Bespoke Mothers Day Gift Wrapping

Need some last minute Mothers Day Gift wrapping inspiration?

We’ve got a few IMG_3460ideas to share with you and don’t worry if you’ve not got time to dash out for materials…This is all about using what you have around the house to create something pretty and bespoke.

And, if the time you’ve saved by not traipsing to the shops means some extra time spent with your lovely mum then I suspect that will be the most precious gift you can give her anyway.

Creating something bespoke… 

So, first off, what type of mum do you have…Is she glitzy and glam, modern, crafty (I mean that in the best possible way you understand ie sewing, knitting), a gardener, fashionista, cook or musician perhaps…Whatever her hobbies, loves or likes, the first place to look in is the magazine rack!

From recipes to articles on gardening, magazines provide lots of pages you can use as gift wrap which can tie into most hobbies (pardon the pun) or link to the gift inside.

AlternativelyIMG_3473, there’s lots of other materials you might have handy which would be perfect to wrap with …Everything from scraps of leftover wallpaper, music sheets, baking paper (great for bottle or plant wrapping as its quite pliable) and a real favourite of mine for all occasions…Maps!

Yes with many of us using sat navs there’s plenty of old maps discarded and hiding somewhere in the house or a travel guide with a map in the back. So whether she has a passion for Italy or has some happy memories of her childhood spent at the seaside, find the page it’s on and use that to wrap with! Perhaps you can find a photo of her there, take a copy and make it into a gift tag.  It’s such a lovely way to show her you have thought of her and a great way to inspire her to tell you more stories about her past travels (whilst partaking in copious amounts of tea and cake of course!). And for those with mums who have dementia/alzheimer’s, it’s a clever way to help recall some precious memories and promote conversation too.

Also don’t forget the humble knitting or sewing pattern…Like this fabulous vintage one by Vogue. It’s way too wonderful to sit in the bottom of a drawer, never seeing the light of day. Instead, give it the airing it deserves and turn it into some stylish wrap. Retro is very ‘in’ and so will suit most mums tastes but also perfect for a mum who is a bit of a fashionista or who loves sewing…Unless of course it’s too precious to cut up…You may lose Daugher/Son points if you have ruined a rather good pattern or a rare antique!

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Another very versatile wrapping material…Wallpaper! Here’s an example of what you can achieve with just a small scrap of left over wallpaper from a DIY project. We’ve used this lovely Laura Ashley wallpaper to make a pretty gift bag and just tied a simple bow. Voila! An elegant and bespoke gift bag for a piece of jewellery or pretty scarf!

mothers day

And finally, gift vouchers…in an envelope…They really don’t have to be so, well, plain!  Even just a bit of ribbon criss crossed on it or tied simply in a ‘shoe lace’ bow would make the world of difference. Or you could go a bit further and add some flowers, a tag etc..There’s always something you can add to pretty it up.

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Finally…. I couldn’t end this blog without sharing with you the inspiration behind it. Last year I received a gift which was wrapped in a rather unusual material…It’s not one I see or use on a regular basis in the wrapping room for sure. Yes, I received a gift all wrapped up in tin foil…From my eldest Son (who is a chef!). He said he couldn’t find the gift wrap and his wife was at work so he’d improvised. It certainly made me smile and I couldn’t have been happier had he have wrapped it in gold leaf as I do just love that he took a minute to think about it and rather than dashing off to the shop, he found a way around it …That’s my boy! (Although if he wraps it in foil every year I may reserve the right to deduct son points or put him on the naughty step!).  It made me smile on the day and still does now…A real memory maker that inspired me to write this blog today after remembering it and I’m sure one to recall in years to come (to future grandchildren who may want to wrap for him on fathers day and need some inspiration themselves!)

Happy mothers day wrapping everyone …And for those of you who are sadly without your mums this year, you’re very much in my thoughts, I hope tomorrow you are able to enjoy happy memories of the times you spent together. x

 

 

 

 

 

New Year…A time to reorganise?

Don’t you just LOVE the New Year…I can’t tell you how excited I get by it.

January is officially a time to let go of the old and bring in the new ….Which for me translates into a huge urge to reorganise every nook and cranny in the house. Not necessarily throwing away anything and replacing it with new but revamping and sorting out the things I have already into some kind of order so they feel new and refreshed! With the turn of the new year I am filled full of creative thoughts and so full of inspiration I could burst!

It’s an ambitious project to do everything I want to do as we’re not simply talking a bit of ‘spring cleaning’ here but completely organising EVERYTHING in the house top to bottom! In honesty…I can remember feeling exactly the same way every January for as long as I can remember.posh-stylish-cabinet-storage-for-shoes

Is it just me or is there anyone else out there who dreams of achieving the impossible and creating a totally organised home?

