Only Martha Stewart could take an old toilet paper tube and turn it into ridiculously cute gift wrap.
The premise behind these Yule Log gift boxes is easy: take a toilet paper tube and a piece of cardboard. Trace the ends of the tube onto the cardboard and cut out the rounds. At this point, you can either fill the tube with the gifts and tape the rounds onto the ends of the tube or you can fashion the ends into an insert-able lid. One method is to measure the inner circumference of the tube and cut a strip of cardboard to that measurement, tape it into a loop, then tape or glue that loop to the back of one of the end rounds (which would make it look a bit like the lid in this photo. At that point, you could cover the tube in faux bois paper, tie it with a ribbon, and add any desired accessories. You could then fill the box with treats when you need to.
I think that these would make great gift boxes for manageable amounts of homemade candies, or perhaps as a box for a handmade ornament. The toilet roll-sized tubes are also a decent ornament size in themselves. As with the gilded walnuts I wrote about last year, I can totally see making up a bunch of these, stuffing them with candies, putting them on a tree, and letting holiday party guests choose their favors/gifts. You could also tuck a few of these onto the Yule tree on Solstice Eve and let children search for them in the morning. There’s definitely room to play here.
If you really want to get fussy, you could check out this tutorial from MarthaStewart.com. The main benefit to this tutorial is that it includes a downloadable .pdf of the birch bark image, which you could then print out on a color printer. (You can also get that here.) It also shows a way to create insertable end-caps out of wooden disks, which basically amounts to gluing a strip of cardboard just inside the tube at the depth of the disk. However, you have to find wooden disks that are the exact diameter of the toilet paper tube, and I haven’t been able to find any. This particular solution, though, could make the boxes usable for more than one year.
As Martha demonstrates in the December 2007 edition of her magazine, you don’t have to limit this box to the size of a toilet paper roll. You can take a hacksaw to a mailing tube or a larger cardboard cylinder. Something that size would be a cute way to present the annual socks and underwear, t-shirts, or any other easily roll-able item.
I am also a huge fan of the favor box method Lori Marie of the blog Pretty Little Things developed. Essentially, she brushed a tube in Elmer’s glue and attached blank newsprint to the exterior, crinkling it up a bit for texture. After it dried, she took acrylic paint and painted the tube a base color. When it dried, she painted lines on it in a contrasting color to look a bit like wood grain. Finally, she cut out a couple paper egg cups from an old carton, glued them in, and painted them a contrasting color then adding wood rings in a lighter color. The effect is really adorable, and a good bit easier than fussing with expensive faux bois paper or Martha’s hyperrealistic pdf. You’re also not limited to a natural color palette, if that suits you. As Lori Marie demonstrates, you can go crazy with pinks and blues.
No matter what you choose, though, you’ll end up with a very Pagan-friendly package or ornament.