Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Think Autumn!

  I know, it's too early to be thinking about Halloween. I guess it's my hope that if I concentrate on events that occur in the cooler months, it will take my mind off of the 100+ degree temps outside. I love decorating for Halloween. Not the gruesome stuff, just the fun--costumes, black cats, pumpkins, witches, bats and things.
  I like giving little gifts in recycled containers, and one of the most useful are the drink carriers from fast food restaurants. The separate compartments make it easy to tuck a jar of pasta sauce, a package of pasta, a loaf of bread, and a bottle of your favorite beverage, without the expense of a basket. I also like to deliver jars of cookie mix with toppings and hot cocoa mix and marshmallows in a decorated tote.
  This one I plan to fill with a package of pumpkin muffin mix and spiced cider mix.  Afterward, the recipients can use it as a "Trick-or-Treat" carrier for one of their little goblins.  Small children don't need an enormous treat bucket, but for bigger children, one of the larger carriers (four drink sized) would be great.
  If your treats will be heavy, cut a piece of heavy cardboard the same size as the inside bottom of the tote and slip it in as you assemble the tote to reinforce it. You can use packing tape across the ends where the tabs fold in for additional stability, too. After that, wrap the box with a strip of decorative paper or wide ribbon (or layer a couple of elements like I did) and add your main embellishment. I cut two pieces of heavy scrapbook paper 2 1/2" x 12" and scored them every 1/4". I folded them like a paper fan, overlapping one fold to join the two strips together into one long strip and then again into a loop. Flatten out to form a ring. It's easier to first adhere it to a circle of paper (about 3" in diameter) and then top with your decorative elements. I used a vintage graphic that I glitzed up with a little bit of glitter and flocking, then added a word strip. Quick, easy and useful!

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