Mystery Box Riddles

I’ve been struggling to pump out gift wrapping videos lately in lieu of what is happening in the world. I just feel like it might be in poor taste with everything that is going on.

However, I came up with an idea to help out teacher’s looking to facilitate a home school program and parents that are going crazy trying to implement it! I used to love riddles and word problems when I was a kid. I was thinking back to when I taught grade two and this fun activity that we used to do with paper bags. We called them “Mystery Bags” and the kids loved to write and solve each others riddles by trying to guess what was in their friend’s bag. I decided that I could use the same concept but develop a “Mystery Box” that I could share on my YouTube channel. I will use clues/riddles to describe something that is hidden in my “Mystery Box”. Students (probably 5 to 8 years old I’m guessing) can use the clues to try and solve the riddle. I will only give a few moments to solve on the video, but participants are encouraged to pause the video and take all the time they need to solve it. They can work on their own or with a parent or older sibling to help them.

I will then reveal what is hidden in the box. My hope is that the kids will be engaged and find it fun to solve the riddles. The idea is to promote critical thinking, problem solving, listening skills and some vocabulary development. The videos are short and I hope to release one a day during the school closure. Please feel free to SHARE the videos.

Below is Mystery Box Riddle #1.

I will be back with more great gift wrapping tutorials when things have settled down and there is at least some state of normalacy.

Stay home and stay safe!

Spring is in the Air….or is it?

I must admit, I’m not a lover of winter.

I endure it.

The moment March 1st comes, I feel a spark of enthusiasm knowing that spring is around the corner. Although March in Manitoba can be anything from minus 30 to very mild sweater weather, the calendar confirms the end is coming. Although summer is my favourite season, spring is a close second. It’s a time of new beginnings and the fresh air is truly exhilarating after hibernating inside all winter.

With Christmas and Valentine’s Day behind us, I’m excited to explore some more open-ended gift wrapping designs that aren’t connected with a specific theme. In today’s gift wrapping tutorial, I demonstrate how to create 3 different looks with the same wrapping paper. I found this beautiful floral print at the dollar store and just had to pick it up. It’s a Hallmark roll, so better quality than some of the other dollar store wrapping paper. I love the grid pattern on the reverse side, as it makes for easy cutting. This paper got me so excited for spring. Can’t wait to see the first tulips pop up!

I often choose papers that are either solid colours or have very simple patterns, but I just couldn’t resist this gorgeous wrap. With so many colours in the design, the options for embellishments are many, but you want to keep it simple to avoid drawing too much attention away from the paper itself. I chose three easy designs to demonstrate how one might balance a busier design with less complex decorative elements.

Simple, but Interesting ~ For the first project, I found a beautiful wool type string/ribbon that is made with a variety of fibres and colours. The texture is both interesting and beautiful. It’s quite bulky, so a simple knot is all that is needed to finish off this gift. This is my favourite design. It is such a modest look, but I love how it compliments the colours in the paper.

Sparkle and Berries ~ This white iridescent netting is the perfect ribbon for this gift. The netting doesn’t fully conceal the beautiful pattern of the paper beneath. The hint of sparkle contrasts the flat pink colour of the berry sprig. The floral sprig is tied on with a short piece of white ribbon. I like using white on white to avoid drawing attention to it.

Staggered Ribbon with Thrifted Broach ~ I opted for a deep pink ribbon to anchor the final design. The staggered pink ribbons intersect at a point that is purposely off-centre. I added a white ribbon across the intersection and finished off the look with a thrifted broach. Watch for thrift store sales…you can often pick them up for a dollar or two. Broaches can really make a statement when used as the focal point on a gift.

Check out this one minute video tutorial to see how easy it is to change up a look using the same paper. Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to both my Youtube channel (BOWhemian WRAPsody) and my blog to follow my latest posts.

Love is in the Air ~ “Little Arrows” Valentine’s Gift Wrap

Valentine’s craft set with alphabet beads

In this Valentine’s Day gift wrapping video, I use this awesome “little arrow” scrapbooking paper. You can’t help but think of Cupid when you see this paper! The eye is drawn to the centre of the gift with the layers of torn paper used in lieu or ribbon. Alphabet beads create the XOXOXOX Valentine’s sentiment. The look is completed with a simple heart tag that came in a dollar store Valentine’s gift wrap set. The design isn’t complex, but it really is the adorable paper that makes it work! Check it out!

Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE….thanks for your support! Happy wrapping!

Love is in the Air: Hugs & Kisses Gift Wrap

Black and white polka dot gift wrap is the perfect backdrop for this cute little XOXO tag. This tag was purchased in a dollar store cupcake decorating kit. The card came with slits to slide a straw in, but worked perfectly for threading the red ribbon instead. The XOXO tag is anchored with a plain white scalloped edge circle. So simple!

Check out this quick tutorial to see how it’s done.

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Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE. Happy wrapping!

LOVE IS IN THE AIR! Rustic Love Valentine’s Gift Wrap

This is by far my favourite Valentine’s gift wrapping design. I used a simple brown packaging paper with a white dry brushed finish as the basis for this design. The ribbon is a neutral colour, but a touch of elevation is added with DIY white paper ribbon, made from adding machine tape. Two different looks are created in this video, but both are created with wooden heart embellishments. I picked up the white antiqued heart ornament (along with some stars, angels and Christmas trees) on a post Christmas clearance at Hallmark…I think they were a dollar each..score! The second, more intricate heart was bought at the dollar store. I absolutely love how the wooden hearts give this whole design an elegant, yet rustic feel.

Check out the quick tutorial.

Remember to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE for more great gift wrapping ideas. Happy wrapping!

LOVE IS IN THE AIR! Alphabet Bead Sentiments

I bought a small Valentine’s craft set from the dollar store that included a variety of materials. Although I really wasn’t interested in the tacky pink beads and pipe cleaners, the little letter beads caught my eye. For this design, I used the beads to create a Valentine’s sentiment and mounted the beads against an oversized red felt heart (another dollar store purchase).

As you may have noticed, all of my Valentine’s gift wrapping posts include dollar store purchases. I do this for good reason. I’m pretty picky and also well aware of how tacky and cheap some inexpensive items can look. I do believe the old saying “you get what you pay for”, but I also believe that there is no need to over pay for items when it isn’t necessary. There are times when quality really doesn’t make much difference because of the intended use of the item. There are often ways to elevate the look of an item that might otherwise seem tacky as a stand alone, or when combined with elements that don’t augment its value. What I do know to be true is this, many items can be enhanced simply by combining them in the right way and with careful consideration to the other elements.

This design is simple and inexpensive, but it doesn’t scream cheap because some of the other materials in the kit weren’t used. If I would have added some of the other solid coloured beads, the design would have definitely been impacted. Keep it simple and be mindful of sheens and finishes as that can really make a difference in a finished look.

Check out this super simple Valentine’s Day gift wrap idea.

Happy wrapping!

Valentine’s Gift Wrapping Ideas: Gold and Black~Classy Wrap!

This was one of two sets of Valentine’s gift wrap I recently bought at the dollar store. I love the gold and black look, as it deviates from the expected pinks and reds. It’s more of a classy look….hard to believe this paper was found at the dollar store. I do find it has a bit of higher sheen than I like, but I balanced off both papers with elements that have a flatter finish. I really like the simple elegance of both.

The first tutorial incorporates metal ribbon which was also a dollar store purchase made several months back. It is one of my favourite elements because I love designs that have dimension. Any element that has wire or another pliable material makes my list of must haves. I also use another favourite in this look ….salvaged Christmas cracker wired decorations that are used on the ends of the crackers. I always collect these from everyone at Christmas dinner because they are the perfect finishing touch on so many different projects…especially gift wrapping.

For the second gift, I incorporate a simple wooden element. I love the way it connects with the gold polka dots! The gift is finished off with a simple suede string/ribbon that was a dollar store purchase from a few years back. This gift is a true example of “less is more”. Often, simplicity is the key to a great design!

Happy wrapping!

Valentine’s Gift Wrapping Ideas: Stripes & Hearts

Several weeks back, I made a trip to the dollar store to see what I could pick-up for some Valentine’s Day gift wrapping. I was on a mission to look for anything that would work based on colour and theme. Although I didn’t stick exclusively to the gift wrapping section, I was able to find two incredibly cute gift wrapping sets! I bought both along with several other items that I will be highlighting in videos/posts this week.

