Creative Gift Wrap Ideas: Audubon Gift Tags

DSC_0948I used the bird paintings of John James Audubon for some fun gift tags this year. If you would like to learn more about the artist, PBS produced an amazing documentary on his life in their American Masters series (you can read about it here). I used a gigantic book of Audubon prints that I found in the bargain section of my local bookstore to make gift tags. You can use artwork from any book–or even magazine–of your choice. See the steps below:

Step 1:

Select artwork that appeals to you and fits into your theme for gift wrap. If you choose to use Audubon birds, many varieties will work–not just cardinals. Blue birds, quails, and many other subjects would look great with some gold ribbon on brown gift wrap.

Step 2:

Cut the art away from the page, but do not cut out the entire outline yet.

Step 3:

Adhere the art to cardstock using an archival glue stick.

Step 4:

Cut around the outline of the artwork using small scissors.

Step 5:

Thread a needle with gold thread. Insert the needle and thread through the art. Use the thread to secure the artwork to a bow with a couple of small knots. Trim the edges, and you’re done!

To see my post on using seashell art for stationery gifts click here!

My Bird Ornaments

DSC_0054I wanted to share one of my Christmas projects: beaded felt ornaments. I started making these a few years ago. I’ve made lots of different animals in the past, but making birds is my favorite. I’ve always loved birds since I was a little kid, and giving them whimsical beaded accents on these ornaments is fun. I draw each one, sew them, and then embellish them with beads and gold stitching. It really feels like drawing a picture, but with fabric. I’m posting these birds in my Etsy shop, and I’ll keep adding different designs from time to time. Do you have a favorite holiday craft or art project?

How to Make Vintage Map Envelopes


You may recall that my first post was about repurposing old books. If you have a book that contains beautiful pages, like an old atlas, creating your own envelopes is easy. Paired with a simple set of cards these envelopes are perfect for a pop of color on your desk or a unique holiday gift.

I sometimes use craft paper to make my own cards, but really it’s easier to buy blank stationery sets at your local craft store. You can print an initial on the card and then use the envelope that comes with it as a template for your own. And that’s my biggest tip for this project: use a store-bought envelope as a guide when you are cutting the map paper. It’s fast, simple and saves you a ton of time–especially if you have cards to match.

The envelopes in these images were cut from a 1970s subway guide to London. The pages have great lines and color and are a little bit of a departure from the aqua blues and pinks of a more traditional atlas. Here’s how I made them:

Step 1:DSC_0837

Select a ┬ástore-bought envelope that will fit onto your map paper when it is open–this can be tricky because envelopes are sometimes larger than they seem when you unfold them completely.

Step 2:

Cut your map paper out of the book. Flatten the envelope and tape it to the surface of the map.

Step 3:

Trace the shape of the envelope with a fine-tipped pen–pencils are so light that the lines are too hard to see on map paper.

Step 4:

Cut out your envelopes and glue the tabs together with an archival glue stick.