Yes, I get excited at the thought I could actually succeed in being so organised that I’d have a list on hand of all the appliances and guarantee expiry dates, numbers to call if they go wrong (just incase) so I can at a glance sort it out rather than spending two days trying to find a receipt of purchase from x amount of years ago when the dishwasher finally decides to stop working…Yes, in an ideal world (my ideal organised world) the loft contents would be itemised and labeled, the cutlery drawer would have nothing in it the wrong way round, my shoes wouldn’t be all mixed up in the bottom of the wardrobe (why can you only find one when you’re in a hurry?!) but displayed in pairs in rows , there’d be no out of date herbs and spices in the cupboard (especially nutmeg!) and I’d know exactly where I’d put my 1st or even 2nd pair of reading glasses cos I’d be that organised!

Alas, I feel it may take longer than a whole year to achieve everything that’s on the list in my head …I have made a start on the laundry room and was about to keep going on the ironing mountain today (honest I was) but then the phone rang, the doorbell chimed, the dog wanted walking….Yes life has a habit of altering your best intentions and in making you think about what’s really important…

An organised joey2home is a nice thought and some of it I’m sure I’ll get to do in the coming weeks but it’ll never be as important as spending time with one of my lovely sons who’s out of the blue just dropped in as he’s some free time today to do something together, taking a call from my husband who’s taken time out of his busy day to see how my busy day is, tell me he loves me and ask me if I need anything fetching in for tea….Replying to a text or email from friends to organise a catch up or seeing the excited waggy tail of a dog who’s realised he’s getting an extra walk at the expense of a neat cutlery drawer.

Time is precious…Loved ones even more precious…My disorganised home will still be here when I have the time for it!

Enjoy and appreciate the important things in your life this January everyone! x

Autumn wrapping inspiration

Oh my, I have no idea why but this year I’m seeing Autumn in a whole new light!Autumnal round tin

Despite being an autumn baby my close friends and family know that I simply don’t do orange. Over the years they have (thank you all) continued to ignore the seasons colours and instead indulge my love of vintage or traditional girly colours when lavishing me with wrapped gifts and flowers.

So to my surprise (and I very much suspect theirs) this week I’ve got a spring in my step and actually find myself uplifted by the beauty of the landscape in a way I’ve never seen it before. I’ve been finding myself distracted from singing in the car and actually just thinking ‘wow, this is spectacular’!

Then this afternoon on my return from a rather lovely but cheeky couple of hours off work getting together with a good friend I’ve not seen for ages, I felt so uplifted by it, I donned a scarf, my walking boots …And prising a very surprised sleeping pooch out of his warm bed, off I went to immerse myself (and him) in it up close.

What a refreshing change…Ok yes I should have been in the office and getting on with my ‘to do’ list but that’s the beauty of working for yourself, todays time off is the weekends catch up! And I have to say, giving up a lie in this weekend for a refreshing walk through piles of leaves rustling underfoot was really worth it.  Even a very bemused dog quite liked it and found a new game of chase the leaves that he hadn’t discovered before (well not with us his new owners at any rate).

bottle and foliage2As always, my mind was fit to bursting full of ideas of how to incorporate the feel of it all into my wrapping and of course in picking up anything along the way that I could take home and use…. Which of course there was, in abundance! Oooh I do love a mental mood board that I can then put into practise instantly.

So there you go, it’s official, I love autumn (well the colours…Jury’s still out on the bitter cold, loud fireworks and dark nights) and to prove I love it, here’s my ode to Autumn…Gift wrapping stylee!!

Hope you feel inspired everyone and Happy Autumnal Wrapping! autumn mood board2leaves adn feathers

 

 

How to…Pretty up a plant

IMG_1931I 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 dayIMG_1933 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.IMG_1934

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! IMG_1937

Something for the Gentleman

Is it only me that gets giddy about the prospect of gift wrapping for men? In all the years of teaching gift wrapping, I have never yet come across anyone who is quite as passionate about wrapping a male present as a female one. Curious to really understand the reasons behind it, I’ve been asking the question and have been told unanimously in a nutshell….Gorgeous girly wrapping papers, ribbons and accessories are readily available and easy on the eye but that finding such things for men are far and few between. (A relief to know it’s that as opposed to you all believing men wouldn’t care if it was wrapped in a carrier bag!)

Yes, I have to say, really fabulous papers and accessories for men do take some searching for but honestly they are out there and as I like a challenge (and with gift wrap being just a tiny weeny obsession of mine…Have I mentioned that before?!!) I say to keep hunting them down and never give up! As if you do, you’d miss gems like this sublime sailing boat paper and ever so characterful quirky Car paper that we’ve handmade into a gift bag……

sailing paper

ss car bag and card

Of course, if you neither have the time nor the inclination to hunt them down then why not take a leaf out of our book (or better still your very own atlas etc) and create your own paper to suit!  Not only will it save you time and money, you can be sure that they will really appreciate the thought behind it (well unless you cut up the football supplement he was saving to read later!!)

