Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas......

"The manner of giving is worth more than the gift." ~Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

Okay, well maybe it's not exactly looking a lot like Christmas yet, but it is definitely right around the corner. And in these hard economic times, I don't have to tell you, that buying Christmas gifts for every one on our lists can be somewhat overwhelming, if not, down right impossible.

So, today, I am going to share with you an idea that is not only personal, handmade, easy, and cute, but it is also cheap inexpensive.

It is a scrapbook made out of brown paper lunch sacks.

I made this scrapbook of our family (and friend's) vacation to the beach.

This scrapbook took about six paper lunch sacks (folded in the middle and stacked by alternating ends of the sacks), and I used a hole puncher to punch holes in the "binding area." Then I used white yarn to tie it all together. You could also use decorative ribbon, or really anything that would compliment the pictures or occasion that you are placing in the scrapbook.

Here is a picture of the front of my scrapbook. (If you don't mind, just pretend that you don't notice the torn "e" in Mahoney. Thanks!)

Followed, of course, by the back.

Please feel completely free to ignore us in this picture.


We had such a great time with our boys on this trip.

Pay no attention to the hat that I am wearing in this picture; I had to wear it to help cover up some hair related issues that I was dealing with. *sniff*sniff*

Is it just me, or do the boys look like they are tired of posing for my pictures?;)

I had been saving these night time stickers for the perfect occasion, and I think hermit crab hunting worked well with them.

I do love me some Shannon at the beach.


The room we reserved said it had an "ocean view." It did indeed have an ocean view; the brochure just forgot to mention that you had to peek between two buildings to see it.

The boys really loved playing in the pool. Mainly because of the lack of jellyfish and sharks swimming in it. (A child was attacked by a shark just a little ways down the beach from where we were staying; we unfortunately heard that on the local news while we were in the condo. I am a HUGE "Jaws" fan....on television though, not so much in person.)

The picture of the boys playing in the sand and our friend playing in the ocean was a little too big to fit in the area that I had to work with, so I cropped the picture to fit, but that cut our friend out of the ocean. So, if you look closely, you will notice that I cut her out and placed her in the water closer to the boys. Problem solved.

Aren't I clever? ;)

This last picture is one of Shannon's and my favorite memories; the boys look perfectly miserable at the beach. LOL!:)

We keep teasing the boys each year that we are going to use that picture for our annual Christmas card. LOL! They don't seem to think that joke is as funny as Shannon and I do though.;)

Of course, the possibilities are endless with this idea. For example, if someone you know has a new baby, you could use white paper lunch sacks, and use blue and pink stickers and paper embellishments, and fill the book with that year's milestones for the baby, such as a new tooth, first time to crawl, first steps, etc.
This would also be a great gift for grandparents, newlyweds, high school students, teachers, etc.

And you can see that even though the scrapbook is "small," you can still fit stickers and words on the pages to personalize it, and really make it cute. Not only that, if you would need to send the gift via the postal service, it would not cost a lot of money, because it is not big and doesn't weigh very much at all.

So, now it's your turn, do you have any handmade, cheap inexpensive gift-giving ideas? If so, please share.

"It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it." ~Eileen Elias Freeman


Ashley Winters said...

Hi Amy,

What a great idea! I think I may make a scrapbook for my dad for Christmas.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I think this is a fantastic idea...and so cute too! The parents would love something like this, filled with pics of their grandbabies!!

Weeksie50 said...

I love the paperbag scrapbooks. We make paperbag books all the time in pre-k.

One time I made a scrapbook for my friend Lisa. It turned out being way expensive.. one page cost way over 40 dollars.. I have not scrapped since I mdae it.. How crazy is that?

Wow, how totally cool that your Mom walked up to Elvis. She should have laid one on To fun.

Gwendolyn said...

I love your scrapbook! I might try something like this for my family...but home-made gifts are frowned upon on my husband's side. They are quite wealthy, and have never quite grasped that we are not. LOL

Tracey said...

Good for you! Very creative! I'll have to remember that!

Sharon said...

This is so cool, I will have to give it a whirl! Thank you for such a wonderful idea.
I will have to think about something and I'll let you know.
Thanks for sharing this :)

SondreLyn said...

I love your scrapbook! It is so cute! The pix of your family are great. It looks like you had a wonderful time. What a great idea for a Christmas gift!

valerie said...

I love it!
I am meeting my friends tonight for dinner...the ones I went on the girls weekend trip with back in Oct. I made them a little photo album (it was $1.99 at Walgreens) and then I printed off my blog post for that trip. Last night I kept wondering how I could present the blog post in a cute way. Hummmm.....if I can find the time today I will give this a try.
One year, years ago it was my mom's birthday and I wasn't working at the time and we had very little money. This was back in the cassette tape days and I made her a tape with tons of praise and worship songs that would come on the radio. She loved it. She bragged about that for years.
Also, one year for her birthday my three sisters and I all wrote down our favorite memories of my mom and my sister typed them all on little strips of paper and put them in a cute little bowl. She has that sitting on her dresser.
I guess as I get older, these type gifts mean so much more to me than anything money could buy.
Thanks again for sharing! I can't wait to read ideas others have.
I love your vacation pictures. They're great!
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

That is SUCH a good idea! We're making alot of stuff this year too! :)

Michele said...

That is a fantistic idea!!

Mia said...

Look at you being all frugal and creative!!! That is a wonderful keepsake : )
Oh and hubby at the beach.....well.. ; )

Dianne said...

I'll do a post on this soon, but last year we got t shirts for the whole family in the same colour and designed specific pictures for each person, then printed them onto tshirt transfers and ironed them on.

It was nice going all of us looking the same and having out own personalised design on the back.

I do like this idea tho, I think I'll just have to poach it sometime. ;o)

Dianne said...

Oh and PS, I had no idea Shannon was so buff! You lucky lady.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

You are one creative gal, and me...not so much! Cute idea, I'm going to show my daughter.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

You are a genious, Amy. This is such a neat idea.

I love the pics.

I can't imagine how your hair could look bad. I re-read that post thinking there was a pic.

Big loves,

Gina said...

What a great idea, you are so creative. :) Thanks for the birthday wish!

God bless,

Kenny said...

I think you are one up on that old Martha Stewart. Now you have me thinking about the beach. When are we going?

3Strands said...

I was looking for more pics of Shannon in speedo and didnt see any---oh well---hope you and family are doing ok, have really enjoyed reading youre blog and keeping in touch-----Bo

Laura said...

This is so cute, Amy. You are a woman of many talents! Prov. 31 woman, look out!! I love the idea of the paper bags. Who would have thought? A great idea for a special friend who you went on a wild trip with...

love ya!


Mari said...


You got skills girl! WOW

Anonymous said...

Cool! I wish I could do that. Guess I'd better stick with blogging. (sigh)

Smiling Shelly said...

Bah-humbug! I'm not ready to start thinking about Christmas yet so instead I'll focus on that adorable scrap book that you put together...

First of crack me up!! And with that hat remind me of Strawberry Shortcake.

Do the boys know that you showed these pictures of them on the WWW?? I'm just sayin. HA!

Love you girl. Talk to you soon.