How to make a Pretty Summer Table Decoration

With summer finally here and alfresco dining in full swing, here’s a quick and easy idea to brighten up any table using some bits and bobs in the house, a dash of creativity and some More Pretty Things know how!

For this make you’ll need:   A jam jar, 2 napkins (we’ve used 2 sizes, the patterned one is from tesco and the plain one from ikea), a piece of ribbon (or string), flowers and scissors

materials

Firstly,  Layer up your napkins and place your jar in the centre.

cover jar sq

Then, holding the napkins up on both sides of the jar, begin to pleat them. Do this by gently pulling the napkins up towards you. Start on the front of the right side, then the back of the right side before moving to the front of the left side and then the back of the left side. This will make sure your pleats are more consistent.

pleat jar sq

When you’ve pleated all the way around secure with a ribbon or piece of string and tie into a pretty bow.

tie off sq

And there you have it….Just add flowers of choice (some water of course) and sit back and enjoy the prettiness (with a cuppa and cake…Would be rude not to!!)

flower centre piece

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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

 

 

Anniversary Years – A Gift Guide

Have you ever wondered who invented the Anniversary Gift List?  It’s a tradition that seems to have been around for centuries but with very little known about its origin. The cynical might wonder if over the years it’s been developed to become something that benefits the retail world significantly.  Maybe, but I suspect that someone at some point in history did something lovely for someone else and that’s stuck, which in itself I find rather lovely and am very happy to keep going.

I also love the way traditions connect us to others, including those who are no longer with us and remind us that no matter how much has changed (some for better, some for worse!), somethings gladly remain the same! With this tradition you get the thrill of receiving something rather lovely or a thoughtful gesture year on year, so what’s not to like?

And…When it comes to giving gifts, some people really struggle to know what to buy, so having a list like this is a great starting point! One of the things I enjoy about this particular tradition is using a little imagination and creativity to translate the traditional meaning into a gift or thoughtful act that fits in with the modern world. Although when it comes to year 13, it takes some imagination!

So if you need a reminder of what year is what, here’s the guide we use and something you can find easily when you need it or can print off and keep handy! It also makes a great gift in itself for newly weds so do pass it on and keep the tradition going!

We’ve added some (budget, luxury and just a bit left of field) suggestions of our own …but only up to year 10!  Well anymore and my hubby would think I was dropping hints and besides, after 10 years you start to get to the pearls and sapphires etc and I figure Tiffany’s has it covered from there!

1st Anniversary Paper – So much choice! From a handwritten love note to plane tickets!

2nd Anniversary – Cotton –  Who doesn’t love huge fluffy towels. Add initials for a truly personal gift.  

3rd Anniversary – Leather –  From a coaster for their morning cuppa to a Mulberry handbag or travel bag,  leather is a luxury gift that lasts a lifetime.

4th Anniversary – Fruit/flowers –  Their favorite fruit tree/shrub to plant in the garden or surprise them with a fresh fruit hamper delivered to the door. 

5th Anniversary – Wood –  A ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’ bread board or how about a bench for the garden to enjoy watching the sun set together for years to come. 

6th Anniversary – Sugar –   A Jar of their favorite sweets or afternoon tea for two at somewhere lovely like Bettys!

7th Anniversary – Wool –   Depending on the time of year, a throw or a picnic rug – Want to splash out? Add a picnic hamper from Fortnum and Mason to go with it!

8th Anniversary – Bronze –  Keyring/s with a personalised message or bronze look firepit to cosy around on a cool summer evening.

9th Anniversary – Pottery – Locate a pottery workshop and recreate that ‘ghost’ scene! Or at least make a pot to take home and laugh at for years to come!! Failing that, you can’t go wrong with pretty Emma Bridgewater mugs!

10th Anniversary – Aluminium/Tin –  Tin has never been quite so interesting until ‘Poldark’ appeared! I’m not suggesting a box set but perhaps more a luxury hotel stay in Cornwall/Devon (the home of tin mining) instead!

And here’s the rest. Imagination at the ready…

11th Anniversary – Steel

12th Anniversary – Silk

13th Anniversary – Lace

14th Anniversary – Ivory – (Please note: Traditional Ivory is an absolute no no these days for good reason!  The modern approach is to incorporate the Ivory colour or go for jewellery that’s white/rose gold instead!)

15th Anniversary – Crystal

20th Anniversary – China

25th Anniversary – Silver

30th Anniversary – Pearl

35th Anniversary – Jade

40th Anniversary – Ruby

45th Anniversary – Sapphire

50th Anniversary – Gold

55th Anniversary – Emerald

60th Anniversary – Diamond

70th Anniversary – Platinum

wedding tag long

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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

A spot of Spring Wrapping

Looking for some inspiration for a spot of spring wrapping? Here’s some we did earlier that would be just perfect for those Spring Birthdays, Mothers Day or even Easter!

Pastel green paper with a white spot has a gorgeous clean and crisp feel about it and simply shouts ‘spring is here!’. To decorate, layer up a couple of cream ribbons and tie a simple bow or add a small spring flower (artificial or fresh as you prefer) for an easy to do but very stylish spring look!

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