And they lived happily ever after!

Do you always take a nicely wrapped gift to a wedding even if you’re giving them money or vouchers too? Being a bit of a traditionalist I must admit ‘I do’.

No matter how small, its all about the thought and celebrating the ‘gift’ of marriage. The day after our wedding my hubby and I sat relaxing with a glass of champagne in our hotel room, reflecting on our amazing wedding day and opening all the cards and gifts from our loved ones. We felt so emotional opening them and feeling all the love 💕 and thought behind them.

We were, after all, opening them together as Mr & Mrs…such a special feeling! As I recall it took us hours (a welcome breather after lots of busy days pre wedding!) and whilst I suspect it might take Meghan and Harry a bit longer to open theirs, they and all the other happy couples out there will undoubtedly appreciate the thought too if you do wrap them up even the littlest of something!

And so we come on to the actual wrapping…Oooh!!  I just so love wrapping for weddings! A luxury feel all the way is my tip (unless you know otherwise) and this doesn’t have to be costly or over the top either.  Satin ribbon, wedding sentiments or the addition of some imitation pearls or diamonds will all give a feel of luxe for that extra special day.

Ah….So there you have it…Just a few ideas to guide you through this years wedding season and one final tip for you…If it’s wrapped with love it’s always going to be the best gift you can give them!

For more information on our wrapping services and workshops please visit us at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

 

 

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Meet the maker – Life behind a creative business

It’s a pretty natural human desire to know more about those around us. Most magazines and media coverage are full to brimming with celebrity gossip and lets be honest, the more normal ‘bad hair day’ images and tales of burning the dinner being the most interesting and endearing as we’ve all been there!

I’m not a big follower of ‘celebrities’ as such but I am incredibly interested to read about other business women, creatives and ‘makers’. There are so many talented people out there and to me, their ‘behind the scenes’ stories are incredibly inspiring.

One of my favourite reads about a ‘maker’ is that of Cath Kidston. Her book, ‘Coming up roses’ comes across as a really honest account of growing a business and riding the ups and downs of being a creative business owner, including tackling self doubt along the way.

Creative talents often have plenty of stories to tell and knowing you don’t have to be  superhuman is a wonderful message to anyone wondering if they have the talent or ability to start a business journey.  No matter how big a brand , how perfectly polished the images we see are, or as wonderful as the products might be, it’s often helpful (and endearing) to know that behind the scenes everything isn’t always as ‘perfect’ as we might think. Workspaces certainly are never quite as tidy and organised as a magazine photo shoot might suggest and even those who seem incredibly confident or who have made the highstreet have had times when they’ve had to battle their own demons when it comes to self confidence.  There’s very few ‘self taught’ creatives and makers I’ve met or read about, including Cath Kidston, who hasn’t at some point in their career suffered from ‘imposter sydrome’!  Sharing these kind of ‘real life’ stories is so important to those on their journey who perhaps without them may feel a failure and give up on their dreams.

Given any opportunity therefore to surround myself with creatives in a similar boat or share my stories for the benefit of anyone else starting out in business and needing a bit of support, I’m all for it!  So when I recently heard about #marchmeetthemaker, an instagram challenge aimed at creatives and makers, giving you the opportunity to tell your business story (day to day for one month) and reveal behind the scenes info people may not know about you, my ears pricked up!

march-meet-the-maker-prompts-2018

For those not on Instagram or who may have missed it, the idea is you have daily prompts ie Day 1 = ‘You’ , Day 2 = ‘where’ and so on. You then take a pic, video etc, write your post revealing things about yourself/business and add the hashtag #marchmeetthemaker as this allows you to be found more easily.  It was I have to say an incredibly interesting exercise and had I have not taken part, would certainly never have revealed the volume of information about my business to my instagram followers that I did (albeit I didn’t manage the entire month but that was far more about lack of time than transparency!)..Will try harder next time!

Of course, on the days I did do it, I got to connect with some pretty talented makers and creatives who were doing it too. Some who were completely new to me and others I already knew and now know a whole lot more! And (as it’d be rude not to share) below are some direct links and pretty pics too of just some (sorry just too many to mention) of those amazing talents including the person behind the idea of ‘meet the maker’ and who got us revealing all sorts about ourselves, Joanne Hawker.

For direct links to the above instagram accounts just click here:  Joanne Hawker  ~ Clara and Macy ~ Little Button Bakery  ~ Leafy Couture  ~ Ellies Farm Shop ~ Chris Made This

If you’re already on Insta then please do give them a follow and a ‘hello’ and please don’t forget to follow and tag me in too More Pretty Things Gift Wrapping  and then we’ll all be connected!

Of course if you’re not on instagram (yet!) you may be a bit perplexed as to all the talk of it and the hashtags but honestly, it’s not at all complicated and you don’t need to use hashtags unless you want to. If you do need a quick guide to being on there or any help, just get in touch, I’m happy to share with you all I know about it, which happens to be very little but as you can see, this doesn’t prevent me being on there and it being my absolute favourite of all the social media platforms….It’s all those pretty pictures popping up each day that does it!  #loveinstagram  And on that note…Off I go to check if you’ve found us and here’s a few of our recent posts to hopefully tempt you to join us and see what else we’ll be posting!

