Saturday, August 29, 2009
Last weekend I disappeared into my bedroom for hours, tucking myself away from the everyday norm, and indulging in the trimmings and wrappings of the lovely package exchange. Before I made my great escape though, I had set up a craft camp on the dining room floor, to make a textured handmade wrapping paper for the things that I would be mailing away. While I tore apart vintage war letters and smothered them in a bright mixture of glue and pink paint, Eleanore and Christopher sat beside me (Charlie napped up in his bedroom) tearing up an old Dora book, copying my every move on their own brown paper canvas. I had given Elie a green shaker full of glitter, that she insists were star sprinkles (we watch Rainbow Brite at least twice a day), and while Daddy did most of the dirty work with the pasting, Eleanore had the fun job of topping off the project with sprinkles of "we're finished!".
I wish I could have filled my package with things that were slightly more delightful than what I had to work with, but to be honest, I put my package off until the very last minute. Coming down with the flu, and then my daughters birthday, and then a sinus infection, and then my allergic reaction (oh I'm full of excuses aren't I), the package just wasn't at the top of my to do list. But even so, it wasn't fair for me to make my swap partner suffer with a boring box for my lack of efforts, so I really focused on the part that I could make beautiful, the packaging, which was where the emphasis on the project should have been (luckily) anyways.
I pulled my pretty layered postage wrapping paper down from the wall where I had hung it to dry. It turned out exactly how I had imagined, taking on a flexible fake leather like texture. I tore the edges off, for a somewhat distressed look, and then ripped it into fitted squares (trickier than it sounds) according to the sizes of the various things that it would be blanketing. The first thing I wrapped was a large phone booth and hearts print that I had been saving for a rainy day. It fit nicely the sheet of paper that I had torn for it. I pulled out my basic brown twine, and my purple twine (I really need to get more colors because they're my favorite to use), wrapped them around the package loosely multiple times, and then fastened them on the under side.
Next I took a decent sized stack of war letters, for reading, crafting, or whatever she might want to use them for, and wrapped them up the same way, topping it off with a book of "love notes".
I had painted and decoupaged a little box as a case for a pair of earring that I was giving her, not knowing if her ears were pierced or not. I figured if they weren't, she could just hand them off to somebody else that might like them, and keep the box for herself. The box actually broke, on the inside lid, but it added to the distressed finishing, so I left it. I actually liked it better that way. I should have maybe gone over it with a quick coat of paint, but I was impatient, haha. I topped it off with a couple of organic lollipops, a huge favorite in our house, and it looked perfect.
I included a few other things in her package that I didn't take photos of. A Texas pin, a set of handmade pinup girl fall themed note cards (can you believe summer is almost over), a quick letter on some tea stationery...
I spent forever on the outside of the box. That's the part that took the longest. I used vintage sheet music, vintage letters, ribbons, old photographs, anything that I could get my hands on really, haha. For address labels, I used blank vintage army envelopes. It came together very nicely, I don't think I could have made it any more "lovely" than it was. I've always loved the packaging part of putting things together for others, but this swap took it to a new level.
I have a few packages to put together this weekend. They won't be quite as lovely, but I'll definitely put a little bit more of an effort into making them nice than I would have in the past. Getting packages is one of those things, that no matter who you are, when you get one, you can't help but feel loved.