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With the holiday season just around the corner, there’s much tolook forward to. From visiting with out-of-town guest to bakingcookies for friends, family and coworkers, it’s the perfect time tocelebrate. While there are extra expenses that come along withmaking all this happen, there are several ways to tighten theholiday budget that are not only money-saving, but fun to do.

Make your own greeting cards

If you’re one of the estimated 1.9 billion Americans who sendsholiday cards every year, you’ve probably grown weary of rootingthrough a store’s overwhelming selection of cards just to find theone that best fits you and your family’s personality. Rather thanwading through it again this year, grab some paper suppliesand make your own holiday greeting cards. Not only will you savemoney, but you’ll also be able to let out your inner artist andgive your cards a personal touch.

Photo cards

The holidays are the perfect time to catch up with loved onesand share your family’s latest snapshots. What better way to do sothen with a photo holiday card? If you have a home computer and acapable printer, simply choose your favorite photos and print themon high-quality photopaper. High-gloss paper from OfficeMax gives you quality photocards at a fraction of the cost.

Print your own cards

Whether you want show off your artistic talents or use designtemplates, printing your own cards is a fantastic way to share yoursentiments. Tap into your creative side and combine different papersupplies to design the ultimate custom card for your family. Forexample, print out small pictures of your kids, family or pets onphoto paper, and then glue them in a collage format onto decorativepaper. Not only will you create a unique card, you’ll also captureyour family’s spirit.

Handmade cards

Remember when you were a kid and constructed handmade cards forevery occasion? Why not do it again? All you need is decorativepaper in colorful shades to create your own custom designs. Forinspiration, print out stencils and patterns from a craft website,and then incorporate them into your designs to create moreintricate shapes and folds.

Create your own decorations

Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like festive decorations.In fact, Americans spend an estimated $8 billion a year on holidaydecorations alone. Whether for home, office or school, overspendingon decorations isn’t very practical, especially when a budget’s inplace. Instead, try creating your own decorations with everydaypaper supplies.

Tree ornaments and household decorations

Give everyone in the family a chance to decorate the tree byhaving kids and adults alike create their own handiwork. Decorativepaper is simple to cut, tape and glue. Plus, it’s the perfectmaterial for crafting colorful, customized ornaments with characterand charm.

To add even more personality to your tree and householddecorations, create custom photo ornaments and decorations. Muchlike photo cards, all these require is your home computer, printerand some premium photo paper for crisp, unique creations.

With some simple-to-find paper supplies and an eye forcreativity, sticking to a holiday budget is a cinch. You’ll havefun with the family or a great excuse to get your friendstogether.

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