Gift Wrapping Ideas: DIY Pillow Box

Have you ever been faced with the problem of wrapping an awkwardly shaped gift? We’ve all been there…it won’t fit inside any boxes you have on hand, you end up with this weird shape and if you’re like me, the gift always ends up getting bumped and torn because of how the paper is sitting. I hate that! Well, I may have a great solution to your problem….a DIY custom made pillow box.

What is a Pillow Box?

A pillow box is generally oblong with curved ends and a shape that resembles a pillow. They are relatively easy to make and you can even find templates online. However, if you really want to make a pillow box work for you, the key is to learn how to customize the size to accommodate the size of your gift.

Kinderarten Challenge:

In this tutorial you get a bonus tip: find out one of the most important skills I teach my kinders and see if you pass the test and employ this strategy!

DIY Custom Pillow Box Tutorial

Today’s video tutorial is a bit longer in length, but it takes you through the steps involved in creating your own customized pillow box. I offer a specific demonstration for creating a small pillow box using a standard 8 1/2″ X 11″ card stock so that the size is a bit more camera friendly to work with. This is followed by instructions on how to enlarge the scale of the design to create a full bristol board sized box.

Not only is a pillow box a great option for those difficult to wrap gifts, but it is also a simple way to change up the same old. Perhaps a long, narrow pillow box might be a great alternative to the standard gift bags used for wine and other bottled gifts.

Of course, you’ll be limited by the colours of bristol board available, but don’t let that stop you …..they rarely run out of black and white and to me those are the two best options anyway.

I hope you find this video helpful! Please remember to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to my channel: BOWhemian WRAPsody for more great gift wrapping ideas.

Gift Wrapping Ideas: Make it Masculine 2!

I never like to pigeon hole my gift wrapping creations by saying they are more suited to a male than a female, but I do feel that some, feature elements that are combined to create a simpler look that may be considered more appropriate for a male than pretty flowers, lace and doilies! My purpose for making the designation is simply that when wrapping for a male, one sometimes wishes to create a more “manly” vibe and I think I have some ideas to help make that happen.

This design relies on geometric paper shapes and a simple square-topped brad. I love the black and white elements coupled with a hint of silver. One of my favourite additions to this gift is the use of washi tape in lieu of ribbon. Check out the video to see how several different looks are created with the embellishments mentioned above. In addition, find out what my suggestions are with regards to purchasing washi tape. Washi tape makes a great alternative to ribbon, but be mindful when purchasing so that you don’t end up with a collection of tape that never gets used.

I also highlight one of my favourite paper punches. In this video, I use my double square punch from Creative Memories….one of those “can’t live without” tools that I purchased several years ago. (I noticed that it is no longer available through their site, but perhaps it or something similar can be found on eBay or through Amazon).

I hope you enjoyed the video! Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to my channel: BOWhemian WRAPsody for more great gift wrapping tutorials.

Gift Wrapping Ideas: Braided Belt Ribbon

This quick gift wrapping tip highlights a recent thrift store find. I love how this simple braided belt serves as both the ribbon and the bow for this gift. The braided suede-like belt offers interest and creates a very natural look. I love how the buckle serves as the focal point. This is a quick watch and the concept of using a belt might spark many other ideas for creative gift wrapping projects.

If you like this gift wrapping idea, be sure to check out my other wrapping tutorials for more great ideas. Don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to my blog and Youtube channel: BOWhemian WRAPsody.

Gift Wrapping Ideas: Make it Masculine!

In today’s gift wrapping tutorial, I used a new medium that I found at Dollarama to create what I believe to be a bit more of a masculine gift wrapping design. Don’t get me wrong, these designs would be perfect for anyone on your list. The only reason I deem them more masculine is because the designs are perhaps less “pretty” and more streamlined, contemporary and overall less fussy. The basis for this look is a super cool black metal ribbon mounted on matt black paper. The metal itself gives a “male” vibe and I love the black on black to keep things very sophisticated. To finish off each creation, I change up the ribbon/focal point.

