DIY Stocking Stuffers: Turn Thrifted Flannels Into the Ultimate Cozy Bracelet
Coming up with last-minute small gifts can be tough. If you're like me, the idea of heading back out into the fray after weeks of shopping was enough to prompt me to survey the items I already had on hand and get crafty. An old, oversized flannel shirt was just begging to be turned into something new so, given flannel's current hipness, I decided to combine it with another trend — chunky bracelets — to create a fun winter accessory everyone will want. They're soooo easy to make! Don't believe me? Watch this quick video:
Ultimate Cozy Bracelet 01:00
Make This: Flannel-Covered Bangle Bracelets
Ah, flannel — soft, colorful and oh-so-craftable. I had plenty of fabric left over so I put it to work covering gift box lids to create pretty, coordinated packages to hold my cozy cuffs.
Once I got started, I couldn't stop myself. I had a few wool sweaters that I'd felted (a.k.a. shrunk in the washer) that were the perfect wintry complement to the flannel cuffs.
So, what are you waiting for? Gather your supplies, check out our step-by-step instructions, put on your favorite Christmas movie and get crafting to whip up a bunch of trendy, winter bracelets your friends will love.
Stamp It On
Give inexpensive Kraft or butcher paper an artistic update with a woodblock stamp and white ink. Add the recipient's name with a white paint pen and tuck a bit of fresh greenery under the bow for a woodsy scent.
Sturdy white butcher paper creates the perfect blank canvas for stenciled-on holiday designs; the paper's thickness ensures that it won't pucker and wrinkle from the moisture in the paint. To get this look: Cut paper to the size you'll need and plan the stenciled design's location. Position stencil, then apply acrylic craft paint using a stencil brush or pouncer. Allow paper to thoroughly dry flat before wrapping gift.
Outdoorsy Gift Wrap
Trendy menswear-inspired red flannel ribbon and a few fresh spigs of greenery give this gift a wintry, woodsy feel. To make the rustic topper, cut a small and medium circle out of upholstery webbing and pull on the outer fibers to create a frayed edge. Use an upholstery needle to stitch the two layers together then sew on a single glass bead. Glue an alligator clip to the back so the topper can be easily clipped onto the gift then later reused by the recipient as a hair or scarf clip.
Pretty as a Posey
Patterned red card stock, folded in half, then cut into basic flower petal shapes is an easy way to create a beautiful stand-in for a poinsettia. Use your completed posey as a gift topper or make several and string them together as a colorful holiday banner. Get more tips for creating this look from our friends at HGTV Magazine.
Glittered Photo Gift Tags
A handmade tag makes a beautifully wrapped gift even more special. Print our free template onto white card stock then top with a 2" x 2" family photo for a uniquely personal tag. Tip: Add a bit of glitz by glittering the edges of the photo before attaching.
Kids' Craft: Potato-Stamped Paper
Instead of purchasing a roll of wrapping paper at the store, bring your kids around the table to make custom hand-stamped paper with potatoes and paint. This old-school craft project is a great way to get kids involved in the season of giving. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Think Beyond Red + Green
Our friends at HGTV Magazine swapped regal purple shades for red to create this sophisticated twist on the traditional red + green pairing. Get more ideas for new holiday color combos.
Go for the Glam
Don't limit playful colors, like hot pink, to spring and summer use; this happy hue will add just as much kick to your holiday packages. Paired with fashion-forward black, white and gold, the look-at-me color is gorgeous, not girly. HGTV Magazine shares more creative holiday color combos worth considering.
Rustic Meets Luxe
Packages wrapped in inexpensive brown Kraft paper get a high-end update when topped with small bits of leftover fabric, twine, fabric trim and a wax paper pom-pom. Wrap your gifts in rustic-luxe style with our step-by-step instructions.
Monogrammed Gift Topper
Forget traditional ribbon bows and top your gifts with a yarn-wrapped initial instead. Older kids and crafty teens will want to try this easy project to create personalized packages that stand out from the pack.
Lace Doily and Yarn Pom-Pom
This sweet gift wrap comes together in a snap. Just place gift in a pretty box then top it with a paper doily held in place with double-sided tape or glue dots. To make the pom-pom, wrap several loops of yarn around your fingers, knot the loops in the middle, then trim the knotted yarn into a rounded pom-pom shape.
Create a Layered Effect
Designer Marian Parsons layers organic elements and textured ribbon to create wrapped gifts that are a step above the rest. Her tips: "Create pretty packages using items you can find around your house and in nature. Petite pinecones and sprigs of greenery embellish layers of ribbon whle vintage sheet music is the perfect custom wrapping for a small gift."
Try a Playful Palette
Cheery colors, like pink, coral and turquoise, are sure to add some pep to your presents. Top with holiday items like candy canes or unbreakable ornaments in coordinated colors for a seasonal finishing touch. Check out more new holiday color combos, from HGTV Magazine.
Cookies To Go
Homemade holiday treats are even more thoughtful when they're packaged creatively. Entertaining expert Kim Stoegbauer cleverly wraps cookies in inexpensive paper CD sleeves; bundled up with baker's twine and a cute tag, they're the perfect way to surprise coworkers and neighbors with a sweet treat.
Mod Gift Wrap
Give your gifts a hip, retro vibe with inexpensive jewelry findings and vintage ornament cut-outs. Our free printable ornament templates and step-by-step instructions show you how.
Make the Wrap Part of the Gift
Everyone loves to receive homemade goodies during the holidays but creatively packaging pounds and pounds of treats can be a bit tricky — and expensive. To cut down on costs and give friends a container they can use again: give large glass jars you've saved throughout the year a good cleaning and paint the lids with chalkboard paint. Instead of a basic ribbon, wrap with twine or yarn then slide on a handmade pin or hair clip — so your gift is actually two gifts in one. Learn how to make your own leather flower pin or clip.
Wrap It In Fabric
Cover an inexpensive cardboard mailing tube in trendy, graphic fabric for an eye-catching holiday gift wrap idea. Best of all, the fabric-covered container can be used for year-round storage. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
3-D Christmas Tree
This three-dimensional topper is so charming that no bow is needed. To create the tree, cut a pie shape that is 1/3 of a large circle out of green card stock. Score the center of the pie shape then accordion-fold the paper outward at evenly spaced intervals. Glue the edges of the folded paper tree down onto a wrapped gift and embellish with a paper star, rickrack garland and a brown paper trunk. Design by Morgan Levine
To give your presents a trendy coastal look, wrap gifts in canvas or cotton duck secured in the corners with heavy-duty double-sided tape. Embellish with jute or hemp twine and top with shells you've found on the beach. Image courtesy of Eastern Accents.
Repurpose an Old Sweater
Let's face it: We've all accidentally shrunk at least one wool or cashmere sweater. It's a painful learning experience: wool + hot water + agitation = a felted sweater that, on the down-side, is now too small to wear but, on the plus-side, felted fibers don't fray when cut. So, turn those felted gems into a clever way to package jar candles by sliding a candle into one of the sweater's felted sleeves then marking how much you need and cutting it off. Embellish with a coordinating ribbon, bell or ornament and your gift is complete.
Game Tile Gift Tag
Designer Brian Patrick Flynn repurposed Scrabble tiles and twine for this playful gift tag. To create it, simply loop a long piece of twine then attach the tiles to the twine loop with glue, leaving enough room above the tiles to act as a hanger and a bit of twine below the letters for attaching a tassel. Make the tassel by cutting six small pieces of twine, gather them together in the center then knot onto the bottom of the twine below the tiles.
Paper Pine Branches
Just a few basic materials are all you need to create these colorful embellishments. Start by cutting long pointed oval shapes out of two sheets of light and dark green card stock. Stack the two pieces, score the center then glue the sheets together along the scored line. Once the glue has dried, use scissors to fringe the edges to mimic the texture of pine needles. Create the branch by gluing a craft-paper-wrapped piece of floral wire along the center fold. Learn how to make the pinecones on the next slide. Design by Morgan Levine
To create pinecones, cut a tall triangle out of brown craft paper. Trim one long edge with scalloped scissors, then darken it by running a brown marker along the edge. Fringe the opposite, non-scalloped long edge. Glue the short base of the triangle to a piece of paper-wrapped floral wire then wrap the triangle around the stem, scrunching the fringe as you continue to wrap, creating the pinecone shape. Next, secure the tip of the pinecone with glue and use a thin strip of craft paper to wrap branches and pine cones together, securing them with glue. Design by Morgan Levine
Add the Finishing Touch With a Topper
Using a round paper punch, cut two sizes of circles out of three similar colors (we used orange, red and pink) of card stock. Stack punched circles together and pierce with an awl or nail. Using a needle and thread, string paper circles together, alternating colors and sizes, to create a colorful strand. Finally, wrap around gift, securing ends to the bottom with tape. Design by Morgan Levine
Chalkboard Gift Tag
Though no longer the crafting new kid on the block, chalkboard paint remains popular, especially when used in a clever way, like this chalkboard gift tag which is painted directly onto the Kraft paper wrap. Thanks to Kraft paper's thickness, you can paint it and the wrinkles will flatten out as the paint dries.
Eraser Snowflakes and Snowman
A great kids' craft, this fun gift wrap can be created with materials you probably already have on hand. First, wrap gifts in blue construction paper. Dip the eraser end of a pencil in slightly thinned-down white craft paint or tap it onto a white ink pad and stamp dots onto paper. Create snowflakes by starting with a center dot then working your way out in symmetrical lines and rings. To create the snowman, overlap white dots to build up his body and embellish with an orange paper carrot nose and a black marker coal mouth, eyes and arms. Design by Morgan Levine
Blogger Autumn Clemons repurposed scraps of felt and twine to take a plain paper-wrapped gift to a stylish new level. To create the roses, cut two same-size felt circles, stack the felt circles together then cut a concentric spiral shape into both. Starting in the spirals' centers, begin tightly wrapping the two colors of felt to create the rose, securing it with hot glue as you go.
