My love for paper is pretty intense, and I could probably be happy for an unreasonably large amount of time surrounded by cardstock and stationery. But no matter how strong that love might be, watching an hour’s worth of bow-making get crunched and smooshed by way of suitcase, mail or toddler hands is not my idea of a good time. It’s pretty, yes, but sometimes you have to cut your losses and get creative, if anything for the sake of your own sanity.
I know I said yesterday’s wrapping was the easiest of the week, but this one is nearly tied. The idea behind it is simple: uncrunchable, unsmooshable wrapping, complete with a bow. Decorative craft tape (Washi is my favorite brand) is so, so handy for projects like this — and loads of things, really — and is incredibly easy to work with. The tape also happens to be innately cute, so only a touch of cleverness need be involved on your end. By fashioning a couple different tape patterns into the shape of a simple ribbon, you’re left with a festive gift box that’s still flat, smooth and in little danger of travel-induced mangling. No broken bows! No last-minute fixes! Whew! Sometimes stress free is the way to be.
What you’ll need:
• two patterns of decorative craft tape (Available at most craft stores. Target, too!)
• gift box
• white or brown craft paper for wrapping (optional)
How you do it:
If you’re wrapping your gift box with separate craft paper, go ahead and do that first. Then using the first pattern of craft tape, wrap a straight piece around the gift box horizontally and another one vertically (they will form a sort of plus sign shape).
Take your second pattern of craft tape, and fashion a bow shape on top of the straight pieces you already put down. Because you’re working with straight edges, it’s easiest to make two small triangles that meet at points in the middle and then add two short straight pieces coming from the center (the ribbon overhang, per se).
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on December 12, 2013
The other day I was hanging up some laundry to dry and realized that between Beany and me, we could rock a polka dot nearly every day of the week. The entire doorframe of the master closet (the designated drying spot in our humble abode) was filled with a smattering of spots in varying sizes and colors. Shirts, jammies, sweaters, leggings: the list goes on. Apparently if it’s dotted, we’ll wear it. I suppose it’s only appropriate that our Christmas presents feel the same way.
This polka dotted wrapping paper was the easiest of the bunch this week and makes for a pretty adorable package in relatively little time. You could switch up the colors, too, for a fun confetti-inspired look (think a rainbow of polka dots scattered across the paper). Or you could dot them in a different pattern, maybe lines or waves. Let the polka dotting begin!
What you’ll need:
• white paint
• an old-school pencil with a new (flat) eraser
• craft paper
• white cardstock
How you do it:
Roll out a piece of craft paper large enough to wrap your package (you can weigh it down with something heavy on the edges if it starts rolling back up). Using the pencil eraser as a stamp, dip the flat end into the white paint and press it onto the wrapping paper in a polka dot pattern. Add as many or as few as you’d like. There’s no wrong way to polka dot!
Finish the look with a quick wrap of twine and a matching white bow. (For the pictured bow, I used simple white cardstock and followed the tutorial for making these shopping bag bows.)
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on December 11, 2013
Ever since I made these felt cookies for Beany and my niece last Christmas (which are holding up amazingly well and still favorite toys in our house), I’ve been toting around a ridiculously large supply of scrap felt. It’s like when you’re eating dinner at one of those gigantic-portions Italian restaurants, and no matter how much spaghetti you keep piling away, that magical bowl has no real end. Inevitably, after what feels like hours, you and at least someone else at the table raise the white flag and utter that oft-spoken line: “We really should have split this.” So, anyone care to share some felt?
Luckily, there are worse problems to have than a felt abundance, especially considering Pinterest’s dandy knack for turning any searchable term into an onslaught of DIY projects. The idea for this wrapping venture came from a quick shuffle through the felt drawer. A few cuts, a little twine and some quick gluing later, and someone’s getting a felt-happy gift box this year!
What you’ll need:
• a few small scraps of felt in various colors
• matching pompoms for the ornament tops
• hot glue
• a gift box and/or simple craft paper
How you do it:
Start with a plain gift box or fully wrapped gift. You’re basically just gluing the ornaments you’ll make to the outside, so it’s easier to start with the present already wrapped. Decide where you want the ornaments to be on the outside of the package, and carefully hot glue your pieces of twine in place, leaving a space for the ornaments to “hang” on the end.
Now it’s time to cut your felt scraps. For each ornament, you’ll need three equal-sized circles of felt (mine are each about 1 inch in diameter). Fold the first circle in half, and put a few dots of hot glue around one of the folded edges. Working quickly (but carefully! Hot glue is hot!), fold a second circle in half and press one of its folded sides firmly against the circle half you just glued. Make sure the edges are lined up, and hold in place until the glue is set. Repeat this step to attach the third felt circle to the other fold half of the second. When all is said and done, you should have three folded felt circles attached together (they should be able to open sort of like a folded-up fan), with one folded end of each outside circle still free.
Glue the two outside ends (the outside folded sides of the outside circles) flat to the gift box where you already glued your twine. When open, it should form a perfect fanned-out circle. Add a matching pompom to the top of each ornament.
Hope your week is going well so far! We’re due for more snow here this afternoon. Yippee!!!
