IKEA packaging cardboard scrapbook embellishments

IKEA packaging recycling hacks: Gingerbread embellishments

People say that the real crafter has no rubbish at home…

So, after our new IKEA cupboards were installed in our kitchen, a huge pile of gorgeous cardboard was piled up in the corridor, I decided to behave like a real paper crafter.

For almost a whole evening I was sitting on the floor with scissors, cutting off precious pieces with different sizes and colour shades. I will tell you one thing – IKEA packaging is great for every paper craft project you can imagine. So, maybe the next posts will be all about IKEA packaging recycling ideas…

How to start?

As me, of course. Scissors and ideas – these are all you need in this step. Find undamaged, not bent or scratched areas, and cut out pieces around A4 in size. A4 is easy to store and at the same time you have enough material for small or average projects.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

As also a card maker, I decided to start first with card embellishments. (You know, I love paper embellishments.)

First, using your cutting machine and paper cutting dies, you can make as many elements as you need.

IKEA hacks: package paper gingerbread embellishments

But even if you don’t have a cutting machine or have never made anything close to card or embellishments, it is easy just to outline your preferred shapes and then cut them out. Don’t hesitate to experiment – you have a great cardboard supply and your imagination. For outlining you can use cookie cutters, your children’s toys, existing card decorations or tags. Or you can just draw outlines yourself. Worried the shape will be not perfect? Ok, when was the last time your cookies came out in the exact shape you wanted? I am a cookie-maker and I am making a lot, really a lot, but very often, some just don’t happen the way I am expecting…

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

Why not a whole ginger cookie embellishment box?

If you read my blog, you know, I am addicted to boxes. So addicted, that I was saving boxes from the rubbish bins and I buy bonbons for my friends and give them with the instructions: “Keep the box for me, please”. Ok, I confess – often I buy the bonbons only because I like the box and know it will come back to me. Luckily, good quality bonbons also have good looking boxes.

In this case I was very lucky, because some of the IKEA drawer parts came in this beautiful box and I decided to use it.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

How to make the box dividers?

It is easy – take the sizes you want and cut rectangular pieces.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

There are two very important things to keep in mind while doing this. First, be careful to keep the cardboard lines horizontal, while cutting the long side of dividers. (In the photo below you have to cut the divider horizontally to keep the right direction of the lines).The cardboard has a specific layer inside, which keeps it soft and good for packaging. This layer is visible with these lines.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

Otherwise the visible part of your dividers will be not very beautiful. See the difference? The divider on the left is made when I cut and fold the divider following the lines. The one on the right is cut and folded when the dividers are across the lines. The full beauty occurs when you not only fold, but gently cut the top layer and then fold the divider.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

Second important: make your measurements carefully. If your box has a lid, it is important to make the dividers a bit lower than the box’s sidewalls. Also, it will makes it easier to glue them if you make some little “feet” on both sides.

Then cover the different areas with tissue paper or cookie paper and prepare for cookie decoration!


IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

How to decorate your gingerbread cookies?

As with all other cookies – with royal icing, of course! But there is something important – your royal icing will not be the traditional one.

So here is the recipe: mix 1 part white acrylic paint and 1 part white PVA glue. Stir very well, until the substance become beautifully smooth.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

Then fill a paper funnel and decorate! Of course, you can use a plastic one, but after the decoration you will have to throw it. I am always using paper funnels, not plastic, when decorating my real cookies because the paper lets me feel better how much I should press.

Not very bad, hey!

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

Add some chocolate!

If you want to make jelly decorations too, I suggest you use brown eyeshadows (if you don’t have or you have expensive ones, use dark cacao with no sugar instead), red and purple non alcoholic markers and PVA glue.

I first covered the top of the star with a good amount of PVA glue and then mixed the eyeshadow and dark cacao. I massaged the mixture with my finger and while it was still wet, put on top very small pieces from the darker cardboard to imitate chocolate pieces.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

This cookie is made with transparent fast drying glue, purple water-based marker and again dark cacao. My eyeshadows are very precious to me!

First, I coloured the middle of the bottom layer with the purple marker. Then I glued on two more layers of cardboard with holes in the middle.

Put a good amount of the transparent fast drying flue, moving it up and down to create miniature bubbles. It also starts melting the purple colour. While the glue in the middle was drying, I spread on the circle top some more glue and cacao, using my finger. Then, when the glue in the middle was a bit dry already, I put a second portion of glue on top of it and also some cut cardboard for chocolate pieces.

IKEA hacks: paper gingerbread embellishments

Last steps

If you are planning to use the IKEA packaging cardboard, tell the person who will be installing the furniture to be very careful. Unfortunately, I didn’t, so my box was a bit scratched and needed some decoration. But, of course, for this decoration I again used some IKEA packaging paper, which I found in some of the boxes. I have no idea what this paper was for, but it was gentle grey on one side and white on the other, so I cut out a “lace” and added this and some other elements to hide the scratches.

I decided to leave visible the original IKEA labels - love how they look

And my Gingerbread cookie IKEA box was ready!

I am sure you can also create wonderful Christmas paper embellishments. Follow your imagination, don’t hesitate to experiment and get some glue on your fingers. And also – you can find all the materials you need in your home, don’t need to buy anything extra!

Enjoy you Christmas craft time!

my finished gingerbread paper "cookies"

Do you want more Christmas craft ideas? Check this article with cute little animals and free images for download.

I wish you merry and warm winter days!

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One more idea how to make Christmas decoration:

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