Get Crafty with Paper & Gifts

Get Crafty with Paper & Gifts

Gifts are exchanged for most major celebrations and holidays, and because gifts are given so frequently, it can be tricky to figure out which gift will be the most original and appreciated. Handmade gifts sometimes have a reputation for being tacky, but there's no reason a crafted gift can't be both beautiful and useful. Origami, the Japanese art of paper-folding, can be used to create stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry or home decor. Newspaper can be recycled into stylish wrapping paper or a party piñata. No matter whether the celebration is a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or holiday, a little creativity with paper and household supplies can result in an unforgettable gift for the occasion.


  • Personalized Math: The Secret of Origami: Did you know that origami's versatility is due to a few basic laws of math? Check out these links to learn the basics of origami and how to create your own unique patterns.
  • The Gift of Origami From Festivals to Field Trips: Origami is a fun craft, but it's not just for kids. Professional origami artists can produce beautiful works of art, and many offer lessons to help introduce beginners of all ages to the art of paper folding.
  • Crane or Lucky Star? Personalize an Origami Gift: An origami creation can be a wonderful gift, but not everyone likes paper cranes. This page has many different origami tutorials, including how to make one-of-a-kind abstract sculptures.
  • Hobbies: The Gifts That Keep on Giving: Origami is just one example of a hobby that utilizes math and design. If folding paper doesn't sound appealing, there are many different alternatives to enjoy.
  • World Culture and Life Abroad: Every country in the world has a culture that helps make it unique. Find out about what life is like in Egypt and Brazil with this helpful page. There is also information on Japan, the birthplace of the art of origami.
  • Origami Sites and Gift Instruction: No matter where they live in the world, origami enthusiasts can connect online through regional societies. This page has links to a few such organizations as well as information on origami and how to get started in the hobby.

