Happy Holidays from all of us at Creative Bag

Sunday, 23 December 2012

I just want to wish you a Happy Holiday and a wonderful 2013 from everyone here at Creative Bag.

We are open one more day before Christmas - Monday December 24th from 8:30 to 1:00. All  of our Christmas merchandise is on sale so it's a great time to pick up some last minute items and stock up for next year.

Our staff are looking forward to spending time with their families and friends on December 25 and 26th. We will be open on December 27th. You can see more details about our Holiday hours on our website.

I recently posted a few of my last minute Christmas projects on my personal blog. There is a free download and recipe for my Reindeer Treats bags here if you are looking for a quick last minute idea for holiday treat bags

Eat, drink and be Merry!

Snowglobe packaging idea

Monday, 17 December 2012

Snow globes seem to be a hot holiday trend this year. I have been making lots of dry snow globes to decorate my home for the holidays. It occurred to me that I could create dry snow globe using our clear tin pails and by inserting a gift card sandwiched between two gift tags, the snow globe pails becomes unique gift packaging!! After the 
gift card is removed the container becomes a decoration that can be displayed every year.

Here's what I did:
I used our 3"x5" clear pail tin containers and small white bottle brush trees but you could also use green bottle brush trees.
Note: As of this morning, we still have a few of the white bottle brush trees at our Toronto store in the Creative Studio but they are almost sold out.

My tree was a little to big for the tin container so I took the base of the tree off and used wire cutters to remove some of the bristles on the bottom of the tree. You will also have to cut the wire stem before you put the tree base back on. I glued the tree to the base using E-6000 glue. 

I wanted my trees to have a vintage feeling so I added sliver glitter using gel medium. We sell Wendy Addison's German Silver Pure Glass Glitter in the Toronto Store. You only have to add a little gel medium to the tips of the trees. Work quickly once you have added the gel medium and sprinkle the glass glitter all over. 

Tip: I put my glitter into salt shakers because it gives me better control of the glitter. I also sprinkle the glitter over a container to keep the mess to a minimum and so that I can put the excess glitter back into the salt shaker. 
I used our #5 kraft tags and cut them to size so they fit inside the tin container. You'll need two tags if you want to hide the gift card - one for the front and one for the back. I used stamps and distress ink (all available in the Toronto store) to decorate and age the tags. 

Then I used two sided tape to attach the gift card to the back of one of the tags. More two sided tape was used at the top of one tags to join the two tags. Then a ribbon was tie to the top of the tag so that it would be easy to pull the tags/gift card out of the container.
Once the gift tags is complete and the glittered tree is dry you can position them both  inside of the tin container. The tree will have to be off centred to make room for the tag. Use E-6000 glue to keep the tree in place on the bottom of the container. Once the glue is dry you are ready to add the snow glitter. You only need the white snow glitter to cover the bottom of the container and part of the base of the tree. Now, place the tag/gift card back into the container behind the tree. 

I decorated the lid of the container using kraft paper, stamps and distress ink ... similar to what I did on the tags inside the container. You could cut wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper for a different look. I embellished the handle of the pail on one side with assorted  ribbons as you can see above. The washer on the twine is what you use to open the top of the container ... make sure that the twine is long enough that the washer can be used. I added a photo gift tag to my container .. you could also use one of my free gift tag downloads from this post. 

Here's another one of my snowglobe gift card holders ... this one has a snowflake ornament mixed in with the ribbons. I also added a vintage paper detail inside the container ... it is the definition of "snow"  from an old dictionary. 
Tip: If you are not going to be present when the gift is being opened, you may want to write on the back of the gift tag explaining that they are to open the container and take out the tag to find a surprise.

These are so easy to make and I guarantee whoever receives one of these will think they are very special to you.

If you are interested in learning more about making dry snow globes for Christmas decorating, you can visit my personal blog here for another snow globe project.

