Monday, May 18, 2020

Thoughts on wrap, wrappers and wrappering

Homesite on ETSY

What a time to live through.  Has anyone else thought about how history making 2020 will be? I can just see the endless stream of books, movies, documentaries, podcasts historical, theses -- the future meets the past and drags it along to explain whatever present there will be.

I think this quarantine will change many things.

  • Social interaction will change - how we greet each other, the space we keep between us.  Like the folks in the East who have already lived through multiple epidemics, masks will become a more ordinary part of attire, but with bling and flair ! Has anyone seen the face mask content on Vogue? 
  • The usual means and methods of distribution of goods, already having been steadily transformed, will be drastically upended.  Will this be the final blow to high margin brick and mortar? The beginning of the real online economy? How do we preserve local community with that going on? I don't think anyone really knows, but lots of "experts" are speculating!
  • With some notable (and sad) exceptions, the vast majority of people have been treating each others with kindness, compassion and respect. There are some really fun things out there in the interwebs -- who else follows SomeGoodNews? Who else is heartened by the beautiful content our favorite celebs are putting out?   If we can figure out how to preserve that, and build on that -- wow! 

This quarantine has certainly changed my ideas on how to go forward with this blog.  A long time ago, based on one viral pin on Pinterest, I started with the idea I would just focus on pretty wrapping ideas. That evolved alongside my evolving awareness of the impact of everyday life on the environment -- I started looking for more ecologically responsible ways to live my ordinary life, including pretty gift wrapping. What you won't find here -- and I am sorry for anyone this offends -- is a rigid approach that sends the message how bad it is for the environment to consume anything not absolutely necessary for bare survival (so really we should just hand gifts to our loved ones unwrapped or you know, just don't do it. )

There has to be small steps people can take and be happy about taking, so we can take the next small step to improve and then the next and so on. Doing the reverse is how we got here -- we didn't as a culture all wake up one morning and say "hey let's trash the environment as our new goal"! It was incremental and not completely intentional. And part of the answer to reverse it is a lot of people like me and you encouraging those incremental steps.  This is not a knock on the Greta Thurnbergs of the world. I admire her and those like her beyond words. Those voices are the ones bringing awareness to the problem. This is just how I think I can help.

However, I am interested in more than just gifts and if I am going to make a social media chronicle  part of my life it has to reflect those interests.  The thread I identified tying it all together is beautiful design. I love patterns, shapes, materials and textures for things we use everyday that are beautiful. So I am going to start to include some posts on examples of that beautiful design -- again, hopefully, more environmentally responsible than not -- in the area of fashion, makeup and home design.

If that sounds shallow, (does anyone else even worry about being shallow?) I should mention that right now, I spend a lot of time on spiritual things, working on making myself a better person.  Faith is a personal and important thing and I see so many great examples of people living their ideals out there -- I applaud that and enjoy that. It's my thought that a beautiful inside should translate to beautiful surroundings and the care and flair you take with creating the parts of your life. In this blog,  I want to focus on showing some ways people are doing that.

So in summary -- heavy on the gift wrapping, spiced up with other pretty stuff that is kinder to the environment than not.   Does that resonate?  If so, here we go 2020! I don't care that you are half over! Let's do this!


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Etsy Monday Bonnie Kaye Studio Screen Printed Kraft Paper

Recycled kraft paper is a great choice for gift wrapping.  This maker has added something special -- screen printed designs!
Love this yellow zinnia design!
Here's what Bonnie says about herself and her shop:
"Hello! I'm Bonnie - I just returned to my southern roots after 12 years of city-livin' (Brooklyn + Philly), with a soft spot for dinner parties and printmaking. I design and handcraft nature-inspired table textiles and wrapping paper sheets. And with every purchase, I donate 5 meals to Fe 

You can see her hand screen printing process on Instagram or in her shop.  There are a lot of great designs.

This striped version is what originally caught my eye. 

I love all things metallic.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Getting ready for 4th of July with ForYouGiftBags

I was looking for some inspiration for 4th of July gift wrapping. I have some pretty cool white packing material I am going to re-use. I was trying to think of what I might use for the red and blue portions.  Haven't quite made up my mind yet, but while I was hunting around, I came across these very cute gift bags.  VERY red white and blue! And eco-friendly!

Set of two fabric gift bags
Here's what the Etsy seller says about her gift bags:

"This set of 2 reusable gift bags in red white and blue is perfect for birthday, July 4th or Fathers Day celebrations.

The medium closes with a gathered cuff and has 12” x 14” fillable space, and the small has 10” x 10” of fillable space. The ribbon is diverted from landfill.

You save $1 by getting the set. If you prefer, you select sizes and colours. 

