Environmentally Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

Upcycle! Upcycle! Upcycle!

My husband recently received a gift and although the bag was pretty, the gift giver wrote his name and birthday wishes directly on the bag, making it impossible to reuse. I really do hate wasting items and try to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. My husband tossed the bag in recycling, but the glittery back caught my eye and I just had to rescue it! I love the way this gift came together by combining 3 rescued items: a gift bag, a previously used ribbon and a broach! Check-out my latest tutorial to see the variations I came up with and perhaps you might rethink some of your own castaways!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE the posts! You can receive an email notification of my latest posts by SUBSCRIBING to both my youtube channel: BOWhemian WRAPsody and my blog! Thanks for visiting!

Stay Tuned for the Big Reveal:

We have been super busy this past week….tune in to see pictures of our latest and perhaps most spectacular DIY reno and upcycling project yet. I am honestly speechless…my hubby really out did himself this time! I hope to have the finishing touches done and the post up by next week!

Gift Wrapping Ideas: Edge Work!

This gift was created using scrapbooking paper. The edges of the paper were folded to create a white board running down the centre of the gift. A pink strip of paper was mounted on top and then a second strip of white paper sits on top of that to create a layered look. I added in a small white doily and big pink button in the center to serve as the focal point in this gift. I love the black-based floral print. The contrast between it and the white and pink creates a beautiful stand-out look.

I absolutely love this paper! Whenever possible, I try to use scrapbooking paper for wrapping gifts. Why? Because there are so many incredible papers to choose from. A great way to get started using scrapbooking paper for gift wrapping is by purchasing a 12″ X 12″ scrapbooking paper pad. There are many great collections and they often follow a specific theme, colour scheme or a certain look. Some examples might include: Christmas, pastel colours, shades of blue, vintage, travel, floral, chalkboard designs, etc. Once you find a book you like, be sure to watch for coupons or a good sale price. I only buy paper when it is 40% off or greater. Some books come with coordinating solids and others only contain patterned papers. If your book does not come with solids, purchase some matching single sheets of paper to go with your patterned papers. Often the colours in a book follow a set scheme and a handful of solid colours will match with most of the patterned designs.

Regardless of whether you are using scrapbooking paper or regular wrapping paper, you can create interest in your finished projects by focussing on the edges of your paper. In this video tutorial, you will learn how to:

  • Use a folded edge to compensate for a piece of wrapping paper that is too small
  • Incorporate a folded edge as a design element
  • Enhance your gift wrapping with torn paper edges

You will be amazed to see how a variety of looks can be created with the same elements being used in slightly different applications. I hope you enjoy today’s tutorial.

To learn more great gift wrapping ideas, SUBSCRIBE to my channel. You can also help me out by LIKING and SHARING my posts. Thanks for visiting!

My Secret Weapon for Great Gift Wrapping

 Re-used elastic ribbon, a dollar store netted wire bow, silver curly ribbon and a few strands of iridescent present stuffing are used to create this beautiful gift.

Today’s gift wrapping tutorial introduces you to one of my secret weapons. I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder by any means, but when it comes to gift wrapping, I keep and re-use the same ribbon and embellishments over and over again. When I host a birthday or when we open gifts on Christmas morning, the paper gets recycled, but I collect anything and everything that is re-usable. This is my secret weapon because it saves me both time and money! This is especially true at Christmas when there are so many gifts to wrap!

In my latest BOWhemian WRAPsody tutorial, you will see how I take one of my old embellishments and with a tweak here and there, create a beautiful gift. With such a great finished look, you don’t need to feel the least bit guilty about taking this shortcut! Watch the video to see how you can start saving time and money by purchasing the correct types of embellishments and creating simple looks that can easily be stored and re-used in the future.

If you want to learn more great ways to create beautiful looking gifts…subscribe to my channel! Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE. Thanks for your support!

Less Is More! Gift Wrapping with Simple Elegance

Anyone who knows me well would attest to the fact that “less is more” might actually be my design mantra (or at least one of them). I’m not sure if I come by this desire for simplicity naturally or if it has developed over time. As a kindergarten teacher, I have seen more cringe worthy projects than you can shake a stick at. It often has nothing to do with a student’s artistic ability or inability, but rather, they just don’t know when to stop! I find the same can be said of adults who perceive that they aren’t very “artistic” or don’t have a “good eye” for design. The best rule of thumb for those that feel they aren’t gifted in this realm….KEEP IT SIMPLE…LESS IS MORE! The more elements you add, the worse it looks…generally speaking of course.

