I’m Just Dotty…

…for gift wrap!
Seriously, I might have an addiction.
Which is how I have ended up with roll upon roll of pretty paper.

This past weekend, I got a chance to use some of it when I was invited to a baby shower for my friend S. She LOVES grey as much as I do and, like me, is a sucker for a polka dot. So of course I had to break out the dotty grey paper I snagged at Marshalls. I also had a gorgeous interlocking circle patterned paper in a darker grey (it’s not paper at all, actually– it’s made from STONE! Don’t ask me how… but it is very cool and has the silkiest, most durable texture), also a Marshalls find.

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A Tiffany-blue ribbon, some stripey washi tape and a polka-dotted clothespin in pale blue completed the packaging. S loved it (I knew she would!) and she also loved the contents of the package: mini Chuck Taylors!*

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*Tiny Converse sneakers are my favourite baby gift– I give them to EVERYONE who has a baby, ever since a colleague of mine told me that the very best gift she got when her little guy was born was a pair of miniature Chucks. Feel free to borrow this idea (as long as we are not invited to the same shower 😉 ).

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Tiny, Perfect Cake

Here is how I packaged up the wee little cake I put together for a friend last week.

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First, I cut out a cardboard circle to go under the cake and then wrapped the whole thing in waxed paper, to keep the jam and the icing from bleeding through the wrapping. Next, I cut a strip of parchment paper to size and wrapped it around the cake, leaving the top open.

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Some washi tape and some glitter tape, plus a bit of grosgrain ribbon added a bit of pizzazz. Then, I wrapped the stem of a canvas flag in the same washi tape, for a sort of circus-y, birthday party-ish vibe. I hand-stamped the message onto the flag in blue ink (I’m a fan of vintage slang) and then popped the flag into the centre of the cake.

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A plastic gift bag and a string of sequins were the final touches. I used the glitter tape on the ends of the sequin string to keep it from unravelling– it would be sad to give someone a cake wrapped in the bedraggled, de-sequined remains of something so pretty! 😉

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Quick & Easy

Today I picked up a few little Christmas presents.
Three of them were very simply gift-wrapped for me in kraft paper bags and bright green tissue paper.

I really like to have some element of the handmade in my gift wrap, so I had to add a little something to the packages.  Since I am planning to use kraft paper for my gift wrap this year, I decided to keep the gifts in the kraft bags and just add my own tags to them.
What could be easier?

I printed on each tag, added some festive washi tape to two and used a paper punch to tart up another one, added an oversized jingle bell and some pretty ribbon to each one and tied them onto the handles of the bags. It took a wee while, as I individually hand-lettered each tag, but you could speed up the process by using handwriting or calligraphy instead.

I LOVE these gifts– I got one for my BFF, one for my mum and one for my brother. I’d love to tell you what they are, but my mum is a regular reader and my BFF drops in now and then, too, so I can’t let you in on what’s inside the bags.
But I know it will drive at least one recipient nutty trying to figure out what the heck I could get that would be appropriate for both her and for my brother!

Gift tags & washi tape from The Paper Place.

 

Be My Guest

Stuck for hostess gifts? Teacher gifts? Something small and thoughtful to give a neighbour or a colleague?

I have a solution for you.
Make The Barefoot Contessa’s Parmesan, Thyme & Black Pepper Crackers. They are incredibly quick and easy and they are beyond yummy!
I make a whole gigantic bunch of them and keep them in the freezer so I have them on-hand during the holidays.

I like to give them away in vintage mason jars, but glassine or paper bags, or pretty little boxes would be sweet, too.
Add a nice bottle of red wine and you have the perfect hostess gift for the festive season.

They are so quick and easy that you will have time to sit down and enjoy a few with a nice glass of wine while congratulating yourself on your cleverness in making such a thoughtful, delicious gift!

You’re welcome. 😉

Let It Snow

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I have long had a fantasy about being a professional gift wrapper. If that is not a real job, it darn well should be! Ever since I was quite little, I have LOVED wrapping presents. As a teenager, I used to shut myself in my room with all the bows and paper and ribbons, sing along to Christmas tunes and wrap prezzies for hours and hours. It was one of my favourite days of the year and I looked forward to it for months.

As an adult, I still look forward to a day spent doing nothing but wrapping gifts. In my 30s, I started to pick a theme each year and wrap all my gifts the same way. One year it was blue paper, wide satin ribbon in chocolate brown and a single chandelier crystal on each gift. I often use kraft paper– one year I added a single magnolia leaf with the recipient’s name written on it in gold ink to each package; another year, it was organza ribbon with glass ornaments embellished with the recipient’s initial or a loving phrase; still another year, it was packing-stamp inspired stickers, red or gold jingle bells and red twine wrapped around and around and all over each package. I am also a huge fan of black paper and one of my favourite schemes involved it with oversized rick-rack in red or white and miniature glass Christmas balls.

Those are Liberty covered buttons on the right!

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I start thinking about my festive gift wrap months in advance, so now I am getting down to the wire and am narrowing down my choices for this year. You will have to wait and see what I end up doing, but in the meantime, I hope these inspirational images get you in the gift-wrapping spirit!

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