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Tis the season to be crafty and I have been busier than a bee in springtime as I try to prepare for the holiday bazaars and craft fairs in my community. I love creating handmade projects and especially love seeing ordinary things that most people would throw out, and than have a vision to see it turn into extraordinary works of art. My eyes have been awakened to all kinds of possibilities for empty cereal boxes, pasta boxes and my favorite, empty pop tart boxes. (My sad excuse for eating all of the pop tarts is that I need the box.) I have been able to turn all of the mentioned boxes into beautiful photo album covers. I love creating and designing  photo albums and keepsake boxes.

I was not always able to see much potential in what would normally be deemed as trash, but the more I created,  the better I got at seeing things for what they could be and not just what they were. So often we can see ourselves as being invaluable, especially as we age. We can sadly fade into the background of life. But God, who created me in my mother’s womb, saw potential in me to be extraordinary. He sees that in each and every one of us. We may grow old and weary, but we are always valuable.

Here are some before and after pics of some of my  “trash to treasure” projects. I hope inspires you to look at life from a different perspective.  

I would like to share a how-to project that is a favorite of mine. It is taking an ordinary paper bag and transforming it into a unique and beautiful holiday gift card holder.  Here are the supplies I used:

  • 1 brown paper bag (I used the 3 1/2″ x  6 3/4″  Celebrate It brand of craft bags from Michaels)
  • Tacky Glue
  • Double-sided tape (Any strong brand will do, I used a roll from my local Dollar Tree)
  • Holiday Designer paper of your choice
  • Solid Cardstock (You don’t need very much, it is for the tags that go in the bag)
  • Ribbon
  • Small Artificial Poinsettia flowers, or sticker embellishments of your choice
  • Some scissors or a paper cutter if you have one

I trim about 1/4″ off the top of the bag, just to get rid of the serrated edge. Then, I open the side gussets of the bag and seal it shut with the double sided tape. You can also use the tacky glue. Do it on both sides. Next, fold up the bottom of the bag to form a pocket and crease really well with a bone folder or the edge of a ruler.

We are now ready to cut the decorative paper to cover the outsides of the bag. I like to use card stock weight to give the bag more of a sturdy feel. The sizes of your paper will vary, you can create this with lunch bags or any size paper bag, so as a general rule, I like to leave about 1/8 – 1/4 inch of a border around the bag. Cut and glue your pieces to the bag. Now, glue the side edges of the pocket down over the designer paper and cut of piece of any contrasting color or design to glue that to the front of the pocket.

The tag to go inside can be cut with a coordinating solid color to fit inside the pocket. I like it to be poking out about a half an inch so it is easily noticeable.This is where you write your sentiment. I glued a lighter piece of card stock onto the tag to make it easier to write. You can round the corners if you wish or just evenly snip the corners of each end to make it look more like a tag. Punch a hole at the top and add your ribbon.

Now decorate your card with whatever embellishments you like. Be creative, but remember if you are mailing it to keep it flat or you will be charged extra postage. My card measures, 3 1/2″ x 4 3/4″ to the top of the tag.

If you have any questions please leave a comment. I tried to make it easy to understand. More importantly, I hope your eyes would be opened to the beauty that all things and people have. God bless all of you!

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