We’ve rounded up five beautiful DIY gift wrapping ideas with pretty papers for truly swoon-worthy presents. Whether you dress up your boxes with a simple gift tag or kid-friendly interactive paper, make your holiday season extra special with incredibly wrapped gifts!
This month designer, sewing instructor, and fashion writer Jamie Lau visits the blog to share her journey start to finish from creating her own textile design to sewing up one of her beautiful dresses. In this series, she'll share fabric design ideas and garment sewing techniques that will inspire you to start stitching up your own handmade wardrobe!
Texture, color, and prints are all things I look for when sourcing fabric for my line of dresses. Ever since I started designing and sewing five years ago (and back then it was primarily reversible tote bags), I was always drawn to Japanese textiles– both modern and traditional. This fall, I’m excited to delve into designing my own prints– something I’ve been dreaming up for the collection for quite a while.
Fabric is usually the starting point for me when working on a new dress design, with much of my inspiration coming from Japanese aesthetics. I love mixing basic silhouettes with pops of color, or pairing unexpected prints together.
When looking for textile design inspiration, I immediately turned to my camera to begin the creative process and looked at the images I’ve amassed in the past few years. In my early 20s, I dabbled in photography and worked in a darkroom for a year in college, so in my approach to textile design I naturally tend to think in images and compositions.
I love to document everyday things that catch my eye, including pretty color combinations, textures, and everything from worn interiors with imperfections to nature and minimalist ceramics. A theme I’ve primarily been interested in in the past few years is natural, textured gradients found in nature, and colors and tones that shade into one another for an ombré effect.
I loved going to the paint store as a child because it meant that I could collect paint chips while my parents shopped. I still collect them to this day for color palette ideas, including for my ombré and cherry blossom-inspired handmade wedding last summer (this was truly the ultimate art project!).
The inspiration for our wedding colors came from my idea to have an ombré red velvet and white cake design, reminiscent of paint chips.
Naturally, our wedding invites would have to follow suit. I collaborated with a graphic designer friend to create a modern wedding invite and chose a color palette to create my own paint chip.
As a fashion designer and creative person, I love being surrounded by a colorful work environment in my design studio. Above my drafting table, I have a cork board filled with fashion muses (Françoise Hardy is my all-time favorite), a mix of postcards from around the world, fabric swatches, and vintage buttons. I also love creating mood and beauty boards which are extremely helpful for art direction when I’m producing photo shoots. In addition to sketching with my favorite Copic Markers and chalk-pastel coloring pencils, I also compile themed inspiration books filled with swatches and photos (I love Williams Eggleston’s work) – an extension of the mood board in my studio.
I am constantly adding items to the inspiration board that sits above my drafting table.
I love collecting vintage buttons and fabric swatches as both a source of inspiration and design reference.
I look forward to sharing my adventures in textile design with readers on the Spoonflower blog next week as I design and print my own original fabric for the first time. In my third and fourth posts, I’ll be sharing sewing techniques in a tutorial on how to sew a basic shift dress using my newly printed fabric, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I’d love to hear where other Spoonflower members find their textile design inspirations. Please comment below to share!
About Our Guest Author
Jamie Lau is a designer, sewing instructor, and fashion writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She received a sewing machine for her twenty-fifth birthday and hasn’t put it down since. For her line Jamie Lau Designs, Jamie transforms simple silhouettes into fashion-forward frocks sewn from Japanese prints, luxurious brocades, ikats, and her soon-to-be own original textile designs. In addition to doing custom work (including bridal), she teaches sewing, draping, and patternmaking courses at Textile Arts Center and across the country. Follow her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages for the latest updates and inspirations.
In the last project in our DIY weddings series, Spoonflower crew member Allie shares an easy tutorial for creating a custom bean bag toss game set for a fun, personalized touch to your wedding day!
For my oldest sister’s wedding last weekend, I knew using Spoonflower to personalize the day would come in handy. When she mentioned wanting a bean bag toss game for guests to play at her wedding on our family farm here in North Carolina, we decided to design custom decals to decorate the boards and matching fabric for the bean bags. It was a super simple project that everyone at the wedding enjoyed! I used a custom stamp with the bride's and groom's initials and the wedding date she created to decorate the invitations as my design element for the decals and designed a floral fabric in similar colors for the bean bags.
I began my project by scanning the stamped image created to adorn their custom invitation. I then used Adobe Illustrator to clean up the image a bit, sized to 20" at 150 dpi, and made the color even throughout the design. To help distinguish teams, I created a blue version, which fueled competion between the bride's team and groom's team.
Once I had cleaned up and sized my design, I uploaded the file to my Spoonflower account. Since I had a bit of extra space on the 30” x 30” decal, I filled that area with smaller versions of the logo, just in case we could just them elsewhere in the wedding.
Applying the decals was super easy – cut out the shape, peel, stick! Sometimes it’s helpful to have a friend when working with large decals, as they tend to stick to themselves. Since they are repostionable, it's is easy to move them around if you don't get them in the exact spot you'd like the first time.
