Creative Containers

Gift boxes
You spent a lot of time searching for the perfect gift, so why not make the package as special as what's inside? Place small presents in boxes printed with good tidings, prayers, or photographs. You don't have to be a professional artist to create these simple boxes. Here, text serves as the main design element. Some decorative fonts, such as Webdings and Zapf Dingbats, even include stars, snowflakes, or other small illustrations you can combine with text to add seasonal flavor. You can find scores of unusual fonts on the Web (see "Batteries Not Included" ).

Arrange the top and sides of your box lid in a graphics program such as CorelDraw 8 LE. Then print the design on glossy photo paper, cut it out, and glue it to your box. To protect the surface and give the box a sheen, lightly brush varnish over the top and sides. --Artist: Kelly Lunsford

TOOLBOX For your box designs, you'll need a graphics program that can position text upside down, decorative fonts, and a color ink-jet printer. Also collect a ruler, small boxes, photo-quality ink-jet paper, and spray glue.

Associate Editor KELLY LUNSFORD provides tips and ideas for creating handmade crafts with the Mac in her Homemade Mac column on Macworld.com.

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