Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thoughtful Gifts

Hello Everyone!  Greetings from Kenai, AK!  I will be blogging quite a bit about our time here throughout the month, (hope you don't mind!) but for now, here is a post that I keep forgetting to publish:

I am notorious for my habit of giving gift cards for special occasions such as house warmings, birthdays, Christmas, etc...  I always feel so bad because it might seem to the recipient that I'm taking the easy way out, but I just hate giving people gifts that they don't like or won't use. 

On the rare occasions when I was giving actual gifts, I found myself buying these $6 bags and $3 decorative tissue.  That's $9-$10 for every gift! 

Lately, I've been making an effort to give actual gifts instead of gift cards.  I've also been stocking up on wrapping paper and ribbon. (Here's a tip: places like Home Goods and Marshall's have the best gift wrap and it's only $2.99...much bigger and half the price of their counterparts from Target or Walmart.)  Along with stocking up on wrapping paper, I've also been stocking up on ribbon.  I started making my own bows. I think they give gifts a much more personal, special touch.  Remember the pom pom bow tutorial?  

Well, look out for another bow tutorial coming soon.  Can you say Dior bow?  :)

I know it may seem silly to some, but I'm actually really proud of myself for making the effort to put thought into the wrapping paper and bow color/type I choose for each of the gifts that I give.  It takes me back to a time when people actually cared enough to put effort into gift giving.  I hope that my gift recipients also feel special when they receive a nicely wrapped gift instead of a sloppily put together bag with tissue.  

So how do you make each gift special?  I start by choosing a paper that fits the occasion...weddings, birthdays, baby showers, graduation, etc...  I also take into account the recipient's age and gender.  Here's an example:

This gift was for Eva's friend, Emilia.  Emilia is our neighbor and was turning a whopping four years old :), so I chose a girly, colorful wrapping paper.

I initially wanted to make a medium sized bow out of the white ribbon.  It has elephants, zebras, giraffes, etc... on it.  However, I made the bow way too big.  Since the ribbon is soft and heavier than grossgrain, it was looking a bit flat.  No biggie, I had some soft pink ribbon in my stock pile, so I made a smaller bow to set on top.  Voila, problem fixed!

Overall, I was happy with it, and I'm proud to say that at the birthday party, ours was the only wrapped gift. All of the other gifts were in gift bags, which proves my point that more and more people are gravitating to gift bags for their convenience.  

For my brother in law's birthday, I knew I wanted to stick with gift wrap, since his present was in a box.  I can't stand wrapping gifts that are in weird shapes, they just don't look right.  That is probably the only time I will give someone a gift in a bag.  

I chose a black and white wrapping paper out of my stash.  I figured you can't get any manlier than black wrapping paper, right?  Next I wrapped it with ribbon and made a pom pom bow:

The middle part of the bow was looking a little off, so I decided to create an embellishment to help cover up the not-so-nice knot in the middle.  I had my headphones on the desk with me and they gave me an idea.  

I grabbed a scrap piece of the ribbon and used the headphone to trace a circle:

then I cut it out:

I used my glitter glue to cover it in silver sparkles:

then I attached it to the center with some fabric glue.  This is how it turned out:

I was really happy with it.  It is a special added touch, but it also helped mask the center knot.

Wrapping gifts and making bows may be more work than some people would like, but for those of us who love all things crafty, it's actually a lot of fun. I enjoy picking out wrapping paper, colored ribbon, etc... I also love that it saves me money while making my gift recipients feel special. How does it save you money?  Well, you can wrap 3-10+ gifts with a single roll, depending on the size of the gifts, as opposed to spending $3-$7 on a bag, which you give away to one person and that's it. 
Do you enjoy wrapping gifts?  I love pom pom bows probably more than any other (as you can tell).  What's your favorite type of bow?  

When it comes to wrapping gifts, there are so many possibilities.  You can be as creative or minimalist as you want.  One of my favorite things to do is wrap Christmas gifts.  I aspire to make them as beautiful as the ones my mother in law sends.  She attaches a beautiful ornament to every gift she gives, so not only are you receiving a gift, but you're also receiving ornaments for your tree.  I told you she was awesome!

 So, do you think I'm coo coo or would this be something you could see yourself enjoying?


  1. I save all my gift bags and reuse them! I dread the day Kloe is too old for princesses! She has had the same birthday bags for years! I love wrapping gifts when its only one or two for a friend though.

    1. I agree, they can be great if you reuse them...especially if they're still in good condition.