I used the same blue and pink to create a floral design that I had printed on linen-cotton canvas to use for bean bags. Bean bag construction was super easy — just sew little squares, fill with beans, and close!
Our bean bag toss was perfect for my sister's wedding day festivities, complete with boards colored for both a groom's team and a bride's team, but you can create your own game set for family reunions, birthday parties, or other summertime celebrations!
About Our Guest Author
Up next in our DIY weddings series, Spoonflower crew member Caitlin shares two simple tutorials using decals to add a special touch to your wedding day.
There are lots of ways to add a personal touch to your wedding. For my own wedding almost four years ago, I made many of the day's decorative elements, including fabric bunting which I turned into a quilt, and boutonnières made from ribbon and buttons. With Spoonflower decals, there are lots of fun and simple projects that you can create — using a custom design of your own or one from the Marketplace — to add a personal touch to your important day. Below are two simple tutorials to make table numbers (something I didn't DIY for my own wedding, but wish I had!) and cupcake toppers with decals.
- Spoonflower decals, printed with your own design or something from the Spoonflower Marketplace. I chose an awesome vintage floral by Melody Miller for my projects.
- Numbers printed out from a home printer.
- 6 ½" x 8 ½" chalkboards, available online and in craft stores.
- Scissors and pencil.
1. Choose a font and print out the necessary numbers for your tables. For my numbers, I used a font I downloaded from dafont.com, and sized the numbers to about 5 ½” tall, to fit comfortably onto the chalkboards.
2. Cut out each number and trace it onto the decal’s paper backing. Since you’ll be using numbers, be sure to reverse them when tracing so that when they’re cut out, they’re facing in the right direction.
3. Cut out each of the numbers and apply to your chalkboards. One of the great things about Spoonflower’s decal is that it’s repositionable, so you can move your numbers around and re-stick them until you have them in the spot you want.
1. Cut your decal into ½” strips. Cut each strip into a 3 ½” piece.
2. Wrap each strip around one end of a toothpick.
3. Trim the end of the decal. You could trim it at an angle or to a point, or cut a triangle out from the end.
4. Stick into your cupcakes (or slices of pie or donuts!).
Will you be using (or have you used) decals for any of your wedding projects? If so, please share your ideas in the comments below—I’d love to hear about them!
About Our Guest Blogger
When she’s not working behind the
scenes at Spoonflower, sourcing fabric, Caitlin can be found
quilting in her home studio or blogging over at Salty
This week for our DIY weddings series, Spoonflower team members Abbey and Sharon share how they created simple Cotton Silk and Kona® Cotton pocket squares for the groom and groomsmen.
When thinking of DIY wedding projects, we thought about what we would love to make with Spoonflower resources for our own weddings. We decided that custom pocket squares for the groom and groomsmen would be a nice, personal touch that is relatively easy to do.
One of the best aspects of Spoonflower is the variety of fabrics you can choose to print on, so we decided it would be fun to show the same personalized design on two different fabrics: Cotton Silk and Kona Cotton. Cotton Silk would be suitable for a more formal wedding and the Kona Cotton suitable for a less traditional wedding.
We’ve based the design on the invitation of our fabulous, fictitious couple, Keira and Matthew.
To start your pocket square design, open up a new Photoshop document. We wanted a small repeat so our image size was 0.5” x 0.5” at 150 DPI, RGB color.
When you are done designing your motif to be repeated on the pocket square, don’t forget to save your file as a .jpeg image.
After setting up your design, follow the directions to upload on Spoonflower and select your repeat. We chose the half-brick repeat to make it look more like a pattern.
When ordering, keep in mind the size of the pocket square that you want as well as how many you will need for your wedding party. We recommend cutting a 16×16 inch square for the Cotton Silk, and a 13×13 inch or smaller square for the Kona Cotton, since it is a thicker fabric. You can fit four 16×16 inch squares on one yard of Cotton Silk, and six 13×13 inch squares on one yard of Kona Cotton. If you only want one pocket square, feel free to order a fat quarter!
Once you get your fabric, iron it and then cut it to size with a seam allowance of half an inch. If you have a hem foot on your sewing machine, it’s easier to hem the pocket squares, especially Cotton Silk. Simply iron a quarter of an inch seam allowance and feed it into the foot. If you don’t have a hem foot you will want to fold it over a quarter of an inch twice as narrowly as you can and straight stitch for a rolled hem. You’ll want a thin hem for pocket squares.
Once sewn, the finished pocket squares should measure approximately 15×15 inches (Cotton Silk) or 12×12 inches (Kona Cotton). Iron the pocket squares again, choose your favorite fold, and add your dapper groom and groomsmen!
About Our Guest Bloggers
Abbey and Sharon are good friends who enjoy crafting and eating lunch together. Abbey enjoys traveling with her husband, designing things for friends, and drinking chai lattes to get her creative brain in gear. Sharon spends most of her time thinking of what and where to eat, making paper crafts, and exploring Durham. Together they share fruit snacks daily, as Sharon eats the red gummies and Abbey enjoys the blue ones.
Next up in our DIY weddings series, Spoonflower staffer Laurie shares an easy technique for creating unique, handmade wedding invitations using both Spoonflower decals and fabric.
In this DIY wedding tutorial, I’m going to show you have to make beautiful handmade wedding invitations using Spoonflower decals and fabrics.
- 1 sheet of 30×30” Spoonflower decal with your own custom invitation design
- 1-2 yards of Spoonflower printed fabric (upload your own design or choose a pattern from our marketplace)
- Coordinating ribbon and thread
- 20 Blank 5″x7” greeting cards (cut in half at the fold to make 40 5″x7” cards)
- Scissors and a sewing machine
Yields 40 invitations
To kick off our monthlong series dedicated to DIY weddings, we wanted to share some lovely handmade wedding projects to inspire you in creating your own. Check out our Pinterest Board for unique ways to add a little something special & handmade to your wedding day!
Spring is in the air in North Carolina, and with warmer weather and blooming flowers comes the start of wedding season. To inspire blushing brides to be and other wedding enthusiasts we are switching our focus to fun DIY wedding projects! For the first entry in our month-long series, Spoonflower crew member Stephanie shares how she used baby succulents (and Spoonflower fabric) to serve double duty as both centerpieces and favors!
I tried to keep the DIY for my wedding manageable. Since I planned it in two months, I didn’t want to take on too many projects at once and have the wedding day come and have only a bunch of sad, partially completed projects to show for all my work. One of the reasons I like this project so much is that it served double duty! Table decorations by day, wedding favors by night.
- 3 different sizes of mason jars (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz)
- succulent clippings
- succulent/cactus soil
- craft moss
- paper funnel
- succulent care sheets
The number of mason jars you need depends on how many tables you have, the size of the tables and how much space you want the decoration to take up. I had four 8-foot round tables and placed two 32 oz jars, three 16 oz jars and three 8 oz jars on each table. I bought my mason jars in bulk from Uline, but you could also find them in a grocery store if it is around canning season.
When I first started looking for succulents, I was afraid this project’s budget was going to go a little over! Fully grown succulents are a little expensive to fill so many jars, especially when some jars might need a few succulents, not just one. However, with a little luck and research, I came across the idea of using succulent clippings which are perfect for this project! I purchased my succulent clippings from the Etsy shop, Sanpedrocactus.
Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to start planting succulents! I found it easiest to create a paper funnel to fill all the mason jars with dirt. Another great tool to use is chopsticks. It’s practically impossible to arrange the succulents and moss how you want with your hand, so having some chopsticks available is a great help.
After planting the succulents, the jars look a little bare, but don’t fret! Once you add the moss, you expect a little gnome to walk out from under a leaf and the look is complete!
The one thing I was worried about was that I was giving away all these baby succulents and people wouldn’t know how to take care of them. Just one time of watering a succulent too much could kill it! Using some information that came with the succulent clippings I created a little fabric handout that people could take with them. Here is my design on Spoonflower, and a photo of the printed fabric:
I found some old, public domain illustrations of succulents online, created a grey border and chose some fancy fonts in Photoshop and I was done! I printed the instructions on Heavy Cotton Twill and pinked the edges so they wouldn’t fray. The final product comes out to a nice pile of helpful succulent tips that are around 4 in x 5 in. Even though the succulents were spread out on the tables, I kept the instructions on the guest book table with a sign telling everyone to take their favorite home with them.
Another idea is to print the instructions on a decal. I thought of this when I saw that my mother-in-law kept her succulent by a window in the kitchen with the succulent care sheet next to it. I thought it would be fun if she could have stuck the care sheet to the window above the succulent so she wouldn’t ever misplace it!
One of the best things about this project is after the wedding, you get to visit your friends and family and see the succulent they took home. It’s so great to see which one they picked and how much it’s grown.
About Our Guest Blogger
If you're already married, you probably wouldn't have had any reason to pick up a copy of the Winter 2009 Martha Stewart Weddings, just out a few days ago. I picked up a copy because Spoonflower has a very small mention in a caption under the photo of Jennifer Hoverson's wedding cake table. For those of you who don't already know this, Jennifer Hoverson is one of the owners of Purlsoho, one of the most amazing on-line fabric and yarn stores ever. (They have a brick and mortar store in Manhattan as well, which I've heard is crammed almost to the ceiling with fabric.)
Despite access to all the beautiful fabric she could presumably ever need, Jennifer had us print up some yardage for her several months ago to turn into a tablecloth for her orange- and green-themed wedding. And then she turned that into the backing for the stunning orange and green color wheel quilt shown at left. You can view many more of Jennifer's quilt project photos here, including the tablecloth turned quilt back. I love that Jennifer got two very special uses out of her Spoonflower fabric and pleased especially that we got to be a part of it! Thanks, Jennifer, and best wishes for your marital bliss!