Check out my latest gift wrapping tutorial to see how I incorporated metal ribbon into this design and how it serves as the perfect element for creating a more masculine gift wrapping design.

For more great gift wrapping tutorials…subscribe to both my blog and my youtube channel: BOWhemian WRAPsody. Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE if you enjoy the tutorial.

Gift Wrapping Tips: Purchasing Paper Punches

One of my “go to” gift wrapping tricks is to add interest using simple paper layers. It’s amazing to see how you can elevate the look of a gift by simply adding in a layer or two of paper to create the present focal point or add to another primary element. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using simple paper punches. You simply punch out the desired shape and use it to create a layered look. Investing in multiple punches can certainly add up. In this video, I share some shopping pointers that will help you get the best bang for your buck! Don’t waste your money on tools that have limited uses. Ensure you are buying items that are versatile and more open-ended. Check out my latest video to find out my suggestions!

If you like this video, be sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to my channel (BOWhemian WRAPsody) for more great gift wrapping ideas. Also, don’t forget to SHARE!

Also, check out my blog archives for more posts on DIY projects, home decor, recipes and so much more!

Gift Wrapping Ideas: Paper Storage Hack

This wrapping paper storage hack warrants a second post. I originally shared this idea several years ago, but today I will share it again in video form. One of the things that drives me crazy about leftover wrapping paper is figuring out how to effectively store partial rolls. The paper roll unravels when not fastened and yet finding ways to secure the loose paper is not a simple feat. The use of tape often results in ruining the surface of the paper where the edge is secured. I’ve also used elastic bands, but they often end up cutting/damaging the paper as well. This solution is simple and works like a charm! Check out the video to find out how to solve the wrapping paper dilemma once and for all.

cardboard toilet paper roll + 2 brads + mini hair elastic = storage hack

Find out how these materials are used to store your wrapping paper rolls effectively without damaging the paper!

If you’re interested in learning more gift wrapping ideas, please subscribe to my channel BOWhemian WRAPsody. Also, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE.

Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas: Think Pleats!

Although I was not on “my game” when taping this video (lots of edits), my heart was in it! Unlike most of the presents I wrap, this was a real gift! It always means more when you have a recipient in mind. I picked up this bible at Sam’s Place a few days ago, with my friend Heather in mind. I knew that this version was one she really wanted and when I found a brand new copy, I couldn’t resist. Now consider yourself warned….I’m going to go off on a little tangent here, but I just have to ….If you’ve never been to Sam’s Place before, I encourage you to check it out! It’s a used book store and café. It is operated by Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba through a large group of volunteers. There’s great coffee, food and of course, many books. I often manage to find brand new ones and the prices are always great! Fabulous place to meet a friend for coffee. It’s located on Henderson Highway, here in Winnipeg. A favourite for sure. There’s my plug!

Knowing that Heather’s favourite colour is pink, I began to go through my stash to see what I could come up with. The interesting thing about combing paper and patterns is that you can often produce a great look with paper/patterns that might not be that special on their own. To be honest, I did’t love the chosen paper and guessed I would never use it for scrapbooking. However, what I did know was that 1. Heather loves pink! 2. Once you begin to combine elements it is surprising how a pattern can be elevated. The combination of patterns, shades of pink and simplistic design came together nicely to create a beautiful finished look.

One of the features of this gift wrapping design is the inclusion of pleats along the centre of the present. This finished look was primarily created using paper scraps, but you certainly wouldn’t think of it as “leftovers”. The simple white lattice ribbon and a brad are the only extras in creating this look. I did use my circle punches to cut the concentric circles that anchor the centre of the paper flower. Definitely worth investing in a few circle punches of various sizes. (The dollar store sometimes carries small circle punches.)

Check out my latest video from BOWhemian WRAPsody to see how this gift was pulled together.

