Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How-To: Last Minute Wrapping (with jazz hands)

Ahhh, it's that time of year again. Personally, the mad dash to wrap last-minute gifts is my favorite part of the holidays. The excitement. The mystery. The imposing danger of the plastic teeth on the tape dispenser. Can I get a witness? Well, this year we decided to share some of our little tricks to making your last minute gifts look not only like they were thoughtfully purchased months ago, but also wrapped with love and plenty of time to spare.

The Strip
Ever wonder how the department stores make gifts looks so professional? Here's a little trick that you can add to your own gifts that's really just a few extra folds away. Cut your wrapping paper leaving a little more length than usual to get it around the gift. Take one end of the paper and fold it in about 1". Then fold it over in same direction again, the time about 1-1/2". You should have a little extra room inside the fold, like this:

Then, take the entire piece of paper and flip it over, so the fold is on the bottom side. Taking that same end, fold it back about 1/2", bringing the folded strip back around to the top of the paper. It should look like this:

Wrap your gift as usual, bringing the folded strip over to the opposite edge of the wrapping paper and taping the unfolded edge under the folded edge.

Tape top and bottom ends of the gift as usual. You can add a bow to this or wrap some ribbon along the folded strip, and tah-dahhh! Department store look with DIY love.

The Petal Bow
Sure, anyone can throw a bow on a gift and call it wrapped. But that's just not how we roll here at Farewell. One of my favorite homemade bows is easy to do and adds a lot of dimension to your gifts. It just requires a thin strip of wrapping paper about an inch wide and anywhere from 15"-20" long. The longer the paper, more full your bow will be.

Starting at one end, carefully bring the end of the strip in about an inch and tape it down. Be sure not to create a crease at the fold, just let the end bow out from the taped end. It should look like this:
Then fold the long end of the strip back and crease. Repeat the first step, taping each little bow to the same end of the paper.

Keep doing this until your strip of paper ends and tape the ends together one last time. It looks like flower petals from the side.
Place it on your gift and admire from every angle.

The Paper Wheel
This little guy is a crowd pleaser, let me tell you. It looks great and it's a fun way to bring in different colors and patterns to your gift. Start out with a few strips of different patterned wrapping paper, varying the widths from 1"-2.5" and about 12".

To start off, fold one end of the paper. Then fold back the opposite way, leaving a little length on the end that's longer than the folds. Like this:
The whole thing is basically one long accordion fold. Keep folding back and forth until you have reach the other end of the strip, leaving another extra longer tab on that end. This will make it easier to tape the wheel together. Once you have all the folds, take the piece and pinch it in half, creating a fold that makes it look almost like a fan. Then fold it back the other way, creating a crease in the middle of the fan.
Turn the wheel over and, keeping it pinched, fold one half of the longer tab down over its other half and tape them together. Then do the same to the other side.

You'll notice if you lay them down, the fan expands like a caterpillar. In order to keep the wheel centered, pull both tabs toward each other in the middle, line them up and put one longer piece of tape on one edge and fold down.When you turn the whole thing over, you should have a beautiful paper wheel.

You can fold the tab flat to the bottom of the wheel and that gives you some surface area to attach a piece of tape to adhere the wheel to your gift. Repeat the wheel on the other strips of paper and cluster them on the gift.

Here are some other little ways you can jazz up your gifts with some odds and ends from around the house. I like this clever one for Dad gifts—it's as easy as cutting out the shape of a tie and shirt collar with other wrapping paper. I make this one for my stepdad, because usually there actually is a dress shirt or tie inside.

You can also do paper airplanes or birds for a child's gift, a guitar cut out for a teen, or an apron for a foodie friend's gift.

Ribbon? We don't need no stinkin' ribbon. If you run out of the side goods (or if a sneaky family member stole them to their room to wrap their secret gifts) you can always take some buttons and string them around a gift. Loved and lovely.

Okay, hope you found our little gift accessorizing tips helpful and not too hard to do. Even if it doesn't look perfect, people always seem happy to open a gift that's been wrapped with some handmade love.
Lisa and I are both headed to Seattle to visit our families for Christmas, we'll post from there if we get a chance between gifts and eggnog binges.

Peace and paper love this holiday to you and yours!

} jp-c

Monday, December 20, 2010

Silhouettes Part II

As promised, here is the silhouette project I created for our living room walls. It's a bit different from Molly's design, where she spray-painted the silhouettes onto canvas, I actually used cut paper to create the profiles. I wanted a nice accent piece to compliment the colors of the living room. Right now the colors are a mish-mash of yellows and greens:

Here is a good representation of the pillows in the room.

