Thursday, June 18, 2009

a little birdie told me

As of today, I'm officially enjoying almost two months of summer vacation! This hopefully means I will be able to post more often! Today's post is a two-in-one deal. Part one: another present wrapping idea. Part two: a little paper or cloth birdie tutorial.

When I showed y'all how I wrapped my sister's graduation present, My dear friend Tracy's mom brought up a super common wrapping dilemma:
"Tracy's mom said...
Your presentation is beautiful and I know Hannah will appreciate it. Seems like every time I have a gift to wrap, it never fits into a convenient shaped anything and I agree that unwrapping something is so much more exciting, but I always end up using a bag. :( Any suggestions?"
Why, yes! Suggestion number one: if possible, try to fit the gift in a more normal shaped container. It never hurts to have a few shoe or shirt boxes on hand for this purpose. This is also a great way to foil present guessers. If you don't have a box on hand, or your gift just won't fit in a box shape, you can always try suggestion number two: the good old gather and tie.
Yup, this idea also relies on my good friend, half priced Christmas tissue paper. I used this method for the adorable little birdies I bought as end of the year, "thank you for being amazing" gifts for my library co -workers.
I found these cuties at Hallmark. Obviously, they are awkwardly shaped. To avoid the ubiquitous gift bag, I wrapped each one in tissue until they took on a pear-like blob shape. Next, I centered my blob on three sheets of stacked tissue, grabbed the edges, gathered them together, and tied the whole shebang off with some pretty ribbon.
Now on to part two: how to make the sweet little birdie on the gift tag! You can make your birdie out of paper to use as an embellishment on gift tags and cards (very precious with messages like: "a little birdie told me it's your birthday." or "a love note for the love birds.") You could also frame your birdie for some cheap-o art. I've also made several of these birdies out of fabric. The are very cute hanging from pegs, or from a tree branch in a vase.
First you will need a pattern of some sort, here is the one I use. You can see that I have several size and shape options that I have tried. If you don't want to use or modify this bird shape, there are tons of clip art birds available that might inspire you.

Next, choose three different paper or fabric patterns - one for each bird part. If you don't have patterned paper on hand, magazines and Pottery Barn catalogues usually have pictures with lots of texture and pattern that are great to use.

Arrange your birdie bits to taste (OK - that sounds like gross cooking instructions, but you get what I mean!) and glue or sew in place.

If sewing, you can vary your stitches for added interest. I like to alternate between the blanket stitch and a running stitch . If you're making the paper version, you might want to draw some stitches to give your birdie a little more interest.
Here are my little fabric friends hanging in the entryway. I might make some more in summery colors.
A little close up love.

These are crazy easy to make, so if you are as enamoured with birdie decor as I am, go and sew and/or glue a whole flock for your nest!


Tim and Tracy said...

Ahhhhh! I love birds!! I MUST make this! :) (Side note: we both used the word "cheap-o" in our posts today- and I don't know, it just made me laugh when I read it. How very "us").

Anonymous said...

I have an even better idea - I save cereal, oatmeal, popcorn, etc. for boxes that are the PERFECT size and look GREAT wrapped since they ae not the boring shirt boxes. :)
PS - they look GREAT under the tree since they are all different sizes.

Christen said...

What a cute (inexpensive) wrapping idea! I love the bird silhouette done in a patterned paper- too cute!

Tracy's mom said...

Thanks for answering my question. I think this calls for some scouting out the tissue paper sales after Christmas and maybe stocking up on ribbon. Do you have any favorite places to pick up inexpensive ribbon? Sorry to end with another question. (BG)

Hattie said...

I have several sources for ribbon. If I know just what I want, I like to buy by the yard at Ben Franklin, but I try to wait for their 25% off sales that happen a few times a year. If I want a whole spool, I've had very good luck at Michael's (they even have shorter rolls in a dollar section) and there is almost always a coupon for them in the Sunday paper. I also like the scrapbooking ribbon you can often find in Target's dollar spot. Keep in mind that Target is known to send left over items to Goodwill where they can be scooped up on the cheap. Finally, yard sales can be a great source for cheap ribbon and trim. I have a huge bag of vintage rick rack and seam tape that I love to use on special projects.