This is the second video tutorial in which I used this white/silver swirl paper. The paper has a simple elegant pattern and I wanted to share a few ideas for possible embellishments. In my last video, I used a thrift store silver broach to dress up the gift. If you want to check it out, you can catch the video on my youtube channel or in my previous post: Gift Wrapping “Beyond Re-Broach”.

In today’s video tutorial, you will see how I use two simple dollar store elements to create a beautiful, yet simple look.

Gift Wrapping “Beyond Re-Broach”

Gift Wrapping Beyond Re-Broach

Recently, while out thrifting, I made a huge score in the jewellery department! I picked-up several pieces of jewellery to use in some of my gift wrapping designs. You may recall the Thrifting Challenge that I presented a few weeks ago. The task was to go thrifting with an open mind and ample time. I specifically wanted to challenge you to use your imagination to envision how every day items might be incorporated into a gift wrapping project. Think “WRAP, RIBBON, EMBELLISH” and see what creative ideas are born from simply putting the thought out there. It’s like a treasure hunt and you really can’t ever be sure what you’ll discover.

In today’s gift wrapping tutorial, I used a more classy style of gift wrap with a white base colour and silver swirls scattered throughout. I added 1 1/4″ wired silver ribbon in a classic cross format. To embellish the gift, I incorporated some glittery silver curly ribbon and a simple, but beautiful silver piece of jewellery for the focal point. The thrifted piece was picked up for $1 and definitely adds a touch of elegance. I love this simple, yet sophisticated look! Although this design could work for many different gift giving occasions, I immediately think bridal shower or wedding gift!

I hope you enjoyed the video! To see my latest gift wrapping design ideas, subscribe to my Youtube channel at BOWhemian WRAPsody. Remember to LIKE and SHARE!

Skip It! #4

skipping rope for ribbon

This is the final video in my Skip It! series. In this video tutorial, I use a classic skipping rope in lieu of both the ribbon and the bow! The handles are left on the rope and add extra interest to the finished gift. This particular idea would work best on a children’s gift, as the skipping rope becomes part of the present itself. This look is definitely fun! The bright colours, thread of sparkle in the rope and extra interest of the wired garland certainly would catch the eye of any little girl!

Check out my latest video tutorial on how to create this look!

Skip It! #3

skipping rope to gift wrap

This is my third post demonstrating how you can use dollar store skipping ropes to embellish gifts. In this episode, you will see how you can keep it generic or zero in on the extra special child in your life, by making the focal point part of the gift as well. For this look, I combine a Chinese skipping rope (loving these), satin ribbon and traditional curly ribbon. Check out my latest video to see how it’s done!

Sensational Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I’ve made “loose” versions of Strawberry Shortcake over the years…basically angel food cake (or white cake) with either whipping cream or vanilla ice cream and strawberries, but this was my first time ever making a true Strawberry Shortcake recipe. It was my husband’s birthday this week and he didn’t have a specific birthday cake request, so I decided to finally give Strawberry Shortcake a try and believe me this recipe from Glorious Treats did not disappoint! Her presentation was much better, but never the less, it was absolutely delicious! When it comes to trying new recipes, I have this thing I do….I’m not sure why, but almost every time I try a new dessert recipe, I end up making adjustments of some kind. It really makes no sense because the “tweaks” are not a result of the recipe lacking in some way, but rather my presumptions as to what would make it even better. For the full original recipe, please visit Glorious Treats, but I do want to share my thoughts and the changes/additions I made.

First of all, I absolutely loved the density of the cake. It was a bit of a heavier cake, but it combined perfectly with the whipping cream and strawberries. Glory mentions the Balsamic Glaze being key in this recipe and I have to agree. The flavour it brought to the strawberries was amazing. In her recipe, she uses Sprouts Organic Balsamic Glaze. I have never actually come across a Balsamic Glaze (or another recipe that calls for it). I didn’t want to have to hunt for it and then store a mostly full bottle for a measly tablespoon, so I opted to make my own. I found the recipe on Add a Pinch and then just reduced it to make a half recipe. It was super easy to make and my version made about 2 tablespoons of glaze. I had the vinegar on hand, so it cost me nothing to make it and the flavour was fantastic. Here’s what I did:

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup (or honey or brown sugar)

Place ingredients in a small pot. Heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half. Stir every couple of minutes. This takes about 10 minutes and makes approximately 2 tablespoons of the Balsamic Glaze. Cool.