It is easy to switch to fabric gift bags, and with a selection of sizes and patterns you will find you have one that fits every gift and each occasion. 

Recycled Content: The ribbon is from Creative Reuse Toronto which receives material from fabric stores closing down and would otherwise send the material to landfill. 

Shipped in Kraft mailers made of recycled paper, biodegradable and recyclable.

Simple, stylish, eco-friendly gifting. "


Saturday, June 22, 2019

more wrapping from jurianne matter

My all time most viewed post was wrapper of the week jurianne matter.  An incredibly talented designer, Jurianne's story shows how a passion for beauty and a passion for ecofriendly can meld.

Pop up poster!

From her site:

"In 2008, I started my label carrying my own name and I went all out, because I believed in it. Some way or another, the designs struck a chord: paper, craft, rituals, traditions, pretty prints and all produced in an eco-friendly way… it became a success. 

By now, the paper has been joined by textile, my second love. Functional, with beautiful prints and naturally made from GOTS-certified organic cotton. The fabrics also carry my signature: poetic, graphic and with a major role for nature. Because nature is definitely a thing; ‘eco-friendly’ is not just an empty marketing term for me. ‘Beautiful’ is only beautiful to me when it’s been produced in a clean and fair way. 

In addition to constantly developing my collection for my own company, I also work with great passion for other companies. I often advise and design for completely different audiences, in other styles, but funnily enough everything always features my own signature."
I  visited her site for new wrapping inspiration:

Crazy about these leaf gift tags. They transform!
you can turn the gift tags into a cute garland, just by attaching to a ribbon.
I think these would make an incredible topper for a ship mad toddler gift!
And look how cute for a mobile!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Etsy Monday 3 Father's Day Ideas You Can Download from PaperMaidStudio

I have been (very slowly) working on some designs for gift tags you can download, so I have developed an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into coming up with something that actually looks good.

PaperMaid Studio has some cute ideas for Father's Day (as well as other holidays). If you need a quick way to get the kids something they can put together for Father's Day, you can download these files for a reasonable price.

PaperMaidStudio Gift Card Holder Download

Cute tear off tickets from PaperMaid Studios
Something for Grandpa too!
Follow the links over to check out this cute shop.


Monday, June 3, 2019

Washi Tape Birthday Cake Wrapping

I thought it would be fun (and easy) to do washi tape birthday cake decorations on the gift wrapping for my daughter's birthday presents. To give my giftwrapping a theme, I tried a number of slight variations.  So in honor of my daughter's birthday, here are four ways to do a washi tape birthday cake gift wrapping design! To make it ecofriendly, I committed to only using what I already had in the house.

List of things to gather up first:

  1.  Gift wrapping paper
  2.  Washi tape
  3. Card stock
  4. Fine point marker
  5. Scissors, straight edge
  6.  A picture or Pin to copy

How to do it:

At the risk of being obvious (hey, it took me a while to figure out!) the design is supposed to represent a birthday cake on a cake plate with burning candles. Start by drawing your cake plate where you want it on the card or wrapping (where the straight edge comes in.)   Then make your scallops for the plate edge and your cake stand legs or support. Cut three lengths of washi tape, each slightly smaller than the one before and stack your cake up. Then draw your candles with a flame.

Here were my efforts:

First try. I had a wide white washi tape, it looked too boring by itself, so I added some yellow tape and colored in the "flames" with a yellow marker.
Try #2. I used the washi tape rolls to trace the cake stand legs. As usual, whenever I try and write beautifully, my letters tend to grow. 
OK, now I was getting confident, and a little sloppily off center.
I had seen a version with a gift card taped to the present. I only had one piece of card stock, but I get bonus points for the little flames I cut out for the birthday candles.
So there you go, 4 variations on the washi tape birthday cake. Each one took only a few minutes to do, so it definitely qualified as fast and easy. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Etsy Monday ThePersonalized Gift Does Father's Day

When I was about 9 or 10, I gave my father a cigar box wrapped in velvet to hold his "things".  Many, many years later, when we were going through his condo after he died, there it was -- sans velvet, but still with things.

This Etsy shop has the same idea, but maybe a little fancier.

The shop offers custom engraving options
You can engrave both sides.
They offer other personalized gift options for inside -- cufflinks and tieclips are some of the nicer options.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day To Me!

When I started this blog, it was mainly to share pretty gift wrapping ideas.  As time went on, I became more and more interested in practical yet pretty ways to be more eco-friendly with gift wrapping. Since then I have featured many gift wrap makers who use recycled paper and ink, shown ideas on how to re-use gift wrapping and featured a lot of alternate materials.

