10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Eight

Hey everyone! It’s Day Eight of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series, and I’m here to share my latest project / passion… Zero Waste or ZW (although “zero” seems very extreme, any action in the right direction is a good thing!).

I’ve always been green, but I recently read Béa Johnson‘s book and started to implement some tips to reduce the amount of garbage we create. Minimalism, simplicity and Zero Waste go hand in hand, and I’m happy to share some ways you can help save the planet while still enjoying Christmas and giving gifts to your loved ones!

The best way to have a ZW Christmas is by picking immaterial or consumable gifts. Here are a few examples for kids (or grown ups, too!) :

  • Lessons (music, dance, sport)
  • Passes (zoo, natural park, amusement park)
  • Subscriptions (to a magazine, for example, or to a software *ahem… Photoshop!*)
  • Events (concert, sport competition)
  • Activities (even better to do as a family or as a one-on-one activity with a parent or special adult: mini-golf, bowling, skating, cinema, game night)
  • Crafting (and the material you need to create the art piece)
  • Coupons (for a movie night at home with popcorn and they pick the movie, a pass on one of their chores, permission to stay later than usual, etc.)
  • Gift card to their favorite store, so the recipient gets the pleasure to choose in addition to the pleasure of the gift itself
  • “recipe in a jar” for cookies, muffins, hot chocolate, sauces and more
  • Money (the ultimate consumable gift). You could try to fold the bills origami-style to make it more fun!

If you want to give a material gift, here are a few ideas:

  • choose second-hand gifts
  • pick environmental-friendly and long-lasting materials: wood, metal, sturdy plastic (Legos are virtually immortal!), fabric, glass (not for kids, obviously)
  • create DIY gifts like homemade soap, candy, jam, caramel or chocolate sauce, beauty products or home decor

The wrapping can be the perfect ZW final touch to your eco-friendly gifts. Avoid metallic paper which can’t be recycled. Why not use newspapers or plain kraft paper on which you (or your kids) can draw or stamp? Use cute jars, wooden boxes or baskets to store your gifts. Last but not least, fabric is a great way to wrap and can be re-used over and over again by the recipient. Simple bags (DIY or bought) can be re-used for grocery shopping, for example. A nice piece of fabric (or even a scarf, so that the wrapping is a gift too!) can make stunning gifts using the japanese furoshiki technique.

Here are two examples of my ZW gift giving this year.

For my brother and SIL, I offered them a photo session of their newborn baby girl when she was born in October and created the birth announcements. They think they’ll pay me back for the printing of the announcement but I’ve decided will be their Christmas gift. As I still want to physically give them something, I’ve created a cute card that matches the CD cover for their newborn pictures. This card can be recycled once it has fulfilled its purpose.

For my parents in law, I’ve bought wine and cooked homemade jam. They have everything they need and DEMANDED that we don’t give them any gift. Well, I’m a rebel and I know they will enjoy the fact that I made the effort to create something for them. To wrap this up I decided to try furoshiki with a scarf I don’t use very often and that I think my mother in law would like. Maybe she’ll re-use it, maybe not (in that case I’d take it back), we’ll see!

Here’s how I wrapped the jars and bottle: I started with the jars and the bottle on the scarf, pointing to opposite corners.

I covered the gifts with the scarf (the part that was closer to me) and folded the pointy end back in.

Then I rolled the gifts away from me and then folded the “roll” in the middle to put the jars and the bottle back up. Finally, I just had to tie a knot with the ends of the scarf and my wrapping was done!

It was very easy, even for Mrs-Two-Left-Hands here, and I just love how original it looks! Plus I don’t have to deal with tape, too short paper roll and ribbons… That’s a big win in my book!!

Here are the two cards I’ve created so far, one for my brother and SIL (on the left), the other one for my inlaws (on the right). I used the stunning Holiday Sparkle collab for those creations because I love its timeless elegant look. I simply added one of the already made journaling cards, created another one with a paper I liked, added a few elements, printed them, cut them out and adhered the elements on the cards, wrote my message and I was done. It took me no longer than 5 minutes. I used natural twine so that it can still be recycled.

I hope you enjoyed those tips to have a greener (and simpler) Christmas. Have fun celebrating with your loved ones!


ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown. She recently became quite obsessed with Bullet Journaling, Miracle Morning and Zero Waste.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Seven

 

Hello everyone! It’s Day Seven of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a few delicious cocktails I created to help you celebrate the holidays with a little extra holiday spirit!

First, here is my version of a holiday Martini…

Tips: rim your glass with a thick layer of sugar to sweeten up your holiday. Want a kid-friendly alternative? Try a cherry limeade: add a splash of lime to a cherry 7-up. 🙂

Next… shake up your part with this festive peppermint candy cane-rimmed version of a White Russian…

Tip: kids will love this one if you adapt the most fun part of it by serving their milk in a candy cane rimmed glass this Christmas. Just skip the Baileys and Vodka!

And finally, I’m calling this holiday twist on a traditional grasshopper “The Grinch!” If you drink enough of this one, it will steal your Christmas… memories! Only kidding, of course! Please drink responsibly!

Tip: add green food coloring to egg nog for a non-alcoholic version.

