There’s something rather special about a first birthday isn’t there? Turning one is such a milestone and warrants a certain amount of effort on the party front…Even if they won’t remember it!
Last month I was given the opportunity to plan and host my Grandsons 1st Birthday party. (You can just imagine my excitement!) It was to be a small family affair and (as we were in the middle of some major refurbishment in the house) it would be a little compromised as space (and time!) was limited. The hallway being light and airy with a view of the garden (and the only room unaffected by all the upheaval) seemed the obvious (if not the only) choice as the party area. As it happens, it worked so well, it’s likely to be used again!
To my absolute joy I was given reign to come up with any theme I wanted and already knowing what this would be, ideas began to hop around in my head. What else could it be but a traditional Peter Rabbit Party!
And I was in my element! From home-made bunting to marshmallow bunny tails, veg pots and a cauliflower tissue paper centerpiece, coming up with ideas and putting it all together was the most fun I’ve had in ages! Now not that there weren’t some challenges… Planning around building works, running a business from home, working out party food for a dairy free one year old and the usual family melt downs is no mean feast! I literally had 2 days in total to plan, organise and implement it! Never one to say no to a challenge, there was nothing for it but to make a list and hop to it! Having a limited amount of time to plan certainly makes you focus and if I do say so myself…It went pretty well! That is, if we overlook the Rabbit Jelly that didn’t want to leave its mould and when it did, looked a bit like road kill!
But moving swiftly on… If you’re thinking of hosting a Peter Rabbit Party too it really is such fun and has so much scope for being creative. Given longer I would have done much more but if (like me) you need to create something and you’re pushed for time, here’s just a few tips and ideas that work a treat!
No time to order anything online, I chose to go for a cost effective personalised welcome to guests by buying a chalk board and writing my own message on it. Then just a wipe clean and totally reusable for another day! (Chalkboard a real find at just £1 from poundland!)
Making your own bunting to fit your theme is so easy and cost effective. For this one I hole punched some Peter Rabbit postcards I already had and thread co-ordinating ribbon through. You could however print images or buy a cheap book and take pages out and use instead.
Table decorations included: A Cauliflower made of tissue paper, a clay pot which housed veg for nibbling on and Peter Rabbit Wooden shapes – I preferred these to paper ones as they were part of a shape sorter toy (purchased at M&S) and could then be reused in the toy box afterwards!
The buns were made with diary free margarine (Tesco) and decorated to fit the theme with sugar carrots/paper bunnies. To save time I placed pretty coloured biscuits in a jar that could be easily moved from kitchen to table then back again.
As Oliver is a big fan of raisins I incorporated them into our scheme….well it’d be rude not to! Bunny droppings seeming the obvious choice. I used white marshmallows for bunny tails!
It wouldn’t be a traditional party without Jelly and it certainly gave us all a laugh after it failed to hop out of the mould without lots of coaching and then when it did , it looked a little worse for wear. My elderly Mum and Dad were thrilled to pieces.. Took them right back to their childhood!
Birthday Boy not quite as taken with the rabbit jelly. Somethings are, after all, an acquired taste. Happy First Birthday my gorgeous Grandson…You may not remember your special day but it was a day made out of love for Grandmas very special baby bunny…YOU! x
Thank you for reading our blog, we really hope you’ve enjoyed it. We are a gift and gift wrapping company and teach lots of creative skills at our workshops. Information can be found at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk
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!
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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
wrapping 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 ….
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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 (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!
Our tips to creating a perfectly pretty baking hamper!
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.
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!
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!
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’.
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 ……
Oooh it’s that time again…Yes love it or hate it, Valentines day is upon us and the world will be a little more loved up, which is surely not a bad thing?!
Over the years (single or attached) I’ve learned to embrace some of the traditions of Valentines day and do try (really I do) to enter into the spirit of things in my own way (with the exception of small fluffy teddies holding love hearts or paying double to eat out in overcrowded restaurants …that’s simply a step too far).
Ok, yes it can be a bit too ‘commercial’ and being a bit of a romantic (and being married to one too) in our house love and thoughtfulness is thankfully spread out over the course of the year but for me Valentines has its place (a rather sentimental gushy one that warms and brightens up this cold month of February) and gives me the perfect excuse to get creative and a little loved up in the wrapping room!!
For those, looking for some Valentines wrapping inspiration or if you just love wrapping fullstop, these are for you…
Keeping it simple….Plain white printer paper, string and a scrabble letter.
Want something more traditional? …Add two honeycomb love hearts (we found some at Paperchase) and use a hand written playing card as a matching gift tag.
Brown paper is perfect at any time of year, it’s just about what you put with it…Add a postcard next to it to say all you need to say this Valentines day!
With a little imagination this gorgeous map wrapping paper could say so much! Just add a clever caption to the tag to suit. Here’s some of our favourites: ‘You’re my world’, ‘You mean the world to me’ or ‘You’re out of this world’!
On trend …Bee’s are all the rage this Spring/Summer. (I LOVE bee’s!) How gorgeous is this wrapping paper by designer Linda Wood. Just add a pretty ribbon and a caption to suit!
We hope you’ve been totally inspired and are feeling the love this Valentines Day….Even if it’s just for the wrapping! Have a wonderful February whatever you get up to.
I just love old sayings, my grandma said them lots and so I’m often reminded of her when hearing them. Recently, one saying popped up in my head when prettying up a plant…”You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear” . It made me smile and I wondered if my gran was around today she’d say that indeed you can! This one’s for you Grandma….
Don’t dismiss a supermarket or plain potted plant as a gift….Look beyond its simple packaging, use a little creative flair and some basic materials and you’ll have created a really pretty floral gift before you can say ‘Silk Purse or sows ear’! And…unlike flowers, you can buy it in advance and keep it a day or two before getting it to its new owner so that means if you know you won’t have time to purchase something on a particular day it’s perfect to buy and prepare in advance (provided you water it and keep it out of direct sunlight!). So it’s pretty and a time saver too….Can it get much better?!
Here’s what you need: A potted plant ~ A gift bag (we’ve recycled one someone gave to us previously) ~ one sheet of co-ordinating tissue ~ a piece of plain cellophane ~ Two lengths of co-ordinating ribbon (each approx 60 cm in length ).
Step one: First, prepare your bag by removing the existing ribbons/handle from the gift bag and replace them with the longer ribbons (this will allow you to carry the plant without squashing the flowers)
Step two: Take your plant and remove the cellophane cover and any price tickets on it if there are any. Then take a piece of cellophane (we’ve used a plain piece this time) and lay it flat, place the sheet of tissue on it and cut the cellophane so that it is just a little bit larger than the tissue.
Step three: Place the plant on the tissue and cellophane and pleat them both around the plant before placing the plant in the gift bag.
And there you have it..A perfectly pretty gift for someone special, made special by you!