Bored of doing the same old thing with your gift wrapping and looking for some creative inspiration this Christmas? Then look no further than Kraft paper!
Being plain, Kraft paper is one of the most versatile papers to use. A blank canvas, it can change its look quite dramatically (depending on what you do with it!)
In this months blog we’re going to show you some crafty and creative ways to transform your Kraft paper using just a chalk marker, a few bits an bobs found around the house (or garden) and a little imagination!
Start by wrapping your gifts in kraft paper…Not looking very festive? Don’t panic! What could be more Christmassy than snow? Queue the chalk marker! Generously add lots of white spots over your kraft paper and voila….See how easy was that!
With this super snowy background whatever you now add will be sure to look fabulously festive, so it’s time to be creative and have some fun! Here’s some we did earlier…!
We simply love the Scandinavian look and it’s so on trend! We’ve added a wooden decoration and tied it in with some plain white satin ribbon. Ta dah!
Simplicity in itself….We’ve added a red felt coaster (that we got free in a home magazine some time ago) and tied on some matching wool we had in our craft basket. Easy but effective!
Got lots of buttons you don’t know what to do with? Why not use them to make a cute picture. We’ve added in some wool scarves for colour and used a marker to draw in some detail and complete the picture. The buttons can then be placed in their final position and securely stuck with double sided tape or glue.
Ever wondered what you can do with your Washi tape? Why not recreate a look of bunting with some string and write a festive message! (Well as long as it’s not ‘bah humbug’ that is!)
Want a classy look but in a hurry? Just add some fresh foliage and pine cones then tie with a simple white satin ribbon.
In our workshops we not only teach lots of gift wrapping techniques but we also like to reveal our secrets of how to transform something rather plain looking into something stunning by adding simple to make, handmade decorative touches!
So this month we thought we’d share one of our festive favorites with you, just in time for all that Christmas wrapping – This gorgeous Pine Cone and Foliage Corsage!
There are various artificial alternatives you can find in the shops but none that will look quite as stunning or be as inexpensive to make being that our version involves a spot of scavenging in the garden and surrounding woodland for most of your materials! By using fresh foliage it’ll not just look stunning but (depending on the type of foliage you use) it will smell gorgeous too, filling the air with a beautiful aroma and bringing that festive feeling into your home (and to the person’s you’re giving it to too!)
So here it is…Do have a go! But don’t forget…Foliage will dry out without water so to keep it looking as fresh as possible our tip is to have your gifts wrapped and cones wired up and waiting, then simply add your foliage at the last minute!
What you’ll need: 2 pine cones , some foliage (we’ve used a mix of rosemary and hebe from our garden), wire (£1 for 15 wires) and florist stem tape (£2.50 per roll) both from our More Pretty Things shop.
Gather your pine cones, foliage and materials together.
Place a wire near the base of the pine cone in between one of the sections and wrap the wire around the cone.
Bring the two ends of the wire together to meet one another and…
…Twist! Keep twisting the two wires together and when you near the end, turn the sharp ends of the wire over so that you have a rounded end instead.
You now need to cover the wire with stem tape. To do this start at the top, pinch it on and then twist it on to the wire all the way down the stem…
Continue winding stem tape down to the bottom of the stem then fold over and come back up the stem to the top. Repeat with other pine cone.
Take your foliage and remove some of the greenery from the ends to reveal about 2 inches of the stalk.
Add your foliage and cones together and secure in the centre with a small amount of stem tape. This will prevent it all from falling apart when attaching it to your gift.
Take your wrapped gift and using ribbon, tie on your pine cones and foliage corsage.
Voila! A fabulously festive wrapped gift ready for giving!
Easy once you know how isn’t it? Know someone else who might like to try it? Please feel free to forward our ‘how to’ with a friend or share on social media.
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!
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
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 ……
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.
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 home 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