Other Resources

  • Enhance Origami With Personalized Paper: Plain white paper is a great material for those new to origami, but it's not the only option. Origami creations can look completely different with patterned or handmade paper.
  • Family: The Greatest Gift: When holidays or birthdays approach, it can be tricky to find the ideal present for a member of the family. Handmade gifts show time and consideration and can become a family keepsake for many years to come.
  • Store-Bought Gifts? No Way! Personalized Sugar Scrubs: Friends with sensitive skin may be unable to use commercial products with certain ingredients in them. These ten DIY scrubs are all-natural and offer a variety of benefits ranging from softer skin to acne treatment.
  • The Best Gifts for the Holidays: Crafting can be hard when ideas are scarce. Crank up the creativity with this list of possible gifts for everyone in the house, whether they're the resident baker or the family pet.
  • 10 Valentine's Day Gifts Women Will Love: Chocolates and jewelry are traditional ways of showing love on Valentine's Day, but they don't have to cost a fortune. These gift ideas are clever and inventive ways to surprise your sweetheart with something that's both heartfelt and handmade.
  • Grab Those Note Cards! Personalized Father-of-the Bride Speeches: Wedding speeches are a great way to reflect on and share the relationship between friends and family. The father of the bride's speech can be especially important, and this article covers the topics that should be included or omitted in the speech.
  • Personalize a Party With Unique Bar Glasses: When attending a dinner party, it's typically the conversation that sets the tone for the evening. Add some playfulness to a regular get-together with these fun and creative ideas for bar glasses.
  • Gift Guide Roundup: Different people have different likes and dislikes, and while this adds variety to daily life, it can also make holiday shopping difficult. This gift guide is sorted by recipients and offers some great ideas for the perfect gift.
  • Christmas Gift Ideas for Pets: Whether it's Christmas morning or Christmas Eve, pets can make up a big part of the celebration. Include them in the festivities with these easy-to-make pet gifts.
  • Quirky and Personalized Ways to Say "I Love You": Roses are nice gifts, but they're also expensive and unimaginative. For a gift as unique as the person receiving it, check out this list of 50 Valentine's Day gifts for under $50.
  • Personalized Gifts Through Comparison Shopping: If gift-searching has you stumped, there are hundreds of great gift ideas floating around the Web. Different online shopping engines host different products and clients, so searching through several can be a good way to hunt down the perfect idea.
  • What to Make: Inter-Office Gift Guidelines: Whether it's an after-hours retirement party or a lunch break birthday bash, coworkers can make for some of the hardest people to shop for. This article addresses three of the most common work celebrations and suggests fun, professional gift options for each one.
  • Bar Glasses That Spice Up Any Party: Why stick to board games when a few wine glasses can become a symphony? Musical wine glasses are only one option on this list of must-have bar gear.
  • Gifts With Guts: Buying From Startup Companies: The local mall may have some good gift options, but for something truly unique, seek out an independent retailer. Independent startup companies typically offer items and gifts that can't be found anywhere else.
  • Spring Cleaning: Clean Some, Gift Some: Cleaning house can be an arduous and unwelcome chore. However, what may be taking up space in a corner can double as a great Christmas gift. This article offers some tips on what to keep, what to clean, and what to give away.
  • Personalize Your Reading Time: Ever wondered whether or not you can make it through a book before dinner? This chart clearly maps out the average time it takes to make it through books according to the number of words they contain.
  • Most Popular Halloween Costumes: Crafting Halloween costumes can be a fun activity for the whole family, but deciding on a creative costume can be much harder. This infographic takes a look at some of the most popular Halloween costumes over the past 25 years and includes a prediction for upcoming costume trends.
  • Enough Time for Bedtime? Kids' Books: Reading a book together before bed is a great way for parents and kids to spend time together. However, a book that's too long can lead to a late morning. Plan ahead with this helpful chart that details how long it takes to read some of the most popular books for kids.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Personalize: 21 Common Household Items for Crafting: Most families have old newspapers or unread books lying around the house. Transform these items into something useful and decorative with this comprehensive article.
  • Wedding Gifts: A Short Story: Tickets for a flight or event can be a fun wedding gift if they're for something the couple can enjoy together. However, as shown in this fictional short story, such gifts can be difficult to return.
  • A Notre Dame Wedding Experience: College campuses can be a great place to host a wedding, especially if the campus has special significance to the bride or groom. This website offers a quick look at the amenities a campus might have to offer.
  • The Wedding Gifts: Art Institute of Chicago: Weddings and wedding traditions make up a big part of American culture. This painting plays homage to the tradition of gift-giving, and you can view it online.
  • Wedding Registry Usability: Many stores offer wedding registries to help streamline the gift-giving process for both the bridal couple and their guests. This study analyzes some of the most important features for a wedding registry to have and compares several of the most popular commercial wedding registries.
  • Give Them the Gift They're Expecting: Many gift-givers enjoy coming up with creative gift ideas for loved ones. However, giving the recipient a gift that they've mentioned wanting may actually be perceived as a more thoughtful gift. This article dives into the psychology of gifting and the surprising truth behind wish lists.
  • Wedding Gift Etiquette: Giving wedding gifts began as a way to help the new couple stock their household and prepare for their life together. Today, the inspiration behind giving gifts is the same, but the rules for setting up a registry have changed.
  • Mexican Wedding Traditions (PDF): Weddings happen all over the world, but the traditions behind them differ according to country. Take a look at some of Mexico's wedding traditions with this fun article from Rice University.
  • Vintage Wedding Gifts: Modern couples may request an espresso machine, but traditional gifts in the late 1800s included handkerchiefs and China vases. This handwritten list of wedding gifts provides a firsthand look at what a bride of the period could have expected to receive.
  • The Wedding Gifts in Catullus 64: The Roman poet Catullus wrote a short epic poem about the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. This article details and analyzes the gifts given during this fantastical wedding ceremony.
  • Wedding Gifts of 1928: Entertaining and dinner parties were immensely popular during the Roaring Twenties. Wedding gifts during this period frequently included everything a couple would need to host a party, like jelly spoons and silver serving dishes.
  • PYOP: Wedding Gifts: Not all wedding gifts have to be off the registry. Sometimes, a hand-painted mug or plate commemorating a shared joke or memory can be just as meaningful.
  • The Trader's Wedding: Ritual Inflation and Money Gifts in Transylvania: In rural or remote regions of the world, wedding gifts can come in the form of money or trades. This article examines the practice and how it's evolved over the past hundred years.
  • Limitations and Restrictions on Gifts (PDF): Gifts are a wonderful surprise for most individuals, but for elected officials, there are severe restrictions to ensure that lobbyists won't be able to influence an official's decision. Full details of these restrictions, including information on travel expenses and loans, can be found in this document.
  • Employee Gifts and Entertainment Policy (PDF): College employees may occasionally receive a gift from the university in recognition of an achievement or a loss in the family. This article from Rollins College provides more detail on the rules for gifting to employees and non-employees alike.
  • When a School Gets the Wedding Gifts: Most couples request wedding gifts like plates and linens, but occasionally, they may decide to request that guests contribute to a charity or fund instead. In this instance, a wedding couple opted to request donations for a scholarship fund.
  • Personal Property: Dividing Wedding Gifts (PDF): Engagement and wedding gifts are given to the couple as a unit, and when an engagement or marriage ends, it can make dividing the gifts more complicated. This law review examines one such case from 1951.
  • GBlues Gift Card Program (PDF): Gift cards can be a great option for someone who prefers to choose their own present. They can also help the gift giver stay on budget while still giving something that will be used and appreciated.
  • Wedding Gift Poem: The bride and groom may wish to thank their guests at the reception for their company and for any wedding gifts received. When a speech just won't do, this poem by Tagore might hit the right note for the evening.
  • The I Do Foundation (DOC): If wedding gifts are meant to be dispersed between several charities or funds, there could be some confusion as to which donation goes where. Fortunately, there are several management companies that help keep donations streamlined and clear.
  • More Than a Wedding: Scholarship Donation: When a couple makes the decision to contribute to a scholarship fund, the wedding becomes a way of giving back to deserving students. A couple may arrange this on their own, or they may turn to a formal organization to manage the donations.
  • The Barn-Raising Wedding Gift: Alternative wedding gifts can stretch farther than bed linens or charity donations. This couple in Maine asked family and friends to contribute by helping with a barn-raising.
  • Rules of Engagement: State Law and the Wedding Ring "Gift": Many couples propose by offering their intended an engagement ring. If the engagement ends early, deciding who keeps the expensive ring can be a topic of hot debate. You can learn more about the legal rules of engagement ring "gifts" on this page from Wake Forest University.
  • Bride Gives Up Wedding Gifts to Increase Scholarship Endowment: For some brides, giving up dinnerware can be a great way to give back to a family tradition. A bride from Oklahoma opted to trade wedding gifts for donations to her family's scholarship fund for Native American students.
  • When the Wedding Gifts Are Reviewed: Wedding gifts take up a large portion of commercial sales, and advertisers have been doing their best to capitalize on it for the past 300 years. This advertisement from 1915 plays on the old practice of laying out wedding gifts for "review" by the guests.
  • Anniversary Gifts: There are recommended rules for buying anniversary gifts, but the key element is to give something that the couple will enjoy. A few recommendations can be found on this page.
  • Putting Away the Gifts: Giving a gift to a public official can be problematic, even if the person is a friend. Before you send a plate of brownies to the friendly postal worker, give this article a read to learn why such gifts can cause problems for both the official and the gift-giver.

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