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on December 10, 2013
We got our first real covers-everything-and-makes-the-world-look-pretty snow last night in Boston! Woo hoo! After living in North Carolina for two years, where we barely, barely got anything that could count as flurries for nearly the entire stay, I think Jared and I just assumed that moving to the Northeast would mean bunches and bunches of snow, as early as or earlier than anyone else. But our family in Missouri has had quite a bit already this year. Even Texas has been snowy! So now we can officially stop feeling gipped. The snow has arrived! And even if it will only last the morning, it’s a pretty sight indeed. And nothing’s better than hearing a tiny 2-year-old voice greet the day with a lot of: “Oh, wow! It’s nowing! It’s nowing! Mo! Da! It’s nowing!”
I finished up all five wrapping projects for the week yesterday, and Beany got to choose which one to share first. I shouldn’t be surprised that the Rudolph-loving girl picked the holly jolliest of the bunch. She loves the little pompom noses, and of course anything reindeer is a win with her this time of year. Get your tiny helpers in on the action, too! Never was a fingerprint too small to make a proper reindeer.
What you’ll need:
• washable craft paint in a few colors
• an inky black pen or thin marker
• small red pompoms
• glue (I used hot glue, but good ol’ Elmer’s would work, too, especially with kids)
• festive twine
• brown or white craft paper
How you do it:
Cut the brown or white craft paper into a piece large enough to wrap your package. Lay it out on a flat surface (it helps to weigh down the edges with something heavy), and get ready for painting. Dip your (or your kiddo’s) finger into the paint, and add a smattering of fingerprints in various colors across the wrapping paper. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it, so add as many or as few as you’d like.
Once the paint has dried, use your inky pen to add two dots for eyes and two antlers on each fingerprint.
Wrap your package. Then use your glue to add a red pompom nose to each of your reindeer on the top and sides of the box. Add some festive twine, and you’re done!
Is your wrapping party in full swing yet? How are you decking the packages this year? Let’s hear it!
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on December 9, 2013
How did Christmas get to be less than three weeks away? I know, broken record, broken record. But has this past month flown by, or what? I’ve amazingly finished my shopping already, which is pretty unheard of for me this early in the game, but that just means there’s lots of wrapping around the corner. And guess what! On Monday, we’ll commence Splash of Something’s annual holiday Wrapping Week! Yahoo! That means five straight days of fun wrapping ideas to put you in an elf kind of mood. I’ll be wrapping things up this weekend (literally, those boxes don’t wrap themselves, y’all) and ready to share all the fun next week.
In the meantime, enjoy a little inspiration from Wrapping Weeks gone by:
2. Reusable fabric
3. Magazine bows
4. Snowflake punch
6. Boy likes bike
7. Fingerprint Christmas lights
8. Mod Podge glam
9. Shopping bag bows
10. Paper snowflake
Check back next week for more wrapping fun! And happy weekend to you!
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on December 6, 2013
Last December I wrote an article for Carolina Parent magazine about super simple gift ideas your kids can make (or help make) themselves, and though I think I posted most of them not long after the article came out, this one slipped through the cracks. As luck should have it, the chilly weather and warm-drink season is upon us, so I figured now’s as good of time as any to share.
DIY Coffee Cozy
What you’ll need:
• a clean sock
• fabric glue
1. Measure 3 inches down from the top of the sock, and cut a straight line across.
2. Add embellishments using felt pieces, buttons and fabric glue. Allow glue to dry completely before using the cozy.
Super fast, super simple, and super kid-friendly. Beany loves just about any craft that involves buttons, so she might be whipping up a few more of these herself come Christmastime (spoiler alert, grandmas!). Or maybe we’ll do some of those adorable button trees floating around Pinterest. Man oh man, that website is the stuff.
Happy weekend, pals!
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on November 15, 2013
I know, I know, I’m painfully behind on blogging. Things have been busy. Such is life. But here we are, smack in the middle of my favorite time of year. Fall! Thanksgiving! Christmas! Hooray! So basically I’m glued to Pinterest, cookbooks and Bon Appétit as of late. Oh, and Hallmark Channel. You know, 24 hours of Christmas movies and all. Life is good.
Although our kitchen has been churning out a consistent stream of fall favorites (pumpkin muffins, ginger spice cookies and the like), there hasn’t been much by way of new and adventurous lately in the culinary realm. We have had a string of visitors the past few weeks, though, and we’ve used that as a great excuse to do some actual adventuring around the area. Think Salem, Plymouth, New Hampshire and bunches of Boston.
It’s been a good time, and I’m continually amazed by how much is so close to us. Mid-Missouri will always be one of my favorite places in the world, but it takes a hundred years to drive anywhere. In Boston, everything feels right around the corner. And the more we explore, the more my comfortable, familiar, feels-like-home neck of the woods is growing.
So yes, it’s been busy and lots of fun, but now, it’s time to get back in gear. I have a Thanksgiving dinner to plan and two weeks with which to do it. Is anyone else feeling the scramble?! More to come!
Posted by Katrina Tauchen on November 14, 2013