Know someone who might be interested in our blog post? Please feel free to forward this post or share on social media!

For more information about our Gift Wrapping Workshops and visit http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk and if you’d like to to keep in touch by receiving our E-newsletter then simply pop your email address in the box provided on our home page! 

Quick and Easy Wool Pom Poms!

It’s been some time since the pom pom was ranking top of the craft slot but thanks to a new surge in focus from the fashion and interior design industry, these little sphere’s of retro fluff have been making a well earned come back!

As a child of the 70’s I remember them well, it was the era of pom pom back then! I loved them then and I still do today…And who doesn’t, even Winnie the Pooh likes to ‘tiddly pom pom pom’!  They have such a happy vibe about them and having been taught the skill of making them by my sister all those years ago, I’ve never forgotten it. Over the years (in fashion, or not) I’ve made many a cute ball of fluff which has found itself sewn on the odd scarf or cushion to give it some personality, or created something seasonal with them for the home…Not to mention using them as a decorative touch in wrapping to give some colour or quirkiness to a gift!

These days, with time being so precious though, the old way of making them just isn’t viable for me. For those not so familiar with the technique, it had a rather lengthy process of cutting out cardboard rings and winding wool around until you couldn’t see the middle anymore. So now, I use a perfected shortcut method which I find perfectly suitable for making purely ‘decorative pom poms’ and whilst they may not be quite as robust as the original, they’re so much quicker, meaning I can make mountains of them in just 10 minutes! Oh if only I knew that then (although as kids it did keep us quiet and out of trouble and so i guess it served its purpose!!)

So if you don’t know how to make them or only know the old lengthy way of making them, then do read on and I’ll show you my new quick and easy method…Along with (of course) some of our own decorative ideas on how we’ve use them!

what you'll need

What you’ll need:  Some wool (we’ve just used any we had left over in our craft basket), a piece of cardboard (or you can just use your fingers!) and some sharp scissors…And that’s it!

Step 1)  Start off by winding your chosen wool around a piece of cardboard –  We’ve used a rigid luggage tag (we use various sizes of tag to get different pom pom sizes) but you can use any cardboard or just your fingers if you prefer (works just as well!)

Step 2) Keep winding the wool until you feel it’s sufficient – the amount of wool needed will depend on the size of your cardboard tag and how fluffy you’d like the pom pom to be but certainly you need a fair bit and with practice you’ll get a dab hand at gauging it! Once you’re happy with the amount, remove the wool from the cardboard and secure around the middle with a small piece of wool – Ensure you tie it nice and tight – double knot! (or your wool will simply fall out once it’s cut.)

Step 3)  Cut through all the wool loops (top and bottom) ensuring you don’t cut through the wool you’ve tied it together with. This should leave you with a sort of raggedy pom pom …To get a more rounded version simply trim with scissors as desired!

Ah, and there you have it…A quick and easy pom pom! You now just have to decide what to do with it!

Here’s just a few of our own Springtime favorites and for more pom pom inspiration why not visit us on pinterest!  Click here to go directly to our ‘wool’ inspiration board (or find us at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lovewrapping

pom pom wreath3

If you enjoyed our blog please do share it with others!  And if you’d like to know more about our craft or wrapping workshops then please visit us at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

Just add a Gift Tag…

Over the years I’ve found myself with a variety of unintentional collections of this, that and the other. Things that I’m sure I’ll need in the future so can’t bear to throw away…You know the kind of thing….Odd buttons, old keys, mini toiletries from hotels and…..Gift tags!

Yes, it’s a thin line between ‘collector’ and ‘hoarder’ at this point and my profession as a gift wrapper won’t save me on this one as after rummaging through a very large box of gift tags, it’s clear my love of them started way before my business began! (Many moons ago judging by some of the styles.. Apparently tastes do change!)

So, if like me you have some (??!!) very pretty gift tags you’re hoarding (I mean saving for a rainy day) that you don’t have matching paper for, then fear not….You can use them up and plain paper is your friend!  Couple the tag with a bit of ribbon and some imagination (in other words hole punch a second hole in the tag, thread a length of ribbon through, secure on the back with double sided) and this is the result….A unique and pretty decorative touch to embellish a gift!

kraft and tag final

Like being creative?  Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter on our home page at www.moreprettythings.co.uk to receive month updates and gift wrapping tips etc

Hello Spring!

Hello to Spring and to everyone with a Spring Birthday!  What a lovely time of year to have one …With days growing warmer and sunnier and flashes of colour starting to appear in the garden it truly is a beautiful time of year.

It’s also a time of year our Creative Spring Gift Wrapping demonstrations are in full swing and it’s such a pleasure to tour around the UK meeting different groups, teaching them lots of new gift wrapping skills and bringing the outside in with the beautiful spring feel gift wrap and ribbons we’ve sourced.

One of the wrapping papers we simply love and have been using for our personal

ditsy floral matswrapping and in our demonstrations is this gorgeous ‘Bold Roses and Garden Ditsy’ double sided paper.  Doesn’t it just shout springtime?!

