Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

#4thOfJuly #GiftIdeas for your #SecretPal

Image shows a worn baseball glove holding a baseball next to two mason jars filled with home-made lemonade over ice.

Image: iClipart

I realize it’s only June 4th, but we’ve got to plan ahead, right?

For my 4th of July Secret Pal gift idea, I’d like to suggest putting together all the fixin’s for your secret pal to make himself/herself some home-made lemonade. Search for a recipe online and print it out. Also place the following goodies in one of those summer jars you see on sale at every store in town:

  • A dozen fresh lemons
  • A bag of C&H pure cane sugar
  • A wooden spoon
  • A juice squeezer

Tie a big yellow ribbon around the jar, and you’ve got a 4th of July gift for your Secret Pal!


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Make a #DIY #Halloween candy bucket for your #SecretPal

Last week I gave you the pattern for my Halloween pumpkin candy bucket. Here’s the tutorial showing you exactly how to make one for your Secret Pal or Secret Santa.

As always, if you enjoy my free tutorials, patterns, poems, cards, and ideas, please share them using social media. Like them on Facebook, tweet about them, pin them on Pinterest, etc… Thanks!

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Create a #JackOLantern #Candy bucket for your #SecretPal w/ this free pattern's free pattern for a tiny cat mask, a miniature jack-o-lantern Halloween candy bucket, and other Halloween accessories. The overlay image shows a Barbie doll wearing a black cat costume, complete with mask, mitten-like paws, a tail, and tights. She wears a one-piece bodysuit of black felt and carries an orange jack-o-lantern candy bucket for trick-or-treating. Written instructions show how many pieces you need to cut, in order to sew these accessories for a Barbie doll halloween costume.

Visit for more Halloween and holiday craft projects and free patterns.

My regular followers may know this, but if you are new to, you may be surprised to learn that in addition to this Secret Santa/Office Pal website, I also run, which offers free, printable sewing patterns for doll clothes.

But I’m posting this pattern because the little Halloween jack-o’-lantern candy bucket is perfect for giving candy to your Secret Pal or Office Buddy. Here’s an image of just the candy bucket by itself:

Free pattern at for this cute jack-o-lantern made of felt

Free pattern at

This week I’m just offering the pattern. Next week, I’ll offer the tutorial for making this adorable jack-o’-lantern candy bag for your Secret Pal in October. So stop by again!

As always, if you like my free Secret Pal ideas, show your appreciation by liking it on Facebook, pinning my images on Pinterest, tweeting about it, etc…

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Need a #StPaddysDay Gift for your #SecretPal? Visit #StPatricksDay

Need a quick and easy Secret Pal gift for St. Patrick’s Day? Buy a box of gumballs, Gobstoppers, or Milk Duds, paint the box light green or rainbow-colored (or use construction paper), and glue the following emblem on the sides of it:

Image of shamrock with the words "Leprechaun Loot" on it.

Visit for more free Secret Pal gift ideas.

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How to Make a #DIY Mini #Holiday Stocking for Your #SecretSanta w/ FREE Pattern from

Last week I gave you the free, printable sewing pattern to make these cute little miniature stockings (along with a brief holiday poem you can stick inside). This week I’m showing you how to make them.

If you appreciate my free patterns, poems, and ideas, please show your appreciation by pinning, tweeting, or liking them on Facebook. Thanks!

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Make a Tiny #Christmas Stocking for your #SecretSanta or #SillySanta w/ Free Pattern at

Image of sewing pattern for a Christmas stocking and bell-bottom or boot-cut pants that would fit a Barbie-sized doll. offers lots of free, printable doll clothes patterns like this.


In addition to this Secret Santa blog, I also run, which offers free, printable sewing patterns for doll clothes and doll accessories. This year, for the holidays, is offering this free pattern for a miniature Christmas stocking. So I thought, “Hey! I should share this with my Secret Santa followers too!”

Next week I’ll post my sewing tutorial, which shows you exactly how to make the little holiday stockings. Even if you don’t sew, this is an easy project to make. You could probably even use felt and hot glue. (But my tutorial shows you how to make them with a needle and thread.)

These Barbie-doll-sized stockings would be great to stuff with a simple candy cane, M&M’s, or one of my Christmas poems. So be sure and check back here next week to see the tutorial.

And just for good measure, here’s a poem you can include in your stocking with some blue M&M’s:


This stocking is red

The M&M’s are blue

Secret Santa is sweet

To someone like you

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Bags, Boxes, and Containers for Your #SecretPal /Silly Santa Gifts/ #Halloween #Gift Bags

Gift Box Pattern

Image: iClipart

This is a re-post from last year. Hopefully the links still work. Sorry if there are glitches!

