DIY: Custom Print DIY Pillow Gift Boxes | 12 Months of Martha

As you all know by now, I’m participating in Martha Stewart’s “12 Months of Martha” this year. Martha Stewart Living sends me and a handful of other bloggers the latest tools and products from the Martha Stewart Crafts line. We then use those tools to create a new project every month. See what we’re all up to with the hashtag #12monthsofmartha.

DIY Pillow boxes made easy #12MonthsofMarthaThis month they sent over the new gift box maker and I LOVE IT. Do you know how many times I’ve needed a random little box for something? Now I can whip one up in seconds. Game changer. There are three sizes in one tool which is also super genius. Bravo MSL, bravo.

I have found that this tool works best with thicker paper and light weight cardboard. Luckily, I always keep a stash of heavier weight printer paper on hand. That way I can print the patterns of my choice without having to go out and buy paper. I told you this is a game changer.

DIY Pillow boxes made with Martha Stewart's Gift Box Maker #12MonthsofMarthaYou can find adorable patterns on stock image sites like I did, or you can create your own, and simply print them out on your heavy weight printer paper. The small and medium box templates work perfectly fine with standard letter sized paper.

This tool is really simple to use. You just trace with the stylus to create the fold lines.

Martha Stewart Crafts Gift Box Maker #12MonthsofMarthaThen use the blade to cut out the shape.

Martha Stewart Crafts Gift Box Maker #12MonthsofMartha

Martha Stewart Crafts Gift Box Maker #12MonthsofMartha

Fold it on the scored lines and use double stick tape or glue to seal the edge.

DIY Pillow boxes #12MonthsofMartha

What you end up with are custom DIY pillow boxes that cost pennies to make.

Palm leaves used as ribbon for gift wrapping #12MonthsofMartha

To finish the boxes I used pieces of palm leaves as ribbon and I made paper flowers with left over tissue paper.

DIY pillow boxes and gift wrapping ideas #12MonthsofMartha

These pillow boxes can also be used for things other than gifts. I’m thinking treats, party favors, storage, and more!

DIY: Mexican Papel Picado

No Mexican themed party is a real fiesta without papel picado. Papel picado is a Mexican folk art where designs are cut into paper and displayed for different special occasions.

Professional papel picado is really impressive and can feature different elaborate scenes. Commonly seen designs are skeletons, birds, and flowers for Day of the Dead celebrations. You don’t have to be a pro to make your own pretty papel picado though. Here’s how to do it.

Using colored tissue paper, you’re going to fold and cut different shapes out. It’s similar to making paper snowflakes. You know the ones.

Papel Picado Steps

1. Cut a rectangle of tissue paper. 6″x8″ is a good size.

2. Fold the paper in quarters, width wise.

3-4. Make an curvy cut at the bottom.

5-6. Cut shapes into folds. Try folding at different angles to get as much variety as possible.

I like to iron mine with low heat when they’re finished. This smooths the fold lines out nicely.

Use as many different colors and designs as possible!

DIY Mexican Papel Picado

Use clear tape to attach them to a ribbon or string and hang them like a garland.

DIY Mexican Papel PicadoThat’s it! Now your fiestas will be super authentic. Trust me, I’m Mexican.


DIY: Paper Snowflake Tutorial

I’m a paper snowflake making machine!!!! I learned how to make these in elementary school, somewhere between hand stamping gift wrap with cut potatoes and learning how to temper chocolate for chocolate covered pretzels. I went to a very creative school. Jvee makes fun of me, BUT IT MADE ME WHO I AM. Anyway, I’m excited to string these all over my apartment!

Here is how to make paper snowflakes using standard letter size paper in 8 easy steps.


1. Start with standard letter paper. Like the kind that is in your printer.

2. Fold down the top right corner of the paper, making a triangle. Don’t worry about the excess yet.

3. Fold the left top corner down.

4. Cut off the excess paper, making a triangle. When unfolded, this is a square folded into diagonal quarters.

5. Fold your triangle into thirds.

6. Cut off the excess, making another triangle.

7. Cut your desired shape.

8. Unfold and see your creation! I like to iron mine with a low setting to make them crisp flat.

Paper Snowflakes

Experiment with different cuts and shapes to create a flurry of unique snowflakes. Remember no two are alike! Glitter or flock them for some texture and sparkle. String them into garlands or use them as ornaments on your tree! They go great with our vintage woodlands theme. ❤

Paper snowflakes

DIY: Recycled Magazine Christmas Trees

If you’re like me you probably have at least 5 magazines or holiday catalogs (or mysterious Maxims??) laying around or sitting on your coffee table. Hopefully you recycle them, but do you want a cool way to UP-cycle them? Some of you may remember this craft from elementary school but we’re bringing it back. These are super cheap to make because the main material is free or reused. Used magazines work best but if you’re working with a new one, just open it to break the spine. I put together a step by step tutorial with photos below. A bone folder is a great tool to have for this if you plan on making a few and want to avoid paper cuts. I know a few readers were hoping to see a Maxim themed tree but I’ll work with a Glamour for our more shy readers.

Step 1: Fold the top right corner into the spine of the magazine.

Step 2: Fold the same page into the spine again.

Step 3: Turn the page and you’ll see the corner piece form a triangle.

Step 4: Fold the triangle up to make the bottom flat.

Step 5: Tuck the triangle into the fold. (That’s what she said…)

Step 5: Keep folding all of the pages the same way and your magazine should naturally make a full tree. If you have a gap just use tape or glue to close it.

I think the tree looks pretty nifty just like this but if you want to glam it up a bit, spray the tree with adhesive and then cover it with glitter. These glittered versions are very popular at the White House!

These are addicting and now you’ll never look at a magazine without being tempted to fold it into a tree. You can store these in shoe boxes to enjoy for years to come!

DIY: Wrapping Paper Drawer Liners

After I finished painting this table I knew I had to do something about the stained and dirty insides of the drawers. I could have primed and painted them but I envisioned a pattern instead. I looked for drawer liner paper but didn’t find anything I liked well enough. Then, I found this wrapping paper at Michael’s and decided to decoupage!

You can buy decoupage products like Modge Podge at any local craft store but I made my own because I didn’t have any on hand. This homemade version leaves a matte finish but Modge Podge has different finishes you can choose from. You can use polycrylic or something similar as a sealer with more shine or lustre if you decide to.

Mix 1 part water with 1 part white glue for your “decoupage” mixture. If it feels too watery, use more glue.

This is is the wrapping paper I picked up for $3.

Paint a layer of glue onto the surface of the wood-

Then lay your pre-cut paper over it. Smooth it out using the side of a credit card, popcycle stick, or wallpapering tool.

Add another layer of glue over the top of the paper to seal it. Carefully smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles and let dry. Voila!