Country Sampler Special Edition

Clever Ways with Containers

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While there are all manner of boxes, bags and tins available for packaging your cookieexch­ange treats, sometimes you want to give them a little flair. This year, why not try one of these crafty ideas? 1. Order Up

Turn to kraft-paper take-out boxes (which can easily be ordered online in small and large sizes) to hold an assortment of cookies in a fun way. When secured with candy-striped washi tape and festive labels, they are all set for gifting. DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPH­ED BY PAULA BIGGS OF FROGPRINCE­PAPERIE.COM.

2. Chalkboard Fun

To update old Christmas tins, try chalkboard paint. Jess McGurn of Bright Green Door picked up her tins at a local thrift store for between 25 and 50 cents each. Thoroughly scrub your tins and then coat the outsides and lids with chalkboard spray paint. When the paint is dry, add seasonal sayings and simple but festive freehand designs with white oil-based paint markers that resemble chalk but have more staying power. DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPH­ED BY JESS MCGURN OF BRIGHTGREE­NDOOR.COM.

3. Totally Tubular

Transform an empty cylindrica­l chip container into a holder for a sweet stack of round cookies, such as chocolate chip or gingersnap. Clean the container thoroughly and cover the outside with festive wrapping paper or scrapbook paper. Finish with some coordinati­ng baker’s twine or other trims. DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPH­ED BY OHSODELICI­OSO.COM.

4. Well Plated

Cut and fold a red paper plate to make a box for holding goodies. Follow the lead of Paula Biggs of Frog Prince Paperie. On the colored face of the plate, cut two slits a few inches apart from the edge of the plate to the inner circle. Cut matching slits on the opposite edge. Fold in the left and right sides of the plate to create creases that connect the top and bottom slits; unfold. The center area will be the base of your box. Turn the plate over. Fold in the cut sides of the plate, crease and unfold. These will be the box sidewalls. Bring all four sides of the box up, overlap and secure with glue or staples. Fill the newly minted boxes with bagged cookies and decorate with ribbon and labels. DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPH­ED BY PAULA BIGGS OF FROGPRINCE­PAPERIE.COM.

5. Tins for the Win

Another way to update inexpensiv­e Christmas tins is with chalky-finish paint and a stencil. Paint both the tin and lid with enough coats of chalky-finish paint to completely cover the design, letting the paint dry between coats. Center a stencil on the lid and use a dauber to lightly apply craft paint to the stencil. If needed, use an artist’s brush to touch up any stray paint. Once dry, use a paint marker or permanent marker to add a second color to the stenciled design. DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPH­ED BY MARTY WALDEN OF MARTYSMUSI­NGS.NET.

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