are still pretty little and its just not as fun to open a gift card when you are little!  Then you run into the problem of how to wrap it.  I hate not putting a bow on, but if you do add a bow it just ends up getting squished and misshapen!

Problem solved!  Not only does this cute method for wrapping work great for mailing gifts, but now you can save your self the cost and the hassle of bows on your gifts at home too!

You will need:

A gift ;)

Solid red wrapping paper

Black ribbon

Silver duck tape

Scissors (to cut your supplies)


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 May I suggest that you don’t be hypnotized by the pretty sparkles of this glitter paper?  It is gorgeous, yes.  Practical, not so much.  Tape does not stick to it.  At all.  It comes with some little strips of sticky putty, but not enough to last for a whole roll.  I would stick with some regular texture of wrapping paper.

Begin by cutting your wrapping paper and wrapping your gift just as you normally would.  When you get done, take your black ribbon and measure the width of your gift.  Cut it off, tape it to the back of your gift.  Cut a rectangle of silver duck tape, the size will depend on the size of your gift.  A small gift will not need a very large belt buckle. Place the rectangle of duck tape in the center of your black ribbon.  This will be your belt.  That’s it!  Now you have an adorably wrapped gift that the receiver is sure to love!

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Snowman toilet paper Christmas card, #thrifty, #neighborgift, #gaggift, #funnygift, #christmascard, #snowman, #snowmancraft, #toiletpaper, #Christmas

Snowman Toilet paper Christmas “Card”~ Thrifty Neighbor Gift

Looking for something thrifty, different, and fun to give your neighbors this year?  Or something to leave the mailman, paper boy and garbage man?  With how thrifty this craft is, you could make one for everyone that has ever done anything for you for next to nothing! Not to mention giving them a little chuckle at the same time!  Sounds pretty good, right?

Introducing the first ever “toilet paper Christmas card”.  You read that right.  Attached is a little note that says;

” Money is tight

And times are hard,

So we are giving you this

Instead of a card.

Hang over or under

Whichever is pleasin’

And remember we wish you

A great Holiday Season!”

Silly right?  You don’t normally encourage people to wipe with your Christmas card, but why not ;)?

You will need:

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Roll of toilet paper

Gallon size Ziploc bag

 ribbon (Curling ribbon or fabric ribbon either is fine)

glue stick

orange paper

googly eyes

black paper

hole punch

Poem attached to some cute Christmas paper

I created a printable of the poem. If you would like to size it to a 4 x 6 size, or whatever size you want you can open it in a free program like Picasa.  That will then give you the choice as to which size to print it.  I have used Picasa for years, and it is very easy to learn and use.

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Begin by sticking your toilet paper inside the Ziploc bag.  I then trimmed the zip top off of mine.  I like the look of having it tied with a ribbon.

Glue on your googly eyes.  Cut out an orange “carrot” whatever size you want.  Cut 4 round stones for the mouth.  Attach all of those with glue.  Print off your poem and glue it to some cute Christmas paper.  Punch a hole so you can stick the ribbon through it.  Tie that to the top so that it is sealed tightly.

There you have it!  Almost as easy as filling out a card, right?  I guarantee this one won’t be thrown away or forgotten anytime soon!

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printable nativiaty set

I found these adorable printable puppets for the Nativity.  Perfect for little ones learning about the story of Jesus.  I plan to print these off for my kids tonight for family night and have the kids put on a play of the story of Jesus birth. You can also find a cute song to go along with these printable Nativity sets.

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