And being a double sided wrapping paper too this means you can wrap with it ….

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Or….(Should the urge take your fancy) you could get creative and make some pretty spring decorations to adorn your house or garden with instead. How lovely!

heart1heart in treeheart and chain in tree

For more information about our workshops visit http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk and Happy Spring Wrapping everyone!

How to wrap a magazine…

Being poorly or having a stay in hospital is just rotten isn’t it?!  You’re often confined to the space you’re in and if in hospital you’re without your home comforts and things to keep your mind occupied.An apple a day...

Now, as a visitor it can be difficult to know what to take or send to someone in advance of a hospital stay as some hospitals don’t allow flowers and even a healthy bowl of fruit or traditional bunch of grapes can be a faux pas if the patient is ‘nil by mouth’!

One gift that suits the occasion well therefore is a magazine (or two). Whether you’ll be visiting the person during their stay in hospital or sending them in advance of the day you can always find something that’ll suit. And they don’t have to be any less attractive a gift as flowers or a fruit bowl!  Not with a bit of ‘more pretty things’ gift wrapping magic of course!

Here’s a picture of how I prettily wrapped a couple of magazines this month for someone lovely who had to have a hospital stay.

mag5.jpg

I chose some lovely Spring colors of Greens, Oranges and Lemons for their ‘uplifting’ feel and I wanted to do something bespoke, so I designed a co-ordinating label which forms a band around the tissue and is printed with the words ‘Wishing you a speedy recovery’ on it. (Simple to do with a printer and a little basic knowledge!) If you don’t have a printer or feel you can do that then don’t worry. Simply use some co-ordinating patterned paper instead or use plain and write your own personal sentiment on it.

So if you’d like a go at doing it yourself,then please see below for our ‘how to’ guide to prettily wrapping a magazine.

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And don’t forget….Magazines make a nice gift at other times too including Fathers day…With the likes of ‘Top Gear’ magazine and of course, Mothers day being the perfect time for a thumb through the latest ‘Ideal homes’ or ‘County Living’ magazine (my hints are just shameless….shameless!)

For more information on our Gift Wrapping Workshops visit http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

If cake be the food of love…

If you’re wanting a truly bespoke gift for someone then how about creating a hamper for them?  A wicker basket, a bottle of port and some smelly cheese may be lovely for some but thinking outside the box lwh (or wicker basket) can mean you end up with a more personal gift which you’ll have a great deal of fun creating!

Like this pretty baking hamper (pictured below). Just perfect for someone with a passion for baking and a thing for pink! (That’ll be my friend Jenny then!). Indeed, tried and tested and the results were good…She was thrilled to pieces when I gave it to her for her birthday and I knew that the baking tin I’d used as the container would come to good use over the years! Now that’s a bonus…Time for tea and cake anyone? Jenny does make the most gorgeous cake (Do I get lots of ‘friend points’ and an extra slice of cake for pointing this out?)

So, as it’s good to share, should you fancy a go at creating one or something similar and need a helping hand, you can find our tips below. Enjoy!

hamper-and-mixer

Our tips to creating a perfectly pretty baking hamper!

  1. The first thing  you’ll need is a container for your products. Remember that it needs to be large enough to fit a variety of products in so have a think about what you’ll be putting in and ensure it’s the right size, not just in length or width but height too! We chose a baking tin but you could use an open cake tin (with the lid sitting underneath), a mixing bowl or something else that fits with your baking theme.
  2. Once you have your container, it’s time to get the products to go inside. As well as baking ingredients what about a cookery magazine/book, tea towel, wooden spoon or baking accessories? Do take time to think about the size, colour and shape of the items you’ll be adding as this can make a big difference to how the finished hamper will look. A variety of items that are tall, smaller, wider, thinner etc will all help to create interest. If you can pick products with colors that co-ordinate with one another (as we did for ours) that works best but don’t worry if not…There are ways you can tie colors together!
  3. Before you add your items its a good idea to line your container with some paper or tissue paper is it will help to prevent any damage to the base from the products you place inside.  Add your products creating height at the back and then coming lower to the front. If something isn’t tall enough or you need it to be more angled, use scrunched up paper underneath or to the side to create the desired look and when you’re happy with it all, fill in any gaps with paper to hold the products securely before adding your decorative top layer. We’ve used paper straw but you could use shredded tissue etc but do pick wisely, as the right color can really help to tie your products together and show them off at their best!
  4. Now it’s time to wrap it all up in cellophane, securing underneath with sticky tape and add a ribbon/bow/decorative touch. Again, use something that will co-ordinate and tie all the colors together. We’ve used some gorgeous  Julie Dodsworth Ribbon and to complete the look we’ve tied in a little wooden heart keepsake from our own collection at moreprettythings.co.uk which says ‘If cake be the food of love bake on’.
  5.  Voila! You’ve created a perfectly pretty baking hamper just perfect for that special someone!

Now, even with hampers I like to give the element of surprise by wrapping it up …So, the question is, how do you attractively wrap an oddly shaped hamper?  That’s easy ……

hamper-wrapped-up

Find out more about our Gift Wrapping Workshops at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk