With the holidays upon us, two things are probably on your mind: the yummy holiday treats you will be indulging in, and what to get those hard-to-shop-for friends and family.
This year, let’s combine the two and create homemade gifts with recipe boxes that are fun and easy. Your favorite holiday foods will taste even better when the directions come packaged in these festive boxes.
Photo © Jason LugoAnyone can get in on the fun creating your own recipe boxes. They are easy to make and are inexpensive at craft stores – or better yet, recycle a box you already have. Decorate with anything: paper, ribbon, stones, jewels and buttons. Then add your favorite recipes inside.
They’re not only great for recipes; you can fill them with anything! Include family photos and mementos to organize a decorated box for grandparents. Addresses and contacts look even better arranged in a decked-out package. Cover your box with cute baby paper and make a keepsake container for a new arrival. Organize stray greeting cards in a sweet decorated tin. All you need is a few supplies and your creativity!

Getting Started:

Measure the dimensions of your box. The height will be one measurement and the perimeter will be your second measurement (if your box is large you may have to piece two sheets of paper together). Subtract ½ inch from both measurements (you will need this ½ inch so your paper doesn’t hang over the edge of the box). Use the measurements to trace a sketch onto the backside of your paper. Using scissors or a paper cutter, cut along your pencil lines. BEFORE applying adhesive, place the paper on your box and “eye-ball” your measurements; you may choose to make some changes to the paper size before you glue it down. The paper should cover most of the box with only a small amount of the box peeking out at the top and bottom. (Note: You can cover your box with one large piece of paper, or use a few contrasting papers.) If you are satisfied with your paper cuts, then you are ready to glue.

Using a craft brush, apply a thin, even layer of permanent craft glue to box surfaces (too much glue = wrinkles and bubbles in your paper). Using a bone folder or a sturdy ruler, start at the center and smooth down the paper, working air pockets to the edges. Allow to dry.

Embellishment time! This is your cue to get creative. Rummage around your house and see what you can find. Tags from clothing, hair gems, bottle caps, fibers, ribbon, flowers, buttons… See how creative you can get!  If the artistic side of your brain is on vacation, run down to your local scrapbook or craft store and let the pros give you some tips.

Load your box with recipes, photos, mementos, addresses, cards, memorabilia – you name it. And get ready to give a great gift that has a little bit of you in it.