This year, my theme was Handmade Holidays. My goal was to have all decorations handmade out of things I already had, and all gifts be handmade, recycled and/or locally sourced for under $5. I was mostly successful! Mostly.
First, the decorations:
The tree is made out of yarn and eyelet hooks, which I already had. If I wasn't so adamantly opposed to buying things for decoration purposes, I would have bought cup hooks instead to make it easier to hang the ornaments on. If you want smaller holes in your walls, tacks would also work! I say this not because you're going to be hanging xmas trees for a while, but because everyone who saw this was like I AM NEVER PUTTING UP A TREE AGAIN, THIS IS SO MUCH EASIER.
The paper star on top used this printable tutorial & guide. I downloaded some vintage xmas sheet music I found on google images and printed it on cardstock.
The ornaments are made from construction paper inspired by this one of the zillion "make paper ornaments" instructions online. The presents are just cardboard wrapped in paper and taped to the wall. The wreaths are just paper and cardstock cut out and stuck on with double-sided tape. I bought a large circle punch recently and was really excited about it.
Next, the gifts!
I didn't take a picture of the awesome awesome borg cube photo puzzle cube thing I made for my sister, which is a shame, because it was AWESOME. I used the magic folding wooden photo cube tutorial on chica and jo (I find any tutorial with the word "magic" in it is going to be awesome). I took a picture during assembly:
So just imagine all of that in/on a folding puzzle cube. Then I made a borg cube out of cardboard to house the puzzle cube in when you're not playing with it. The cubes were recycled from a $2 kids' puzzle cube set from Goodwill, but the double-sided "red liner tape sheets" I used for assembly cost almost $15. Well worth it, though.
I wrapped it in word-find wrapping paper. I got the idea from this beautiful all occasion wrapping paper, but since I needed it wrapped within the hour, I had to make my own! I used Excel to make the letters all line up and threw in all the Borg-related words and episode titles I could think of. This was mostly for me, because Sister ripped open the gift without word-finding, but I can see it being a cute idea if the gift is sitting under the tree for the week leading up to xmas or something! (Excel nerds: I used a formula to randomly generate the unassigned letters in between my word find, but key mashing is probably the best bet for your average human wanting to replicate this design.)
Unbeknownst to me, Sister had arranged to have a Starfleet bathrobe custom-made for her fiance for xmas. This turned out to be awesome, because I had NO IDEA what to get for him, so once she opened these soaps we re-wrapped them for him. Ha! PERFECT. I used this tutorial for the soap-carving and made the boxes with cardstock pasted overtop of the plain boxes the soap came in.
You obviously need a complete set. If I'd been willing to spend more than $5, I would have gotten different-scented soaps for Command, Science and Engineering, but I'm both cheap and didn't think of it.
All of this helped me get pretty far on the last of my 2011 Year Of 11 New Year's Resolutions! I've got a super fun resolution planned for this year which I'll post about later in case anyone else wants to join in!