DIY Gift Boxes from Recycled Cards

Last Christmas I was a bit of an Eco-Grinch. I got really grumpy at the fact that a time  that is meant to be about family and love and all that good stuff had morphed into a cash cow… an exercise in capitalism. But I still didn’t want to let Christmas go. I grew up in England with snowmen and amazing Christmas trees and dad dressing up like Santa – and being pregnant I want my little daughter to grow up with memories as lovely as mine. So I am on a mission to keep my festivities completely eco (and blog about it of course!).

In January – going off the theme that reuse is better than recycle – I asked all the people in my office to give me their unwanted Christmas cards. I took a whole lot down to the local school to use for crafts but was still left with a massive pile of them. I stored them with my Christmas decorations and hoped to think of something to do with them by Christmas time. And I did. Here is an ultra simple gift box that you can make from an old greetings card.

Equipment

  • Old greeting cards
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Glue (can just be a stick but Hot Glue Gun is far more resilient)
  • *If just using a glue stick you may also want pegs and paperclips

Instructions

1. Cut along the seam to separate the front of the card from the back.

2. Decide how thick/deep you want your box to be (look at the gift/item you are putting inside it to make sure it will fit!). Once decided rule a margin around the sides. I varied between 2 and 3cms (0.5 – 1″) for my boxes.

3. Fold along each line. I did this by placing my ruler along the line and then folding the paper over it… was a lot quicker and more precise.

4. Cut along the lines on 2 opposite ends only. What I mean by that is you don’t want to cut the corner squares out… you just want to create a flap. See next photo if you are unsure of what I mean.

5. Fold the flaps in and apply dobs of glue. Then pincer together to make your box shape. If you are just using a glue stick you may want to hold the flaps together with pegs or paperclips to ensure the box really sets and is sturdy. Hot glue gun is definitely preferable though.

6. And there you have one half of your box! ( Use the pretty front part of the card is the top of the box). Repeat the process to make the other half of your box.

7.  When I was drawing the margins in for the bottom half of the boxes I made the margins a couple of mm’s bigger than the top boxes so that it fit comfortably without needing to bend. E.g. my margin for the top was 3cms on each side, my margin for the bottom was 3.2cms on each side.

Other ideas…

Advent Calendar

If I had more time I would totally have made this advent calendar using the boxes and a pin up board…

From 2 Boys 2 Girls Painter Family

Tree Ornaments

You could also thread some ribbon through them and hang them from your tree filled with goodies.

Plastic Free Easter Egg Containers

Easter will be another hurdle in anti-consumerism! I have brill memories of Easter Egg hunts but how will I give these to my daughter without all that nasty foil and needless wrapping? You could bulk buy chocolates and place them in little boxes and hide them around the garden! WIN.

Stationery Holders

These could also be cute little DIY boxes to keeps your paperclips etc in!

More Sustainable Christmas Ideas

If you are looking for more sustainable Christmas ideas you may like some of these posts;

I’ve Been A Busy-Bee!

Aloha! I am back in my blogging chair after my husband and I decided we were well in need of a Babymoon: basically our final romantic, responsibility-free break before the two of us become a three-piece set! It has been really lovely though unfortunately this little Bowerbird has officially caught the ‘nesting bug’ and so relaxing turned more into renovating, decorating and gardening. Here is what we got up to.

Stormy Skies

We launched the trip with a family getaway to Yallingup. Unfortunately we probably couldn’t have picked worse timing weatherwise and we were pretty much confined indoors due to some fairly hairy storm activity. This being said, is there anything more humbling and gob-smackingly beautiful than a really stormy beach? Walking along it reminded me of one of my all time favourite songs ‘I Like Giants’ by Kimya Dawson (honestly… treat yourself to this chirpy little tune here).:

I’m smaller than a poppy seed inside a great big bowl.

And the ocean is a giant that can swallow me whole!

So I swim for all salvation and I swim to save my soul.

But my soul is just a whisper trapped inside a tornado.

So I flip to my back and I float and I sing

“I am grounded, I am humble, I am one with everything!”

We did get a few rain free moments though;

And we also managed to fit in a few of my favourite pastimes of pregnant life. Namely… pancakes.

Lots of dECOrating

I never thought the ‘nesting’ phenomenon was a real thing but I can now categorically vouch for it. The greatest part is that you don’t need to sacrifice style or comfort when creating that dream eco sanctuary of yours. Over this holiday I have managed to score the most amazing treasures that are all low impact on the environment – in fact considering I have saved a lot from landfill they actually have done the environment a favour! I will be blogging more thoroughly about Eco Interiors later, but in the meantime here are some of my latest steals;

Finds, Frames and Family – Apart from the 7 black photo frames, everything on this wall has been found kerbside, in a secondhand store or one Gumtree. This was just a boring wall of nothingness and now it is full of treasures – each one with its own story. From my op-shop photo frames ($1 each) to the little brown suitcase that I found in the rain ($0) … this whole wall cost about $80.

The 60’s Buffet – We spotted this beauty on Gumtree for $80 and it was love at first sight. My husband and I are still in two minds whether to upcycle it to be more colourful (there is a certain charm in its original form) and we have already lost hours sitting together in front of it – cups of tea in hand – just pondering the possibilities. We will keep you posted.

Instagram @oliveonblonde

The Only Plastic Allowed In My House! I love colour and I am especially fond of blue! So this rug caught my eye for a number of reasons. Other than the gorgeous paisley pattern I was especially excited to discover it is made from 100% recycled straws. On our morning beach walks my husband and I pick up whatever rubbish we see (Take 3!!!) and I am always upset with the huuuge amount of straws I find. So turning trash into treasure married a lot of my favorite notions together into one bright, happy dream rug. You can see the whole selection of Fab Rugs here or read about them here. They are also reversible and because they are plastic can be used outside and hosed off if need be. Win, Win, WIN!

Instagram @oliveonblonde

The Trunk! – Without my glasses I am blind as a bat which makes me think that this little trunk belongs with me. I spotted it on a kerb, like a tiny snippet between two cars as we drove by at a fairly high speed. I mentioned that I thought I saw something great but the let it go as we were in a frustrating area to turn around. But the more I thought about it the more I knew there was a real diamond that was going to be scrapped so we turned around and I am so glad. This baby needs some love but I cannot wait to add some bright florals, clean up the metal and put it all back together. You literally pay hundreds for these in vintage stores!!!

Instagram @oliveonblonde

Oxfam 3things

I have also been spending a lot of time chatting to a lovely lady named Catherine from Oxfam. We have been chatting because I will now be their official blogger from the West posting about all things social justice, environment and general pop culture. 3Things is a fantastic initiative that asks everyone to consider this simple question;

What are 3things that you can do to help change the world?

It encourages everyday people to take matters into their own hands – ‘do stuff‘ and ‘learn stuff’.  Read all about here or maybe check out some of the 3things that everyday Aussies have committed to already (here). I am so excited to be part of the Oxfam team and after my training finishes will be blogging full steam ahead as of next week. What are your 3things?

Image courtesy of Oxfam

Creating An Edible Sanctuary

Just a light bit of reading.

What was once a fleeting aspiration has now developed into a full blown obsession – I dream of turning my despairing patch of grass into a plentiful, self-sustaining, wildlife sanctuary. This urge to grow all my own fruit and veg is a culmination of a lot of lifestyle choices – a desire to consume only organic produce, live plastic-free, have my daughter grow up foraging in our garden as well as saving our soon to be single-income. Besides these motivations though, there are also covenants attached to my grand plan. I want my garden to attract birds and bees with lots of native plants. I want it to be extremely water wise – this means goodbye to a fair share of the lawn! I want it to be a place that my family loves to be and spends most of our time together. And I want… for my darling husband… a pond that he can lose hours staring at!

Dreams in lead scratchings

I can’t wait to show you the progress over the next few months and prove to myself that you don’t have to be a green-thumb to be self-sustaining. I have already been out there with my beloved Dad turning my hundreds or sketches and measurements into realities. Unfortunately I may have pushed myself a little hard for a 6 month pregnant lass and that led to the final chapter of my holiday…

…Sick

As a constant reminder to listen to your body I am now very, very unwell. After such a busy busy holiday I am now bed ridden with a nasty cold, the return of the dreaded morning sickness and the onset of Braxton Hicks (which can come on from over-exertion – Whoops!). So (like the Wellness Warrior described in this post) I will for once listen to my body and remain cuddled in bed with my Pug and my Allen and take a bit of a Savasana. But I must say it has been great getting back to blogging (I genuinely miss it when I don’t!) and I can’t wait to share all my upcoming eco-adventures with you!