Lorrie Everitt's simple ideas to making Christmas gift wrapping extra special this year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Today I  am going to share with you some simple ideas that will make make your Christmas gift wrapping look extra special this year.
1. Use Christmas ornaments to as a decorative element in your gift wrapping. This is so much easier than trying to tie big elaborate bows and after the gift has been opened the ornament can be hung on the Christmas tree. This is a great tradition to start with young children, family and friends.  I especially love ornaments that you can add a picture. Visit our stores for holiday ornaments ... they won't last long so visit soon.
2. Spend a little extra time gift wrapping gift cards. Think outside of the box or should I say the standard envelope that comes with most gift cards. We have lots of  tin containers, card holders and bags that will can be used with gift cards. Dress them up with stickers, ribbons and other decorative elements to make them extra special this holiday season. You can find my free downloads for the tin gift card holders in this post here
3. Keep some holiday themed pipe cleaners on hand to use in your gift wrapping. Twist the pipe cleaners into letters and use them as gift tags or decorative ornaments.  Bend them into candy cane shapes or Dr. Seuss like swirls to use as accents. I used small left over pieces of paper straws from my paper straw wreathe project  and pipe cleaners to create snowflake ornaments. We still have pipe cleaners in our stores but they won't last for long! 
4. If you have ever been to one of my Creative Evening workshops you know that I love using clothespins to attach decorative elements and gift tags to bags and boxes. You can  paint clothespins, decorated them with glitter tape or leave them natural. I use E-6000 glue to attach small  decorative elements to clothespins. We have assorted sizes of clothespins in our stores. E-6000 glue and glitter tape are available in the Creative Studio  space at the Toronto store only.

5. This is my favourite gift wrapping suggestion and one that I have used for 
the past few years. I use photos of my daughters and cut them into different shapes to use as gift tags. I  use one picture for each person and print copies that I can easily cut  out with paper punches or scissors. We have a few paper punches at the Toronto store in the Creative Studio space - I'm using the one that looks like a gift tag shape this year!

Christmas gift wrapping inspiration and lots of free downloads

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

I presented a number of wrapping projects at the December 6th Creative Evening Workshop. Today I am going to share with you some of those gift wrapping ideas as well as the downloads that I created for the iron on transfers, stickers and gift tags that I used.

As you will see, there are a number of downloads!  As always, my downloads are free for you to use for your personal projects only. My art is not intended for any commercial use.

This first picture shows you a number of gift wrapping ideas using my "ho ho ho" art and our tin containers, paper bags and canvas bags

1.  A  sticker with the corners rounded, a small rhinestone buckle and black ribbon are used to decorate a tin gift card holder
2. A paper tag is added to a white paper bag that has been paper punched at the top and "sewn" closed with a ribbon and rhinestone buckle. I'll show you how to make these in another post this week. 
3. A long sticker and ribbon were used to close and decorated this tin container. I love these tin containers for packaging baked goods. 
4. I showed you how to use our large rhinestone buckles and ribbon to decorate a box in this post . We have since sold out of the letterpress tags that I used on this gift but you could easily use my round "ho ho ho" tag as an alternative.
5. Small canvas gift bags decorated with my ho ho ho iron on art are the perfect size for a gift card, small toy or candies.

Print this on white cardstock and cut out for gift tags.
Or print this on blank sticker sheets, cut them out and use them as decorations on boxes, bags, glass and  tin containers.

Download my ho ho ho iron on transfers art here. Remember you will have to reverse the art before you print it on the transfer paper with this art ...

or you can download my reversed iron on transfer art here.

You will find the art for my stickers here.
Print these on blank sticker sheets and cut them out as indicated. The large rectangular shapes fit our tin gift card holders  when you round the corners. The three long stickers can be used on our tin boxes as I have shown in the photo collage above or on a box or bag.

I also created the ho ho ho tags in black. I printed them as stickers and used them on the top of a tin pail. Tissue paper was cut to fit the inside of the tin container to hide the contents. Use scraps of ribbons and holiday ornaments to decorate the handle. I'll show you more ideas for decorating our tin pails in the next few days!

