Thursday, July 30, 2009

Guest Room Gifts | Making gifts

When guests travel, they'll naturally have the essentials with them, as well as a few niceties for added convenience or comfort. But as weddings editor Darcy Miller suggests, placing a small, inexpensive gift package in each guest's room will complement their own effects with a luxurious touch.

One idea is to stack three different-size boxes with a selection of snacks. You might consider including gourmet or homemade cookies (include a recipe card if they're homemade) in the largest box, pistachios in the medium, and chocolate-covered raisins in the smallest. Wrap strips of wrapping paper around each of the boxes, stack them in graduated order, tie them together with ribbon, and affix the boxes with tags.

Darcy also suggests collecting just the right ingredients for a "warm welcome" basket -- the ideal greeting for a winter wedding. Start with a large container of hot cocoa and a bag of mini-marshmallows, measuring them out into individual serving sizes and placing them in small cellophane bags. Seal the bags with double-sided tape, and add a label made from card stock. Cut the card stock so it's 2 inches wide and the same length as the width of the cellophane bag. Fold the label in half lengthwise, and use the double-sided tape to attach it to the top of the bag. You can also include two mugs, each filled with a pair of new, cozy socks. The cocoa and the mugs can be packaged in a small wooden compact-disc crate, lined with natural excelsior.

A third idea is to create a spa basket. Line a sinamay basket with decorative paper. Purchase travel-size bottles and fill them with bath gel, shampoo, and lotion, adding a label to each. You can also add a bundle of bath salts, individually packaged bars of special soap, a loofah pad, a small scented candle and matches, and a card printed with a few basic yoga stretches.

We offer the following file in a PDF. To view and print the file, you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which most browsers already include. If you have trouble downloading the file, or if you'd like an upgrade, you can obtain the software for free from Adobe's website.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Idea Gift Wrapping | making gifts 2

Craft-store project: Personalize wooden tags with stick-on letters.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Compact-Disc Card | making gifts

An allowance for concert tickets or for a new CD will charm the music lover on your list.

Compact-Disc Card How-To
1. Use a real CD and liner notes as templates. Outline unfolded liner notes on heavy gift wrap; cut out, fold in half, and slide into an empty CD case (available at record stores).

2. Outline CD on heavy card stock, cut out, and add greeting. Fold money into a square; center it atop cardboard disc; with a pencil, mark position of corners. Using marks as a guide, cut four 1/2-inch diagonal slits in the cardboard. Tie a bow around money square, and slip into disc as shown.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Idea Gift Wrapping | making gifts 1

Bright construction paper becomes an offbeat ribbon with the help of a hole punch and some double-sided tape.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Figure Eight

The figure eight, with its concentric loops, has just a touch of the rococo.

How-To: Step 1

Form a loop at one end of ribbon; then, glue in place using Magna-Tac glue.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Oh my…how fun would it be to have feathers thrown as you walk away for the first time as husband and wife. Not a big fan of feathers? You could substitue them for paper mache confetti, pom poms, or the traditional rice option. I love the little quote Laurie came up with to accompany your pillow boxes….

What You’ll Need
Decorative Paper (text weight, not cardstock)
Cardboard Pillow Boxes (I used 3″ x 3.5″ x 1″)
Scissors or X-acto knife
Paper glue

The ribbon is from the Martha Stewart Craft collection. It’s a woven ombre and the color is brick/moonstone.
The papers I used are made by Anna Griffin Inc and Screen Prints.
Feathers are available at any craft store.
Pillow Boxes can be purchased online though The Paper Zone or Packaging Specialties

1. Use one of your pillow boxes as a template. Lay it down on your decorative paper and trace around it using a pencil. Trace two for every pillow box you will be covering. (see figure 1)
2. Cut the shapes you just traced using scissors or an X-acto knife. (see figure 2)
3 Coat one side of your box with a thin, even layer of glue and adhere one of your papers. Repeat this step on the opposite side of the box.
4. When the glue had completely dried, close one end of the box by folding in the pre-scored flaps. (see figure 3)
5. Cut a length of ribbon, wrap it around the middle of the box a couple of times and tie it off with a knot, and then a small bow. (see figure 4)
6. Fill your boxes with feathers, leaving the ends of the feathers sticking out. (see figure 4)
7. Use your computer and printer to create a small tag for your box with instructions for your guests. For my tags I wrote “When the newly weds walk your way, toss these feathers and shout ‘HOORAY”. Cut out your tags and stick them on using a dot of glue. (or you can print on label sheets and stick them on your boxes) (see figure 5)
8. You can also create a larger sign with instructions to place near your displayed boxes. (see figure 6)
9. Arrange your “feather pillows” in a box, bowl or basket for your guests to take. Have your guests shower you with feathers as march back down the aisle as newly weds, or as you depart at the end of the evening. (see figure 7)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

White Favors: Small Packages How-To

Use any basic card stock for all of these small boxes.

Pyramid Box
1. Enlarge the template, trace it onto paper, and cut it out. Make slits as marked with a utility knife. Using a bone folder, score the paper on the dotted lines.

2. Fold up all four flaps, forming a pyramid. Cut two pieces of ribbon, each one long enough to wrap around the box. Starting on what will be the inside of the box, slip one ribbon through a slit, wrap around outside, and slip through opposite side. Pull ribbon so two sides come together; tie. Thread second ribbon through remaining two sides, wrapping around outside; pull ends together, and tie. Tuck excess ribbon into box.

Pyramid Box PDF

"Kiss" Box
1. Enlarge the template, and trace it onto paper. Working just outside the lines, cut out the shape with paper edgers of your choice. Punch holes through ends of flaps as marked. Using a bone folder, score paper on the dotted lines.

2. Fold up all flaps. Cut ribbon a little bit longer than the diameter of the bottom of box; thread it through all the holes. Cinch two ends of the ribbon until sides close the "kiss." Tie a bow.

"Kiss" Box PDF

Long Box
1. Enlarge the template, and trace it onto paper. Cut out the left and right flaps with scissors. Using paper edgers of your choice, cut the top and bottom flaps just outside the lines. Punch holes in all four flaps as marked. Using a bone folder, score the bottom on the dotted lines.

2. Fold in the left and right flaps. Slide a short length of silk ribbon through the two holes, and tie the two sides closed. Fold top and bottom flaps in; tie with a second piece of silk ribbon. Finish with a bow and a little paper "button" or tag.

Long Box PDF

Curling Ribbons

These trimmings are same ol', same ol' in the world of gift wrap, but a few twists can turn them into something new. Concentric loops, held together with a staple, impart a modern look. Long teardrop shapes are unabashedly pretty. Accordion folds make a flower or a lone sunburst rendered in ribbon. As for loose spirals, there's only one rule: The more, the merrier.

Give It a Whirl
Bend wide ribbons (which hold their shape) into a geometric medley, or repeat one shape for a bold statement. Affix with double-sided tape, hiding staples with more loops of ribbon.

For a concentric design, make small circles, then larger ones, working from the spool and holding the ribbon at the bottom.

Staple at bottom (use a mini stapler if a larger one won't fit); trim end of ribbon.

For teardrops, hold ribbon in middle, and loop to either side; staple in middle; trim.

Cascading Curls
Run a scissor blade down ribbon, from middle to ends, varying the tension for tight or loose curls. Gather ribbons; cinch in the middle with a length of thinner ribbon. Affix with a hot-glue gun.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Looking for a great way to say Thank You to your guests? Why not take the time to package up some goodies up in the bags above to pass out as affordable, wedding favors. Prefer to take the paper idea and create something on a smaller scale? Try the inexpensive, wedding place cards idea below.



• pliers
• mini artificial flowers
• masking tape
• paper favor bags 3.5″ x 2″ x 6.75″
• patterned paper of your choice
• white glue
• solid color cardstock
• paper scissors
• white gel pen
• mini clothespins

1. Using a pair of nice sharp pliers, cut the tops off of 4 or 5 miniature artificial flowers so that they are approximately 1.5″ long.

2. Bundle flowers together and wrap with a small piece of tape. I got this cute plum roll of masking tape but floral tape or any old masking tape will work well for this.

3. Tape flower bundle down to paper bag, centered and approximately 1″ from the bottom

4. Using template, trace shape for vase onto backside of the patterned decorative paper and cut out

5. Fold under edges approximately 1/8″ and run a bead of glue along both tabs.

6. Press firmly in place onto bag over flowers. I found it easiest to hold and secure one side for a few seconds and to then press the other side down.

7. Cut a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ solid color cardstock into 1″ strips. Fold strips in half and using scissors, snip a notch at the folded end to form two paper flags. Write your message onto the flag, fill bag with contents, fold top of bag down 1/2″ onto itself 3 times and clip flag onto the front using a miniature clothespin.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to Make Your Chocolates “Bloom”

What You’ll Need:
Crepe paper ( or tissue paper)
Ribbon (1/8 of an inch wide)
Wired millinery leaves
Foil wrapped chocolates
Low temp glue gun


1. Begin by cutting a 6″ (approximately) square of crepe paper.

2. Fold in half, then into quarters. (See figure 1)
3. Fold in half again to make a triangle (see figure 2) and then fold in half again. (It’s just like your folding a snowflake).
4. Cut a rounded “V” in the non pointy end of the triangle. (see figure 3)
5. Unfold your crepe paper. It should be shaped like a daisy. ( see figure 4)
6. Put a foil-wrapped chocolate in the center of the daisy. (see figure 5).
7. Pull the petals up around the chocolate, and tie a ribbon just above the top of the chocolate.
8. Drop into the candy cup, and fluff your paper flower petals. Add a wired leaf around the neck to complete.
9. Arrange on a dish or place a bloom at each place setting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cute Felt Candy Storage

A simple tutorial by zakka life, on how to make a lovely felt candy tray, for displaying candy or chocolate egg minis. I love the polka dot felt that she used, which adds some spring pizzazz to this adorable felt container.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DIY Napkin Invites

Isn’t this the cutest invite you’ve come across? A hand-drawn birthday party invitation by Bryn, which was chosen as the winning entry for the DIY Contest at 100 Layer Cake. A fabulous idea for an unique DIY invite that you can try your hands on. Three cheers for Bryn!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fruits Memo Notes

Not only are these the cutest and sweetest fruit notes I’ve come across, they have the most appropriate name, Kudamemo, which is derived from the Japanese word Kudamono, meaning fruits. Each memo notepad sits vertically like an apple or a pear, with realistic seed design and a twig stem.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Paper Sculpture Camellias

Beautiful paper sculpture by mollyjey of Italy. From flowers, animals to trees and butterflies, every piece is truly admirable. Each creation is showcased in a complimenting box frame, giving you a gorgeous, must-have work of art.

Image above is a 5 layers white camellias original paper sculpture, framed in a white box of dimensions 6.39″ x 6.39″ x 1.75″. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Photos on Canvas

We’ve all got a favourite photo.

Why not turn that photo into a real work of art with our photos on canvas print service?

How it works

Ordering a photo on canvas print is easy:
  • You can supply the photo to us in any format.
  • We then check it can blow up to the sort of size of canvas you are after without breaking up and see if it would benefit from any: colour balancing, cleaning up, retouching, red-eye removal, cropping or even if it would look good in black and white.
  • We then email you proofs of the improved photo for your approval.
  • You choose the version you like and confirm the order by making payment.
  • We print your photo on to canvas, stretch it on to a 3.5cm deep frame hand built specifically for your canvas, carefully pack it and deliver it to you ready to hang on the wall.

    Photos on canvas print prices

    To suit all budgets we offer two types of photo on canvas prints:
    Standard canvas prints – Printed using the Giclee process.
    Premium canvas prints – Printed using the Dye Sublimation process.
    Which should you choose? – Read our photos on canvas to help you decide.
  • Monday, July 6, 2009

    How we work with you to create your Warhol style portrait

    Step 1 - The photo

    The first step will be for us to take a look at your photo and make sure we can work with it. For the best results we need to work from a clear, well lit and above all in focus photo. Please bear in mind that as a basic rule, the better the photo we receive, the better the end result will be. As the artist is working only from the photo and needs to be able to zoom in on it to find the detail, it is extremely important that the shot is clear and in focus. As a guide, if you are unable to clearly see the colour of the person's eyes, then the shot is probably not suitable. A shot with the person's head and shoulders taking up most of the frame is really ideal. Do remember that the Warhol style portrait is about the person, rather than the situation they are in, so rather boring head on shots work far better than action shots. As the portrait will hang on your wall for many years to come, it's worth taking time to get the right photo for the artist to work from! See examples of the sort of photo we need to create the best possible portrait.

    Step 2 - Composition and colours
    Once we have a photo we can work with, we will then move on to address the issue of composition and colours.
    This is essentially about where the head sits within the canvas. To help decide on the composition of the picture we will send back a number of crops of your photo for you to consider. Some will be close crops, concentrating very much on the face, with others showing the full face and more background. To achieve the iconic Andy Warhol portrait look, a square canvas, with a head and shoulders shot works best.
    To help you decide on colours, the way we tend to work is to send you a number of original Andy Warhol portraits to consider for colour combinations. Let's face it the man was a genius when it came to colour, so it's not a bad place to start! When you've decided on the colours you would like to see, our artist starts work.

    Step 3 - Your portrait
    About 2 weeks or so later, we would then email you back a first draft of your Warhol style portrait, using the colours you have chosen, but also showing you how it would look using some other colour combinations. This gives you the opportunity to feed back to us and to decide on the picture that you really want, before anything is printed.
    Using the dye sublimation printing process onto canvas allows us to recreate the screen printed look of the original Warhols (with their areas of dots, texture, flat colour and out of registration colours) extremely well. This process gives you a wonderful and very contemporary matt finish with the grain of the canvas showing through slightly. This looks fantastic when it's just stretched around a wooden frame and hung on the wall.
    Only when you are completely happy with the portrait is it then framed according to your request, packed up and despatched to you.
    In all the process should take about 4 weeks.

    Which size canvas should you choose?
    It is worth bearing in mind that a little bit of scale does suit these portraits. Especially with the Warhol style portraits, a bigger picture allows the artist to go into finer detail resulting in a much richer portrait.
    Because the artwork is created by a Graphic artist and the canvas is then printed, the bulk of the cost for us, is the creative development (which remains the same for either a small or large portrait) rather than the material cost of the canvas and stretcher bars. For this reason the bigger canvases can in a way be though of as better value. If you look at the table below you can see how a small jump in price, gets you a huge leap in size.
    Our recommended size in this style is 80cm x 80cm or above.