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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Tag time!

Christmas has come and gone, and for the past two days I have been studiously taking down lights, decorations, ivy and trees, putting them away for the next 11 months.

But inevitably, the Christmas clean-up reveals the papery and glittery detritus of the season, with wrapping paper, shreds of Christmas crackers and a hoard of Christmas cards left over.

I say left over, because in our house, we keep everything we can in order to reuse and repurpose. One of the things I like to do is to salvage decent leftover papers and ribbons to save money on gift tags.

Christmas cards can be cut up into several decent tags for gifts; I don't mean simply snipping and sticking with a piece of sellotape; oh no, in our house, the Mermaid makes the most of everything to make the tags as pretty as possible.

Using a hole punch, ribbons from used Christmas crackers and a corner trimming punch, you can create some rather pretty recycled tags.

Here's a sample of my card haul! 

Ribbons from Christmas crackers

A cracking lot of ribbons!
I simply punch one hole in the top of the tag when I've cut it into shape, feed through one of these ribbons (which are too bent and twisted from being on a cracker for so long to be useful for anything else), tie it up and trim the corners with a corner rounder punch.

The corner punch I have is very similar to this one (but very old now!) and it is great for rounding up the corners and hiding any uneven edges:
Corner rounder for paper crafting

Et Voila! Some very easy but highly cost- and environmentally efficient tags, ready for next year!
Hand-made gift tags

If that really does seem like too much hassle, and you do not particularly enjoy card craft or paper crafting, or even if you do not tend to send or receive Christmas cards, then I would urge you to get down to your local supermarket as soon as possible to get a bargain before the sales end and all the shelves are replete with Valentines' Day and Easter fare! 

For example, from Sainsburys I picked up a 4m roll of Christmas wrapping paper for 50p, and packs of gift tags for just 10p each. The original price of the wrapping paper had been £2.00 and the tags had been 50p per pack. Happy days! 

Bargains from Sainsburys
Of course, you may like to hoard all your cards - but eventually space will be needed and it is so much better to reuse in a systematic and fun crafting way, rather than having to throw cards en masse into the recycling when you just haven't got any more room to store them.

And then there are some cards, like this one from my crafting queen friend Jan, are just far too excellent to carve up!

Nodding Kitty:
Card craft extraordinaire!  A Nodding Cat Christmas Card!
In the desire to save money and the environment, I would advocate refraining from blithely cutting up all of your most recent Christmas cards from December 2016 ready for December 2017. 

Many years ago when I started to repurpose old cards, I discovered that I'd cut up the last ever card someone I cared about gave me, for they died that year.

Therefore, I save my cards so that I will be using December 2015 and corporate cards delivered to the office for December 2017's gift tags, just in case I have to say farewell to any dear family and friends this year and regret not having a card from them as a memento.

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