Gift Wrapping Tips

by Michael Keating

Gift Wrapping Tips


As with books and their covers, judgement on the packaging of presents, while not indicative of its contents, might weigh heavily on the receiver’s perspective. Ribbons and bows go a long way, but even the thoughtfulness of covering every surface efficiently can prove difficult for some and agonizing for others. This holiday season, we’d like to share some ideas for the upcoming and future exchanges that will ease your gift wrapping woes.

1. Traditional bows are great and probably on sale for a discount right now, but consider incorporating nature as an accent. Flowers and poinsettia leaves provide a burst of color, while the rustic feel of pine cones and acorns also subtly suggest the promise of tremendous growth. If you’re particularly crafty: this DIY-er created napkin rings from acorns, which could pair just as nicely with a small box. They’re probably handsome enough to not even need the suggested coat of paint, though be cautious not to pierce the cap too suddenly, as they are quite fragile. Even adding a branch of greenery from an evergreen can spruce up a box, check out these design ideas we’re pining for.

Gift Wrapping Tips - Bowsimage via Pexels

2. Brown Kraft Paper is a staple. Consider picking up a role just to have a solid  background against which all of the colors inspired by the season shine brightly. Additionally, this paper tends to be biodegradable and easily recyclable. Transforms what can be visual chaos into a blank canvas. It’s thick and sturdy enough to be drawn on, decorated, and “flaired” without being too stiff to fold and crease.

3. Looking for a new way to present snacks on the platter? These are just perfect. Use the colors of nature to reflect the colors of the season. This specific one uses broccoli crowns as leaves and cauliflower as snow. Dazzle guests with the perfectly wrapped presents under the tree and perfectly placed hor d’oeuvres on the table.

Gift Wrapping Tips - Snacksimage via Pinterest

4. Sometimes gifts are so imperfectly shaped that they defy boxes: create the perfect custom shaped packaging by making a container out of gift wrap. Gone are the days of obvious exchanges and loose bag tops for people to sneak peeks. This video is especially helpful for step-by-step instructions.

5. Whether you’re short a box top or just have a smaller item than you thought you would, use that rectangular box bottom to create a whole new vessel. This wrapper shows us how to easily overcome this challenge.

6. Know your recipient’s cocktail of choice? Mason jars make for handsome presentations of a small bottle of Jack Daniels and a can of Coke. The liquor can be tied to the outside of the jar near the lid and the mixer sits comfortably inside.

Gift Wrapping Tipsimage via Pexels

7. As much as crafting a special sleeve for gift cards can be fun, nothing really beats a handwritten card, with a warm message to accompany it.

Gift Wrapping Tips - Cardsimage via Unsplash

We hope you enjoy your holiday and happy wrapping!


Design on a Budget

Our Favorite Ways to Design on a Budget

The thrifty guide to bringing home design into your space with a couple of nails, your local dollar store, and a quick dumpster dive. (This is Chicago after all)

Finding a new apartment can be quite the headache. Unfortunately, a couple of Excedrin migraine won’t cure the ail of the inevitable security deposit and moving truck hit to your bruised bank account. But you’re here; in your new space, your new neighborhood, and your new coffee spot. You know the one that you’ve already made a reoccurring appearance to; seeking comforting familiarity in that hot latte and free Wi-Fi.  With your cable box not seeing installation until next week, you find yourself sitting amongst an array of brown boxes not knowing which corner to reluctantly tackle first. We have all been center stage at one point or another to this unavoidable apartment scene.  But with organizational chaos, comes fresh idea light. This is a clean slate for you. A chance to bring your personality, your unique character and your quirky flaws into a fresh new design. You won’t find it in a magazine and you don’t need a design degree to do it. Because this space is a reflection of you. Take a second look at that ‘garbage’ pile you haven’t walked to the alley yet- you might just find your new focal piece hidden behind a little dust, imagination, and a couple of George Washington’s. Get ready to design on a budget!

The dollar store is the most under rated and under used design tool …. And ironically, the most easily attainable.  They say imagination runs rapid once the levy is unleashed. Well here are a few ideas to help unlock that creative barrier and transform your nine hundred square feet, into your new home.

1)      Cake Stands. There’s about a full left side of the aisle dedicated to these. Grab one, lets make your new kitchen counter stand.

Kitchen counter stand

Use Krylon Oil rubbed bronze spray (or similar) to spray paint your candlestick. Take Scotch super glue (Almost always in the dollar section at Target) to the rim of the candlestick and place tray on top, to make a stand, allow drying.  You can use this in your bathroom or kitchen. Place fun soaps and washcloths on tray. (Five washcloth packs for a dollar- cut your costs on those paper towels) Voila!

Continue reading

Inspirational Apartment Blogs

Our Favorite Apartment Blogs


It’s the beginning of a new year and it’s around this time that people tend to feel the need for change. Something new! Something fresh! Instead of doing something drastic like chopping off all of your hair or getting a tattoo, maybe just changing your décor would do the trick.

Rearrange some furniture and save those hardwood floors from wear and travel patterns. Paint or start a picture wall to personalize your room. Purchase some new rugs or throw pillows to add some character to your space. Honestly, there are so many ideas, and so little time to browse Pinterest, that we decided to put together a list of our favorite apartment blogs to get you started.  Continue reading