I hope these tips will help you create some fun holiday beverages! Come join us in the forum and post your own images if you give any of these a try… 🙂


FarrahAbout the Author  Farrah Jobling is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Denver with her amazing family — Mike, Nicholas (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Six

Today is Day Six of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series… and I am here with some Elf-help, for anyone who has an Elf on their shelf this year!

Elf on the Shelf is fairly new to England, where I’m located, and so this is only our second year of having Max (our Elf). I have been so glad for the help and ideas that are available — different stunts for Max to try out (especially the less inventive and less time consuming ones!). There have, of course, been a few times when I have climbed into bed, and then remembered that Max hadn’t moved yet! Ugh! Therefore, this year I decided to have a few corny festive jokes on hand, ready to go, so I can just sit Max down with a joke and call it done. And then I went a step further, and prepared for the possibility (*ahem* reality!) that there might be an occasion when I totally forget to move him at all.

To create my printable cards, shown down below, I used one of River Rose Designs’ new kits — Deck the Halls — to make some blank journal cards (I started off using 3×4 size cards, but then shrank them a bit so I could easily fit 8 on a page). After that, I found 8 fantastic jokes, as well as 8 excellent excuses… and added them to my cards, as shown here…

Once I had everything the way I wanted it to look, I printed out all of my cards and cut them to size.

Now I feel like I am ready for anything! 🙂 Here is Max sitting on a window sill with his friend Frosty (can you guess what Max did yesterday?!), laughing at the joke of the day! This window sill is right where my children put their school lunch boxes when they come home from school each day, so this is a great place for those jokes to be noticed…

I hope these ideas help you out, as well, if you have an Elf in your home this holiday season! And if you have no elf, well… festive jokes are great to pop into lunch boxes or in gift bags just for fun! Merry Christmas!


CorrinAbout the Author  Corrin is on the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a fan of the Big Bang Theory and a lover of cozy pajamas. She lives in the breezy South of England with her husband and 4 crazy kids, who regularly discover & plunder her secret chocolate stashes! She is still trying to get the house straight after moving nearly 3 years ago. Who knows… maybe this will be the year she reaches the bottom of the laundry pile!

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Five

Hello everyone! It’s Day Five of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a fun & inexpensive craft project/home decor idea.

December is usually a crazy month for me. It’s often hard to find a balance between work and family; as a photographer, I have a lot of photos to edit… but I want to make time to do fun things with my kids. This string art project was a fun and inexpensive craft that my kids just loved!

We’ve been crazy about string art lately, and I happened to find some inexpensive wood boards in the dollar section at Target. They are called “menu boards,” and even have their own stand built in. Once you have a board, all you need is some small flat-head nails, a hammer, and some string.

I used cut-out patterns I found on Pinterest to trace the shapes. I used a simple tree pattern for my 7 year old, and a more intricate deer pattern for my 10 year old, and they both did great! I helped some with the nailing, and I highly recommend using a small craft hammer instead of a big one from the tool box!

After the nails were in place, I tied the string around one of the nails and let them go to town winding the string all around. There’s really no wrong way to do it! I finished it off with a secure knot and voila! Here’s a look…

These make great decorations…

…or you can even give them as gifts!

I hope these tips will help you create some fun string art!


FarrahAbout the Author  Farrah Jobling is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Denver with her amazing family — Mike, Nicholas (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

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10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Four

Hello everyone! It’s Day Four of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a fun & easy gift wrap idea.

One of the ways that I make the holidays easier is by simplifying my Christmas gift wrapping. Instead of having many rolls of different Christmas wrapping paper, each year I buy a huge roll of kraft paper. Then, I buy a different roll of pretty Christmas ribbon for each family member and use the ribbon to “color code” the gifts.

This process cuts down on clutter, in that I no longer need to have so many different rolls of wrapping paper… and it also simplifies things when I am doing my last minute wrapping on Christmas eve (even makes it possible to skip tags!). I adore the look of kraft paper, whether digital or in real life… so the style works for me. If you want to get even fancier, you could add stamps or custom tags to dress up your packages further.

Hopefully this tip of mine will help simplify your holiday season. However you choose to wrap up your gifts this year, though, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with all the special people in your life!


About the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and their four sweet but crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under the never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Three

Hello everyone! It’s Day Three of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a super simple photo gift tag idea.

While creating a scrapbooking layout using the new December 2016 TDP Designer Collaboration Holiday Sparkle, I simultaneously created a photo gift tag to adorn our packages this Christmas (two birds! one stone!). Here’s a look at the layout that inspired it…

After creating the layout, I opened the “Cheer” journaling card separately… and then I dragged a few of the clusters from my layout onto the card. I also added a family photo, and resized as needed…

Once I had the finished card/tag, shown above, I opened a new 8.5 x 11 document and dragged in my flattened image. I duplicated it 2 more times to create a row of 3, and then I copied this row of 3 two more times so that I had a grid of 9 tags. Then I re-sized all 9 layers to fit the page, as shown here…

After I had a printable page full of tags, I printed them out on white card stock…

…and cut them into separate tags…

Now, I have an adorable stack of ready-made custom tags that I will add to gifts that we give out during this holiday season…

 


Krista

 

About the Author  Krista Lund is a mom of 3, married to her high school sweetheart and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her favorite things are brownies, chips ‘n’ dip, taking pictures, and documenting her family’s story.