You can download the black ho ho ho tags here.

Dear Santa, please define "good".
I laughed the first time that I heard this saying. It sounded like something one of my girls would have said when they were younger. In this second group of gift wrapping ideas you can see that I used our glassine bags, boxes and tin containers with my chalkboard art design.

1. A gingerbread cookie is tucked inside this glassine bag and closed with a ribbon.  I added a jingle bell to the tag as a decorative element.
2. A tiny bottle brush tree that was dusted with silver glitter glass  is glued to a large clothespin that was embellished with glitter tape (all available in our Toronto store). The decorated clothespin holds the gift tag in place on top of a ribbon
3. Ornaments, decorative sprays and ribbons decorate a box wrapped with black paper for an over the top look. 
4. A box wrapped with kraft paper and simply decorated with my large label and baker's twine.
5. Round the corners of a sticker and add it to the top of a tin gift card holder.  

Download the Dear Santa tags here.
Print these on white card stock and cut as indicated. There is space at the top of the tag to punch a hole for string.

Download the large Dear Santa labels here.
Print these on white card stock and cut as indicated. Add holes to attach to gifts with twine. 
Or print these on blank sticker sheets  and cut out to use as decorative elements on bags, boxes, tin and glass containers.

I have more holiday gift wrapping to show you so stay tuned!

Creative CB Customers and Creative Bag Wedding 2012 Contest Update

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lauren and Adam's Wedding - July 1, 2012
I can't believe that there are only a few more weeks left in 2012. I am so looking forward to 2013 and all of the exciting things we have planned at Creative Bag for the new year. This week I'm working on the set up of our booth at the Total Wedding Show. The Total Wedding show is at the International Centre in Mississauga from January 18th to 20th, 2013

As a reminder to all of the beautiful young ladies that talked to me this year about their wedding plans, our 2012 Creative Bag Wedding Contest is quickly coming to an end. You have until December 31st, 2012 to enter the contest and win a $200 gift certificate to any Creative Bag store. If you got married in 2012 and have pictures from your wedding showing our products I'd love to hear from you. You can find out more about the contest here and you can email me your pictures or questions here. If you don't enter - you can't win - and who wouldn't want to spend $200 on party and packaging supplies.

I helped Lauren and Adam with some handmade projects for their summer wedding and I thought that I'd share with you some of their wedding pictures for inspiration. Don't worry, Lauren and Adam can't enter the contest!!

I had my last Creative Evening Workshop for 2012 on December 6th. As always, I had a great group of people sign up to spend the evening with me. I am always excited to hear about projects that our customers are working on and things that they have made. I especially love to see pictures that are emailed to me! Honestly, who wouldn't like to receive an email from someone that is happy and inspiring?! So please keep them coming and I hope to see lots more in 2013. 

Here's a few Creative Customers that have inspired me in the last couple of days ...

Adriana was at my December 6th Creative Event and was so inspired after the workshop that she went home and spent the next day wrapping gifts and blogging about her projects. As you can see, Adriana's gifts look amazing!!! You can read more about these on her blog here.

Robin is a very talented artist who has shopped at Creative Bag for years for packaging materials and things she can incorporate into her art projects. I was blown away with her holiday decorating and how she used so many of our products in her holiday decorating projects. Robin added burlap, twine, printed tissue paper, felt ornaments and holiday sprays to family heirlooms and found objects to create the most heartfelt displays. I can't wait to see her holiday gift wrapping!! You can find more about Robin here.

Alicia ordered our canvas bags on line and created a sweet advent calendar for her little boy. Alicia posted her instructions for creating the advent calendar on her blog and you can read more about it here

I still have lots of great holiday downloads and gift wrapping to share, so stay tuned all week and next week. Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss out. It's easy to do. Simply enter your email address in the top right side of the blog and don't forget to reply to the email subscription verification in your email inbox to activate your subscription!!

