Friday, December 24, 2010
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Or so they say) But let’s face it…this time of year can be crazy! We say the same thing every year: “I’ll finish my shopping by December 1st” or “The house will be decorated on Thanksgiving weekend.”. Sometimes we actually achieve the goals we set for ourselves (and take to our Facebook page to shout it to our world!); other times, we are so caught up in all the festivities and chaos, we can’t seem to stay on top of things. I’m sure we’ve all been there: just moments before you’re supposed to be giving the gift you are wrapping it with whatever paper is left over and you reach into that plastic bag and pull out one of these!
That’s right, you heard me gasp! STICKY BOWS….NOOOOOOOOO! I know lots of you use them, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I know they’re nice and easy…just peel and stick…and maybe you’ve never considered another option, but whether you are celebrating eight crazy nights or counting down to the partridge in a pair tree, I have a few suggestions to help make gift giving something you can really be proud of this holiday season. You spend so much time finding the perfect gift, you should take a little extra time to make the gift giving just as special.
The sticky bow cure is quite simple really. USE. REAL. RIBBON. AND. MAKE. REAL BOWS. Wired ribbon (For beginners, it’s easiest to stick with silver and gold as it matches with most wrapping paper) can be your holiday best friend.
People can be so intimidated with craft stores and ribbon, but really it’s like tying your shoe lace, only on a bigger scale…and well, on a box. Wire ribbon is really forgiving too, if it’s not turning out the way you expected, all you have to do is bend your bows into the right space. Basic bows are so pretty and elegant, they will always make the recipient stop and notice how great the gift looks. (This is even more shocking if you are someone who wouldn’t normally set foot into Joanne’s)
But are you wrapping a huge present that really needs a show stopping bow? I will share one secret of my bow magic with you now:
Meet the BOWDABRA!
I came across this bow making phenomenon in 1999 when I was planning my wedding. I am a sucker for an infomercial, especially when said infomercial has to do with crafts. I no longer use my Bowdabra, but trust me, I have its bow making technique down to a science. If you are serious about unleashing your inner bow magician…do yourself a favor and buy this!
What did I hear you say?!? “Those bows are pretty but they’re expensive!” At retail price, wire ribbon is just plain more expensive then pull and stick so I’ve taken to loading up the year before when everything is on clearance AFTER the holidays. And most stores have them on sale for a pretty deep discount even before the holidays.
PS: I’m not afraid to veer off the gold/silver/red/green to pick up other colors that—with the right wrapping paper—can totally be holiday related!
Let’s face it, wrapping becomes an overwhelming task when we leave it all to the last second. I know it’s certainly an easy thing to do…with all the shopping, baking, and parties, most of us are lucky to make it to January with a little sanity.
MK Design Tip: Wrap presents as you buy them! Whether it’s the boxes you are receiving from all the online shopping or the bags you are unloading from your car after you’ve braved the mall parking lot, carve out a little time every night for wrapping. Keep some paper tucked under your couch and pull it out while you are getting caught up on the shows saved on your DVR. If you don’t have time to add bows and tags just use a yellow sticky note for the time being. Even better, if you are wrapping loads of presents to specific people, color code them. In my house, Andrew is getting the red wrapping paper and Jack is getting the green and I can save the labels for something else. And of course, they LOVE that Santa gives them both their own special paper.
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been sticky bow free, and as much as I love my wired ribbon, there is a new face on the block…Happy Tape!
This masking tape, made in Japan using traditional washi paper, just might rock my wrapping paper world this year. Some packages, especially the smallest ones, could look much prettier with decorative tape. I’m liking “shiny sparkle” but might have to splurge on the “wonderland” 10 pack.
I look forward to sharing lots of new and exciting designer secrets with you in 2011! Stay tuned...in January I will go from the hills of New England to Beverly Hills!
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