merry and bright

I’m not a very bold color person. My wardrobe is pretty neutral, lots of blacks and whites and creams, a navy or blush occasionally. I tend to wrap my presents in a similar fashion each year as well – typically kraft paper packages and twine. Last year I got really daring and went all black. Certainly neutral still, just a bold (weird?) neutral for the holidays!

This year I went red. I’m not sure that it was a conscious choice of mine, but I can’t help to think that it might have been influenced by my grandfather’s favorite color. He loved red – red cardinal birds, his own beloved capital-C Cardinals (Louisville), red roses, red vests during Advent. Our house has been full of red. I even have a (not quite) red holiday dress – and glittery shoes – the girls don’t know what to think. Maybe I’m channeling a bit of my niece this season as well. Whatever the reasons, the red has been a nice change. I love the way our cranberry liqueur gifts turned out – how they transformed the kitchen into a ruby-studded, sun-filled oasis. And I love the way our packages turned out too. Flat for packing and stacking, they are ready to go.

snowflake paper supplies

Bulk Red Paper – from Artmart, sold by the foot off the roll. The quality of their colored paper has vastly improved over the old bulletin board type paper they used to sell years ago.
Spray Paint Montana Black Series (Matte Finish) in White (I purchased at Artmart)
Bakers Twine – my gigantic ball is just about gone…
Wooden SnowflakesMichael’s – I originally had E make some paper snowflakes, but I knew they would shift as soon as I sprayed the boxes. When I spotted these at Michael’s I knew they were perfect. I used them as tags on other gift bags when I was done.
White Prismacolor Pencil
Double Stick Tape – so no tape shows, and paint goes on everywhere.

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I wrapped all the boxes, and then spread out a drop cloth on the back patio. It was a sunny day with little wind – which is what I needed. I placed the snowflakes on in random patterns and then started spraying.

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I stood way back and built the layers up gently. I also controlled the spraying enough to create the snow splatters which really made the paint look great. Everything dried quickly, and I was able to shift the snowflakes around pretty easily between boxes without smearing.

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Because I went light on the paint, the edges of the snowflakes aren’t super crisp – they look like etchings in the snow. I love the way they turned out.

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When they were completely dry I brought them back in and tied them with the bakers twine. I wrote the recipients’ names just above the twine, opting for a colored pencil over a white gel pen to keep the look the same sort of shadowy, dusty look. I’m really starting to embrace the wrapping constraints placed on me by travel – just because we can’t deck everything out in splendid bows or wrap things in festive gift bags, doesn’t mean they can’t be unique. Or Red!

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Wishing you all a peaceful and safe holiday season. I’ll be back sometime over the next week to share our annual holiday / year-end letter. Until then, all my best to you and yours. Thank you for your friendship.

6 Responses to merry and bright

  1. Well, that’s fancy and WAY more effort that I went through. But, it’s December and it gets me every year. Absolutely beautiful though. Artsy and clever and I hope those sparkly shoes show up on IG!

    • Maybe they will. I don’t have very many shoe shots on Instagram, for sure. But Brooke posted those bright red rain boots, so maybe I’ve got some courage now.

  2. Love the gift designs! Is the paper thick like kraft paper or thinner? I tend to shy away from kraft paper because it doesn’t wrap quite tight enough and that’s something that I feel weirdly OCD about. Ha ha.

  3. love the red! and the snowflakes. the prismacolor pencil is the perfect touch. enjoy those glittery shoes.

  4. Wow! Love the packaging – such a thoughtful touch. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Cheers – CT
    CT recently posted…What Doesn’t Make It Into the Shop …My Profile

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