Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nuts about Generosity

Its craft time people! Do crafts go with the "Living Generously" topic this page covers? well, I think it does, or at least sometimes it does, and here is why.  Crafting can be a part of frugal living (or it can be a tremendous strain on the budget, it all depends on how you craft.). For me, I tend to be the most creative when I'm solving a problem, and for many years of my adult life, solving problems typically had something to do with finding a way to make do with what I had.  And...some of my favorite ways of doing things have come of those times, so I like to share them, because they helped me to still satisfy my generous heart even when times were the toughest.  Frugality and Generosity are not always the first two words we put together. I want to change that and prove that living frugally can lead to living more generously.  Here's an idea for gifts that I hope you'll love. You'll be able to make the packaging out of items you probably already have at home! And you'll be able to make a small, yet thoughtfully elegant gift for just a few dollars.

Let's get Nuts!

Nuts are a simple and elegant gift that is often quite costly.  Using the recipe we shared in Gg's Kitchen, you'll be able to produce 1 pound of sugar and spice and everything nice for around $8.00. Compared to the $30 or more per pound you'll pay for mail order nuts in the blandest varieties, this is the most frugal (and tasty!) way to send a very special gift.

Now lets make our packaging pretty

What you'll need:

scrapbook paper
paper crimper
hole punch
string, ribbon, or raffia

This project is fun because you can so easily change the size of your packaging by using whole or quarter sheets of paper.  The pictured package was made from a quarter sheet and holds a nice handful of nuts, a single serving type quantity. Use a whole sheet of paper for a gift containing multiple servings.

1. Place your sheet of paper upside down on your work surface, and roll the left and right edges in towards each other, overlapping a quarter inch, and press to create folds. Secure edges together with glue. (I like using a fast drying paper glue that does not wrinkle the paper, but a glue stick or elmers is fine too.)

2. Apply glue to bottom edge, let dry. 

3.  Crimp bottom edge.

4. Pinch sides of flattened paper to open the tube you have created, and continue to pinch, creating a nearly triangular shape. (think those little tubes of sour cream they serve you with a baked potato at Wendy's, or the frozen grape juice treats they serve in school lunchrooms). Flatten edge and slip under a hole punch, punch hole in center, or for added interest off to the corner. 

5. Fill your container with nuts, popcorn, candy, a small inedible gift, or any other item you would like to present in fun, unique packaging! I suggest using a plastic bag or other food grade wrapping to contain a food gift inside the tube. 

6. Attach a coordinating gift tag through the hole punch using string, ribbon, or rafia, and present your gift! 

Beautiful, inexpensive, unique, and keeps great surprises! 

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