One idea that really captured my imagination was a gift box that could be re-used to send gifts back and forth between family or friends. Something that could turn into a family heirloom in itself.  So imagine how thrilled I was when my husband made a prototype for me for Mother's Day!

 Here's the before:

A candy box.

Kevin had taken some classes with Charles Douglas Gilding Studio. Gilding is an old art, which involves applying metal foils with brushes to all sorts of things. While I thought he might use some of the decorative finish materials he has used before, this was a great and special choice. He applied gold and copper foils.  Here are the afters!

He used gold and copper foils. I love it so much!

The box actually opens up with multiple levels.

So question -- what do you think of the idea of heirloom gift boxes? if we were going to market these, how much should we charge? Let me know in the comments!

And finally I hope you had as amazing a Mother's Day as I did. Between my lovely children, fur-babies, and my incredible husband, I am simply beaming!


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Etsy Monday Mother's Day

I put together a fantasy wrapping kit for Mother's Day.

MidCentury Addiction has a large stock of vintage wrapping papers.  This one is kitschy cool.

Pretty lily wrapping paper
Add this pretty ecofriendly cotton ribbon from CraftyWoolFelt

Maybe yellow and pink
And finally top it off with a vintage brooch from Vintage Clothiers.

This is such a pretty little brooch, 1940-1950 
Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Etsy Monday Rewrappeduk

Farm wrapping!

There are so many amazing graphic designers in the UK, turning out beautiful paper and card designs. Rewrappeduk turns out gift wrap and cards using recycled papers and vegetable inks. I love these wrapping papers, so perfect for adventurous children.

We all live in a yellow submarine

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Etsy Monday SpruceGiftWrap

Fabric gift wrap sounds like a great idea, but it can be hard to turn into a gift that looks finished. This Etsy shop had a unique idea. The fabric gift wrap comes with ribbon and a matching tag:

This 20" square size wrapping will work for a book or similar item.

From the shop: "Spruce creates gorgeous fabric gift wrappers with tidy corners and built in multi-loop bows, reusable gift tags and exclusive digital patterns. "

"10% of all profits go to AIR, the Alliance for International Reforestation"
The tag can be filled in with a washable children's marker and then re-used,

The shop also offers a pattern you can digitally download to use your own fabric scraps.
Great idea!


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Etsy Monday Happywrap

Cornflower handmade gift wrapping
Happywrap, a UK shop has handmade papers, recycled wrapping and fabric wrapping options. 
Heart option
"This handmade paper is made from the bark of the Lokta shrub found in the Himalayas. It is harvested by the locals and turned into paper. It is certified Fair Trade by the World Trade Organisation, supporting the local communities that produce the paper through trade."
This pretty recycled paper has great gradations.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Wrapper of the Week Bespoke Press

If I was going to dream up a perfect gift wrapping paper, what would my list look like?

Bespoke LetterPress

  1. Environmentally responsible, recycled paper
  2. Two sided for wrapping versatility
  3. Heavy duty, so I can wrap packages that have to travel
  4. Beautiful, rich colors
  5. Accomplished graphic design
This producer of "couture stationery" in Australia hits all the marks. Their gift wrap is unbelievably beautiful, as well as everything I list above.  Here are some examples:

Doublesided black cockatoo/teal jungle design
You could get really creative with the double sided wrap if you start folding
I love the colors and scale of these designs
They have beautiful ribbon and gift tags too -- many currently on sale:

10 pack of multi occasion tags
Their story is pretty delicious too.

"Bespoke Letterpress is one of the world’s leading letterpress studios designing and printing fine letterpress and hot foil stationery.
Founded by Alischa Herrmann in 2007, what began as a small business based under an old timber house by the sea, Bespoke Letterpress has since grown into an international recognised and celebrated brand. 
We print the beautifully old fashioned way, using antique cast iron machines, printing on imported luxuriously thick paper mixed with patience, perfection and a whole lot of love."
They name their presses! Here's a picture of Edward.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Etsy Monday TheFabWrap

Spring is coming!  Thoughts turn to colors, flowers, green. And pompoms! (well, at least mine do.)  So imagine my delight at finding this great Etsy shop that sells fabric gift wrap perfect for a spring gift and ... pompoms!

Pretty patterns, like polka dot and flowers.
They offer three sizes in each design:

Small: 16x16 inches - Wraps gifts such as a mug, candle, jewelry box
Medium: 20x20 inches - Wraps gifts such as a book, puzzle, photo frame
Large: 24x24 inches - Wraps gifts such as a shirt gift box
and custom sizes as well.

All patterns come in the following colors: 

Black Green Blue Red Yellow Gray, plus custom colors if you wish.

Every length of gift wrap comes with pompoms!
You get yarn and pom poms (quantity depends on size).

handstamped and handcut.
Love everything about this shop!