Roll It Up
Rather than attempt to disguise oddly shaped gifts with wrapping paper only barely secured with layer upon layer of tape, artist Denise Sharp simply places the gift inside a cardboard tube then covers the tube in colorful fabric and secures the ends with ribbon.
Another great craft for kids, these felt snowflakes can be created in any size you like. First, fold paper into a small triangle and cut out sections to create a snowflake to use as a stencil. Lightly coat the stencil's back with spray adhesive to prevent it shifting, then place on felt. Use a sponge or sponge brush to lightly pounce white craft paint over snowflake stencil. Once paint has fully dried, remove paper stencil and use scalloped scissors to cut around the edges of the snowflake design. Top wrapped gift with felt snowflake and secure with twine. Design by Morgan Levine
Make It Masculine
Thrift store ties and dress shirts are all you need to pull off this trendy menswear gift wrap that's perfect for the holidays or any time of the year. Just wrap the top of a sturdy box with tie fabric, securing it with fabric glue. Cover the box's bottom in shirt fabric, securing it in the same fashion. Image courtesy of my design dump.
Christmas Light Garland
Kids can help craft this gift wrap that's as easy to create as it is cute. First, wrap gift in newsprint or butcher paper. Then, create a lightbulb-shaped stamp from a wine cork by cutting away the sides with a craft knife to leave just a pointed oval shape. Brush a light coat of paint onto the lightbulb portion of the stamp then firmly press it onto the wrapped gift. Continue adding stamped bulbs in a line, alternating colors, until you're happy with the design. Allow paint to dry then add the string with a permanent marker. Design by Morgan Levine
Raid Your Fabric Stash
Designer Layla Palmer puts leftover bits of upholstery fabric to good use as fashion-forward gift wrap. Because standard clear tape isn't strong enough to secure the ends, she uses fabric glue. Upholstery trim takes the place of ribbon and Layla clips on a flowery fabric hair barette instead of a bow — so her beautifully wrapped package is actually two gifts in one.
Make the Container Part of the Gift
When giving homemade treats as a gift, think outside the basket. A colorful bowl, platter or tray does the trick and is more likely to be reused by the recipient. Shop estate sales, flea markets and antique markets to find vintage transferware, hand-painted porcelain and cut crystal.
Bring the outdoors in with this stylish (and free!) pinecone ribbon and bow. Take a stroll outdoors to gather large and small pinceones then spread them on a baking sheet in a warm oven to release the sap. Once pinecones have cooled, use hot glue to attach small pinecones in a ribbon fashion on the gift's top and sides. Construct the bow by gluing larger pinecones in a star-like pattern. Image and full instructions courtesy of Blackberry Farm.
Paint Chip Gift Tag
Put leftover paint chips to good use as cute and colorful gift tags. Use a Christmas-shaped die or punch to cut the chip into a shape you like then add the recipient's name with a stamp or permanent marker.
Place small gifts inside lidded metal tins, like film reel canisters or old snack tins, then stack together for this creative presentation. To keep the tins from shifting, place magnets between each layer. Image courtesy of my design dump.
Tissue Paper Pom-Pom Topper
Instead of a traditional ribbon bow, top gifts with a flouncy pom-pom. Create them in a variety of sizes by varying the dimensions of tissue paper you use. Cutting the paper to 5" x 5" is a good starting point for your first try, then enlarge or shrink the dimensions once you get a hang of the technique. To start, stack 15-20 sheets (the more you use, the fuller it will be) of tissue paper and cut a square in your desired dimensions. Fold the stacked paper back and forth accordion style, folding and creasing the paper every 1/8" to 1/4". Secure the center with wire then fringe the paper's edges with scissors. Finally, carefully unfold and separate sheets till you have a flat-bottomed pom-pom. Attach to ribbon with wire. Design by Morgan Levine
Fabric Pom-Poms and Straws
Use scissors to trim plastic or paper straws to match the dimensions of the box you're wrapping. Using a needle and thread, create a garland alternating straws and fabric pom poms (available at a craft or fabric store). Wrap garland around box, securing ends to the bottom with tape. Design by Morgan Levine.
Recycled Gift Wrap
Eco-friendly can also be wallet-friendly when wrapping gifts. After all, why spend big money on paper, ribbon and embellishments when you can use up items you already have on hand? Wrap small gifts in packing paper and use leftover pieces of wallpaper or fabric to wrap larger gifts. Top them with spare bits of twine or ribbon and greenery from your own backyard.