Wood + Paper. A Winning Combination
The requirement was to create a gift using wood and paper products. We received close to 200 entries vying for the $5000 Home Office Makeover Grand Prize. As you’ll see, selecting a grand prize winner proved difficult. But the runners-up were rewarded handsomely with cash prizes and a copy of a Better Homes and Gardens Crafts book.

$5000 Home Office Makeover Grand Prize Winner
“A Gift for Newlyweds”
Laura Myers; Dallas, TX

Laura gave this handmade gift to her best friend as a wedding gift. She used a wooden box as the base of the gift. Inside the box, she placed fifteen small cardboard boxes, wrapped in paper of different colors, tied with raffia and tagged with a different illustration. The illustrations, a stick figure bride and groom, provide hints as to what was inside each box.

$500 First Prize: “Family History Blocks”
Jean Andfindsen; Sterling, VA

Jean created a visual history for special events, like family anniversaries or birthdays. She used 3”x3” blocks cut from wood purchased at a local home improvement store. The blocks’ edges were sanded smooth and then spray-painted black. Sanding the blocks once more, after the paint dried, it created a nice distressed finish. On each side of the block, she placed pictures, quotes or stories about that person.

$250 Second Prize: “Tea light holder”
Paige Johnson; Collinsville, OK

Paige made the board by reclaiming wood from their family barn, which made the piece even more sentimental. She arranged seven tea lights along the top of the weathered section of the 2’x4’ board and drew circles around them, marking their locations. She placed the tip of a ” drill bit in the center of each circle; drilling it out to ” depth. For a nice finish, Paige recommends sanding the board and painting it.

$150 Third Prize: “Wedding gift of unity”
Gretchen Baxter; Exton, PA

Gretchen made her sister and new brother-in-law a very personal wedding gift. Since the newlyweds have children from previous marriages, Gretchen created a piece that made every member of the new family feel welcome. She gathered everyone’s photos and covered them on a red painted wooden box with Mod Podge. She placed handmade thank-you cards inside the box depicting the family’s last name and all of the children’s names, to illustrate the new big family.

$100 Fourth Prize: “Yearly gift”
David John Laube; San Diego, CA

Every Christmas, David makes ornaments out of wood from the previous year’s Christmas tree for each member of his family. The ornaments always have a butterfly theme. And each ornament is tied thematically to what happened to the family that year. For instance, the year he got engaged, he created a caterpillar. The pair of Monarchs is from his newlywed year.