It’s still early! I recommend that you order bags, boxes, and containers online, while there’s still time. Since it’s almost Halloween, I’ve included a gift bag for that upcoming holiday too (although it’s probably too late to order it online–but it might give you some creative ideas).

One of my favorite companies for secret pal gift giving is Current, which is located at on the web (Colorado Springs, CO, in real life). But I’ve done all the necessary bag and box shopping for you, and I’ve got these links to help you find what you need:

Daisy Purse Gift Bags

Cardstock Holiday Treat Boxes

Spendy but Cute Scroll Basket

Snowflake Felt Treat Bags

Christmas Owl Bags

Gable Box Value Pack

Santa Paws Gift Bags for Dogs

Non-holiday Black and White Gift Bag Set

Halloween Felt Owl Gift Bags

Polka Dot Hip Hop Bags

Designed Gift Bags (All-Occasion)

Country Themed Gift Bags

Assorted Solid-Color Gift Bags

That last bunch, the “assorted solid-color gift bags” are something I keep in my classroom for on the spot gift-giving, like when I’m trying to put together a small token of my appreciation for an emergency substitute teacher. I’ll pack it with soda, popcorn, and candy from the teachers’ lounge’s vending machine. Then I’ll throw in a few pens, pencils, and other supplies, so the sub won’t have problems with students who come to class unprepared. I also keep note cards in a secret location in my room so I can say thanks for being my on-the-spot sub.

Well, I do hope these gift bag ideas come in handy for your gift giving this year. If you need more gift ideas, please look back through my old posts. I’ve got bunches of ideas here!

And if you haven’t visited it before, check out my sister blog, English Emporium, which is an online MLA handbook for students grades 6-12.

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Anyone up for a game? Here’s my “How to Reveal Your #SecretSanta #Game”!

It’s December 18, and a lot of office parties and Secret Santa groups are going to be ready to reveal their Secret Santas. So I thought I’d post my Secret Santa game for all to see and share.

As part of the party, have everyone bring a couple of old Christmas cards. Provide everyone with tape and scissors. Then have them make the following “Christmas Card box”:

Create a gift box from my easy pattern and your old Christmas cards!

What’s needed? Two Christmas cards, scissors, and tape… That’s all!

Next, have everyone put three hints about themselves on strips of paper and slip these inside an envelope with their name on the outside of the envelope. The hints should be things we might not know about each other. For example, one person might be able to say: a.) I’ve never flown in an airplane, b.) I’m allergic to kiwi fruit, and c.) for Halloween this year, I dressed up as a witch.

Make sure the envelope is very small — small enough to fit inside the box. Here’s a link to various envelope templates you can use (that template link is found on

Next, have the Secret Santa reveal party’s host take all the card boxes and envelopes into a separate room to put together the game. You’ll need to know which Secret Santa was assigned to whom, so bring your sign-up paperwork with you. Meanwhile your co-host can entertain everyone with another game while you prepare the reveal game.

Here’s what you do:

1.) Choose a random card box. (Not necessarily the one made by the person’s Secret Santa.) It needs to be random to avoid having the players guess their Secret Santas based on who brought which cards.

2.) Pick up an envelope and make a mental note (or sticky note) of the name on the outside of the envelope. Pull the hints out of the envelope and place the envelope name-side-down inside the card box. Tape the envelope in the box so the name cannot be seen.

3.) On top of the taped envelope, place the strips of paper which list the hints given by this Secret Santa. Set the lid back on top of the box.

4.) Look through your sign-up sheets to see who that person’s partner was, and write the partner’s name on the outside of the box.

5.) Complete steps 1-4 for each player. Return to the party and give each player the card box with his/her name on the outside.

6.) Players take turns opening their card box, reading the strips of paper, and guessing who their Secret Santa might be. Do not allow anyone to look at the name on the other side of their envelope until everybody has made a guess.

7.) Simultaneously, every player lifts the envelope from the bottom of their card box to see who their Secret Santa was.

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What does my DIY Christmas card gift bag look like when completed? Here it is…

Just take a look. This image shows the DIY Christmas card gift bag in all its stages of creation:

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Make Christmas Gift Bags Out of Old Christmas Cards–an Easy DIY Secret Santa Project

Every year I post my gift bag pattern, and every year it gets lots of hits. So here it is once again.

You just place the pattern over the top of a colorful old Christmas card from last year, trace, cut, and tape. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

gift bag for Silly Santa presents that are inexpensive

Image: iClipart

Next week I’ll post a picture of a finished DIY gift bag, so you know how it should look when it’s all done.

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