Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

I just found this piece  in the archive and I think it’s worth a republish since it’s that time of year when wrapping gifts is a(n) (inter) national activity. I’ve updated it and hope you find it useful!

(for these labels, see the Copper Swallow)

OK, so you’ve trailed the shops/internet, developed a nervous disorder, and finally got all your presents in a pile; now it’s time to wrap those bad boys. Of course all wrapping gets ripped off in the end, so you might think it doesn’t really matter what it looks like. WRONG. Packaging is very important, as any woman will tell you. It’s also rather nice to receive a beautifully wrapped gift; it shows thought and effort and people always appreciate that. And of course you can do it all in an eco friendly way, using recycled and recyclable materials, whilst still being imaginative, stylish and a bit different. That’s right, you CAN have it all.

You can of course go completely mad with it, and use lashings of ribbon and sticky tape and all kinds of embellishments. And why not. I however am inclined to think that less is more in most cases, as long as you haven’t literally dug out a bit of creased old paper from last year’s stash, the kind with marks where the tape was stuck the first time round, and roughly attached it to the outside of the gift with tape that got twisted in the middle of things.

So basically what you need to wrap a present so it looks pretty is: scissors, sellotape, some kind of ribbon/raffia/string. Oh, and paper. (Unsurprisingly I’m a total fan of reusing wrapping paper as long as it doesn’t look too scrappy, and also ribbons which are usually fine for many uses. Proper fabric ribbon though, not that awful plasticky shimmery sort that you can curl with scissors and probably never biodegrades.) Also boxes of different shapes and sizes; a present is much easier to wrap if it’s a rectangle.

In the Keeping It Simple vein, what could be simpler than brown paper and string? It has a certain retro vibe to it, is not expensive, and the paper at least can be recycled. You could really up the old-fashioned-parcel feel by using stamps (the rubber kind, or indeed the postage kind), and use a brown or cream paper luggage tag and some lovely brown ink to write your Christmas message. This works well for men, as does simply wrapping the gift and then using rubber letter stamps or cutting out letters in a contrasting paper to spell out their name. (This rather depends on how much time you have.)

For women I’d do something lavish with ribbon. I think of it like the make up rule; eyes OR lips but most definitely not both. Glamorous paper means simple ribbon, and vice versa. I keep a stash of ribbons from past gifts so rarely have to buy new, and with something like the name idea above, you can forego ribbon completely. If you can tie a bow you can make ribbon look nice, and extra wide ribbon has a certain extravagance to it. The kind with wire along the edge which holds its shape is also fabulous, not least because it’s so easy to make it look good. If you can manage it without using tape so much the better, but this can be quite tricky and really only tends to work for people who wrap as part of their job or have four hands. Check out this for a cunning trick to turn a piece of ribbon into a rose as below.

Another way to do it is to use fabric. Again, I stash away a lot of fabric, and if you buy a fat quarter (a smallish bit) it’s not expensive and can be reused to make something lovely. Fabric’s good if the present is round or an awkward shape; lay the gift in the middle of the fabric ( the right way up), scoop it all up so it’s bunched together at the top, and tie some ribbon around it so it looks a bit like a pineapple. But much more glamorous. You can use pinking shears to give it a nice non-fraying, zig zag edge too. Or use one of the aforementioned boxes.

If you’re trying to save some pennies, look around your home for inspiration. Old (not vintage!) maps, musical scores, or pages from dead books can all make original, recycled, recyclable wrapping paper. Newspaper (black and white) can be used to great effect too, especially with, say, a bright red ribbon.  And if you’re feeling crafty, why not use rubber stamps on plain white paper? You don’t even need to buy stamps – potatoes will do!

Have a go! And if all else fails, we can do it for you free!

Read Full Post »

OK, so you’ve trailed the shops/internet, developed a nervous disorder, and finally got all your presents in a pile; now it’s time to wrap those bad boys. Of course all wrapping gets ripped off in the end, so you might think it doesn’t really matter what it looks like. WRONG. Packaging is very important, as any woman will tell you. It’s also rather nice to receive a beautifully wrapped gift; it shows thought and effort and people always appreciate that. And of course you can do it all in an eco friendly way, using recycled and recyclable materials, whilst still being imaginative, stylish and a bit different. That’s right, you CAN have it all.

You can of course go completely mad with it, and use lashings of ribbon and sticky tape and all kinds of embellishments. I am inclined to think that less is more in most cases, as long as you haven’t literally dug out a bit of creased old paper from last year’s stash, the kind with marks where the tape was stuck the first time round, and roughly attached it to the outside of the gift with tape that got twisted in the middle of things.

