The holidays have come and gone. It's time to get the house back in order. Take down the tree, box up the lights, clear the stack of holiday cards from the mantle and put them in the recycling bin … right?
Here's a better idea: turn those lovely holiday cards into mini gift boxes for next year. Not only is it a fun craft to do with your kids on a mushy, winter day, but it'll put you way ahead when the holidays roll around again next year.
Cut the card in half along the fold. Take the front of the card and measure along the shortest side. Cut the long side to match that dimension. This leaves you with a square. So, for example, if your card is 4 by 6 inches, your square will by 4 by 4 inches. This will be the top of your box. Do the same thing with the back of the card, except cut it ¼ inch smaller on each side. With a 4 by 4 inch box top, that means a 3¾ by 3¾ inch bottom.
Lay the card on the table so the inside is facing up. Draw an X to connect the corners diagonally. Fold all four corners so they meet in the middle of the square (the center of the X). Now you have a smaller square.
Fold the top and bottom edges (NOT the corners) to meet in the middle. The dotted lines on diagram A indicate the folds. Unfold, and repeat with the right and left sides. Unfold the square completely.
The fold lines on your square should look like the dotted lines on diagram B. These fold lines will show you where to make cuts and folds as you finish the box. Cut along the folds as indicated by the green lines on diagram B. Fold the triangle flaps so the corners meet in the middle again. Fold again so the sides stand up. Fold in the ends of these two sides to make the other two sides.
Take the other two corners and fold them up and over. Glue them down in the middle. If you use tacky glue you'll have to hold the edges down until they have partially dried; for quicker results try using a glue gun (with adult supervision).
Repeat with the back of the card to make the bottom of the box.
Use for small trinkets or pieces of candy, or for favors at a class party. You can also use cards from other holidays-Valentine's Day, birthdays, etc.-and make other themed boxes.
Just be careful, this can get addictive.