Sometimes the holidays come around and you remain oblivious to the smell of evergreen tree and gingerbread cookies baking around you, or even the sugar plums dancing in your head, until you find an unexpected gift in your hands and nothing to give in return. You need a gift and you need one fast. For the next few days I'll be posting different homemade gift ideas that I've used in the past. Most are quick (taking just a few minutes to a few hours) and are more impressive than any macaroni noodle picture frame you could do for the same time and cost.
Mix CDs are a great stand by gift for acquaintances or close-friends. I have quite a few audiophiles in my life and I love to swap favorite songs and new artists with them, the only catch is how to make a burned CD cute enough to be giftable. Answer: Fancy-Schmancy CD Cases.
This paper CD case uses plain, letter sized paper, but even so, the finished product will blow your mind (and the mind of who ever receives it)! It's definitely a little tricky, but be vigilant, it's definitely worth it! This tutorial by Fitful Flog explains how to create it better than I ever could, so check it out.
My tips are to fold one using the printable file Fitful Flog has available to download and then, once you understand how all the folds work, do one in a fancy paper. That way if you mess up you aren't ruining expensive paper and the final product doesn't have the guidelines printed on it (it makes the whole thing a little less magical, in my opinion, if you can see how it was done).
Another option for those who feel a little less adventurous is this lovely flower shaped CD case. The one drawback of this one is that you need a piece of paper at least 12x12 inches, scrapbook paper works great and looks nice too. Use this tutorial on Curbly.
My recommendation is, if you are making several of these, is to make a pattern out of cardboard or posterboard/tagboard to reuse as a template. That way you don't have to measure each one.