Saturday, July 16, 2011

A different way to give a gift...


Several of you guessed correctly about the vinyl photo I posted a couple of days ago.  The letters spelled out "Happy Birthday Cailean" and they were part of a project I did to present a gift in an unusual way.

When we were shopping for the lights for my craft room I saw these plastic tubes.  They are meant to be used as safety guards for four foot florescent lighting tubes.  They cost just a few dollars.  I looked at them and got an idea for my seven year old neighbor's birthday - why not give her four feet of little gifts in the tube and decorate it with her name?

My first thought was to fill the tube with wrapped candy but then I thought four feet of candy might not be something her parents would approve of! I decided to buy her lots of hair clips, bands and ponytail holders, along with some nail polish and a few lollipops.  The main qualification was that they had to be gifts that would fit inside the tube.

I set up the file to cut the words using the Gypsy and the Alphalicious cartridge.  First I spelled out the entire phrase but I found it was tricky to ungroup and move every other letter and keep them lined up evenly to conserve the vinyl.  I discovered that the quickest way for me to set up the cut was to say the letters out loud and make two groups - first the odd numbers and then the even numbers. 

I then had all of the correct letters to spell out the word in alternating colors and they were in a nice line.  I only needed two pieces of 2 inch by 12 inch vinyl for the entire project.  I added a few hearts and flowers to fill up the piece of vinyl.

I put a piece of blue painter's tape on the tube to help keep the letters straight and worked from the center out to the sides.

Then all I had to do was to place the extra hearts and flowers at the ends.

I wrapped up the little gift items in white or colorful tissue paper.  I used the white pieces in the center section so the letters would stand out and be easy to read.  It was a little tricky to move the gifts down the tube but a long broom handle helped to push them into place.

It is not easy to get a photo of the entire tube - these might help you see how it worked (you can click them to make the image larger). I tied some fancy ribbons around both ends - to decorate the tube and for Cailiean to use for other projects.

The gift was a hit - here Cailean is showing the emptied tube which was nearly as tall as she is!

We also made a pretty cake together - from the Once Upon A Princess cartridge.

Here are a few tips that I learned for the next time I try this...

*The items should be things that will slide right through the tube - the soft hair bow elastics were a bit too large for the diameter of the tube and tended to get stuck!
*Instead of wrapping the items in white tissue paper and trying to make them meet in the center it would probably be better to roll up a large piece of white paper and slip it inside behind the words as a liner.
*If the items are "stuck" you can tap the tube on a carpeted floor until they work their way down to the end of the tube.

It is always fun to try to think of ways to use products in a different way.  I don't think that the makers of these tubes thought they would be gift holders at some time!

If you try this, I'd love to see pictures and hear how it worked out for you.  Have a great weekend!

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  1. So cute! You always come up with the best ideas. I have a baby shower and am wondering what small items would fit. Thanks for the idea.

  2. I love this idea.... I'm always trying to create new ways to wrap gifts.

  3. Great idea and I bet she loved it. What a nice gift and different too.

  4. You are SOOOO creative! Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas with us!

  5. Very clever and creative. Thanks for sharing the idea. I bet she loved it.

  6. You are totally amazing! What a clever idea! Thank you for sharing this, it looks like it was a total hit!

  7. So you are love love it.can wait to try it

  8. What a fun gift! I might try this one of these days. It's so much fun opening a lot of little tiny gifts than getting one big gift sometimes, especially for little ones. Thanks for sharing! Very clever!

  9. What a neat idea! It would be a cool way to give a teacher gift - lots of pens and pencils and erasers and hand sanitizer - all the things from Staples 1 cent deals!!

  10. Very fun and creative idea, Diane. I'll have to remember to keep looking "outside the box" for ideas like this myself. Thanks for sharing.

  11. So cute, thanks for ideas and the inspiration. TFS

  12. What a fun idea Diane! This would also serve to slow down the gift opening process and avoid the "is that all there is?" question that even the most well behaved children sometimes say! TFS!

  13. What a cute idea can even be adjusted for bridal and baby showers. Will be picking uo a couple of these to have on hand.

  14. I loved your idea and it occurred to me that you could tie each of the little gifts onto one long string of curling ribbon so that they could just be pulled out by tugging on the end of the ribbon.


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