Sunday, December 11, 2011

Handmade Gift Wrap Trimmings

I am a big believer in "it's in the packaging." You can take an inexpensive gift and make it look fabulous with beautiful gift wrapping. I also think plain brown paper wrapping is beautiful, especially when you add pretty trimmings. The brown paper is a neutral background for all your "pretties."
I found some faux pine needle "pipe cleaners" at my local craft store (Hobby Lobby) on sale for $.99/pkg. I was initially going to make german style wreaths with them, but just haven't had the time. Maybe, next year. So, instead, I made personalized initials with them. I really like how they turned out. I also had some tinsel ($1 at Dollar General) that I thought would make a sparkly "ribbon" to wrap my gifts. Finally, I found a bag of white pom poms (from Hobby Lobby) in my craft box and thought I could add those to jute twine for a cute trimming.

Let me show you how I made these simple lovelies:

1st you need to gather some supplies from around your home

scissors, pliers, ribbon, pine needle pipe cleaners, jute twine, tinsel garland, a gift box

Let's start with how to make the Pine Needle Initials. You will need your pliers to cut the wire on the pine needle pipe cleaners. Your pliers usually have a cutter on them, like scissors. Open them up and you will see it. Take some of your pipe cleaners and cut them in half, some in thirds, and some in fourths. This way you have different lengths for making different letters. 
For letters like E, F, I, I used 3-4 pieces in different sizes. For example, on the E I used on longer piece for the side and two shorter pieces for the top and bottom and center piece. Just attach the different pieces by bending the wire around the longest piece till it holds.
On letters like C, D, M, I just cut off what I didn't need after I formed the letter by bending the pipe cleaner to make the letter shape. 

this is the letter C ready to have jute twine added for hanging

Once, you have your letters made, cut some jute twine to desired length for hanging the initials to your gift wrap.

Wrap the twine once and then tie a knot.

And voila! Add it to your gift wrapping as personalized trim. For those who have the same initials, I am adding 2 letters; their 1st and last. Then. they can use them next year to hang in their home on knobs hooks for a custom look. 

I also made mini wreaths with them by using a plastic bottle I had in my kitchen, but any rounded form, that's the size you want,  will do. Wrap the green around the bottle and twist the ends together. Then, slide the wreath off the form. Cut off the excess pipe cleaner and your done. You have a cute little wreath to hang on your gifts for trim. 

I had the extra packages of tinsel garland and thought they would make great ribbon for wrapping gifts. I love the vintage charm of tinsel! 

sparkly goodness!

So, then, as I was rummaging through my craft box, making all this pretty trim, I found my forgotten white pompoms. I knew I had the jute twine out so I thought it would make a cute tie for my Christmas gifts. Cut a piece of twine the length you want the tie to be. I wrapped it around my gift box to get the desired length.  I used an embroidery needle with a big "eye" so the twin could be threaded. After threading the twine, I ran it through a pompom. tie a knot at the end and cut off excess and pull pompom to knot and then repeat for the other end of the twine. then wrap around your gift box and tie in a bow. Just a little added whimsy to any gift. You can use any color pompom or even some colored embroidery floss for even more sass.

I added a pine needle initial to one of my burlap stockings, too, as an afterthought. It looks charming, don't you think?

Happy Making!


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2010 Has been a wonderful year for me. There were many highs and lows, learning how to start a small biz. Well worth it all, though. Also, I have met so many amazing people through my Etsy shop, twitter, and blogs.
I'm excited for 2012! I have more of a plan, now that I learned from 2011. Do things ahead of time, is the main goal. Christmas items will be made months before, for example. I learned from cyber weekend about that!
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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!