The Gifted Blog

June 7, 2010

Tutorial Tryout: Security Envelope Prize Ribbons

Tutorial Tryouts are my reviews of DIY gift wrapping ideas from the internet and other sources. Click here for the whole series!

When's the last time you got a prize ribbon? I'm guessing it's been too long. (A "Dad & Me" fun run is coming to mind. I think I was 5.)

Why not make some of your own? They'd make gorgeous gift toppers! I found this beautiful post via the Giver's Log gift wrap index, which was in turn inspired by this tutorial. I started with my burgeoning stash of security envelopes.

The bright blue one reads "ANTIMICROBIAL". (Google "antimicrobial envelope prize ribbons" from now on and I bet you The Gifted Blog will appear!) I cut long strips and folded them accordion-style.

Tip: do not make these under pressure! I was anxiously making creases while counting down the minutes 'til N. woke from his nap. These tiny folds can best be enjoyed when you have time to kill.

The tutorial recommends using extra-strength glue dots to secure the rosettes flat. Having none, I wedged each ribbon between my laptop and other objects and dotted a generous amount of Aleene's Tacky Glue in the centers.

After drying overnight, they were ready to be decorated!

This guy got a gold center (also from an envelope) accented with another envelope bit.

The one on the left has real ribbon "tails"; the other two have paper ones (thanks to How About Orange for the idea).

Honestly, the folding of a zillion back-and-forth pleats was not that exciting, but it was worth it! I was eager to see each prize ribbon come into shape, and the mixing and matching of papers at the end was super fun. This is one of the most satisfying paper projects I've ever done, and a creative gift wrapping idea to boot.

What do you think?

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  1. I love it! Those are so sweet - I'm going to have to try it out for myself.

  2. How cool !!!!

    I love your gift ideas very much.
    gift,your blogs' concept is really nice!

    Thank you so much,
    I'm looking forward to next articles!

  3. These look amazing! I never would have guessed they could be made from old envelopes and even my junk mail.

  4. This is SO incredibly cute - and ingenious!
    I will have to rescue some of my father's junk mail from the recycling bin next time I want to wrap a gift this summer.

  5. These are fun! At first I couldn't picture them being used as a gift topper, but seeing the last photo convinces me. It looks good!

  6. All - Thank you! It really was a satisfying project. Give it a shot and take some pics for me!

  7. These are truly brilliant. Love that you used security envelopes. There's a whole stack in my drawer and now I can finally do something fun with them.
    Thanks for this great idea!

  8. great idea charis! we called together a group of youth in our community who decided to organize a weekly "buddy run".. they are raising money from neighbors (which is adorable, they made an offering box) and we were thinking of buying prizes but this is a great idea to make prizes for free! yeah. now we can buy snacks instead :-)

  9. annekata - Go for it! I would love to see you report back on your creations on your blog.

    Lexie - Whoa, a youth buddy run. How cool! What are they raising money for? If you do it, use strong glue and give 'em enough time to dry since you're in a higher-humidity climate. The pleated papers really wanted to pop out into a lampshade shape!

  10. Wow, those look so good! We get tons of security envelopes at work so now I have a reason to save them instead of tossing them straight into the recycle bin. Thanks for sharing such a great (and green) idea!

  11. This is genius! Great way to upcycle :)

  12. @Jantira - Thank you! I would love to see what you come up with. Sorting through the mail scraps at MOCA was one of my favorite parts of the job. : )

    @Claire - Isn't it? I credit the blogs I mentioned at the beginning of the post for the inspiration. Your blog is awesome, by the way. You are a prolific recycler!

  13. I came across your blog because Eco-Artware wrote about it. We're very much about creative reuse when it comes to wrapping so I'm so glad we found you. LOVE this post and will definitely start collecting these envelopes again instead of recycling to try some. Thanks!

  14. @Lynn - So glad this resonated with you! I think that gift wrapping is such a fun way to reuse materials that are otherwise about to be tossed. It's a very playful medium.

    Let me know if you give this a try - I'd love to see!


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