Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

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

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 allcrafts.net).

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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#Craft Box for Your #SecretSanta Gift

I found this image on Pinterest, but it redirects back to a website called Craft and Creativity. Please give credit to craftandcreativity.com if you pin, like, or tweet.

Wouldn’t this be a cute box to put your Secret Santa gift in?

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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:

Leave a comment »

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.

Leave a comment »

Bags, Boxes, and Containers for Your Secret Pal/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 Halloween, I’ve included a gift bag for today’s holiday (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 currentcatalog.com 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 coming in, to sub at the drop of a hat.

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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Easy DIY Secret Pal/Secret Santa Gift Boxes: Snowman Cups

Check out this easy DIY gift box for your secret pal from Blue Cricket Design (just click on that link to take you to their website where you can see the steps to make it):

Easy DIY gift box craft project for secret santa secret pal containers boxes bags

Image: BlueCricketDesign.net

Isn’t this an easy-peasy gift box for Christmas candy, trinkets, or smaller gifts? And it’s truly adorable…

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Make a Tote Bag for Your Secret Pal

Quick and Easy to Make Crafts for Gift Giving

Image: iClipart

Handbags and carry-all totes are easy-peasy to make and give as gifts. Just look for patterns at your local fabric store and buy a fabric that suits your secret pal. If she loves cats, get kitty-patterned fabric for her bag. If she loves to garden, get a floral print fabric to make her bag. If she’s a music teacher, make one with a music-note lining.

And if she’s a teacher, well, you can always go with the timeless apple pattern.

I once made my daughter a bookbag without even using a pattern. They’re really as simple as they look! But if you’re no seamstress, then maybe your secret pal is. In that case, get her all the goods she needs to make her own bags:

Day 1: the fabric

Day 2: the pattern

Day 3: the accessories (ribbons, thread, buttons if needed)

Heck, you could stretch it out over four or five days, if you include three different kinds of fabric. Just make sure you read the pattern for measurements. (You want to make sure you buy plenty of fabric for the project!)

Happy crafting!

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Easter Gift-Giving Ideas for Your Secret Pal Teacher Friend

secret pal gift ideas for Easter with free card and poemI’m always looking for great containers, because that’s part of the fun of gift-giving. Anyway, here’s a simple way to make stringy Eggs that you can fill with candy, or as I said in last month’s post, you could fill them with teacher-y stuff like paper clips, erasers, etc.

As with papier mache, you just dip colorful strings in a flour-and-water mixture and drape them over the balloon. Then set them on a piece of wax paper to dry. Don’t forget to pop and remove the balloon when it’s all done.

Once again, I stole this idea from Pinterest.

If you like my creative ideas, check out my sister website for teachers, EnglishEmporium.WordPress.com, where teachers can download free graphic organizers, vocabulary lists, and activities.

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