Dec
21

Armageddon Schmarmageddon: We’ve got Shopping to Do!

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Shopping as Inspiration

So on the off chance that today is not the end of the world, I’m desperately trying to finish my Christmas to do list because I am woefully behind.

I did a little more Christmas shopping and a little less Christmas making than usual this year, which really didn’t go too well–mostly because I spend half the time thinking, “I could just make that” and the other half thinking, “Well, I like it, but will she?” and then leaving the store because I decide that she won’t.

After lots of looking, I did end up finally having a strong reaction to few somethings and buying them. But more importantly, I also got some fun IDEAS–because in fact, I can make a lot of the things that I saw and liked, and some hip designs in a few boutiques inspired me to come home and make a few gifts with supplies I already had hibernating in my studio (yay me, for using supplies I already own!)

When I designed products for a living, shopping was ALWAYS an idea-gathering experience because that was my job–go see what’s happening out there in retail land and come back and design cool stuff that will (hopefully) sell–so that’s what I did-I went out, saw some cool stuff, came home and created.

It felt good. I’m happier when I make stuff.

What’s the moral of my story? Shopping can actually help you create–who knew? So go out there and shop! Ha, I said it!

It’s a Wrap

With that in mind, my assistant and I did some research link shopping (new phrase I made up right now) for you in case you also do the Christmas thing, are as behind as I am, and need some inspiration.

Since it’s so close to the holiday, I thought we’d focus on wrapping and presentation, along with 2 quick gifts that let you re-use or re-purpose things you might already own (always great when it can happen.)

So I invite you to shop from these links to find something that inspires you and maybe helps you create a little gift giving special-ness in time for the holidays.

Wrapping

I love wrapping paper and presentation–it’s half the fun of giving the gift! I thought these all had an interesting twist:

“21 Easy Holiday Gift-Wrapping Ideas”:

http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/gifts/wrapping/easy-holiday-gift-wrapping-ideas-00000000024959/index.html

Lots of fun gift wrapping ideas here–click through the slide show…

http://www.bhg.com/crafts/easy/crafty-gift-wrap-for-all-occasions

True to their website name, I found this project novel and charming:

http://onecharmingparty.com/2010/12/13/simple-gift-card-snow-globes

And on that same theme, I also liked this one:

http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/gift-certificate-in-a-jar

Using Textiles to Wrap Gifts

Here’s a good simple tutorial from HGTV about furoshiki style gift wrapping:
(you might not know this about me, but I have a textile background AND I’m crazy about most things Japanese–and they are planet Earth’s presentation experts  as far as I’m concerned!)

http://blog.hgtv.com/design/2012/11/20/weekday-crafternoon-more-furoshiki-wrapping-ideas/

AND, Here’s a great pdf diagram from the Japanese government on various Japanese fabric wrapping gift styles:
(Can you imagine our government offering such a thing!!! )

http://www.env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.pdf

One Cute low-Tech/High Tech Holiday Decor-ish thing:

“Egg Carton Flower Lights”:
http://www.squidoo.com/make-egg-carton-flower-lights

Two Gifts from Second Hand Stuff:

Gift One: Fake Mercury Glass.

I LOVE mercury glass. This tutorial looks like a great way to fake it although I haven’t tried it yet myself. But because I’ve written hundreds of instructions on hundreds of projects, I’m pretty good at telling when something will work or not.

You could make some non-descript glass you already have look way more beautiful or you can toddle down to your local thrift store and find some diamonds in the rough (Michaels, TJ Maxx or Home Goods should also have lots of good options for this as well) and transform them into something really special.

This could be for your own holiday decor OR be a lovely Holiday Gift…(This technique could be employed to make lots of great wedding decorations as well!)

http://www.spoolandspoonblog.com/2012/07/mercury-glass-tutorial.html

Gift Two: Teacup Candles.

I’m in a candle-y way this holiday. Every gift I (almost) bought involved a candle. And I almost bought a lot of them. Why? I have no idea.

But then I saw this tutorial and thought I finally know what to do with all those teacups my mother-in-law foisted on gave me. So pretty.

http://www.heygorg.com/2011/07/diy-vintage-teacup-candles.html

How About You?

How’s your holiday prep going? Are you making anything? Do you ever shop to get ideas for what you want to make? Do you like to wrap your presents? Any links you want to share for pretty gift wrapping or ridiculously quick decor or gift ideas? Please post them in the comments. (And please forward this to anyone else you think might find today’s list handy!

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