So what you need to wrap a present so it looks pretty is: scissors, sellotape, some kind of ribbon/raffia/string. Oh, and paper. (Unsurprisingly I’m a total fan of reusing wrapping paper as long as it doesn’t look too scrappy, and also ribbons which are usually fine for several uses. Proper fabric ribbon though, not that awful plasticky shimmery sort that you can curl with scissors.) Boxes of different shapes and sizes; a present is much easier to wrap if it’s a rectangle.

In the Keeping It Simple vein, what could be simpler than brown paper and string? It has a certain retro vibe to it, is not expensive, and the paper at least can be recycled. You could really up the old-fashioned-parcel feel by using stamps (the rubber kind, or indeed the postage kind), and use a brown or cream paper luggage tag and some lovely brown ink to write your Christmas message. This works well for men, as does simply wrapping the gift and then using rubber letter stamps or cutting out letters in a contrasting paper to spell out their name. (This rather depends on how much time you have.)

For women I’d do something lavish with ribbon. I think of it like the make up rule; eyes OR lips but most definitely not both. Glamorous paper means simple ribbon, and vice versa. I keep a stash of ribbons from past gifts so rarely have to buy new, and with something like the name idea above, you can forego ribbon completely. If you can tie a bow you can make ribbon look nice, and extra wide ribbon has a certain extravagance to it. The kind with wire along the edge which holds its shape is also fabulous, not least because it’s so easy to make it look good. If you can manage it without using tape so much the better, but this can be quite tricky and really only tends to work for people who wrap as part of their job or have four hands.

Another way to do it is to use fabric. Again, I stash away a lot of fabric, and if you buy a fat quarter (a smallish bit) it’s not expensive and can be reused to make something lovely. Fabric’s good if the present is round or an awkward shape; lay the gift in the middle of the fabric (right side down), scoop it all up so it’s bunched together at the top, and tie some ribbon around it so it looks a bit like a pineapple. But much more glamorous. You can use pinking shears to give it a nice non-fraying, zig zag edge too. Or use one of the aforementioned boxes.

If you’re trying to save some pennies, look around your home for inspiration. Old (not vintage!) maps, musical scores, or pages from dead books can all make original, recycled, recyclable wrapping paper. Newspaper (black and white) can be used to great effect too, especially with, say, a bright red ribbon.  And if you’re feeling crafty, why not use rubber stamps on plain white paper?

Have a go! And if all else fails, we can do it for you free!

Read Full Post »

We are very excited to announce two new arrivals. First, we have  the most scrumptious knitted accessories from Catherine Tough.

Here are the cuddly hot water bottle covers (with hot water bottles included of course):

bluestripehottie1pinkstripehottie2

And here are the bedsocks for him….

mensocks1

And for her…..

bluesocks1pinksocks1

Perfect for cosying up on these freezing winter nights!

We are also very excited to now stock Delightful Living’s handpainted reclaimed wooden signs. Every sign is unique, and they are all made here in the UK. They make great wedding, housewarming or birthday gifts.

dreamsignhomesignlovesignmrmrssign

Read Full Post »

29giftsBoutiko is about giving. Giving to friends and family and giving to the wider world as much as possible, like ensuring fair pay and treatment for producers, or reusing and recycling to protect the planet and its wildlife. So I love it when I come across things like 29 Gifts.

Started by Cami Walker after a recommendation by her spiritual teacher that she give away one thing a day for 29 days as a way to cope with a very difficult time, 29gifts.org is a challenge that uses giving as a way to make the world a better place. After the 29 days of giving, she reports:

“By Day 29, I was astounded by the magical and miraculous shifts in my energy for life:

  • I was feeling happier, healthier, and more in awe with life.
  • I found myself smiling and laughing more.
  • My body got stronger and I was able to stop walking with my cane by week two.
  • My business exploded with new, unexpected opportunities amounting to more than $8,000 in unanticipated income for that one month.
  • I began connecting with a community of new friends in Los Angeles after feeling isolated in my new home for several months.
  • My creativity opened up and I began writing stories regularly again for the first time in over two years since my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
  • I began experiencing a deeper intimacy in my relationship with my husband.

The list of changes goes on and on. This is only the beginning.”

The gifts don’t have to be tangible. Looking at the website, on which people can post about the gifts they’ve given and the consequences, you can give anything, from a smile to a coffee to a taxi ride. They say that what goes around comes around, and by giving so that someone else may benefit, we can all raise our energies and enjoy the mutual benefits of giving without expecting something in return.

Now that we’re coming up to Christmas this seems particularly appropriate. Have a look at the website and be inspired by the stories of gifts great and small, and the ways they are changing people’s lives. I’m going to do it too.

Read Full Post »

Yes Christmas is on its way, and much as we’d all like to bury our heads in the sand, it really is time to start having a serious think about what Christmas gifts you need to get for friends, family and colleagues. Not only what gifts to buy, but now more than ever, there’s a lot more awareness of where what we buy comes from, and simply rushing round the shops grabbing armfuls of plastic-packaged, mass-produced presents just doesn’t feel right for a lot of people any more. We all want more reassurance that the things we buy for others are sustainably made, fairly traded and as ethical as possible.

