Sunday, 29 September 2013

Wrap it in Plastic

I may be the only person who looks for gift wrap ideas in places like kitchen shops and garden departments. I get my best finds in the most unexpected places.

My recent idea came from inflatable protective bags, as seen below. These bags come in two sizes suitable - one for wine bottles and one for perfume bottles.

What I love about these is the gift is on show from the start. Pop a bottle of champagne in the bag, blow it up and voila! How you decorate it is up to you. I've done an example below with some washi tape and a permanent marker pen.

Want to do something different with the inflatable gift bag? What about this:

- the small bags are great as a makeshift vase. Insert flowers, inflate (not too full so it stands) and add some water

- got little boys in your family? I think this packaging would suit something like matchbox cars or small figurines. Lay the bag flat on a table or counter & lay the toys within the bag. While the bag remains flat, blow it up. The toys will move slightly upon inflation

- scarves, socks, t-shirts. Anything can be put in these bags. Try it out for yourself!

A scarf with rope and gift tag

Poor photo but this is some rolls of socks

In terms of decoration, you could glue sequins or glitter on the bag. You could also use different coloured marker pens to draw a pattern on the bag.

There are lots of options to get creative - enjoy!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Who Doesn't Love a Wedding??

My friend Hannah and her lovely fiancée are getting married tomorrow! I love it when my friends get married but I love getting a gift more. The gift I purchased from the gift list is to be taken to the event with me so I had the chance to wrap it. Usually I end up buying from a gift list with direct delivery to the Bride & Groom which isn't half as much fun for me!

In all honesty I was going to get a gift bag but I couldn't find anything the right size or with a pattern/colour I liked. I had to go to work with something else. Luckily, the gift fitted perfectly into a shoe box I had saved for reuse.

I decided to wrap the gift in 'pretty' paper and keep the gift box more simple. The box was wrapped in brown paper and I used raffia string instead of ribbon. For gift tags I used wedding place cards which gave the gift a different look.

This is quite a traditional looking gift but I think it is pretty. I hope the Bride & Groom like it and I wish them the best for the future!

The gift

The outer gift box covered in brown paper

A perfect fit!

Place cards used as gift tags

Love Leather

One of my greatest friends recently celebrated her 40th Birthday and as she isn't a girly girl, I went tough for her present - a leather bracelet with engraved tag.

I hope she doesn't mind, but I recycled an old watch box for the gift box. It fitted perfectly with the gift as it was a faux-leather box with a cool cushion. I used bright star buttons to add some colour and brighten the white box up.

This was quite a simple gift box but shows why I hoard gift boxes, wrap, ribbon and anything else I could use for gift packaging!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Somewhere to Hang your Gift cont...

Somewhere to Hang your Gift

I love giving clothing gifts. From children's items to fabulous designer gifts, there is something for everyone. Often you will give an item of clothing but little thought of storage and display goes into the gift giving. I was fascinated recently reading an article about someone who displayed their favourite clothing pieces like works of art throughout their house. It got me thinking about hangers and how these are functional but not actually 'pretty'. 

I'm not a fan of the meatal hanger so it's those thick plastic or wooden hangers all the way for me. I thought wooden hangers would be the best to decorate and in my head I had a few ideas - beads, sequins and tissue paper. I'm not sure I have had the desired results but this is a start on something I'd like to pursue.

I have looked at ways to include the hanger as part of the gift by wrapping the box ribbon to include the hanger.

In regards to a gift tag, I have looked at using a stitch design and needle which is great if displaying the item is important.

I think I'll come back to this one I have refined the designs and ideas!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

These Gifts are Alive with The Sound of Music!

Who doesn't love a good classic musical? This gift wrap idea is based on 'The Sound of Music'. Such a classic story has mutlple opportunities to impress the gift receiver.

One of the most famous phrases is 'brown paper packages, tied up with string' and I have used this as the basis of the gift tower. The film also features Maria making the children clothes out of curtains and this was my idea for the alternative gift wrap. To get a home furnishings feel to the wrap, I have used a wallpaper off-cut. Wallpaper off cuts are available from all wallpaper outlets or you can find these on the internet. I tried to keep the colours similar to the curtains in the film but you could go wild in terms of colour!

You could also take a print of the film title scene and use this as a wrap or for the gift card. If your drawing skills are good you could decorate the brown paper wrapping to feature lyrics or phrases from the film.

With such a rich image and music-led film, there really is lots of iconic ways to dress your gift!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Gift Tag for Music Lovers

This may be one of my favourites - mainly as I love music so much!