I’m not sure if cream cheese is a staple in Strawberry Shortcake recipes or not, but I loved the added flavour in the whipping cream mixture of Glory’s recipe. (Seriously, her recipe is fantastic!)

Last, but definitely not least, I decided to add in the Strawberry Crumble that I found on Deliciously Sprinkled. The cookie crumble incorporated a bit of crunch and I loved the contrasting texture that it added. The only down side is that the recipe makes quite a bit and you really can’t cut it down because it calls for one box of Strawberry Jello and one box of Vanilla Instant Pudding. However, I put the extra in a ziplock bag and froze it. I can’t be sure, but my guess is it will freeze well. (The fresh strawberry topping and cookie crumble would also taste amazing on vanilla ice cream for a quick dessert, so having a stash in the freezer may come in handy.)

To Make My Version:

Print the original Strawberry Shortcake recipe from Glorious Treats and follow all of the steps (substituting your own homemade Balsamic Glaze).  Don’t forget to add in a layer of Strawberry Crumble, following the fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle ~ Oh yeah!

As amazing as this tasted, I did find the denser cake layers a bit tricky to cut through while maintaining the integrity of the cake. Of course this had zero impact on the flavour, but it didn’t look as pretty when it was served. In summary…this could honestly become one of my favourite recipes…so amazingly yummy! However, the next time I make this it will absolutely be in a trifle bowl! Oh yeah…STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE TRIFLE! I predict that the flavours will meld even more when combined trifle style, and it would also take away the fuss with presentation and serving. To make the trifle, I would simply add the strawberry crumble into the original recipe, as the fourth layer in the trifle bowl. (Cubed cake, whipping cream mixture, fresh strawberries and cookie crumble, repeat X3) The only other thing I might consider when converting this to a trifle is perhaps dipping the cake chunks into the juices from the strawberry mixture. There probably would not be enough juice to dip all three layers, but I’m thinking that it might be nice to dip the pieces for the bottom or middle layer of the trifle. I will absolutely be sure to post when I pull this amazing recipe together in a trifle. Let me know if you beat me to it!

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out. Be sure to check out my archives for more great recipes, gift wrapping ideas, DIY projects and home decor tips! Thanks for visiting!

Don’t forget to LIKE/SHARE the post and SUBSCRIBE to my blog for more great ideas.

Skip It! #2

Chinese skipping rope for gift wrapping

I’m loving the Chinese skipping ropes I picked-up at the dollar store. They seriously might be the best wrapping hack yet. I love how easy they are to use and how they can be wrapped in a variety of ways because of the elasticity. In this particular post, I used a plain yellow ribbon as a base, an orange skipping rope and a sheer orange ribbon to finish off the look. Check out the video to see how it’s all pulled together!

SUBSCRIBE to my blog and Youtube channel BOWhemian WRAPsody for more great gift wrapping tutorials.

Skip the Ribbon! A Gift Wrapping Tutorial

skipping ropes for gift wrapping

In my last post, I challenged you to “think outside the box” and get your creative juices flowing. The task was to go thrifting (garage sale, thrift store or dollar store) and to give yourself the time to browse thinking: WRAP, RIBBON, EMBELLISH! The key to the experience was to not actually look for any of the above, but rather ponder what you see and imagine the items replacing what we traditionally think of as wrapping paper, ribbon and typical store bought bows. I hope you had some time to test this out over the weekend, but if not, no worries the challenge is not timed and I would love to hear your ideas, as you make your own discoveries!

This brings me to my own dollar store find….skipping ropes! Oh yeah…they make a perfect replacement for…you guessed it RIBBON! There are many styles, colours, weights and designs and admittedly some work better than others. There are basically two versions, the single rope with handles of some sort (which can in itself create interest) and the endless loop Chinese skipping rope. I bought both types. Over the next few posts/videos, you will see how I incorporated skipping ropes into my finished gift wrapping look. Skipping ropes would make a great accessory when gift wrapping for a child, as it can actually become part of the gift! They could also be a great addition to any summer themed gift idea, but would also work for any generic gift giving occasion.

 

To receive posts as they become available, SUBSCRIBE to both my blog and and Youtube channel BOWhemian WRAPsody. The LIKES and SHARES are greatly appreciated too!