Last minute Valentines Wrapping Tip!

Got some last minute wrapping to do this Valentines but have run out of wrapping paper or simply forgotten to get some?  No worries…We have the answer!

Our top tip? Napkins!  They’re a great material to use in wrapping (particularly awkward shapes as they are more pliable than usual wrapping paper) and so whether you’ve already bought some napkins for tonights romantic meal or you’ve some oddments stashed in a kitchen drawer from times gone by, this handy alternative to paper will see you through your last minute wrapping needs… Phew!

chocs and materials to wrap it

Take your chosen napkin and lay it out in front of you. Pop the object you wish to wrap in the centre (ours being some gorgeous Hotel Chocolat melting hearts) and bring your napkin together a pleat at a time until the object is covered!  Tie with some co-ordinating ribbon (or string !), add a tag and there we go, a beautifully wrapping gift, quicker than you can say ‘Be my Valentine’….well nearly!   Happy Valentines everyone.

napkin-hack-2-resized.jpg

Like our top tips?  Please feel free to share with others!  And…For more great tips, wrapping ideas and information about our workshops please visit our website at http://www.moreprettythings.co.uk

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How to make a Seed Heart Bird Feeder

Baby it’s cold outside! February can be a really harsh month, with biting winds and ice even on the brightest of days and so if you’re feeling the cold in all those layers, just think of all the wildlife braving it outside, day and night!

So as Valentines day approaches, we thought we’d spread the love to all those little birdies out there with these really super, easy to make and nutritious (for birds ONLY you understand!) Seed Heart Bird Feeders.

Now we do warn you, they are a bit messy to make but it’s well worth it and don’t worry if you don’t have heart shaped cookie cutters in the cupboard, other shapes work just as well . (Unless it’s like a big eagle shape…or a scarecrow…Mmmn yes perhaps you might want to avoid them!)  Read on for our ‘how to’ guide and…Enjoy making!

materials

We used:   Approx 275g to 300g of Bird Seed –  250g of Lard (or animal suet if you prefer) – Cookie cutters (or make your own shape from tin foil) –  A Pan –  A Tray  – Tin Foil or Clingfilm – A Spoon – A Skewer (or pencil), Ribbon (or Twine).  Oh you might want to have some soapy water and a towel handy too! (well I did say it might be a bit messy!)

  1. Firstly, preparation is key so line a tray with some clingfilm or tin foil and place your cutters on there ready.
  2. Carefully heat the Lard in a pan until it’s just melted and then remove from the heat. (Note that the lard can be quite hot at this stage so be careful not to burn yourself!) Stir your birdseed into the fat a bit at a time until you feel you’re happy with the consistency of the mixture.  (Don’t worry if you have a small amount of birdseed left over you can always add it in at a later stage). As a general rule you should be able to see approximately a couple of mm of melted lard sitting above the seeds in the pan.
  3. Before you can start to fill your cookie cutters, allow your mixture to cool down by placing it outside or somewhere away from room temperature until it is at a temperature where the Lard begins to go white (but just before it solidifies.)
  4. When the fat has whitened (but you can still stir it), this is the perfect time to fill your shapes with the mixture. (Note that if the liquid has not solidified enough, it will seep out of the bottom of your cutters!). It’s also the best time to decide if you need to add more birdseed. You need just enough lard to hold the seeds together and so if you need to add more, do so now. Then use the spoon to fill the cutters  with the mixture, pushing it down firmly and ensuring you fill any corners or edges well to ensure you take on the shape of the cutter.
  5. Once you’re happy they are filled enough, take a skewer or pencil and form a decent size hole (this will be to thread your ribbon/twine through at a later date).
  6. Next, place them (whilst still in the cookie cutter) in a cool place or fridge until  they’re as solid as they can be….As lard will only go so hard.

Finally….Gently press out the hardened mixture with your fingers (yep that’s the most messy bit!) and thread the Ribbon or Twine through the hole. Hang them in the garden and stand back and admire! (Preferably in the warmth of the house with a nice cup of hot tea whilst humming “feed the birds”) Nice work …Mary Poppins has nothing on you!

2 hearts back garden

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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