To inspire you….We’ve taken one book and we’ve wrapped it in 3 different styles…And …..Ta dah!   Fabulous paper for the men in your life without leaving the house!!  Happy wrapping everyone!

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footie wrapmusic sheet wrap

Baking days

 

I often dream of having time to bake, to try new recipes and potter in the kitchen on a Saturday morning……baking polenta cake 2

Just  me, no make up, my comfy slippers, baggy jumper and Graham Norton on radio two. Recently instead of dreaming, I actually got the chance…… Not that it all went totally to plan of course!

With a group of very lovely ladies due to arrive the next day (Sunday) for a gift wrapping class, it was a great excuse to live the dream and bake lots of goodies I could serve them on our break at the class. Like many, I have a signature cake that always turns out well and I know that whenever I bake it there’ll only be crumbs left of it the next day. For me that’s my mothers traditional chocolate cake recipe with real cadbury’s chocolate on top and buttercream icing in between. However, whilst I don’t bake often I do like to try my hand at something different every now and again. It’s that thrill you get when you do something new and it actually turns out really well. In this case it was Lemon, honey and polenta cake (served with creme fraiche mixed with lemon rind) and almond and honey biscuits.  I found it (like you do) while  just flicking through a magazine with no baking agenda and there it was…shouting ‘try me, try me’.  So, decision made, the day before ‘baking day’ I checked my cupboards for ingredients I’d need and set off shopping for those I didn’t have.

So Saturday morning it was like Christmas…Up early and all excited. I turned on the radio, donned a rather fab ‘Mrs Madden Makes’ Pinny, made a pot of tea and went to line the cake tins. So, baking paper…. Ah…Now…where could it be? I scrabbled through the drawer. Nope, not there.  Had it gone to its hiding place down the back and into the cupboard perhaps? Nope. It seems the greaseproof paper fairy had been and borrowed it. So, only one thing to do….off I jumped in my car (well after taking off the slippers) and down to the nearest shop.  Let me see….Baking paper, baking paper…..I scoured the shelves up and down but could you believe it, no paper!! So back in the car to the next shop a few miles away and voila…loads of it. So after purchasing two packs of it (for good measure), I headed back for home.

Right pinny back on, hands washed ,..Off we go! Tins lined, time to weigh the plain flour for the biscuits…Plain Flour, yes I have plain flour I saw two packs of it yesterday …mmn but what’s this? One is near on empty and the other….well, the sell by date fairy has also visited and it appears I’m out by a year….What were the chances of that? (note to self… better stock rotation required!)   Oh hey,  back in the car I went…. Not even bothering to go to  the most local shop this time in case it didn’t have any, I headed back to the shop furthest away again where once again, they came through for me and had mountains of it. On leaving with a large bag of flour the Shop assistant did one of those knowing nods …I smiled one of those knowing smiles and off I went. Once again, all sorted, back home, pinny on, hands washed ready to proceed and….

Phone rang. Door bell chimed. Dog needed walking (actually I don’t have a dog but if I had, it would have surely have needed a walk) It was bedlam . You have to smile don’t you. So, a little longer than expected, with more interruptions, delays, unstocked shops and bad fairies than I’d ever imagined, I did, in the end make it. (with the help of Graham Norton and a good shop).

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And it all turned out swimmingly too ….There’s nothing like the feeling of when you bake something new and its a hit with your guests. Thank you ladies…Lemon, honey and Polenta cake recipe on its way to you as promised!

baking final picbaking polenta cake 4

Easter wrappings

Oh how I love springtime and the beautiful palette of colours it brings.  Lemons, pinks, greens….Just divine!

As a gift wrapper I simply love playing with colours, textures and designs to come up with something a little different.  Using a simple technique to wrap a gift but putting together colours that compliment one another and adorning it with fresh flowers or foliage to tie it all together is sure to give your wrapping the ‘wow’ factor!

Here are just some Easter wrappings we’ve been creating this week which we hope will inspire you to create some of your own!

Picture 1 –  How to wrap a cylinder shape Easter present for a special friend – A mix of yellow tissue and clear cellophane pleated and tied with spotty ribbon and 2 fresh daffodils!

Picture 2 –  An awkward shaped gift? Make your own gift bag –  We’ve chosen a beautiful rabbit gift paper with pink and brown tones, complimented with simple green gingham ribbon bow. Simple to do once you know how!

Hoppy Easter and Happy Wrapping everyone!   Jo x

To find out more about learning to gift wrap at one of our courses call us on 01226 492770 or find us online at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

 

Easter Wrappings