Posted on December 17, 2014
I can’t remember a single time in my life that my older brother wanted (or was willing) to dress like me, but I totally get it now. Dressing kids in matching clothes is the best, particularly if those clothes are Christmas jammies.
Bear: Have you ever seen a more dapper tuft of hair on a baby’s head? My brother said he always looks like he just got off the squash court. The boy just needs a cardigan tied casually around his shoulders.
Beany: If she’s not jumping in front of the camera to make sure you get her best side (“Take a picture of me! Don’t forget me!”), then this is the face we get. Or lack of face rather. Those little hands are pretty sweet though.
This post is part of The 52 Project: One photo of Beany and Bear every week of the year.
Posted on December 12, 2014
It seems like every year for Wrapping Week, I plan and buy supplies for four ideas and then end up making the last one pretty last minute, pieced together from the scraps and bits left behind by the first four presents of the week. Some years it works out better than others, but I think it’s probably good to stretch those creative muscles sometimes with the make-do-with-what-you-have approach. This year, my end-of-the-week haul included lots of paper, glitter and lollipop sticks. When life gives you glitter, make magic wands.
Like a lot of wrapping ideas, this one is super flexible. Use any kind of paper, any kind of stick (using toothpicks for mini-wands could be pretty cute), and tie it together with whatever you have. I used a chalk marker to add polka dots to the paper, but you could also try something sketchy with Sharpie like yesterday’s post. Or wrap some scrapbook paper and then tie on your wand. Just don’t forget the sparkle. Sparkle is key.
What you need:
• Brown craft paper
• White chalk marker
• Cake testers or lollipop sticks
• Sparkly scrapbook paper (or plain paper covered in glitter!)
• Hot glue
How you do it:
Roll out a large piece of craft paper on a flat surface. Using the chalk marker, add a fun design to the paper (polka dots, stripes, anything!). Wrap your package with the paper.
To make the wands, cut out two matching star or tree shapes from the sparkly paper. Use the hot glue to attach a cake tester or lollipop stick to the non-sparkly side of one of the trees/stars. Then use the hot glue to stick the two sparkly shapes together, keeping the stick on the inside (make sure the sparkly sides of each shape are facing out).
Wrap a bit of yarn around the outside of the package a few times. Then carefully stick the magic wand underneath a few pieces of yarn so it stays in place
Posted on December 11, 2014
I love wrapping presents, and I can get almost as jazzed about the outside of a pretty package as a I can about what’s on the inside, but I know not everyone wants to spend a precious Saturday in December trying to construct the perfect paper bow or wrapping yarn just so. There are trees to trim, there’s snow to play with, and there’s probably still shopping to be done. Sometimes fast is best, and this one will have you back out making snow angels in a jiffy.
This wrapping idea hardly needs an explanation: Grab a Sharpie marker (I’d definitely steer clear of any washable markers, or you might end up with smeary, smudgy presents), and get writing.
My default is usually Christmas song lyrics. Who wouldn’t love a happy round of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while opening their gift Christmas morning? And if words don’t suit your fancy, you could doodle on some drawings instead. Hearts? Candy canes? Cute, sketchy reindeer? A steady hand and a Sharpie will get the job done.
What you need:
• Sharpie marker
• Red or white craft paper
• Fun twine or ribbon
How you do it:
Roll out a large piece of craft paper on a flat surface. Using your Sharpie marker, go to town covering that paper (Christmas song lyrics, jolly message, happy pictures, whatever you like!). Wrap your present with the Sharpie-fied paper, and add some ribbon or twine.
Posted on December 10, 2014
Holidays have always been a big deal in our house, but now that we have a 3-year-old who’s hitting her holiday-loving stride, it only feels fitting to kick things up a notch. This year for Halloween, we visited a pumpkin patch, where Beany picked out a teeny tiny pumpkin she named Spookley. After a decorative paint job (Beany couldn’t bear the thought of carving him), Spookley sat on our kitchen counter for a good week past Halloween, until his oblong sides began sinking in a little, and his orange façade wasn’t quite so vibrant. The time had come to send Spookley away. Not surprisingly, this didn’t sit well with Beany, who’d become pretty attached to her pumpkin friend. So Jared explained to her that it worked very much like Frosty the Snowman. Spookley would go back to the pumpkin patch, and we could find him again next Halloween, just like Frosty goes away every spring and comes back again when it snows. It was the perfect explanation, and not a single tear was shed for Spookley from that point on. All of the love Beany had for her pumpkin, though, had to go somewhere. And with winter and Christmas on their way, the obvious recipient was Frosty.