I used this gift tag once before bit did a pretty poor job of it. I smudged the writing, made a spelling mistake and recycled an inappropriate CD (what self respecting Dinosaur Jr fan wants a Nelly album gift tag?!) I think this is better!

For the gift box -filled with CD's, a t-shirt, badges, guitar picks, etc I have used a cool metal box that I have recycled from it original purpose of a perfume gift box. To theme a box I could recommend covering a plain box in old music manuscript, band posters, music magazine pages or you could use old CD booklets. Old band t-shirts could also be made into gift bags if you have the sewing skills.

For this CD gift tag I have used a some letter stamps and and ink pad but you could also use a permanent marker and write the message by hand. I have simply attached the ribbon to the box and threading the CD onto this but you can also attach the ribbon in a traditional manner. A musical alternative to ribbon would be to use a guitar string.

Other music inspired gift tags could be old concert tickets (although most avid music fans keep these so check before writing all over one!) and old iTunes gift cards.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Letter Beads

I think I am addicted to letter beads! It's a strange addiction but there really are lots of uses for them.

It started with strange bracelets. I made plenty of them, all saying different things and with added extras. I then started using them on gifts and cards.

Obviously you can use any kind of beads for decoration but that is whole other post!

I use letter beads when spelling out a message. They are great for bursts of text speech such as 'OMG' or 'YOLO' on cards. On plain gift boxes that are great as an alternative to a gift tag. I also love them on a gift tag just to spell out the recipients name.

There is a great selection of letter beads out there including beads that are shaped as letters as well as my preferred square or round beads with letters stamped on them.

A spot of superglue or all purpose glue is all you need to attach the beads.

My gift tags below were born out of buying these fab pen bracelets for two of my favourite girls. Rather than wrap them, I just tied a label to them. It's quite simple but effective.





Friday, 13 September 2013

Live in South East Wales? Like Books?

Books for Free is a new charity initiative in Newport offering free books to any and everyone.

There is a limit of three books per person and they appreciate any free books you may want to donate in exchange.

I'm not a big believer in cutting up books for other uses but these books have been saved from landfill so these are the ideal books to use for other purposes. Don't buy new for art purposes!

You can use old books to paper gift boxes - especially if you can find someone's favourite book - to decorate display tables and as gift wrap. 

There may be a similar initiative in your area so look out for it and recycle!!

Books for Free
72 Commercial Street
NP20 1LR

Food Theme Gift Tag

I can probably fill about 50 food theme posts so I will start simply.

I don't often give the gift of food. I invariably order a food gift online and have it delivered directly to the recipient but that doesn't mean I don't have any ideas on how to make food gifts look quirky!

In my kitchen I have whole draw full of disposable chopsticks, knives, forks & spoons and the detritus of eating on the move. I have hoarded these for their gift giving potential - obviously.

I have glued a knife & fork together at the base. As the wood is very porous I have used crayon to write the message. You could do this with plastic cutlery but this may be harder to write on.

To attach to your gift you can use a ribbon (I have done this to a wooden box which would be good to be used for jars of sauces or jams) or you could glue directly to the packaging. If you are giving a metallic gift, you could always attach a magnet to the reverse of the knife & fork and this could then be kept and displayed like a fridge magnet.

FYI - this knife & fork are from Whole Foods Market. They are the best quality I have come across recently!

Mulberry London Fashion Week Invitation - LOVE!!!

I love this idea. This is the Mulberry invite for London Fashion Week. The show is being held in Claridges, hence the Wedgewood cup and saucer featuring the Mulberry logo.

I want!! I also think this is such a unique way to present an invitation. I must find a way to do something similar........

Ps. Sadly, this invitation wasn't for me

Mulberry show invite

Gardener's Gift Tag

I'm not a big gardener, nor are any of my friends, but if I had a gardening friend I have a great idea for adding an extra touch to a gardening themed gift.

Seed Markers are small wooden pegs that gardeners use to mark their plantings. Generally they are plain wooden or plastic sticks but you can buy more upmarket versions such as the ones below. If you think the cost of buying a pack of markers is not worth it, I believe you could find other uses for the remaining markers in your home or on other gifts.

If giving a gardening gift, you could use a seed marker as the gift tag. The ones below have holes at the top that you can thread a ribbon or twine through but you can always plant these in your gift (if its a plant) or glue to your gift bag/box.

A cute idea that fits with the theme!