The funniest part of my big Valentine’s shop is that my husband and I are not big gift givers, we occasionally surprise one another with a gift, but for the most part it’s not our thing. Both of our primary love languages are “Acts of Service” and “Words of Affirmation”. That doesn’t mean I don’t love and appreciate the thoughtfulness of a gift, it’s just that my greatest appreciation is when he finishes a project around the house, preps a meal or says something thoughtful. This is by far the most Valentine’s swag I’ve ever bought. I usually avoid this kind of thing like the plague, but to all you romantics out there who’s primary love language is “Giving/Receiving Gifts” there will be several great gift wrapping ideas this week.

Love this little set. Came with two types of paper and tags!

Both of these videos demonstrate super simple gift wrapping embellishments. Check out these short video tutorials to see how you can create these Valentine’s Day gift wrapping designs.

Happy wrapping!

Bundle of Joy: It’s a Boy!

In this baby boy gift wrapping design, I tap into the vast array of patterned papers available in scrapbooking paper. I will often pick-up discounted 12″ X 12″ paper pads that I use for scrapbooking, card making and of course, wrapping small gifts. (When purchasing scrapbooking paper for wrapping, be sure to consider the weight of the paper, as heavier paper will not work as well.) Pads often come with 2 sheets of each pattern, so you can always join them to get a good sized paper at 12″ X 23″ (with overlap where joined). The larger gift required two sheets of paper, so there is actually a join at the bottom. I never worry much about the joins because if you’ve done a nice job of wrapping, no one will even notice it. In this design, I combine coordinating papers to pull 3 different gifts together in a united stack. I love the blue-green hue of the paper and the hint of yellow that is brought in through embellishments. These simple elements work together to create a lovely gift for that special baby boy!

The focal point and design elements combine paper elements, ribbons that vary in both colour and texture, and standard buttons, but it’s the little extras that really make this gift so adorable. I love the little plastic soother, tag and personalized touch with babies first initial. So cute!

Check out the video to see how it’s done.

I haven’t been to many baby showers lately, but I’m going to one in a few weeks. It is for my Great Nephew (Oh my…that sure makes me sound old!) Anyway, I got the invitation and thought that a few of the ideas were awesome. Perhaps this is actually a normal practise now a days. I’m at the age in which I’m just starting to go to baby showers again. It seems there was quite a gap of years where I really didn’t have anyone in my circle having babies. Anyway, loved both of these ideas…the first is to buy the baby a story book in lieu of a card and sign the inside, so that they can remember who gave it to them every time they read it. Obviously as a kindergarten teacher, I think this idea is fabulous! The second idea is to bring a package of diapers…any size. Love these ideas! So, if you’re in the process of planning a shower, keep these ideas in mind. So fun to have a new baby in the family!!

Vintage Baby Boy Gift Wrap

I was just preparing the finishing touches on my latest video when I came across one that I had published in the fall, but never set to go public. It just so happens both videos are actual gifts and both are for baby boys. I was planning one baby post, but because I have two videos ready, I will post one now and another next weekend.

In this video, I used vintage scrapbooking paper to wrap the gift. I love the look ….the colours and pattern are certainly not what you would describe as typical baby wrapping. For this gift, I mostly rely on paper elements to create the final look. I use paper punches to create simple shapes that pick-up on the colours of the paper and then layer them to create the focal point for the gift. The tag was actually included right in the scrapbooking paper pad. It’s not uncommon for pads to have a few pages of elements that coordinate with the paper in the pad. It’s really handy, as you can often find coordinated strips of paper that can be used as ribbon, tags, quotes/greetings and/or lettering. If you opt to use scrapbooking paper for wrapping gifts, be sure to purchase paper that is a lighter weight and pliable enough for wrapping. Some pads have a heavier cardstock that won’t work well. Also, never pay full price. Wait for sales/coupons and get them at a discount. Also, always make sure the pads have 2 or more pages with the same pattern, in case you need to join them to enlarge the sheet for bigger gifts. There’s a big difference between a 12″ X 12″ sheet and a 12″ X 23″ sheet (with overlap for join). Having more than one page with the same print is really important when considering gift wrapping.

Check-out this video to see how the paper elements are combined to create a unique looking baby gift!

Remember to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to both my blog and youtube channel: BOWhemian WRAPsody. Thanks for your support and happy wrapping!