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

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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

Wrapped with Love!

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…

x-and-chess-and-card

Keeping it simple….Plain white printer paper, string and a scrabble letter.

better-when-were-together

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-and-blue-ribbon

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!

map-side

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’!

bee-paper-scrabble-table

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.

Jo x

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!

IMG_3455

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.

IMG_3471

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Spring Clean!

mothers day gift

Spring is always a time of year known for clearing out your cupboards and getting all organised. For me however it’s often just something pretty I see (whatever time of year) that will set me off on a mission to change something for the better.   In this case, it was as simple as finding this beautiful pink floral wrapping paper for our More Pretty Things customers to buy for their mothers day/spring wrapping projects. I was inspired as soon as I saw it, with its vintage look and quality feel it would be a shame not to use it in the house somewhere.  So, after doing some wrapping with it myself (above), I had a cunning plan that would allow me to use it somewhere I’d have the pleasure of seeing it often!

Cut to size and sprayed with some of my favourite smelling room spray then left for a few minutes to dry (to ensure no colour run from the paper)  and hey presto…..A beautiful looking and smelling drawer liner! Just add freshly laundered fluffy towels and visit on a regular basis to delight in its loveliness!

blog - march 14 - pretty cupboard

Pink floral wrap (above) £1.75 per sheet or 4 for £6 and ‘Best Mum’ little wooden heart (top picture) £1 each. To order call 01226 492770