michaels

DIY: Add a Personal Touch to Your Christmas Cards and Gifts

It's the time of year that you are frantically sending out Christmas cards, wrapping presents and thinking of ways to show your family and friends that they mean a lot to you.  Gift giving, and card sending doesn't mean you have to spend tons of money to show people that you care.  By putting a little bit of extra time into the packaging, your presents will seem 10 times as thoughtful!

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Our favorite way to add a little something special to our gifts and cards is through stamps.  We use a mixture of store bought and our own custom stamps that we make.  Making your own stamps is easy, here's how: 

Supplies; Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Supplies; Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Materials List: Pencil, Rubber, Cork, Carving Tools, Glue, Cutting Board

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

This is so easy, I promise!  First, section off your rubber into smaller pieces, just a tad larger than you plan on making the stamp.  Sketch a pattern or original design on the rubber.  Now, carefully carve around the stamp, what you carve away, throw away.  Hot glue works best to attach finished stamps to the corks, but any glue will work, just depends on how much patience you have for waiting on glue to dry.  

Now you are ready to stamp!  I told you it was easy!

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

We started our gift wrapping inspiration with this burlap ribbon we found at Michaels.  Christina had these cute little arrows she had cut out for a previous project, so we decided to use those.  We alternated red and white, which looks so simple and beautiful on the natural burlap texture.

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Once the ribbon dried, we wrapped our package in simple brown paper and added a strip of white wrapping paper to the middle to visually separate the browns.  We finished it off with a cute package tag that we stamped with a store bought to and from stamp.  Such a simple, beautiful presentation, who cares what's inside?

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

We were on a roll, so we decided to stamp tags, envelopes, and these beautiful pieces of rustic paper we folded in half to make an elegant Christmas card.

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Photo by Christina Wedge, Styling by Alexandra Hernandez

Michaels also has these great, and inexpensive brown boxes.  A row of stamps and $1.00 Christmas ribbon from Target makes this presentation so beautiful!

Hope this gives you some fun, creative ideas for holiday wrapping and gift giving!


Halloween Entertaining: Not-So-Predictable Tabletop Decor

Halloween usually conjures up images of cotton spiderwebs, orange and black decor, and anything bloody, gory, or just plain scary.  Well we don't think that your Halloween Entertaining Experience needs to be so literal this year.  Why not inject a little style into your decor?    

A beautiful tablescape is achieved through layering.  By maintaining a fairly neutral palette and varying the textures, finishes and contrasts on the tabletop, we created a dramatic, spooky effect without being so literal about the theme.  Now we will show you how to do this yourself!

Getting ready for a party doesn't have to feel like work, get your friends and kids involved, not only will they enjoy creating this beautiful piece of art, it will speed up the process and allow you to work on other things!

B helped us layout the greenery and twist this awesome floral accent (don't go looking in the Halloween aisle, its in the floral section) from Hobby Lobby to look like spooky twigs, or long spindly witch fingers!  By not going straight to the Halloween section when you walk in the store, you force yourself to think more creatively on how to evoke the theme rather than spelling it out.  Only a few items on our table are from the Halloween section which means that not only will you deliver classier, more original decor, but you can reuse most of these pieces throughout the year! 

Once you lay down the greenery and "witch fingers" its smooth sailing.  We sprinkled in some  Metal Tapered Candle Holders and some Lanterns from World Market with their Tapered LED Candles.  I had never used LED candles until now because I have always been a fan of the aura and smell of a burning candle, but let me tell you they are awesome!  Not only do you not have to worry about messing up your beautiful table decor with melted wax or kids playing with the flames, but they last forever and emit an extremely bright and authentic glow.  Can you tell I am sold?

When shopping for tabletop decorations, or anything really, it is important to keep an open mind and stay calm, cool and creative.  You will have a hiccup, so its best to go in prepared to think on your feet.  Notice the taupe napkin at the heads of the table, and the coppery colored ones on the sides?  This was not planned, it was because Hobby Lobby only had 4 of each color, and see how beautiful it turned out?  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!  

You probably also noticed the vampire teeth at the heads of the table and the skulls on the sides, another happy accident.  Stores like Homegoods can be awesome, but also discouraging because you'll often find something amazing, but to no avail, will another one be found in the store.  True to form, we found these amazing Skull Place Holders, but there were only 4 in the pack.  Luckily we didn't get discouraged and remembered the vampire teeth garnishes we had planned for our drinks (post coming up Monday) and we got extra to use at the heads of the table.  A little lipstick on the teeth and what an awesome placeholder!

As darkness approached, the table atmosphere took on a whole new life.  Its important to remember what time of day you will be entertaining and decorate accordingly.  If you are entertaining at night, try to incorporate as many candles into your table top decor as possible, it really creates an entirely different feel than overhead lighting.

See what I mean?  The night became magical, and a full moon really topped it off.  We hope we have inspired you to go out and create your own magical Halloween table setting outside the predictable parameters of the holiday's decor!

Below is a list of the items with links to where you can purchase them.  We already had the table cloth, but if you don't have a nice neutral tablecloth, or want a more casual look, I think a roll of masking paper would be a really nice runner and add to the organic textures.  Home Depot also has some great canvas drop cloths, which would make really awesome floor length table cloths for a great price!

Skull, Happy Halloween Banner, Tapered LED Candles, Twig Flatware, Black Square Dinner Plates, Metal Tapered Candle Holders, Owl Candle Holders, Lanterns, Cloches,  White Square Dinner Plate,  Skull Place Holders, Vintage Tabouret Guest Chairs, Head Chairs, Faux Sheepskin