awkward-shaped gifts

[Video] How to Wrap: Rectangles, Squares, Cylinders + Awkward Shapes


[youtube] Here's a look at my most recent project: a holiday gift wrapping video that I did for GEICO. While the tips aren't entirely mine, the video offers a good basic guide to any shaped gift you might come across. I did the styling and hand modelling (#secondcareer?). Thank you to the wonderful art director Kevin, videographer/editor Jason, assistant Jared and producer Jenn — it was such a fun shoot to be on!

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How I Gift Wrapped a 76mm Sherman Tank Shell and an M2A1 Ammunition Box


76mm Shell and ammo box My husband is a very difficult man to buy gifts for (unless I’m willing to spend a kabillion dollars), so I was very proud of myself when I came up with the idea of getting him some vintage wartime paraphernalia for his most recent birthday. I found a 76mm Sherman tank shell at Smash and a M2A1 ammunition box from Style Garage (success!) — and then I had to figure out how to wrap the two oddly shaped items.

Happy Birthday Stencil

If you saw the blog on Thursday, you’ll have already seen the end result: a birthday message stencilled across butcher paper. Inspired by the army look, I wanted to create a utilitarian-style parcel that reflected its contents.

To start, the shell fit nicely inside the ammo box, which I packed with wood fill to keep the shell from moving about.

76mm Shell in ammo box

Next I layered several pieces of tissue over my sheet of stencilled butcher paper, then bundled it around the ammo box, securing the paper with masking tape. The layers of tissue helped soften the paper’s folds so it would follow the corners of the ammo box, which is awkwardly shaped because of it’s handle and closing latch.

After an unsuccessful attempt with jute twine (there wasn’t enough contrast between it and the paper), I finished off the gift by tying it with black yarn.

And that’s how I gift wrapped a 76mm Sherman tank shell and an M2A1 ammunition box.

+ Gift wrapping and photography by Corinna vanGerwen

Military-Inspired Stencilled Birthday Paper


Happy Birthday Stencil My husband knows me well. One day he came home with a package of letter stencils for me. I think he picked them up from Staples or somewhere. The stencils are nothing fancy — your standard cardboard cut-out letters for making utilitarian signage. But they’re exactly the type of item I love to store away for making things.

And when it came time to wrap a present for my husband, naturally I pulled out the stencils.

What I made was a quick and easy military-inspired paper — a perfect complement to what was going inside the package. (You’ll have to check back on Monday to find out what it was. Yeah, I’m a tease.)

Stencil on Butcher Paper (in progress)

To make, first I cut the paper to size and roughly wrapped it around the gift to figure out placement of my stencilled message. Next, I lined up the letters to spell out  Happy Birthday. The stencil set comes with only one of each letter, so first I did “HAP” then “PY.” The slightly off-kilter alignment suited the look I was going for, but if you want your letters to line up straighter, use a ruler and pencil to mark out your placement. I then taped the letters in place with washi tape (which doesn’t tear up the paper if you remove it gently enough) and used a small ink pad to “paint” inside the stencil (place the ink pad face-down directly onto the paper).

Once dry, the paper was ready for wrapping!

Stencil on Butcher Paper

Curious to know what’s inside the package? Check back on Monday to find out!

Holiday Wrap-Up


It's back to work after a lovely holiday. Happy New Year to you all. I wanted to share with you a few gifts that were under my tree this Christmas.

This is the best gift I got this season: ballet lessons. My husband bundled hairpins and elastics (for that perfect ballet bun) along with a certificate, and put them all inside this pointe shoe (who knew you could buy just one?!). He also gave me a pair of leg warmers, which had a matching tag tied to them. Pairing a gift certificate with relevant accessories like this is an excellent way to make opening a gift card or certificate more exciting, and show that you put thought into it.

My sister also had some great wrapping tricks this year. Above is a handmade felt gift tag that she embroidered for our mother. She used a small cookie cutter to trace out the shape, and also made several similar tags out of paper too.

My sister also does this thing where she sews two pieces of kraft paper together around a gift. It's a great solution for awkwardly shaped small items. This year she got fancy by adding a piece of tissue paper between the kraft paper (above), and using hairy yarn and ribbon scraps (below). The packages are a lot of fun to open too, because you're forced to just tear them open – no delicate undoing of the tape here!