Every year for Christmas I like to go a little out of the ordinary with my gift wrapping. The last year I used 3D printed name tags for the gifts, and the year before cut out typographic themed tags. This year I didn’t have quite as much time to gather materials or design name tags but I think they still turned out pretty cool.
I picked up a couple sets of “Thickers Alphabet Stickers” in the “Everywhere Map” design from the scrapbooking section of my local craft store (a section I never dared venture into before). They look similar to my typographic letters from two years ago because they’re made to look like the letters are cut out of an old map. The stickers were around $4 for 4 of each letter plus numbers and punctuation.
While this wasn’t exactly “handmade”, it got the job done quickly and fairly cheaply.
Twas the night before the night before Christmas and all through my house, I scrambled and shambled to clean up the…house…
It was Christmas eve-eve and my friends would soon be, here at my door with nothing to see!
So while cleaning and prepping I had a new thought, why not combine Christmas and my friend MakerBot?!
I took a quick break, a few minutes or so, and designed a tree that truly would glow!
With some plastic some solder and a few LED’s, I created a tree for my friends to all see.
When my friends all arrived they exclaimed “wow that’s bright!”, and that’s what I did on my Christmas eve-eve night.
I designed a quick 2 color Christmas themed print that would hold a couple of LEDs and a 9v battery. The tree was printed in Nuclear Green and the base was printed in Fluorescent Red. The tree has holes to slide 5mm LEDs into and the back of the “Merry Christmas” base has room to slide a 9v battery in sideways. The battery doubles as a stand when it’s placed on a shelf and alternatively there is a notch near the top so it can be hung from a nail on your door (I have finally made use of a nail that was left by the last people to live here). The print took around an hour and a half which gave me time to clean up the house! Final soldering of the battery terminal, LEDs and resistor took another 5-10 mintes.
Some quick instructions:
- Print the base (battery holder) and tree (LED holder)
- Glue two parts together (I used some very strong hot glue from McMaster-Carr)
- Solder LEDs together
- Solder in a resistor (I used a 430Ω resistor I had lying around)
- Solder in your 9v battery connector
- Connect battery and be merry.
I’m pretty happy with the outcome. One of the LEDs is a little dim which could be fixed by wiring it differently, but for a quick holiday project, I think this one turned out ok.
I’m a big fan of unusual and creative gift wrapping. Last year I posted about the typography inspired gift wrapping I did.
This year I had access to a cooler tool than an exacto knife and a few pages from an old book. I decided to use my Makerbot to print all of my gift tags this year. They look awesome and everyone got to keep a little plastic print out of their name.
There isn’t too much to explain with this one. I created the names in Google Sketchup using the text tool, then I moved the letters close enough to overlap so they printed as one solid piece and extruded the names so they were around 3mm thick. A quick print, careful gluing and this year’s gifts were ready to go under the tree.
Every year I wrap my Christmas presents in plain brown paper and then try to decorate them in a creative way. Last year I illustrated them with a silver sharpie, the year before it was stick on googly eyes for everyone.
This year I came across a really cool idea at ManMadeDIY.com using a print out a font as a stencil they show how to use pages from old books as lettering for gifts. Since I tend to have lots of “book guts” lying around from my Etsy store projects I decided to give this one a shot.
I used ManMadeDIY’s suggestion to use your turn table cover as a lightbox, this worked great! The only change I made was the flip the stencil so I was tracing the letters backwards. This way any pencil lines that remain after cutting will be on the side that is glued down to the box. One glue stick and two sticky hands later I had some pretty great looking gifts.