Search Results for: word puzzle

How to Make Word Search Gift Wrap.

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.

DIY Word Search Wrapping Paper
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.

Word Search Website

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:

KITTY
KITTYA
KITTYB
KITTYC
KITTYD

(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:

IMG_9204

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),

IMG_9229

Then I used a red highlighter or a black sharpie to circle the names before I wrapped.

IMG_9213

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.

IMG_9217

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.

How to Make Word Search Wrapping Paper.

DIY Word Search Wrapping Paper

 

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.

Word Search Website

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:

KITTY
KITTYA
KITTYB
KITTYC
KITTYD

(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:

IMG_9204

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),

IMG_9229

Then I used a red highlighter or a black sharpie to circle the names before I wrapped.

IMG_9213

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.

IMG_9217

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.


Not-Crazy-Renee and the Holiday Houseguests.

Chris’ Aunt Kitty and Uncle Leo came in town for Christmas celebrations. They were staying at our house, despite the fictional package thief that surely puts our neighborhood in the Top Ten Least Safe Places to hang out.

Since the weather was ridiculously hot over Christmas and the following weekend (even bringing tornadoes and what-not), one night Kitty and Leo were outside in our yard after dark.

Kitty came running in, looking rather scared, and told me, “Somebody just drove by and asked me if I was a Callahan – in an ominous voice!!”

“What?? What do you mean?”

“Well, I was outside, and I saw a car coming, then the car started slowing down so I started back toward the house just in case somebody was about to jump out of the car, and then they rolled down their window and said, ‘Is that a Callahan?’ So I stammered and said, ‘well, yes, but I’m an Aunt…’, and I took off back to the house. And they just drove away!”

“What were they driving?”

She described the car, and I began mentally taking inventory of our neighbor’s cars, looking for a match.

OOOOOH.

Of course it was.

“Was she young? Long hair?”

“Yes…”

“It had to have been Renee.”

“You mean Not-Crazy-Renee?”

“The very one. I’ll ask her.”

So I texted her.

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We all laughed about our incredibly vigilant neighborhood watch while the children listened, puzzled. Ali, who is just old enough to be concerned with understanding context and nuance, asked, “When you say ‘Not-Crazy-Renee’, is the ‘Not-Crazy’ part sarcastic?”

Which I immediately informed Renee of Ali’s confidence in her.

IMG_4160

Now. It deserves noting here that dear Renee is really not-at-all crazy, and was just the victim of overfriendliness, darkness, and the allure of Christmas Cheer. She had driven the long way back to her house so that she and her children could bask in the delight of our house’s Christmas lights. While she was driving up, she noticed someone out in the yard and assumed it was one of us. Too dark to tell for sure, she called out a friendly greeting (one that Kitty apparently didn’t hear as she was backing away from the vehicle that was certainly up to no good in her mind.) When Renee didn’t get an answer, she yelled out, “Is that a Callahan?” in a joking tone.

But alas. Perception is everything. And when all you hear is a grilling of the status of your surname by an unknown car in the dark, you naturally go to a fearful place. Poor Not-Crazy-Renee had been set up by the world.

Later, after the children had moved on, I was still marveling over  Not-Crazy-Renee’s yard occupant check. I texted her.

“I just love that you’re doing drive-by identity checks.”

She texted back, and I read her text aloud to Kitty and Leo.

“Renee says, ‘I will be leaving slips of paper in everyone’s mailbox with a randomly selected ‘Neighborhood Password’ on a bi-weekly basis. I will then patrol the neighborhood in the evenings, and anyone who is unable to produce the password will be harassed, or shot on sight, depending on my mood. Be sure to inform your guests.’”

After I finished reading it, I looked up to see Leo’s face scrunched up in disgust. “Are you KIDDING ME?!?”

Clearly he wasn’t buying the “not-crazy” modifier either. Or she’d spooked him more than he’d let on.

I went back to Not-Crazy-Renee and informed her that Leo took her quite seriously.

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Then again, the Leo in question is Toenail-Art-Making, Crochet-Shorts-To-A-Formal-Ball-Wearing Uncle Leo. So he may or may not be the best judge of crazy. Either that, or he and Not-Crazy-Renee are such kindred spirits that he naturally believes in her.