Luckily – help is at hand! Boutiko, the luxury ethical on-line gift store with a personally selected beautiful range of individually and sustainably sourced handmade, ethical gifts, is the perfect solution not just for the coming festive season but any occasion you can think of, including birthdays, weddings, christenings, anniversaries and just about anything else that calls for something personal and special. You will find everything is pure luxury – not just what’s on offer but the whole shopping experience. No squeezing through crowds, sweating at the checkout, struggling with arms laden with bags… just a nice quiet browse in your favourite chair, with the perfect gifts just a click or two away!

Here at Boutiko we really are mad about the gift business – offering individual customer service and next day delivery wherever possible to ensure gift hunters a shopping experience as luxurious as their purchases! Not only that – but gift wrapping is free and gifts can be sent straight to the recipient. What could be easier!

We’ve got lots of gift ideas on the site, but for a dash of inspiration, here are a few of our new and most favourite ….Oh and by the way, the prices quoted are from October 1st – there is currently a Boutiko sale on, with many reductions including most of these showcased items, so take advantage of the last few days of the sale, get ahead of the game and order some special presents now!

Recycled Clocks/Clock & Thermometer:

Perfect for indoors or out – gardeners and homebodies will adore these weather-proof sturdy clocks, intriguingly made from recycled coffee cups and which look and feel very much like slate. Various styles from £24.95 to £26.95.

One-off Handmade Jewellery & Cufflinks:

Made with silver and recycled glass beads, Boutiko’s one-off jewellery designs are exquisitely made and come in a fair trade organza bag. Includes earrings from £13, and bracelets from £35. For men, there are stunning handcrafted silver & hardwood cufflinks for men at £50, which also come in a fair trade pouch and a handcrafted box. (left)

The prettiest embroidered washbags you’ve ever seen – handmade by a family business in Vietnam, these exquisite bags are lined with water resistant fabric, £20. (right)

Children will love tidying their toys away – and so will their parents! – with our Toy Pockets – handmade by the same family as the washbags – which hang neatly on the back of a door or wardrobe, £30.

Winter and Christmas is a great time for candles – our handmade, soy wax candles from a family run business in Cornwall also come in biodegradeable, recycled packaging. The Country Range has three fragrances: Redcurrant & Thyme, Lavender & Rose, Raspberry & Vine Tomato – perfect for those long winter evenings, £12. (left)

Recycled Leather Address Books, Journals & Mini London A-Zs – all handmade by Undercover – in a variety of cover colours (aqua, lipstick, mauve and petrol) – the perfect gift for just about anyone! From £10-£15. (below)

Last but not least – handmade and fairly traded from India, beaded Christmas decorations including hearts, fairies and trees – guaranteed to make every tree sparkle! £3.50 each. Or a set of fine porcelain tealights spelling NOEL, handmade in Britain from recycled offcuts of porcelain, £40, perfect for creating a magical glow this Christmas. (below)

Oh – and if you do need to pop to the shops at the last minute – take along one of Boutiko’s ingenious One Less Plastic Bags – handmade from Indian saris with every single bag unique in its design! These bags fold away to a tiny pocket size but can carry up to 2kg – plus are machine washable, £10.

Read Full Post »

I am very pleased to report that the competition we ran in conjunction with Giftchooser attracted an unprecedented 1076 entries, and congratulations go to Emma Furniss who won the fantastic Balance Me Super Trio Gift Set.

If you didn’t win however, you have not missed out, as 1st August will see the start of our Big Boutiko Sale! All kinds of gorgeous gifts will be available at up to 50% off, so if you’ve had your eye on something, all next month you will be able to treat yourself to a bargain! We are making space for lots of lovely new stock in the coming months, so do take advantage of some amazing deals.

See you in August!

EDIT: Due to moving to a new home in a new city, our Sale has been postponed til mid August. We’ll keep you posted!

Read Full Post »

Kim at Gift Chooser has written some lovely things about us!

“I have recently discovered Boutiko, a beautiful looking site with some gorgeous gifts on offer.

All of their stock is ethical in some way or other. Whether it be fairly traded, organic, made from recycled products or locally made.

 

They are just as passionate about shopping for nice, ethical things as you are which means you’re in for a treat.

It’s like wandering into a huge chest full of treasure, so crammed full of good stuff, it’s hard to know how I will be able to load up my arms and carry everything out. Then I realise it’s an online shop and I relax – they’ll post it all to me!”

She goes on to choose her favourite gifts, among them the silver Chiming Heart Necklace and the Leather Photo Keyring. To see all Kim’s lovely comments, click here.

We are soon to be launching a competition on Giftchooser, so keep an eye out for that!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »