Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Gift Tags Inspired by Anthropologie //

I was finally getting around to some of my Holiday shopping the other day and ended up stopping at one of my favorite stores -- Anthropologie. Once at the checkout line, the cashier was carefully wrapping up my purchases and bagging them.  I asked if they had any gift boxes and after tucking those into my shopping bag the lovely cashier tossed in some of their beautiful gift tags shown below.

Knowing that if I asked for a dozen more of them I’d look like (and actually be) a selfish jerk, so I decided to make some of my own.

Here's all you need:

Rosemary twigs - the Anthropologie tags just had regular twigs, but I have a potted rosemary plant
                             in my dining room that I'm desperately trying to keep alive for the winter as they
                             are not perennials in my part of The States. Plus, there's the AMAAAAZING
Glitter - I happened to use white and green.
Acrylic Paint in green
Your choice of glue
Thin wire in your choice of color - I chose green, gold and copper
Hole puncher
Silver leaf
Paint brushes
Twine - on the thin side
Gold marker for writing
Heavyweight paper

First, strip off most of the needles on each rosemary twig.  Leave about an inch of needles towards the top.

Throw your extra rosemary needles in a soup or in your fireplace.  The whole house will smell incredible.

Next, take your heavyweight paper and cut them into long rectangles to fold into cards.  Size is entirely subjective. My only suggestion is to make them fold on the shorter side and big enough that your whole rosemary twig will fit inside.

Now we're going to paint our trees.  Basically it's one long zig-zag starting from the folded side and getting progressively wider towards the bottom or open side.

My trees compared to the original Anthropologie gift tag in the center

Once your painted trees are dry, throw on some of your glue in an aesthetically pleasing, half-hazard way and sprinkle on your glitter of choice.

Use that same glue and dab it onto the needle-free portion of each of your rosemary twigs. Take small quarter-sized pieces of your silver leaf and place it gently onto the glue covered rosemary sprigs.  Use one of your clean paint brushes to spread out the portions of silver leaf onto the length of the twig.

Silver leaf rosemary sprigs!
Now we add the colored wire.  The original Anthropologie gift tags actually have green thread wrapped around them, but I liked the idea of adding something with its own shine, so I chose thin wire.

I concentrated my wire wrappings on the center of each sprig.  Don't cover the whole thing otherwise the silver leaf will be obscured.

Copper wire wrapped sprig on the left and gold on the right.

That's pretty much it for the face of the gift tags!  Now all we have to do is punch a couple of holes in the back side for the twine to go through so we can wrap them around our gifts.

That's it!  Sign 'em and wrap 'em

[This is not a sponsored post and I was not paid to promote any company or product in this post]

Saturday, September 20, 2014

DIY Stone-Adorned Lucite Jewelry Box //

Confession:  I have A LOT of costume jewelry.

In fact, I have such a collection, that I sometimes forget what I actually have.  I know, it’s a sickness; but I do love it so.

Because of my addiction, I found it necessary to adopt a way to display my bobbles; something that would be both attractive and functional.  Enter – the Lucite box.

Yes, I now, I’m a little late to the Lucite craze.  At first I wasn’t so taken with it, but over time it’s grown on me.  Lucite is so much more than just a plastic.  Typically, the thickness of the Lucite {regardless of what form it takes – box, tray, stapler, stationary holder} is about a quarter of an inch, giving the edges of your item a lovely reflective quality more along the lines of glass, rather than plastic.  All the durability of plastic with the crystal-clear look of glass.

Now, some of my favorite retailers sell these exquisite Lucite jewelry boxes adorned with rough-cut semi-precious stones.  They.  Are.  Beautiful.  But -- full disclosure -- they are WAY overpriced.  Honestly, some of them retail for over one thousand dollars.  Now, I have to ask myself, WHO IS BUYING THIS STUFF?  Not I.

So, I decided to make a facsimile.

Here’s what you’ll need {with accompanying links}:

- Lucite boxes with hinged lids

- Rough or semi-precious stones.  I found mine here and here.

This is a geode I found online. It breaks into two halves with the lovely crystals inside.

These agate slices are amazing. The druzy in the center adds sparkle too!

- Clear-drying Glue {that adheres to plastics}

- Something to line the bottom of your boxes.
    This is optional, but I thought it was a great opportunity to add a pop of color.  I happened to use some decorative patterned paper I found at a local art shop.  But you could use anything you like -- magazine clippings, wrapping paper, scrap fabrics, old linens.

There's my blue and gold paper!  Fifth from the top.

Many of these papers, like the two silver and gold ones at the bottom,
had wonderful texture as well as color.

I really liked these. They had tiny sparkles embedded within the paper. Really caught the light.

I was very temped by these gold and black striped papers,
but I opted for my blue and gold because I wanted to add color.

At this point, it’s as simple as you think.

Optional Preliminary Step  -- Gilding the Agate Slice Edges:

I’ve come to the conclusion that I love metallic accents.  When the opportunity presents itself to add a touch of gold, silver {pick a metal} I usually take it.  So, when I saw the raw edges of my agate slice, I heard it begging to be painted.

The two polishes I used are shown above.
The first coat was the yellow {left} and the second was the lighter gold {right}.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any gold paint {how?!}.  But I DID have some gold nail polish!  That’s right.  I painted the edges of my agate slice with gold nail polish.  When in doubt, branch out.  I painted two coats.  Let it dry overnight and continue on with the next steps.

Step One – Arrange Your Stones:

Arrange your stones the way you’d like on your Lucite box.  Once you have it the way you’d like it, glue it in place.  Remember, less is more when it comes to glue.  Yes, it dries clear, but if it oozes out the sides, its texture will still be visible.

Step Two  --  Line Your Box:

Measure the inside dimensions of your box.  Cut your paper {or fabric} to those dimensions and simply line your box.

This was the paper I ended up with -- a lovely robin's egg blue with gold.

The gold was SO reflective; just love it!

Now, I did NOT glue my paper to my box.  I didn’t do this for one simple reason: I may get tired of that pattern and want to change it later.  By not gluing it, I keep my options open.  I can change it any time I want and to suit any d├ęcor I may have.

That’s it!

Arrange your bobbles and enjoy!