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!

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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!

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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.

 

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Thinking “Outside the Box” ~Literally

think outside the box
Junk or gems? Think outside the box…could these items possibly be used to enhance a gift?

Do you ever wonder what goes through other people’s minds? I’m a total visionary type of a person. I can envision the potential of an old piece of furniture, can predict how great a room would look with fresh paint and a few minor changes, can see how an idea could be modified to work in a different situation and one of my favourite things to do is imagine how I might use an item for a completely different purpose than it was originally intended…“re-purposing”. This is just how my mind works…constantly planning, reflecting and coming up with new ideas! I’m not saying I don’t appreciate a well-made item and will definitely pay whatever it takes to find a comfy and yet fashionable pair of shoes, but my happy place is not the mall, it’s definitely thrifting! (Can’t help it… my mind is automatically wandering to Macklemore’s Thrift Shop song ….although the clean version was rarely played on the radio, I would sing my own clean version and it became a bit of family joke ….”We are TEAM awesome!” ~ great memory. Sorry, how quickly I digress.)

I often wonder what a trip to a thrift store or a dollar store is like for others because when time allows… for me it is like a treasure hunt! I never know what I’m going to find! Although I often go with a list in mind, browsing the aisles without a clear agenda is what the fun is all about. For me thrifting is more of an experience, as it is impossible to anticipate what items will catch my eye and how I might use it in the future. This is seriously so much fun for me!

Dollar/Thrift Store Challenge

Although my creative thinking is not limited to gift wrapping, it is the theme of this post, so I want to challenge you to literally think “outside the box”. What are the basics you need to consider when creating a fabulous looking gift! What are the essentials elements you need to dress-up the outside of the box?

  1. WRAP ~ The material you choose to wrap the gift with is going to become the foundation for your finished look, but why limit yourself to wrapping paper? In previous posts, I’ve already tried to expand your thinking by introducing basic brown packaging paper and scrapbooking paper as great alternatives, but why stop there? What other materials could be used to wrap presents? When you’re out and about, be on the look out for other possibilities.
  2. RIBBON ~ I use the term “ribbon” loosely here because the whole purpose of this challenge is to think beyond ribbon. I want you to look at cord, string, rope, etc…anything that could be used as a substitute for ribbon.
  3. EMBELLISH ~ Do not discount anything! This element is by far the most fun to shop for. Obviously, you do need to consider price as this element is probably not part of the gift (although it could be). Otherwise, just open your mind and try to imagine how an item might be used to add impact and/or interest to a gift. In previous posts, I demonstrated how scrapbooking embellishments (flowers, felt shapes, paper cut-outs, etc.) can be incorporated to create the beautiful finishing touches on a present. I’ve also highlighted glass beads and plastic netting, as well as both real and artificial flowers, but let’s face it, the options are endless! So unleash your creativity and see what you can come up with.

THE CHALLENGE:

Think WRAP, RIBBON, EMBELLISH! Just try it! The next time you go to a garage sale, thrift store or dollar store…designate some extra time just to browse and let your creative juices flow. I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Remember your entire gift doesn’t need to reflect your creative thinking, but what a statement it makes when you draw in unexpected elements. Please comment below and let me know what kinds of items you come up with as you embark on this journey to “Think Outside the Box”.

Thank you for visiting my site today. For more great gift wrapping ideas, check out my video tutorials at the Best of BOWhemian WRAPsody. If you enjoyed the post, please take the time to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE.

Wrap With Scrap #2

Wrap With Scrap #2

How to Patch When Your Paper is Too Small

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you how to successfully patch exposed ends when using wrapping paper that is too small. I love wrapping with scrapbooking paper whenever I can, simply because the options are endless. There are so many beautiful designs to choose from, but you are limited by the 12 X 12 standard size paper. Obviously, you can join multiple pages together, but it isn’t always easy to get the finished look you desire. In this video, I demonstrate two tips for patching. In this particular scenario, the paper fits nicely around gift, but is not long enough, so the ends are left exposed. Watch the video to see how I rectify this problem.

How To Create Interest By Moving Your Focal Point

The second part of the video demonstrates how you can change the look of a gift by simply changing the placement of your focal point. Clearly, the centre of the gift is often where the bows and embellishments are mounted, but you can add interest just by sliding the key elements closer to one end or by flipping the gift and creating a vertical look.

Check out my latest video tutorial from BOWhemian WRAPsody to see how to patch effectively and create interest by moving the focal point of your wrapped gift.

Coordinate It! Video #3

Here is the final episode in my 3 part tutorial on how to create impact when you are wrapping multiple gifts. Check out this video from BOWhemian WRAPsody to see yet another version of this concept.

Your LIKES and SHARES are very appreciated as I embark on this new adventure! Hopefully by the end of the summer you will at least be able to find my Youtube Channel when you search the title…thanks for your support! Remember you can SUBSCRIBE to both my BLOG and Youtube channel to receive notifications on my most recent posts!