Happy wedding day to Janet and Tommy! I had the pleasure of working with this couple on their classic wedding invitation. Black thermography on, again, one of my current favorites, Waste Not Paper in Luxe White.
The simple program was printed front and back making it convenient for guests to read.
When Lillie's mom ordered enclosure cards for her young daughter she knew she wanted to be able to use them for a few years to come so the design needed to grow with her. She settled on the first card while the other two contenders are below.
I had the pleasure of working with Beverly on her new stationery. The note cards are thermography printed on Waste Not Paper Luxe White paper (one of my new favorites!) with envelope liners made from Paper Source's Gold on Sea Green Mum's fine paper.
Liz and Sam are getting married at a lovely ranch in Montana this summer. To set the tone for the weekend they wanted something that conveyed the rustic feel of the ranch setting but also portrayed an elegant wedding ceremony and reception. We came up with this horseshoe and floral motif to achieve both. The save the dates are letterpress printed on Crane Lettra 220 lb. paper in Pearl White. Rather than printing the return address we created a stamp that they can use over and over again.
My grandfather wrote a book! The same grandfather that nicknamed me Mrs. Calabash. (See the story here). "Up Fool's Hill and Almost Down" by Joe M. Berry is a collection of stories detailing his upbringing during the Great Depression, his career practicing law, and every character he meets in between. Available on Amazon. Edited by my brother, Ethan Clanton, and cover designed by me.
Calabash Cards is now offering wrapping paper! Just in time for Valentine's Day this paper features a light pink watercolor background and a heart pattern. Printed in sheets of heavy matte paper. Sheet size is 12" x 18" and are $4 each. Email info at calabashcardco dot com to purchase or purchase in my Etsy shop. Happy V-day!
Just like all paper I have a special affinity for wrapping paper. I start picking out my Christmas wrapping in October. To me our wrapped presents really are an extension of our Christmas decorations which in turn is an extension of all of our interior decorations. And so I get excited to "decorate" with our presents. A beautifully wrapped package is also more exciting than something thrown together with little to no thought put into it. So I'm here to encourage you to do away with those pre-made bows and uncoordinated bags under the tree. It's not as hard as you may think!
I am a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas colors so I tend to stick with red, green and gold. Actually, we tend to be pretty traditional in all of our decorating tastes with a few eclectic pieces mixed in so it's fitting. You can think of choosing your paper as though you're choosing throw pillows. They should all coordinate and compliment one another. I advise choosing at least three papers—maybe a solid, a pattern, and a stripe or, in this case, a splotchy pattern. You can always choose more or mix in other solids but I recommend at least three. Keep in mind that basic rule of design—things tend to look best in threes. The red and green paper are both Caspari found here and here. And I normally use a kraft paper but I was excited to find this kraft/gold paper which goes well with the other two metallic papers. I found it at Target but it doesn't seem to be available online. I also find great wrapping paper at Hobby Lobby. They tend to have nice big rolls with the helpful graph on the back for easy cutting. One more word on paper—you want to choose a thick paper and not a flimsy one. They are so much easier to glide the scissors through and make for easier wrapping.
Some of my other favorite wrapping tools are shown above. You can find these at your local craft store. When wrapping my gifts and choosing a ribbon I like to consider who the present is for. If I'm wrapping something for a female I like to make a nice big bow with the tulle. If I'm wrapping for a male I opt for something thinner like the jute or baker's twine or even tulle just tied in a knot.
Here's how to make that nice big bow. Start with the tulle wrapped around the gift once or twice like I've done here. Tie your tulle off with a knot and leave some nice long ends to work with. Take your roll of tulle and hold one end between your fingers and thumb. Where you're pinching is going to be the middle of the bow. Loop the tulle upward one time then add it to the tulle you're already holding, then loop the tulle downward one time and, again, add it to what you're already holding. Repeat this until you have three loops on each side (or more for a fluffier bow). Cut your tulle at about the same length as the loops. You can drive yourself crazy trying to cut tulle in a straight line so I tend to make a quick snap then clean up the edges later if I have to. Keep holding that bow and set it on your knot. Holding it in place with one finger, take one of the long ends from the original knot and pull it up over and around the bow. Now you should again have those two long ends at the bottom. Simply tie those two ends together in a knot then straighten and fluff your bow. From there I trim my ends to the edge of the package but you can make them shorter if you'd like.
You could also just skip the larger bow and tie a simple bow after your knot. Tulle is so easy to work with and makes an impressive bow with very little effort.
You could also just stop at a knot. I usually tie a tight knot first then make a looser one one top, leaving a nice, pretty loop in the middle. Or you could use jute or baker's twine to make a nice simple bow—both also very easy! Then I finish by slipping a hand-written gift tag on one strand. The tulle is so textured that it holds the gift tag nicely but with jute or baker's twine I usually loop the strand through the hole twice so that it stays. These are great options for anyone but the men in your life will especially appreciate a manly looking gift! In fact, I like to use kraft paper and jute year round.
As mentioned above, I'm not a fan of mismatched bags under the tree. However, some presents are just big and bulky and require a bag. I like to use a kraft bag or at least one that coordinates with my other paper. For small gifts cellophane bags are a great option. If you're giving a small gift you may prefer a somewhat humble wrapping option rather than a shiny paper and grand bow. I like to use a pretty patterned or solid tissue paper, again, something that goes with the rest of my wrapping. This one is also Caspari but I find lots of other great options too at places such as Hobby Lobby or Paper Source.
Start by laying your tissue paper out and placing your gift in the center at a diagonal, with the bottom of your gift lined up with the midline. You should have more paper below the gift than above. Take the bottom corner and pull it up and over the gift. If you're working with square tissue paper you can match the corners. If using a rectangular piece of tissue paper like I am you can just get it close and appreciate that the unevenness adds some character. Next, hold your hand on the gift and fold the paper over then repeat with the other side. Take your loose end of tissue paper and fold it behind the gift. Place the tissued gift, along with a gift tag if you'd like, inside the cello bag. Tie off with a knot then use one of your bow options to finish.
I also use cellophane bags to package any baked goods I may give away during the season. In that case I skip the tissue paper and just let the treats show through.
And so you end up with beautifully wrapped packages that your recipient will be excited to receive and you can enjoy as decorations up until Christmas. To make wrapping even more enjoyable I love turning on a good Christmas movie and knocking out several at once. I usually skip the complimentary wrapping and the store clerk often asks me two or three times if I'm sure. Then I try to explain that I really do like doing it and that I want my paper to coordinate. You can, however, ask the store to tissue and box your present. That will save you some time wrapping. I also tend to go for the assembly line method with however many presents I'm wrapping—box each one, then wrap each one, then bow each one. You can use sticky notes as you're going to keep track of whose is whose.
Happy present wrapping to you and yours! May you be reminded that we give gifts because God first gave his son as a gift to us.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. – 2 Corinthians 9:15
Christmas gift idea! Why not get your best friend a note pad personalized with a drawing of her house? House stationery is one of my favorite old paper traditions. It can be used by any member of the household. Or, it can sit in your guest room and allow for your overnight guests to jot a note down. We actually still see this in hotel rooms. And it's not personalized with the family's name—it's house stationery. So, you just see the address listed or even the name of the house if yours has one. This stationery was glued together with a cardboard backing to make a note pad and it may serve for things like grocery lists and score keeping on game night, rather than it's traditional intended use, but why not keep the tradition going?!
Congratulations to Jennifer and Eric who were married this weekend! I LOVE the layout this bride chose for their wedding program. It's just an easy 8.5" x 11" folded into thirds and makes it convenient for guests to read everything at once. See their coordinating invitation suite here.