DIY gift topper inspiration for the holidays

Thursday, December 19, 2019

I often add something extra to my gift wrapping and I call them "gift toppers".
They make my gift wrapping look a little more unique and sometimes the gift toppers are an additional gift.

Take for example these ornaments. Once the kraft gift boxes have been unwrapped, the ornaments can be enjoyed longer by being added to the Christmas tree.

You can purchase ornaments to be used in your gift wrapping or you can create your own.

I embellished these clear disc ornaments using paint markers. I used a Sharpie water based paint marker which is not permanent but I found it easier to use and make changes because I am not a professional hand lettering artist.  

If you are like me and like to give gift cards or cash as gifts, I always try to add a gift topper my gift wrapping. It might not seem like I put a lot of thought into the gift but the gift wrapping gives a great first impression and lets the recipient know that I spent some time on this gift.

I shared how to make these clay ornaments using cookie cutters in this post. These ornaments are really easy to make & paint and something that you can do with the kids in an afternoon. Who wouldn't want to receive a gift with an ornament attached as a gift topper like this?!

If you like the faux lettering that was added to this plain kraft bag you can find my DIY how to post here. 


Gift toppers can also be photos and fresh foliage ... or both! Here I added photos that were printed on cardstock to a magnetic closure gift box and a simple kraft paper shopper.

If you look at the close up details below you can see that I 
1. cut slits into the photo to slide a ribbon through it so it could be attached to the box
2. added fresh foliage using two sided tape that was covered up with decorative washi tape
3. used two-sided foam tape to give the photo a lift on the paper shopper that I decorated with a white paint pen.

I hope that these gift topper ideas inspire you to add some to your holiday gift wrapping.

You can see more of my holiday gift wrapping and decorating ideas on Instagram.

DIY your holiday gift wrapping using faux lettering and more - you can do it (really!)

Friday, December 13, 2019

Christmas is just around the corner. If you have been pinning inspirational ideas for your holiday gift wrapping, I hope that some of these ideas will make one of your "I'm actually going to do this" Pinterest board.

I used plain kraft paper bags, boxes and wrapping paper and made them my own with just a few simple supplies like white paint markers, stamps and ink, fresh foliage, ribbon and twine.

I stamped a truck image on this box and bag and added snowflake doodles using a white paint marker. 

The fresh cedar foliage was adhered to the packages using two-sided tape. As you can see in the close up photos (below), I added a small slit in the kraft bag just above the trunk area so I could slip the cedar into the bag for extra support.

I created my own printed bags, boxes and wrapping paper by simply drawing free hand doodles of snowflakes and foliage.

Here's the steps for how I created the simple foliage and assorted snowflake shapes ...

Tip: Sketch out your doodles using a white pencil before using the paint marker.

Are you a hand lettering expert?! I'm sure that you've already been adding your hand lettering skills to use in your gift packaging. Not a hand lettering expert? No problem! You can still do this. All of these gift bags and boxes were created with "faux lettering". 

Keep reading and I'll share how anyone can do this too.

I could not have done the faux lettering on these boxes without having some lettering or graphics to trace. My "not so secret" source for the hand lettering graphics on all of these packages are part of Callie Hegstrom's Farmhouse Christmas digital kit.

I purchased the digital files by Callie from Design Cuts a couple of years ago and it is still one of my favourite sources for Christmas DIY projects. If you have a Cricut Maker or Explore Air, you may find the amazing lettering and graphics in this kit useful for vinyl and iron on projects.

Note: You will need Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to open the files in the digital kit. 

This is how I add the faux lettering to just about any surface that you can't see through to trace:

1. In Illustrator, open the Farmhouse Christmas graphics .ai file. Select the lettering and graphic elements that you want to use and copy them to another document. Re size the lettering and graphics to fit the space. Print your file on regular paper. 
Note: Eliminate the excess white space around the design by cutting it out as shown below.

2. As well as lettering to trace, you will need the following supplies - white tracing/transfer paper, painter's tape, pencil, white paint marker, white pencil and kraft bags (boxes or wrapping paper).

3. Position the design onto the kraft bag and hold it in place with tape. Place the tracing/transfer paper with the chalky side down between the art work and the bag. Using a pencil, trace the lettering to transfer the image onto the bag. 

Note: If your design did not transfer at all - The chalky side was facing the wrong way. Turn it around and try again.
If your design is really light and difficult to see, you probably did not press hard enough. Trace it again using a little more pressure.

4. Remove the transfer paper and you should see the lettering. At this point, you can add more free hand details to your design using a white pencil and go over any areas of the lettering that may be a little light or difficult to see.

5. Now we are ready to add the faux lettering using a white paint marker. Test your paint marker to make sure that the paint is flowing properly. Take your time and draw each letter as you go. Tip: If you think about the each letter as an individual element, you will find that it is easier to trace them and your lines will be more precise.

6. Allow the paint from the marker to completely dry and you are ready to start your gift wrapping.

Here's some of the ways that I completed my gift wrapping using ribbon, twine, gift toppers and tissue paper ...

I hope that you try to add some DIY elements to your gift wrapping this year. It's such a great way to personalize your gifts. 

Find me on Instagram for more creative inspiration this holiday season. If you try out any of these ideas tag me @lorrieeveritt so I can see what you did!

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Let's get creative! Here's a sweet idea for making plain white gift bags a little more colourful by just changing out the ribbon handles. 