I can’t even count the number of times we’ve watched Frosty the Snowman since Spookley said his goodbyes last month. And every time we get even a flurry of snow, Beany’s poised at the window, wondering out loud how long it will be until we can go outside to build a snowman. She has a fuzzy snowman blanket that she carries around much of the day (but it’s her “Anna coat” or her “Elsa coat,” “not a blanket, Mommy”). Frosty and Santa have both had breakfast with us a few times this week already (and they’re both very hungry guys who ask for “toast and strawberries and milk and coffee and water,” FYI). Basically, it’s all Christmas all the time now.
I like to pick at least one wrapping idea every year that’s super kid friendly, and given the happenings in our household as of late, it seemed only fitting that Frosty make an appearance. It took some convincing to get Beany using her fingers instead of her usual paintbrush, but she had a lot of fun counting out the snowballs as she painted, “1, 2, 3!” The black felt hats were a big hit, too, because anyone who knows Frosty knows he needs that magic hat (even it was the kids who really brought him to life, of course). And they’re just so jolly looking, right? A happy-looking package makes a happy kid.
What you need:
• Brown craft paper
• White craft paint
• Inky black pen
• Orange marker
• Black felt
• Fun ribbon or twine
How you do it:
Roll out a big piece of the brown craft paper on a large flat surface. Using the white paint and the tip of your finger, paint three round “snowballs,” one on top of the other.
Once the snowballs are dry, use the black pen to add eyes, a smile, buttons and arms. Use the orange marker to add carrot noses.
Wrap your present with the Frosty paper. Now it’s time to add the hats! Cut out small top hats from the black felt, and glue them in place on the snowmen’s heads (I used hot glue so it would be faster, but plain old school glue should work, too). Add a fun piece of twine or ribbon, and you’re done!
Posted on December 8, 2014
I’ve talked before about my high school days as a Mod Podge-wielding miscreant. Just kidding, just kidding! I was super well behaved, but I did slap Mod Podge on just about anything that didn’t move. Anyway, my friends and I did tons of scrapbooking back then — like the hard copy, paper-and-sticker-embellishments kind — and though my physical scrapbooking has gone the way of peasant tops and layered tees, I have a pile of leftover cardstock, paper, buttons, string and yarn that just won’t quit. Seriously, it’s been almost 12 years since I bought some of this stuff, and my stash is still going strong. Flare-leg jeans might be out, but my adorable patterned paper circa 2003? It’s busy showing the 2014 stuff how to get it done.
For this wrapping style, pull out the old craft bin, and grab some of those paper scraps from yesteryear (or stop by Michaels to peruse shelf after shelf of the stuff). You don’t need much: just a strip long enough to wrap around your package. Then add some coordinating string or yarn to tie it all together.
What you need:
• White craft paper
• A few pieces of pretty paper
• A bit of yarn or string to match
How to do it:
Wrap your present with white craft paper. Cut a strip of fun patterned paper, long enough to wrap around the package, and wrap it around the middle. Use bit of tape to keep it in place, and wrap some yarn a few times around the patterned paper to tie the whole thing together.
Posted on December 6, 2014
There are only 19 days left until Christmas! Wahoo! And do you know what that means? I have a pile of gifts in need of some love and wrapping paper. I bet you do, too! So in keeping with holiday tradition, Wrapping Week 2014 is coming soon! Starting Monday, I’ll have five days of fun wrapping ideas headed your way, sure to get those humdrum boxes looking downright festive and cheery, just in time to jump under the tree or into the mailbox.
And in case you just can’t wait until Monday to get the wrapping started, here’s a roundup of Wrapping Weeks past. Ribbons at the ready!