(Sorry I don't have a very good picture of the actual living room right now, but here is some of the decor.)

I originally thought I wanted to use 3 different colors with 3 different patterned papers. Here were some of the options that didn't make the cut, but nonetheless, they are still are very pretty.

I finally chose 1 pattern and 1 color. Here was the final result:

In case you, do-it-your-selfers, wanted to know, I basically did the same thing as molly. I took side profile pictures of the "fam" then outlined them in illustrator. (You don't need to do that, but I did). Then I cut out the profiles w/an exacto knife. Once I created that template, I outlined the patterned paper with our silhouette and followed the same steps as listed above. I then slapped some black paper behind the patterned paper and, wholah, the project was complete.

You can find all the paper samples listed above at either Paper Source or Sam Flax. It seems Paper Source has a wider variety of colors and patterns, but Sam Flax is a bit cheaper. Either way, you're bound to find some yummy paper goodness between the 2 stores.

Thanks again, Molly, for your inspiration!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Silhouette Season

It seems silhouettes are a popular trend these days. They create a unique statement and always look modern and fresh. Obviously, the idea of the silhouette as an art form has been around for ages, though in the past they seemed to have had an air of sophistication and stuffiness to them. But in the last couple years, the silhouette has been making a comeback and it hasn't just been side profiles that are popping up in home decor. Dogs, birds, people jumping, playing guitar and doing karate moves, have been showing up just about everywhere, even in mainstream stores such as West Elm:

and Anthropologie:

We hope this trend stays around for awhile. We've always been a fan and have actually created some invites with silhouettes on them. This one was for a friend's son's 1st birthday. They wanted to have a party that was kid and dog friendly:

A lovely friend of ours and author of the entertaining blog "The Nesting Game" recently sent out her Save the Dates. (A little background info on the couple: Molly is a writer for an advertising agency in Atlanta and her fiance is an art director, so we knew these Save the Dates would be fun and unique.) As soon as I saw the envelope in the mail I knew it was their STD. The invite came in a kraft envelope w/ their names and address embossed on the back flap. In retrospect, I wish I would have kept the envelope for a picture, but my husband happened to be walking into the kitchen as I was staring at the envelope, considering saving it for later, but the odd look on his face made me quickly toss it in the trash. (Sorry Molly). The Save the Date, however, was the main attraction and Jen and I knew right away we had to give a little shout out to Molly on our blog for creating such a unique STD.

A few months ago Molly had blogged about creating silhouettes for their hallway with pictures of their family. They created these colorful works of art that, of course, everyone loved:

Their Save the Date was a nice spin on the same project:

Thanks to Molly's blog and their Save the Dates I've decided to take up my own silhouette project since our living room walls are still pretty bare. I'll have to update the blog when I complete it. Until then, keep clicking on Molly's blog and checking back with us for some new inspiration heading your way.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baby Shower Invitations: Eyelet Fever

There must be something in the water, folks. We’ve got a lot of clients that are bringing some cutie pies into our life. People are straight up burning with the fever de bebe around here. And of course, as two young, newly(ish, for me at least) married gals, what do friends having babies makes us want to do?...

Make pretty paper, of course! (What'd you think we'd say?)

For her sister-in-law’s upcoming baby shower, our client Alana wanted an invitation that celebrated the girliest of girlie. {catch the sneak peek from last week here.} Well, we pulled out all the pink lacy stops for mom-to-be Nickole and Baby Girl Beseau and incorporated some pretty eyelet fabric.

We’ve been, ahem, eying the lovely ways the lacy fabric is used a lot lately, and there are so many things that eyelet fabric can lady up for just the right delicate touch.

{ found via: pillow, apron, sundress, curtains, necklace, buttons }

We’d been saving our own cut of eyelet fabric that we found ages ago for just the right piece, and it went perfectly with Alana’s girlie theme.

Throw in a cute image of the birds from Baby Girl Beseau’s nursery bedding, matched with a zigzag stitch, it was just the antique chic look Alana was looking for.

As you can see, we weren’t shy about the feminine color palette, and adopted a mix of pale pink and green, accented with a nice, vibrant pink (one might even liken it to Honeysuckle, Pantone’s new pick for 2011 Color of the Year).

And there you have it, some baby shower love to get all the ladies excited for our club’s newest member!

} jp-c