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Gloria Vazquez-Abrams from Historia Wedding and Event Planning and the amazing team that she brought together for a styled shoot wedding. Gloria's pastel coloured theme was filled with so many whimsical details and as soon as I saw her mood boards I knew that I needed to find a way to work my DIY watercolour ribbons to the set up.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

I removed the white ribbon handles on these white and gold foil edged gift bags and replaced them with the rainbow coloured ribbon.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Gloria filled the gift bags on this glorious sweet table with cotton candy. The colours in the cotton candy and gourmet chocolates are so much fun and I love the way that the ribbon handles on the gift bags add that little bit of extra colour pop to the overall set up.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

The rainbow ribbon handle gift bags were also used in another area of the set up. Gloria incorporated the gift bags and these gift boxes along with balloon, paper flower, drapery and vinyl floor decal installations to create a centre stage area for the Cirque Entertainment.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Interested in doing this for a wedding or party?

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Here's a quickie tutorial to show you what I did and how to figure out how much painted ribbon you will need.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

The ribbons that came on the gift bags can be removed by simply cutting the ribbon and pulling them through the holes from the inside of the bag. But I suggest that you remove at least one ribbon handle by untying the knots and removing the handle in one piece.

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

So as you can see above, I used the original ribbon handle to work out not only how long the ribbon needed to be for the gift bag but to also calculate how much ribbon I would need to paint so that I could change the ribbon on all of the gift bags I planned to use.

To add the rainbow ribbon to the gift bag I tied a knot on one end of the ribbon, feed it through both holes of the bag and then tied a knot on the other end of the ribbon to finish. Repeat on the other side of the bag.

My tip to make wrinkled ribbon smooth: Use a straight iron on a low temperature to easily iron out wrinkles. 

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

Credits for Styled Shoot:

Planning and Styling by Historia Wedding and Event Planning 
Photography by Samantha Ong Photography 
Draping and Vinyl Floor Decals by Finer Events  
Paper Flower D├ęcor by Floral Fantasy Studio 
Tableware Rentals by Sweet Bee Tea Party  
Linens, Chargers, Napkins and Chairs by Chair Decor 
Invitations, Menu, Place Cards, 3D Animal by A Good Day Inc. 
Packaging Supplies by Creative Bag
Chocolates by Stubbe Chocolate 
Favours by Marie Genevieve 
Cotton Candy by Bucket and Whisk 
Custom Lighted Designs by Marquee Marc  
Cirque Entertainment by Articus Productions  
Dress by Papilio Boutique 
Accessories by The Loved One 
Hair and Makeup by Beyoutiful Brides  

Let's get creative! Dress up gift bags with DIY watercolour ribbon.

how to paint on leather & faux leather clothing & accessories

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Have you ever wanted to learn how to add your own illustrations and hand lettering to leather clothing and accessories? 

I have been painting on leather and faux leather items for about a year now and I thought that today I would share some of my tips and tricks that I have picked up. It's not very difficult to do and you don't really need a lot of different supplies. You don't even need a lot of different colours of leather paint if you keep you designs as simple as mine. If you are new to painting check out your local second hand stores and on clearance racks in your favourite stores for leather and faux leather items that you can customize.

If you are new to painting on leather, you might want to try it out on something like this faux leather tote bag.

Tip: I prefer to plan and draw out my design on paper first. You can enlarge or reduce your artwork on a photocopier to test how your finished design will look.

Once you have figured out what your design will look like on paper, cut it out as I have (see above) and use a measuring tape to figure out where to place your design. I use painter's tape to keep the paper in place. Once you are happy with the placement of your design you are ready for the next step - transferring the design onto the leather.

Tip: I placed magazines and books inside the tote bag to create a firm surface to work on.

Place a sheet of white transfer paper under the paper. Make sure that the white chalky side of the transfer paper is facing the leather. Use a sharp pencil to trace your design. 

Tip: You can trace as much or as little of the original design as you like using the tracing paper. I often leave out a lot of the smaller details and then add them in later using a white Stabilo pencil.

By the way, here's my supply list for this project: Gap faux leather tote bag, white transfer paper, Angelus flat white acrylic leather paint, white Stabilo pencil, pencil, assorted paint brushes, measuring tape and painter's tape.

This is a close up of the transferred design. The chalky lines are faint and will be easy to remove once you are done.

Now you are ready to paint. If you are feeling a little nervous about making a mistake and want to practice with your paint brushes first, I suggest doing so on scraps of faux leather or a worn out leather item from the second hand store.

I am right handed, so I always start painting on the top left hand side and work my way over to the top right side. I try to make sure that my hand doesn't accidentally rub up against any of the wet paint as I go so I work from the top to the bottom. 

Don't overload your paint brush. Allow your paint strokes to flow naturally and be prepared to go over some areas more than once to achieve a solid white line. 

Tip: Leather paint is permanent which means that there are no "do overs". Take your time and think about each brush stroke.

Larger areas will require a few coats of paint to become completely solid.
I used four light coats of paint on the LOVE letters and waited for the paint to dry completely between each layer.

Once the paint is completely dry, use a soft clean cloth to wipe away all of the white transfer  and Stabilo pencil lines. 

This technique is a great way to personalize clothing, accessories and home decor items.

I hand painted this jacket for a styled shoot I participated in earlier this year. It was used as a photo prop for a wedding set up. The jacket was stored in a garment bag that I embellished with floral illustrations to co-ordinate with the jacket design using a Sharpie paint pen. 

My custom jacket and matching garment bag are currently included in a Giveaway on InstagramThe #loveisintheair contest closes on August 18, 2019 and you can find all of the details about the giveaway on a post my Instagram account.