A little bit of everything

Personalizing Your Gifts

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If you’re like me, then you enjoy giving gifts as much as you love receiving them. Whether it’s for a specific occasion or simply in the spur of the moment, the joy I get from putting thought and effort into something special for a special someone is just so rewarding. Because of this love, I don’t like to stop after the picking of the gift, so I have taken to packaging my gifts with different forms of tags and cards and wrapping that lets me add an even more personalized touch.

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Back in the summer of 2009 I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Holland with my best friend for two weeks. We stayed with her two aunts who were so generous as to also take us to beautiful Paris for four days. It was a trip that I shall never forget and so I like to be able to show my appreciation to her aunts by sending thoughtful gifts every now and then. I initially sent a beautiful tablecloth hand-woven in India from Ten Thousand Villages, a wonderful fair trade organization that sells hand-crafted goods from all over the world. I was drawn to its traditional, country-style look that matched the feel of their home, and so when I recently came across the matching napkins I naturally had to buy them.

Now I could have just packaged them in a box and shipped them off – and they no doubt would have appreciated it – but then what would there be to blog about? No, instead I took the much more fun and creative option and created a coordinating tag and card to send with it!

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So, before I did anything else, I began with tying the napkins together using ribbon. I chose the rich navy colour because it matched one of the gingham squares woven into the napkin and because it was a great bold but grounding colour to build from.

We’ve all used ribbon before to wrap Christmas presents, so if you don’t have the time or supplies to create elaborate accompaniments to your gifts, just wrapping them with ribbon is a beautiful and still thoughtful touch that anyone can do!

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Next came the tag. I love adding tags to smaller gifts because they are quick to create and I find that they really finish off the look.

Now, the key concept to keep in mind when paper-crafting to coordinate with a gift is colour and style. You want to use a colour scheme that complements the colours of the gift, and you want to mimic the style of the gift. In this case, that meant using blue, green, yellow and red, and keeping with the organic feel. In order to accomplish this, I used the speckled tan paper, the nature-inspired stamps, and tied it to the navy ribbon using twine.

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Lastly, I made a coordinating card. Again I tried to continue the organic feel by using different ribbons that added texture and ripping the edge of the paper to make it look rough. The idea was to move away from clean-cut lines into a more natural look that reflected the hand-crafted nature of the napkins.

So there it is! I hope that this little project can inspire you or give you a template to work from the next time you want to add a personal touch to a gift. As the overarching concepts that you can take away from this, I have two key strategies. First, in creating these touches, coordinating colour and style will ensure your creations match the gift, like I mentioned before. Second, in order to tie the pieces themselves together, the simple strategy is to use similar elements but in different ways. Use the same style of ribbon but change up the colour or texture; use a similar layout with the same colours but switch it up in some way; and ultimately, just make it something you love and have fun doing it!

Happy Crafting!

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