The Art of the Presentation – AKA: Packaging

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” 
                                                                                                             ~ Marilyn Monroe

 

I love the above quote.  I think it gives a lot of insight into who I am as a person.  I am a TRUE SAGATARIAN.  I am impulsive and spontanious and love to live my life.  I am actually not selfish – or at least not in my eyes.  I LOVE to give!  I love to make people smile and for me… the details when planning a gift, a note or a party all adds up to big smiles for me!

I can not tell you when this love of giving and details started – I can tell you that I was raised around world class artists and my father would have given me the moon, if he could have. 

What I can tell you is that from the very first moment that I got to plan something… anything.. a halloween costume, birthday gift, party and OH MY! a wedding or two.. i was in heaven!

I would research ideas, online communities, prices, etc.. until I came up with the perfect idea or thing.. and sometimes that was on the fly or taking an idea and growing it and letting it evolve.

I believe it started with gift giving and has grown and morphed since then.

Here are a few of my sure-fire tips to making a gift be unforgettable and thoughtful.

1.) Pick a theme or idea and go with it!

I have a few favorite examples:

Theme: Home Cooked Meal – Italian (but could be a variety of cuisine)

The Details: 

* 500 top easy italian dishes –  or some other cookbook

* Cloth Apron and hot mitts

* Theme specific dish towels (or color coordinated, etc.)

* Nice, quality and/or unique pasta, sauce, olive oil, spices: dried basil, oregeno, garlic, breadsticks – whatever else you can find that goes.

* 2 wine glasses and a nice bottle of wine or two (4.99 (Old Moon Zin from Trader Joes is a favorite that I often use. Inexpensive, nice label and very drinkable! and up work well)

* A set of candles; votive, sticks, etc..

* A pasta spoon, regular spoon, cheese grater, etc…

* A large pasta pot.

The key here is that you can spend as much or as little as your budget allows for.  My favorite place to shop for this type of gift is one of the following: Marshalls, Ross, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Target, etc.

Most of the places above carry all things needed to pull off this gift – and at a discounted price = SCORE!

I then like to package everything inside of the pot.  Make it presentable and pretty.  You can add candles or other touches – based on the size of your pot.  For a recent bridal shower, i choose to go with a Red pot ($22.50) since the brides kitchen theme was/is apples.  I then combined apple themed dishtowels, along with traditional italian flare and red and black kitchen accessories.  I was able to find gourmet meyer lemon infused olive oil for 2.99 a bottle and herbs de provance, along with other gourmet and unique goodies,again, all at a huge discount.  A stroll over the the kitchen area yeilded some fabulous aprons that would retail for $35.00+ and were a steal at $9.99.

 At the end – I had a robust, complete gift for under $100.00 that considered the brides kitchen theme, her lack of cooking experience and an easy “Dinner at Home” gift that has been used since then and was not your generic “gift-off-the-registery” – Which is also very nice.. but I like this gift when nothing jumps off the page at you and you would like to make it a tad more personal.  You can of course, always incorporate registry items into your theme.

You can get creative and use strainers to package or create a gift around baking or different cuisines, etc..  It comes down to the thought and the little details, this is what pulls it all together and makes a wonderful gift.

On of my favorite things to do is package gifts in unexpected ways.  The large pot for the dinner at home theme… or paper chests and hat boxes to wrap baby items or birthday gifts.  These little details (that often cost only slightly more than a gift bag) will be used year after year and really do make a lasting impression

A great example of this is one of the first baby showers I ever attended, that happened to be for one of my very best friends.  She and her husband were not finding out the gender of their baby and yet I wanted to make her shower gift amazing and personal (but on a budget!).

Another friend of mine was making handmade baby blankets and quilts and I was helping with her packaging.  I choose a soft and cuddley baby duck theme and went from there.  I bought on of KeWee’s handmade blankets and burp cloth sets, found a couple of adorable duck themed outfits (at Ross) and found the cutest paper chest (at Ross) to package it all in (6.99). 

Another example of this was for a recent Bridal Shower and Bachlorette Party.

I created two gifts.

One for the shower, which was wrapped in a very light and flower hat box adorded with Gardenias and wedding bells (Ross for 4.95) and included and white and baby blue lingerie item and then played up their destination Fijian wedding with 2 champage glasses (World Market for 2.50/each), the seaside karma sutra set, candles and a mini bottle of champagne.

the second gift, which was created for the brides bachlorette party was wrapped in a very funky paper photo box adored with zebra print (Ross for 3.99) and hot pink tissue paper and included “Sin Zin” mini bottles along with 2 other unique bottles of wine I found and their labels were applicable.  Inside were also novilty items that went with her naughty and sinful gift package.

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