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Out On a Limb 'Shake & Take' Small Paper Bag & Card

For many years I have kept a box where I store non-personal gifts for those last minute invitations and/or occasions, and it's worked out very well. The items include gifts that I have made or purchased and I try to make sure that they are as neutral gendered as possible. A few years ago, I started adding small paper bags with coordinating cards that I decorated to keep in the box so that everything would be all in one place. The only thing that I don't keep in the box are the fillings. By fillings, I'm talking about jellybeans, chocolate kisses, saltwater taffy, choclate coins, individual wrapped caramels, etc. These treats are added to the bag along with the gift and card and they are then transformed into my 'shake & take' bags.

I will show you one that I made for Christmas this year. To begin, I selected scraps of cardstock and patterned paper that I found in my 'reserves'. I cut out the pieces to fit the bag and for the ice cycles, I had a piece of cardstock that I added silver and white glitter on in random places.

I also came across some colored metallic balloon embellishments that I turned upside down to use as ornaments. To these, I added some gold metallic threads and glued them to the back of the ornaments and then wrapped them around the tree limb and glued them down there, too.

I used my favorite closure technique on the upper portion of the bag that I created a couple of years ago. I use it quite a bit on my greeting cards to attach the paper greeting to the card shell, but thught it would be fun for this bag. Basically, I just cut a thin strip of red cardstock paper and cut it to the width of the bag. Then I take my craft knife and cut 2 small vertical slits on the right side of the bag, and two small slits on the left side. Then slip the strip through the slits (say this quickly a few times!), then punch two (2) holes with a small hole punch on one end. Feed a few strands of metallic threads in the small holes, tie, and fluff out for a tinge of whimsical fancy. To open the bag, all you need to do is slide the strip out holding the metallic threaded end.

Here's the card that can be used with this bag. I used cheesecloth, gold wallpaper, wires that I twisted and bent, and more balloons, I mean ornaments.

Here's what I am using for the fillings - a bag of hollow chocolate Santa ornaments and solid chocolate Santas.

And here's the finished product! Oh, I almost forgot. The gift inside will be an Amazon gift card.

Lastly, this packaging could also be used if you are invited to a holiday gathering where the guests play Yankee Swap, White Elephant, or Dirty Santa. If you are not familiar with these games, you can find information, along with the rules and regulations, on the Internet. Simply, they are games played for the exchanging of gifts without having someone specifically in mind as the receiver. I played it once and got Scrooged...

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