Doable Detail: Block Letter Gift Wrap

Block Letter Gift Wrapping

I love hand wrapping gifts. Yes, I know gift bags are much more convenient and there are thousands of super cool printed wrapping papers, to say nothing of the adorable tags, bows, and other adornments. But I suspect I am some kind of gift wrapping masochist. Why, oh WHY, in the midst of all these beautiful wrapping choices must I insist on making my own? Nevertheless, I do, and if you happen to get the unreasonable urge to decorate a package by hand, too, here’s an easy tutorial for making a custom block letter gift wrap.

I made this for a very special young man’s first birthday. Can you guess his name? I started by wrapping the gift in plain brown craft paper. I keep this on hand at all times. You can buy enough to gift wrap a small imported sedan for about $10.

Block Letter Gift Wrapping

I then cut a strip of contrasting paper (white) long enough to wrap around the package. Weighing it down with needle nose pliers while blasting Wolfgang on your (very fingerprinty, ew) Ipad is optional.

Block Letter Gift Wrapping

Next, either free-hand sketch out the block letters like I did, or use a stencil. Either way, make sure to use a pencil. Carefully cut out each letter using a craft knife. Then go back and erase any pencil marks that might be showing.
Block Letter Gift Wrapping

Pick out some paper scraps in whatever colors and patterns you desire. Cut them down to size to fit behind each cut out letter.
Block Letter Gift Wrapping

Flip the paper with the cut out letters to the reverse side. Tape down the patterned paper over each letter. Repeat until each letter is covered.

Block Letter Gift Wrapping

And there you go, an adorable, custom, hand made gift wrapped package! Who needs cute wrapping paper anyway?

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In Season: In the Orchard

In the orchard

Well, summer has gone with nary a peep from me on this blog. So, my friend Jen, of Cook It, Click It, Eat It, and I decided that we both could do for a little motivation (and accountability) to kick start our blogs again. We came up with the idea of choosing a seasonal theme and each doing a post around the theme. Jen will be focusing mainly on delicious seasonal recipes and I’ll be concocting beverages of all sorts and possibly some quick crafty projects. We’ve mapped out seasonal themes through the end of the year, and TA-DA! Today is the first!

In the orchard

Even though it was in the upper 80’s here in NC over the weekend, the calendar says fall has officially arrived. And nothing quite says fall to me like apples. And decorative squash. And sweaters. And warm bowls of soup. And impending death to mosquito kind. But, back to apples. Apple cider, that staple of fall drinks, is quite a versatile cocktail ingredient. A steamy mug with a shot of rum and a cinnamon stick is just the thing for a cool fall evening. But not so much when the thermometer is still pushing past the 80 degree mark. So I set out to find an apple inspired drink that is also cool and refreshing. A little cider, some bourbon, and a hint of bitters solved my hot-weather, fall drinking woes.

In the orchard

Apparently, there is some confusion over apple cider versus apple juice. I have no desire to enter into the debate, but I will say that I used Martinelli’s Apple Cider for this drink for two reasons. One, I was very taken with the attractive leaf motif on the glass jug. Yes, I admit to occasionally choosing grocery products based on prettiness. I am a shallow consumer with a weak spot for attractive packaging. Second, it was a lovely, clear, pale yellow, not dark brown and sludgy like some ciders. Not that there’s anything wrong with sludgy ciders (other than saying ‘sludgy cider’ makes me throw up in my mouth a little), but I wanted a clean, un-sludgy apple taste for this drink. If sludgy ciders are your thing, though, by all means feel free to substitute.

Bourbon & Apples

1/2 cup apple cider

1-1/2 ounces bourbon

dash of aromatic bitters

Combine all ingredients over ice and serve immediately.

In the orchard

I’d been kicking around ideas for a quick and easy apple craft for this post, too. I came up with a clove-studded monogrammed apple, mostly because I have a baggie full of cloves (don’t ask) that need using up. It was incredibly easy to do. I can just see these used at a fall place setting, lined up on a mantel, or nestled into a wreath. To make your own, lightly trace the letter onto the apple with a pencil. Then, using a toothpick, prick small holes about every 1/4″ along the letter outline and insert whole cloves into the holes.

Don’t forget to click on over to Jen’s blog at Cook It, Click It, Eat It and check out what kind of apple-y goodness she has going on for this themed post. I got a text from her with a sneak peek photo and it looked yummy! And stay tuned for more joint posts. Coming up next…OCTOBERFEST! Happy fall, y’all!