Wrap it up like Santa

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Looking for some creative ways to wrap up your holiday gifts? Stay tuned to my blog for the next couple of weeks and I'll show you lots of great ideas. I have created some free holiday downloads and I will be sharing them as well.

We sell a number of different sizes of rhinestone buckles. They are perfect for weddings but I knew that I would want to do something "Santa" like with them for the holidays. 
My Santa inspired holiday wrapping would be suitable for a child or an adult's gift.

I wrapped a box with our black gift wrapping paper and embellished it with red burlap, white satin ribbon and a large rectangular rhinestone buckle

 The beautiful Letterpress gift tag is only available at the Toronto Creative Bag store. It is sold in a small canvas bag with assorted sayings in the Creative Studio space. I tied the hang tag to the box using red jute that I wrapped about the box a few times.

If you are into card making,the smaller rhinestone buckles would be perfect for doing a similar effect on a holiday card. 

If you are looking for some gift ideas to help Santa fill some stockings, we have the cutest little hand warmers that are on sale for 2 for $5.

Our Magic Gel Pocket Hand Warmers are excellent for outdoor activities and holiday gifts. They heat up when you need it at a click of a button. Simply Click the metal disc and a chain reaction takes place producing heat!  Reusable 1000's of times, boil for 5 minutes in pot of water until the crystals melt and then it's ready for when you need it again and again.

Christmas inspiration ... traditional, vintage and whimsical

Friday, 30 November 2012

In my last Creative Evening Workshop at our Toronto store, I talked about how easy it is to make your home look like a page out of a magazine by simply co-ordinating your home decor and gift wrapping projects. That does not mean that you have to go out and buy all new decorations or wrap every gift the same way. What I try to do is select a theme that works for my family/home and try to keep my colours limited to just a few. You will find it much easier to shop for supplies and decorations and everyone will think that you had a designer help you decorate for the holidays.

To show you what I am suggesting, I created three different inspiration boards using pins from my Pinterest boards and then I created three project boards using my diy projects and our products! 

First, here's my Pinterest Inspiration Board - I called it Traditional:
Here you will see some new decorating trends like chalkboard art combined with burlap and natural elements and textures. The colours are earthy with traditional reds and greens, snowflake white and woodland browns. 

Now here's my decorating and wrapping  ideas using the Traditional theme and colour combinations ...
Our Gingerbread collection works well for a traditional Christmas theme. I added burlap ribbons and bags, kraft and black wrapping paper and boxes, red and white striped ribbons and bitty bags, twine and red and green accents. Natural elements like felt ornaments, pine cones and evergreen branches make you feel like you are at the cottage. Gingerbread men and yummy cookie gift jars take you back to when you were a child. I added small details like a rhinestone buckle for a "Santa inspired" gift wrap and clear  glittered ornaments to remind you that it is okay to add a some sparkle to this theme.

 My next Pinterest Inspiration Board is Vintage:

This is where everything old is new again. Your colours will be more muted and it's okay if things are distressed or tarnished. But not everything has to be aged because it's okay to mix old with new. Just make sure that you use a few colours when you mix and match. And it's all about texture so mix it up - rough and soft, shiny and worn - it all goes together.

I fell in love with our vintage inspired Carneeval collection as soon as I saw it and I had a great time designing projects that would work together as part of my vintage theme ...
You can see that my reds go from burgundy to bright red to burnt orange with this collection. Felt, burlap and woodsy elements that were used in the Traditional theme also worked with this theme and I mixed them with gold and silver glass glitter and the gold Moonlight in Paris bags and boxes. Vintage holiday graphics and old font styles are perfect with this theme. Distress inks make paper tags and cotton bags look old and worn.

And my last Pinterest Inspiration Board is what I called Whimsical:
This theme can be very sweet and child like or very sophisticated and elegant depending on how you approach it. The jewel toned colours are not what one would normally call traditional Christmas but they certainly do make you smile when you look at these pictures. Think Dr. Seuss and Cindy Loo Who, colourful candies and paper cut out snowflakes. 
I combined our Celebration Trees and silver Moonlight in Paris packaging products for this theme. I used polka dots, stripes, glitter and anything that made me smile in these projects. The purest whites make every jewel toned colour pop. I showed you chalkboard art on the traditional inspiration board and I can see them here too. Snowflake paper punches make white paper bags and tags look more festive. Glitter accents and ornaments are a must for this theme. 

I hope that I have inspired you to look at your Holiday decorating and packaging projects in a different way this year. As I finish writing this post and look out my window, I can see snow falling. Tomorrow is the first day of December and I know that tonight my youngest daughter will be pulling out the advent calendar that I made for her first Christmas 13 years ago. The countdown begins!

By the way, we have just opened a new Creative Bag Pinterest account and have been starting to add lots of great packaging and party boards.You can check it out here!

Paper Straw Wreath Tutorial

Thursday, 29 November 2012

This paper straw wreath is a fun project that you can create in a couple of hours. The hardest part is waiting for the glue to dry between layers. 

You can keep the wreath sweet and simple as I have shown above or you can add a decorative element to the centre ...
like I did with the my paper pops! If you are interested in learning how to make paper pops, check out my tutorial here. I have Christmas messages on my paper pops but I could see changing these out for different holidays or to say happy birthday. I have a feeling one of these paper straw wreaths will make it's way into a party theme next year.

Here's how to make a paper straw wreath ....
 Supplies: I used a 6" wood wreath form, 4 packages of paper straws (100 straws), 2 pieces of white cardstock, gel medium, scissors and baker's twine for hanging. 
Note: I used red striped paper straws but you can use whatever colour(s) of paper straws you want to match your decor.

I covered the front of the wood wreath with a piece of white cardstock. I traced the wreath shape onto the white cardstock, cut it out and glued it down using the gel medium.

Then I tied a long piece of baker's twine to the wood form to make it easier to hang later. 

I cut a second circle out of the cardstock with a 2" hole in the centre to use as a guide when positioning the paper straws on the wood form. Tape was used to hold the second cardboard circle to the back of the wood form. Do not glue this paper to the wood form because we will throw it away when we are done. 

The paper straws will be glued to the wood wreath form in layers. Every layer will have 24 straws that are evenly spaced to form the circular shape. 
1. The first layer of straws are all full length. Position your first 4 straws, as shown in photo 1, using a generous amount of gel medium. Allow to dry.
2. Now position 5 straws inside each of the quarters, as shown in photo 2, and in the close up in photo 2c. Again, wait for this layer to dry.

3. Cut 24 straws down to six and a half inches.  These 24 straws will be positioned in between the first 24 straws and on the same layer. The second set of straws will line up with the inner edge of the wood form ... you can see a detail of this in  photo 3c. 
4. Now we are ready to build on top of our first layer of straws and start our second layer. Cut 24 straws down to five inches. Hold onto the smaller (approx. three inch) straws because we will use them in the next step. Glue the 24 five inch straws on top of and in between the first layer of straws. Be careful to evenly space out the straws, see photo 4c for a closeup of the spacing. Allow to dry before going onto step 5. 

5. The next 24 straws that we will add to the second layer are going to be the three inch straws. They will tuck into the spaces between the 24 five inch straws. As you can see in photo 5, I squeezed one end of the three inch straw so that it could easily fit in between the straws on the second layer. See photo 5c. Glue each straw in place and allow to dry.

6. And now we are ready for our third and last layer. These last 24 straws are all full length. I glued them DIRECTLY over the three inch straws on the second layer. See the detailed photo in 6c. Remove the paper circle that was taped to the back of the wood form.

Once your paper straw wreath has completely dried it is ready to be hung up for all to admire.