This was my favorite holiday memory from last year, and I’m pretty sure it was Ali’s as well. I am already trying to figure out what I could do this year to rival it, because my Mister Christmas Husband would surely not approve of doing the same paper two years in a row.
But just in case some of you are starting to think about the holidays, I figured I’d repost it during my week of reruns – because if one of you did it and sent me pictures, it’d almost be like me getting to do it all over again. Oh – and I’m also accepting ideas for this year’s gift wrap.
There’s always at least one odd “homemaker” skill that a wife learns from her husband. My Dad, being Greek and therefore a born-that-way amazing cook, taught my Mom everything she knows in the area of culinary skills.
Chris, being Mister Christmas himself, taught me everything I know about wrapping presents.
He has instilled in me a need to wrap perfectionistically and originally every year. And I must say, I love the challenge.
This year, I saw a wrapping paper idea on Pinterest – it was commercially made word search paper, where you could circle phrases like “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Birthday”.
I liked the idea, but I wanted to do it a bit more personally. So I decided to make my own Word Search Wrapping Paper with everyone’s names built into it – and it was much, MUCH cheaper.
There are plenty of word search creation websites out there, but the one I landed on was on Discovery Education.
I chose 40 letters across by 40 letters down under Step 1, selected the “text” option under Step 4, and entered everyone’s names that would be receiving presents from us in Step 5.
Then I realized that I wanted everyone’s names to show up multiple times so that I could easily find it and so that it would be in different spots on the paper. The website wouldn’t do multiple names, but seeing as how I was making a word search, it didn’t matter what letters were after the name, so I added unique names to my list like so:
(The site said to make sure that there wasn’t any unintentional foul language in my word search, but I didn’t check. So if your present cusses at you, I do apologize.)
Since I selected the text option, after it generated, I just highlighted and copied the text and pasted it into Word. I set my paper size to 11 x 17, and copied the grid twice on my document.
This is where it is convenient that I’m married to an engineer, because then I sent my file to work with Chris and he printed it to PDF at 11 x 17, then printed to scale on 24 x 36 paper:
You wouldn’t have to print on such large paper, because I got multiple presents out of one sheet. But if you’re not married to a man with access to a drafting printer and you do want it on large paper, you can get it printed at any print/copy store or drafting supply company (like Alabama Graphics).
I enrolled Ali’s enthusiastic help in finding the names I needed (which was a great way to include her in the process AND entertain her while I wrapped presents),
Then I used a red highlighter or a black sharpie to circle the names before I wrapped.
The regular paper wrapped surprisingly well – much better than the flimsy wrapping papers at most stores.
Since it’s color neutral paper, my options are wide open to use all of the ribbons I’ve had for years that clashed or didn’t go with any wrapping papers – I plan on using every single one of them by the time I’m done wrapping.
And, by nature of being Word Search wrapping paper, no labels required!
…now if I can just keep Ali from circling all of the other names on the paper and completely mixing up the identity of the stash.