I have to admit, I really like non-traditional packaging when it comes to the holidays (or any occasion really). I don’t know why, but that’s how it goes around here. So when December hits, I try to come up with some unique way to package things…which seems to almost always boil down to handmade gift toppers or stamped wrapping paper or unusual gift tags, etc.
But this year, I found some brightly colored gift bags that inspired me to embellish gifts in a different way – with ink blots. Well, it’s actually paint not ink, but paint blots don’t really have the same ring to it. Do they?
These little guys are perfect for housing small gifts for the holidays, especially when you add an evergreen embellishment. But these are also great to use for birthday presents, hostess gifts, etc.
1. small gift bags
2. white acrylic paint
3. glitter ribbon
4. craft glue or transparent tape
1. Start by randomly squirting small drops of paint onto one side (right to left) of a colorful gift bag.
2. Then fold the gift bag in half long ways, like a hot dog bun. Apply some pressure to make sure the paint attaches. Then open it back up to reveal your inkblot design. Set aside and let the bag air dry.
3. Once the paint is dry, it’s time to add a handle. Cut two 4-5 inch pieces of ribbon and attach the ends of each to the inside of the bag (one ribbon on each side) with glue or tape. Add tissue paper and greenery and you’re good to go.
How are you planning to wrap your holiday gifts this year? Anything DIYed?
Photography Sarah Eddy // Concept and styling Brittni Mehlhoff
P.S. Be sure to check out today’s 24 Merry Days giveaway with Mer Mag and Little Goodall, especially if you have any kiddos at home.
The day after tomorrow, Sarah Khandjian of Sarah Hearts and I are hosting a DIY holiday event at West Elm Jacksonville called Meet + Make. We have a handful of tickets left, so if you’re local to Jacksonville (or can make the drive), we’d love for you to come out and join us. We’ll be making DIY party animal gift toppers, similar to the one above. You can sign up right here.
Tickets are $15 and that covers all the supplies you could possibly need to create your own DIY gift toppers. We’ll also have hot chocolate and yummy sweets to enjoy, along with swag bags for all attendees, filled with holiday-awesomeness. Check out this video from a past Meet + Make event to get an idea of what’s in store for attendees. Or check out this post on Sarah’s blog from last week’s Orlando Meet + Make.
Hope to see you there!
Details: Join us this Thursday, December 12th from 6-8pm at West Elm Jacksonville for Meet + Make. Grab your ticket for this Thursday’s Meet + Make event here.
P.S. Be sure to check out the latest giveaways from 24 Merry Day! Yesterday kicked off my bud Kelly’s huge giveaway with Poppin: win a $500 Poppin gift card here. And today, and Jessica from Coco and Mingo is giving away a reader’s choice 30×45 Max Wanger print.
This contributor post was written by Amanda Toman.
Being a Southern belle has its many perks and one of them is the multitude of Red Velvet recipes (along with other Southern cake recipes) available at your fingertips. This festive Christmas recipe was passed down to me from a fancy, sweet grandmother that lives in my building who sniffed out my weekend cake baking from across the hall. She loves to share her recipes with me as if I am her own granddaughter and I don’t mind, not one bit. I’ve tweaked it along the way, as Ol’ Southern ladies do love their sugar and butter (even a bit too much for my major sweet tooth).
From the pictures you can tell that this cake is the perfect addition to your holiday celebrations. First, it’s seriously good and moist and so, so fluffy. Second, it’s the perfect shade of Christmas red and white, it will look so pretty you’d almost rather make it a Christmas decoration than eat it. Third, the addition of peppermint makes this so Christmasy it’s as if Santa & Mrs. Claus sent this cake straight to you from the North Pole. Now, if only I could find a lipstick this shade of red!
Red Velvet Cake
Yield: 4-5 (6 inch) cake layers
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups canola oil
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons red food coloring. I found this is almost two small bottles.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour each of the layer pans, set aside.
2. Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.
3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, add the ingredients in the following order: oil, sugar, and then the eggs (one at a time).
4. Switch your mixer to a low speed and SLOWLY add in the food coloring (it may splash), vanilla, and vinegar. Make sure they are fully mixed together.
5. Add in the the flour mixture (from step 2) alternately with buttermilk in a few batches. Be sure to scrape down the bowl and beat to combine all the ingredients. Do not over mix.
6. Divide batter among pans and place them in the oven. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans 15-20 minutes. Then remove from pans and flip layers. Note: If your cake layers have what resembles a muffin top, go ahead and use a knife to slowly cut off the tops to make your cake layers flat. This will make layering and frosting much easier and you have a tasty treat to much on while frosting. Cool completely before frosting.
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 6 cups
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2-3 Candy canes for garnish
1. Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Add sugar and peppermint extract. Beat, on low speed to combine.
Lastly, take the candy canes and place them in a ziplock baggie. Crush them with a kitchen utensil and then slowly sprinkle them over your frosting.
With all the Christmas shopping, holiday parties and everything else that goes into the holidays, you may not have time to bake a cake from scratch. So, if this is the case, it’s okay to buy the box mix and frosting. I saw that they even have Peppermint flavor out for the holidays! To make a layered cake like the one in the pics, be sure to buy two boxes of cake mix and two tubs of frosting.
So what do you think? Will you be making one of these for the holidays this year?
Recipe and text Amanda Toman // Styling and photography Brittni Mehlhoff
If you’ve been following P&S for long, you know that I don’t typically post on Saturdays. But today I’m making an exception, for a very special giveaway, as part of 24 Merry Days.
I’m giving away this martini side table from one of my absolute favorite stores: West Elm. Retail value $149. The gold one is my fave, but the winner will be able to choose any color she (or he) would like. Sound good?
Let’s talk about the details…
There are multiple ways to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Super easy! This giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada only. Giveaway will run through December 14, 2013 at 11:59PM PST and winner will be announce shortly thereafter.
P.S. West Elm is having special sales every day this month. So even if you don’t win the giveaway, you’re still kind of a winner with their December Deals. I totally need a few of the ornaments in the this December Deal section (20% off). And maybe a couple of these totes too.
Hope you have a great weekend!
There are only three weekends left before Christmas, which means it is probably time to start tackling those holiday DIYs you’ve been meaning to try. So, naturally, I whipped up a list of projects to get you started.
Here are a handful of holiday / Christmas projects to add to your list for the weekend…
P.S. Be sure to check out today’s 24 Merry Days giveaway with Cyd from The Sweetest Occasion, who is giving away a $200 gift pack from Leif (one of my absolute favorite online shops). And bonus! Be sure to check back here tomorrow (yep, on a Saturday) because my giveaway will be starting at that time. And I am pretty certain that you are going to want to win what I’ll be giving away. Until tomorrow though, my lips are sealed.
See you back her tomorrow morning!