I’ve been taking inventory of all of my basic supplies this week, and, as a result, I have found all kinds of things I had forgotten I had. One of the finds I am most excited about discovering is some plain gift bags. I love to dress up plain bags by making what I call gift bag adornments–the decorations for the outside of the bag. I feel like an artist each time I make them, because they literally transforms plain bags into beautiful works of art.
Creating these particular adornments is going to be somewhat challenging for me, as the bags I found are black and fuchsia. I hardly ever use these two colors, and, if I do, it’s as an accent color only. Since I’m already going to be out of my comfort zone by needing to work with these bold colors, I decided to really stretch my limits by making some paper flowers to use as part of the adornments. I’ve always been intimidated by paper flowers, so I’ve never attempted to make them. That is until I saw this recent video by Linda Parker, a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator from the UK, on how to make a paper chrysanthemum:
I think these flowers are so pretty, and I can’t wait to see how amazing they look on the front of a gift bag. So I watched the video several times; and then proceeded to make my very first paper flowers.
Given that this was my first experience, I’m pretty excited about how they turned out! I made the flowers out of watermelon wonder (left) and melon mambo card stock, and what’s surprising to me is how each flower took on a different personality, just by color alone. The watermelon wonder flower looks elegant and classic, while the melon mambo flower looks vibrant and cheerful.
The best part, for me, about making these adornments is that there are no rules or restrictions, like there are for cards. In designing cards, you need to be careful about how many layers or embellishments you add, as the card will be going inside an envelope and potentially mailed. The more layers and embellishments you add; the more money you spend in postage. With adornments, however, you can layer and embellish to your heart’s content, as you put them on the outside of a gift box or bag, rather than inside an envelope. You can just let your creative juices flow and have fun. That is exactly what I did, and here is the adornment I came up with using the watermelon wonder flower:
Stampin’ Up! released some new designer paper to coordinate with the new colors they introduced in June, and I used several coordinating prints to create some banners as the base of my adornment. I like to layer banners for my adornments–it’s a great way to use up some of my paper scraps, and they add weight and visual interest to the overall design. I kept things pretty simple to allow the flower to take center stage, and mounting the flower on a black circle just made it pop and stand out even more.
With the adornment made, it is now time to turn my attention to the plain gift bag. It doesn’t take much to dress up the bag–even something as simple as adding some coordinating strips of paper can make a huge difference. The last step is to clip the adornment to the gift bag with a mini clothespin, and the project is finished; the gift bag is all dressed up and ready to go. It’s truly amazing how some strips of paper and a few simple embellishments can totally transform a plain bag into a work of art! And this color combination is just stunning. Color fascinates me. Black, on it’s own, is a very strong, powerful color, and yet in this instance, it takes a back seat and just enhances the beauty of the watermelon wonder.
One bag down; one to go. Tune in tomorrow for Part 2.
I hope you’ve had a good day, and, as always, remember:
“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars”.