There are some things in this life that I believe with all my heart. Grosgrain ribbon improves anything. That’s right. Anything. Overuse of personal fragrance should be punishable by law. Dessert is always a good idea. And, most of all, it’s all in the little details. With this I give you my kids’ Christmas classroom goodies for this year–Holiday Magic Reindeer Food.
I know what you’re thinking. Yawn. Seen it before. Done it before. Anyone can throw some oatmeal into a baggie. True, but this is different–because at Pink Peppermint Paper, we throw oatmeal into a baggie with style. Easy for me to say, right? I design and print things for a living. I have all the stuff I need here at my disposal. Well, you’re about to get lucky. Times are tight and in the giving spirit of the holidays, we’re supplying a downloadable file for you to print at home. So where were we? Modicum of crafting skills? Check. Professional-looking uber cute Christmas goodies on the CHEAP? Check.
If you follow my blog, you may know that if there’s one thing I love, it’s a consumable gift. One that gets used up. One that doesn’t add to the mountain o’ stuff in my house. And during a season of abundant candy and not-so-good for you treats, this little Christmas happy doesn’t add to the excess but still delights the kiddos on Christmas Eve. Yea!
What you’ll need:
- small zip-seal bags approx. 4 inches wide (check your local craft store’s jewelry section)
- color sugar crystals or nonpareils (pron. non-puh-rel for those of you like myself who have always wondered)
- double stick tape or glue dots
- a few sheets of 8.5×11 white card stock or 4 x 6 photo paper
- a color printer
Nice to have:
- a paper trimmer or the ability to cut a straight line with scissors
- a ruler
- a bone scorer to make a nice, clean fold
A what? For those of you who may not know, a bone scorer is a hard plastic tool that you use with a ruler to score your paper so you get a perfect fold without your paper cracking. You could probably use a ruler and a credit card, butter knife, etc. to that same end and it would be free. So you just trim the cards out, score them down the center, fold them over the top of your filled bag and adhere them over the zippered part of the bag with double-stick tape or glue dots. Grab another mom or two. Split the cost and the work. Or make it a play date and get the kids involved. Mine love to take ownership in this sort of thing!
And here’s the finished product!
Now do me a favor. If you’re going to do this, do it well. Represent. We have received magic reindeer food before (read: oatmeal in a sandwich bag with a magic marker label) that made me ask, “Seriously?” So let’s all have a little respect for the presentation. I like to shoot for a could have done this herself, but MAY have bought it look. I’m planning to put personalized stickers with a holiday message and who it’s from on the back of the bag.
My other festive freebies are two t-shirt designs. Now, I get some catalogs at my house. OK, I’m pretty sure I get every catalog. And they all have cute kids tees. Ones with cute graphics or funny sayings. Ones that they want me to buy for $38. Sadly, I have been cursed with a practical streak that kills any enjoyment I might glean from such a purchase. If I can’t bring myself to pay that for an everyday shirt, then I won’t be shelling out for Christmas shirt with five weeks of life at best. I saw this idea for a saying somewhere and could think of nothing better to capture the essence of my son. Then, I needed one for his little sister.
What you need:
- a t-shirt (washed and ironed)
- a dark t-shirt transfer for your type of printer–inkjet, etc. (usually in the labels section of the grocery store or at any craft supply store)
- an iron and a hard flat surface to iron on (NOT an ironing board); I used a granite countertop
- a razor blade or small utility knife
I had never attempted a t-shirt transfer prior to the infamous garbage party, but I got GREAT results the very first time. The key is to use the highest non-steam setting on your iron and to use a hard surface like a counter top or floor that doesn’t distribute the heat like an ironing board would. The hardest part (and I’m totally serious) is getting the backing off of the transfer page. I finally had great success with a razor blade. Get one. Seriously. Or you will want to pull your hair out.
In my opinion, the results are a lot less homemade looking if you trim around the wording and lay it out as separate pieces on the shirt before you iron. Otherwise, you have a sea of white background that makes your shirt look…well, buddy. The way our downloadable PDFs are laid out, you can fit two designs to a page of transfer paper. Print one, turn it around and run the paper through a second time to print the other end of the paper. They are spaced to give you room to trim them out. PLEASE don’t take these and transfer them onto your shirt as they are. Trust me. It won’t be pretty. You MUST trim them out. And hey, if you have a real stinker on your hands, you can switch the percentages on the naughty/nice around!
So you place all the pieces out on your shirt, cover the design with the piece of the tissue paper provided, iron for two minutes and Voila! My kiddos sported theirs over Thanksgiving weekend, and it just makes folks smile–probably because they can all relate.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get busy! Enjoy these little freebies, and Merry Christmas from Pink Peppermint Paper!