Dressing Up Your Gifts with a Little Something Extra

Like last year, we gifted home infused olive oils to most of our friends and family for Christmas this year. Let me tell you, they were so popular and so fun to do the first time that our list is growing. I think we are already planning to gift them to a few more people next year.

While you can use his post to plan for Christmas next year, I hope it will also be an inspiration for mid-year gifting. The principles are the same whenever (and whatever) you are gifting.We decided to push ourselves to do new flavors this year and are growing in our comfort with the whole process, but, for us, it’s not enough to simply gift infused oils. We wanted them to look amazing and we really think they did!

Dressing Up Your Gifts with a Little Something Extra | mamasbrush  #oliveoil #gifts #homemade #diylabels #gifting #woozybottles #infusedoliveoil

The Gift

Our gift was infused oils. We ordered 5 ounce woozy bottles from a new place this year (not going to say as we weren’t as happy with them). We’ll probably go back to Amazon for that next year even though they were a little more. We also ordered the labels and the heat shrink tops (though these are the ones for wine in a larger size… oops. There is one for the 5 ounce bottle somewhere.) Since they were a little bigger than our bottles, we trimmed them down and they worked fine.

I did the illustrations and the hand lettering for the labels again too. Then I combined all that in Photoshop with another font there and we printed them out.

Your gift could be anything. Something hand crafted in the workshop or baked in your kitchen. Something purchased in a store or ordered online. It can be something you give in mass to everyone on your list or something personally selected for each friend and family member.

Dressing Up Your Gifts with a Little Something Extra | mamasbrush #giftwrapping #presentation #packaging #gifting #makeitspecial #tags #gifttags #diygifttags #watercolorpainting

The Packaging

Then came the hardest part… finding a box that would fit them all just right. Hopefully this next year we won’t procrastinate this again. But in the end, we found something at the Dollar Tree that worked well. We added some spacers between the bottles to make them fit better.

Our boxes weren’t expensive. That isn’t the point. And they don’t have to be fancy. They could be simple brown or white bags if that fits your style or the style of your gift. It could be brown kraft paper wrapping it all up. Or shimmery shiny wrapping paper. Or custom printed wrapping paper for that matter. It doesn’t matter what it is, but consider it. Consider your presentation.

Finishing touches

Dressing Up Your Gifts with a Little Something Extra | mamasbrush #giftwrapping #presentation #packaging #gifting #makeitspecial #tags #gifttags #diygifttags #watercolorpainting

That could have been the end of the packaging. It looked real pretty with all that curling ribbon, but the next part really set it apart. A couple different friends said it really took the whole thing over the top. The hand painted tags. The watercolor illustrations add a sense of whimsy to the whole thing.

If you don’t feel as though you could paint or draw something yourself, there are plenty of fun tags on Pinterest that you could print on nice paper to add whimsy to your gift.

Why the Packaging Matters

Again, you can apply these same principles to any hand made gift, or any gift for that matter. Taking an extra minute to personalize the packaging can make a huge impact. But why? Do we do it so that everyone sees how crafty and creative we are? Is it so that they will talk about our gift longer than everyone elses? If the answer to those questions is yes, then don’t do it. It’s not worth it.

So why do it? They are just going to rip it open and throw it all away anyway. Isn’t it just a waste of time? Honestly, sometimes. Again, this depends on your motives. It has only been in the last few years that I’ve even begun to think about caring what a gift looks like. I’m a throw-it-in-a-gift-bag-with-a-couple-pieces-of-tissue-paper kind of girl. Seriously. It’s how we wrap almost everything for kids etc. around here. It’s faster. I have 6 kids, and when I still had multiple babies and toddlers around, it was the best way. Sometimes it’s still the best way. Really!

But when I can, and when it’s right, spending extra time on the presentation of a gift is just one more way to show love to that friend, family member or {even} stranger you are gifting to. The gift is great. That thought is great. But the extra time to make it special passes that special-ness onto the one who gets the gift.

So what now?

Maybe you aren’t ready for this yet. Maybe you have as much crazy in your life as I do and it’s just not practical. Gifts? What gifts? There were years we didn’t do much in the way of gifts at all. That’s okay. Be where you are. Do what you can. But every once in a while, or when you are ready, step outside your comfort zone and make that one gift special. It’s worth the look on their face when they find out that it is for them!

Pin it Button from mamasbrush
Dressing Up Your Gifts with a Little Something Extra | mamasbrush #giftwrapping #presentation #packaging #gifting #makeitspecial #tags #gifttags #diygifttags #watercolorpainting

Gathering here.

Apples – Pick Your Own Fall Sign | Hand Lettered and Painted Free Printable

I love love love these printable signs I found over at Clean and Scentsible! I pinned my favorites here. (And that towel… you’ll have to go look. It’s too cute!)

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I tend to steer toward the farmhouse style decor… at least on Pinterest, and these cute signs planted a seed in me to make my own version of them. I just couldn’t let many days go by before I just had to try it with an apple theme. I generally decorate with apples in September. It’s not quite fall, but I’m itching for it to be… apples seem to be a happy medium before my leaves and pumpkins come out at the end of the month.

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I started by sketching this one out. It’s not a “no-sketch” by any means. There were too many elements to get just right. I suppose if you wanted to “no-sketch” it, you could always scan each element in individually and put it together in Photoshop… but I didn’t do that this time. 🙂

I love the look of all the farmhouse signs I see, but when it comes time to buy or make one for myself, I can’t make myself do it. Something always seems to be missing. First of all, I wanted to add a verse to it somehow, but I also wanted to make it more personal. I felt like putting “family farm” at the top fit us better since that’s what we pretend to be. Then I loved how “pick your own” fit the attitude of encouraging the children to help out and take initiative.

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I tried a new watercolor paper this time around. Hot pressed. It’s much smoother and [hopefully] easier to scan and clean up in Photoshop for you all. Shayda recently did a video that talks about the differences in watercolor paper, so I was ready for it to be different. It definitely was different, and it will take some practice, but I think it worked out nicely. Nothing you should be afraid to try for sure. The main reason I decided to try it is that Eileen at My Creative Resolution mentioned in a post (no idea which one… sorry!) that the texture of watercolor paper is hard on artist pens. It was at that moment I understood why my pens never seem to last long! 🙂 An ah-ha moment to be sure! The smooth finish of the hot pressed paper should help them to last longer. And it does scan much nicer!

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I know there are already so many fall printables out there, but I don’t often see these seasonal printables with Bible verses on them, so I want to share them with you in the off chance that any of you are still in the market for a cute apple themed fall printable or have been holding out for one with a verse. Click here to download it and visit my slowly growing printables page for more!

Pin it Button from mamasbrush
Pick Your Own Fall Free Printable

Gathering here.

Recommended Reading:

Get Away to the Mountains – Printable
Keep Calm and Get Cozy – Printable
God’s Got This… Let the Adventure Begin – Printable

Some Little Homemade Christmas Cards

These are a few more of the Christmas cards I’ve made and sold locally.  I think Christmas is one of my favorite things to “create” for.  I could paint Christmas lights and these cute trees all year round.

Some day I hope to have them available to buy or download or something, but for now, with just a week to go before Christmas, ** They are here… find these little Christmas cards in my shop now!** or maybe you would be inspired to make something similar with a set of paint or even markers.  None of these were super hard to do.  Put your own spin on them.

This one’s my favorite!

If you find yourself inspired, I’d love to see what you make! 

Gathering here!