If you enjoy my videos, be sure to subscribe to my channel. Also, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE!

Ultimate Upcyle: Staircase Makeover Using Antique Furniture

We moved into our 1921 home in 2008 and although it is a beautiful character home with many wonderful features including coffered ceilings, original built-in cabinets, a fireplace, French doors and a double staircase to the basement, there were definitely a few less than attractive features. Slowly, but surely, we have chipped away at the projects a little bit at a time. The great thing about having a handy husband is that he can pretty much do it all – electrical, plumbing, carpentry, sod, small engine repairs, etc. The downside is that “Mr. Fix-it” also has a full-time job and understandably does not want to spend every moment of his free time doing projects for me (I mean us).

When we first moved into this house, the staircase and entire second floor were covered in a disgusting brown carpet from the 70’s. We knew from the previous owners that there was not hardwood beneath, despite the age of the house. Evidently, there was a fire that gutted most of the second floor, thus none of the finishes upstairs are original. One of our first projects upon taking possession of the house was to remove the carpet. We had previously lived in a house (long story for anther time) that had OSB floors on the second story. We both loved the look and they were a perfect choice for the pocketbook as well. We bought, laid, sanded and urethaned for under $700. We loved the finished OSB look upstairs, but the staircase itself was a mess. The wooden stairs beneath the carpet were in very poor shape. The wood that was used was extremely rough and our attempts to paint and urethane did little to hide the imperfections.

I’ve hated the staircase from the moment we moved in and always had this vision in my head. It has taken us a very long time to attack this beast because we both knew it was not only a huge undertaking, but quite possibly beyond our capabilities. In December, we remodelled the upstairs landing, so that the kids would have a place to hangout with their friends. We don’t have a finished basement (yet) and with only the one family/living room, there really wasn’t a place for the kids and their friends (without us breathing down their necks). We both desired to have our home be an inviting spot for all the teenagers. Sure enough with the upstairs space finished, our kids began to invite their friends over on a regular basis and before long, they didn’t even need an invitation, but knew they were always welcome and were expected to come in and make themselves at home. Back to the reno…the staircase itself is actually very narrow and when we went to move the sofa upstairs (after finishing the landing) we could not make it work. With very little forethought, we smashed down the rail and jumped into this project. I distinctly remember my conflicting feelings…Oh no! What have we done! …verses Hooray! I’m finally getting new stairs!

Before: Painted Staircase

I searched for before pictures, but having hated the stairs, there really aren’t any that truly depict how bad they were. I have a few shots from 2013 after fresh paint and a coat of urethane, but most were taken post demo in December 2018. Demo involved using the “sawzall” to remove the rail and cut off the overhang/nose of the stairs. Otherwise, the black painted/chipped treads and yellow risers demonstrate quite accurately what they were like.

My Vision:

Part of my vision for the stairs involved upcycling old oak. Our home is old and I really didn’t want to purchase a stair kit or even have brand new stairs installed. I wanted hardwood, but also desired to have something authentically aged and with a story of its own. And so it began…I spent several months scouring Kijiji in search of wood that would meet the size requirements for the treads. The trickiest part was finding wood suitable for the bottom three steps which were oversized and oddly shaped because of a turn in the staircase. I ended up with a mishmash of antique oak from a combination of dining room tables, desks, a church pew and junk piles. In addition to the hardwood stair treads, I wanted painted risers that would match the custom stair skirting, batten moldings and chair rail. I knew the look I wanted, but it would take lots of fine finishing work to pull it all together. Keep in mind….my husband is not a carpenter by trade!

The Process:

Once we had the wood collected, we had to muster up the courage to start. It was scary to embark on such a daunting project, but the reality was that our stairs had been barely usable for over 6 months and the job just had to get done. I stripped and sanded the antique pieces. Tim cut the collected wood into treads and then proceeded to stain and urethane. We purchased 1/4″ hardboard to cover the rough risers that previously existed on the old stairs. Tim measured and cut the skirts, batten boards, moldings and chair rails and within 2 weeks, the project was completed. I was in charge of painting and of course, that took many hours of work as well, but none of it would have been possible without Tim’s skills and commitment to getting the job done.

The Results:

I honestly can’t brag enough about my husband right now! First and foremost, he gave up his entire 2 weeks of vacation to get this project done. He dove in despite his reservations, and his workmanship was the best he’s ever done! I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. We decided to put the handrail on the inner wall as opposed to adding one on the open side (for now at least). The staircase is so narrow that leaving it open just looks so lovely. We have already tossed around some ideas for the outer rail, but for now we are just going to enjoy the beautiful open feel of the narrow space. So proud of my man!!

BEFORE & AFTER:

Check-out the video to see the full before and after reveal!

Ponytail Presents!

I make every effort to think outside the box and incorporate new elements into my gift wrapping. As soon as I saw this burlap ponytail, I knew it would be a perfect present enhancement. I love the natural look and texture of burlap. In this gift wrapping tutorial, I demonstrate how to incorporate the burlap ponytail as well as a burlap broach into your gift wrapping project. I also demonstrate how to create two different looks with paper. The brown packaging paper melds perfectly with the natural elements of the burlap, while the black elicits more impact through the contrast. These two simple elements add beauty to the plain solid-coloured papers, but would also mix wonderfully with a carefully chosen print!

Coming soon! Our biggest upcycle DIY project ever! So excited to share this project with my readers.

Gift Wrapping Basics: Think Wardrobe!?

Best Bang for Your Buck:

Gift Wrapping Basics

If you’re interested in creating your own gift wrapping style, it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. This is especially true if you don’t have any materials with which to start the process. In my latest BOWhemian WRAPsody video, I don’t actually wrap any gifts, but rather share tips on how to begin building your collection of gift wrapping supplies.

This short video highlights some basic rules of thumb for making initial investments that will give you the most bang for your buck. My best advice is to resist the temptation to buy that beautiful ribbon that you love so much…chances are the colours and pattern will be so limiting that you’ll never actually get the chance to use it! I’ve made this mistake many times in the past….you know, those “I just have to have that!” purchases. We’ve all done it! When you’re first establishing your basic supplies, always ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the colour neutral?
  • Is the pattern busy and/or limiting? (I recommend only solids to begin with, especially if you are shopping on a budget.)
  • Do I already have something similar?

Gift Wrapping Inventory Must-Haves:

  • solid, neutral colours of both ribbon and paper 
  • varying widths of ribbon/cord/string in each of your foundation colours

Think Wardrobe!

I compare my collection of gift wrapping supplies to that of a wardrobe. In your wardrobe, you probably have your classic solid coloured pants/skirts that coordinate with various other accessories/prints you wear. The “staples” or classic pieces are an essential element to your overall wardrobe, even though they may not be your favourites. These pieces are often boring and lack personality, but their importance can not be underestimated. They are essential components.

When you begin to develop your collection of gift wrapping materials, think of it in much the same way…you will add those awesome colours and patterns, but only after you establish the fundamental elements with classic neutrals. Once you have those in place, you can begin to look for those pieces that add more personality and interest to your gifts, but you have to start somewhere.

Patterned Paper:

In today’s video, I also suggest purchasing a 12″ X 12″ (light weight) scrapbooking pad. This is a great way to incorporate patterned paper designs into your collection, but be sure the weight of the paper isn’t too heavy or it will not be pliable enough for wrapping. Although scrapbooking paper does limit the size of the gifts you can wrap, you can check out some of my other videos and tips for “patching” to make smaller pieces of paper work for you:

Edge Work!

Wrap With Scrap

Wrap With Scrap#2

Take some time to check out some previous posts from my archives. You’ll find some great DIY projects, recipes and much more! If you enjoy my blog, you can subscribe and get an email notification as soon as I post! Thanks for visiting!

Cindy