paper sleeves and monograms for plastic containers

December 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

Despite all the fancy packaging choices at stores, giving away your holiday home-baked goods in plastic containers isn’t necessarily such a tacky thing (given the right accessory!).

With your favorite heavy stock cut and folded into a sleeve, your ordinary disposable plastic container is easily dressed as a pretty little package for giving away anytime, not just Christmas.  Punch out a monogram and make it more personal!

I first designed sleeves like these for Christmas favors way back in 2003.  That was the time I realized store-bought holiday tins and boxes (though printed and pretty) are three things: 1) lacking in personal touch; 2) pricey (if considering volume gift-giving); and 3) not exactly what I want.   Since then, and every year, I looked forward to making treats packaged in my own custom (most importantly: cost-effective!) designs which I gave away to family and friends in lieu of a Christmas card.  This style is most personal to me, out of all annual packages I’ve designed in the last 8 years because this is the project that inspired my need for custom Christmas packaging going forward.  It also happens to be the simplest.  Overtime on this blog, I would love to share with you each and every one of my past annual custom packages given to my family and friends and co-workers, however, I will start from the very beginning with this simple piece from 2003.

From the original batch in 2003.

My “Kuya” (“Big Brother” in Filipino) thoughtfully kept and preserved the original package I gave him (down to the bits of brownie stuck on the inside lid of the container — eeew!).  Seeing it after eight years is what inspired me to post this project on this blog.  But for the blog, I wanted to change it up to show some patterns I currently love: plaid, cane, and herringbone.

Of course, it would be a long search to find the exact blue shades of plaid, cane, and herringbone cardstock to match the containers, so I opted out of that challenge.  Instead, I quickly designed my own plaid, cane, and herringbone paper using none other than Microsoft Word (a hack job I often do…which leads me to the thought that perhaps one day in the coming year, I will have a little blog instruction on how to easily utilize MS Word as a design tool, if you do not want to spend the big bucks on Adobe’s sophisticated offerings).

You will need to measure your plastic container and cut and fold your stock accordingly.  I suggest a container no larger than 4″ in diameter, such as the ones I used, otherwise you will encounter the impossibility of fitting 12″ cardstock around it.

To remedy any gaps (due to lack of length of paper), overlap a tiny strip with a greeting for an added touch.

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recycled packaging for cupcakes, cookies, and macarons

September 25, 2011 § 57 Comments

It’s bake sale season!  And soon enough, our kitchens will be converted to cookie factories come December.  So here is an almost-free approach to creatively packaging all of your yummy treats!

This is a fantastic way to repurpose all of those plastic water bottles, as well as to use up scraps of cardboard.  And it’s an opportunity to consume your collection of washi tape or pretty ribbon that have been patiently waiting at the bottom of your craft drawers for the day they are given purpose.

I picked up my 3-pack of washi tape at Daiso for $1.50 back in August when I was in California.  A combined 48 yards!  What.  A.  Steal.  Hundreds of these little packages can be made with a $1.50 inventory of washi tape.  What’s sad is that our households may actually go through that many plastic bottles in a year.  At least this project grants the plastic bottles another calling in their lifetime before they hit the landfill.

For use of two water bottles (ideal for a row of homemade cookies and macarons):

1. Cut off the bottom of two plastic bottles to preferred length.  Fill with treats.

2. Attach the plastic bottles together with tape.

For use of one water bottle (ideal for one mini cupcake, but also great for a smaller serving of cookies and macarons):

1. Cut the bottom of one plastic bottle to preferred height.  Trace on cardboard.  Cut cardboard circle.

2. Place cupcake on cardboard circle.  Cover with bottom of plastic bottle.  Make sure the plastic bottle sits on top of the cardboard circle.  Affix tape around the plastic bottle and cardboard circle.

If you do not have washi tape, you may use double-sided tape covered with decorative ribbon.

Make sure to bake your cookies, macarons, and mini cupcake to fit the diameter of the water bottles.  I haven’t endeavored in baking macarons, so I splurged on half a dozen for the sake of this post.  Really.  Sweets for blogging’s sake!

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