Posts tagged wrapping
DIY Photo Bow

Whether you're an early shopper, almost done with your Christmas lists, or a timely purchaser (see how positively I spun that for folks like myself?) waiting until the big sales hit the shelves, now is the perfect time to get your creative wrapping ideas together.

A present wrapped with extra attention and fine details speaks to the recipient and says that they are different and special. Such a lovely gesture, right?

How about making a bow that is completely personalized with photographs of the giver or the receiver or even special places visited together? Photo bows are easy, and they can make you look like a super thoughtful crafting whiz in no time.


I created these bows for grandparent presents! For the first, I created a montage of photos of my son from this last year. The finished bow is colorful and a scrapbook unto itself.

For the second, I used all of the same family photograph. This finished bow lent itself to a more sophisticated color palette, and it allows you to coordinate bow to paper a little bit easier.

Typically I'm a fine ribbon kind of gal, but these bows inspired me to learn how to make a paper bow. I was a little shocked by how quickly they come together.

First, in a photo program, align strips of photographs. I printed all of mine on one sheet of paper so I made each strip .75 inches wide to fit on the page.

You'll need three long strips, three medium strips, two short strips, and one mini strip.


Cut these out. If you have a great stapler, grab that to create your bow. If not, strong craft glue or hot glue work really well to create a neat, compact look for your bow.

To form each row of the bow, simply create a loop that crosses on itself. You can find a great photo guide over on Milomade that explains this step clearly.


Make loops out of all of your strips except the min strip which will become a circle that goes on the top to cover staples or glue.

The largest three are set equidistant from one another on the bottom. Then the same star shape is created with the medium loops. The small strips will create a cross once attached. And finish off with the mini loop in the middle.


I can imagine these used on anniversary presents with special wedding photos on them. Or used to show an ultrasound photo to announce a new baby to relatives and friends!

Create a wrapping that means something to you and your loved one - make a photo bow!

xoxo, MJ

Printable Gift Tags for Teacher Presents

I am a big fan of silly jokes. I am not ashamed giggle at the ridiculous, and it's fair to say that my sense of humor resembles the age group I used to teach, ten-year olds. Since I've been out of the classroom for nearly a decade, my children get the brunt of my humor via lunch box notes.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, but any week (or day) is a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude to teachers for their creative work to open up the world to our children. Having spent a few years studying and working as an educator, I can safely say that (besides parenting), there is no more difficult task than guiding students.

And as a teacher, I loved getting the super thoughtful creations from my students and the super practical gifts from their parents. So why not combine the two?

These jokes make great additions to thoughtful giftcards to local coffee shops or craft and teacher stores. They can personalize a wonderful batch of cookies or a gift basket filled with gardening tools and succulents.

Maybe a big bag of stickers and stamps would be a nice gesture for a new elementary teacher? Or perhaps a box of delectable chocolates topped off with a funny?

Among our favorite gifts to make for teachers are these chalkboard frames. And these printable jokes would make a great card on the top and allow even the most timid of children to express the joy of gratitude to a great teacher.

Print out both pages of fun jokes that you can send along with a simple daisy from your yard or a generous donation of Scholastic books!

You can download page one of basic jokes here and page two with librarian and math teacher humor here.

If you share in the joy of silly childhood jokes, follow Pars Caeli on Instagram or Facebook and get a daily joke sent right to your feed (doodle is complimentary).

How are you showing the love to the teachers in your life?

xoxo, MJ




More Holiday Traditions: Jesse Trees and Painted Wrappings

Happy Wednesday, good people! Two fun things to share with you today: an easy Fresh Holiday Tradition and an Advent tradition to begin.

First off, a little Advent. You all have seen some amazing Advent calendars going around, have you not? Do a quick search on Pinterest to see just how creative people can get with countdowns! I am amazed.

Have you heard of a Jesse Tree before? It's an Advent calendar of sorts, that takes you through the days leading up to Christmas and uses the words from the Old Testament stories to do so. I posted all the details last November, but I've received so many questions about it, that I wanted to post it again for new readers.


Wanna make one? Here's what you need:

  • 1 yard of purple felt (it's a traditional Advent color)
  • 1 yard of brown felt for the limbs and trunk
  • Printed or drawn symbol ornaments
  • Velcro to attach
  • Dowel and ribbon/twine to hang.
  • Fabric glue or hot glue

Head over here to get the full details including printable symbols, a reflection book to follow, and some more Advent ideas.

And as we get our homes and gifts ready for Christmas, I'm excited to share with you this great kiddo project from Jen over at Classic Play! I know that I've been looking for a few ways to contain, errrr focus, my children's holiday energy in good directions. This is a perfect project. And I love Jen's first reminder to keep it simple! Click over to see Painted Wrapping Paper!

Only two more projects in our Fresh Holiday Traditions series! Here's what we've seen so far:

What holiday traditions are you bringing out these days? Cookie baking? Christmas-book reading?

Check out these great traditions from my pal, Janae, over at Bring Joy.

xoxo, MJ

Itty Bitty Lovelies - Bonus Edition - for Valentine's Day

This is what I've been staring at the last few weeks. Lots of whites and shades of gray (no, not that one). Perhaps that's why I'm craving touches of red and Valentine's to satisfy my need for color and celebration.

What are you doing to keep the blues and grays away?

Tic, Tac, XOXOs

Jenn over on the ModCloth blog has this super simple idea of transforming simple flathead tacks with nail polish! Lovelies, we could do this in a few moments. How cute to paint some simple hearts on these and pin your love notes up for those you hold dear? I'm hoping to pull out some red polish and create Valentine goodness.

Feel the Love

You all know I can't resist an easy paper craft. Jessica over at How About Orange has a two-step process for irresistably simple three-dimensional hearts. Seriously, when you see the instructions, you'll wonder why you never thought of it. And her use of loads of little and bigs on a wall totally inspires me to fill a room with these expressions of love. Can you imagine lining them up as a pathway to a great little dinner you've planned for just the two of you? Hmmm...

Showing My True Colors

I saved the most genius for the final link. Brittany from The House That Built created a unique Valentine wrapping paper that tops the cake. That first method of cutting and folding shapes to reveal a burst of color below, to die for!! What do you need to also become the crafter extraordinaire? Two different colored papers and scissors. This method could be wonderful used for Christmas trees in December, balloons for birthdays, stars for special achievements... the wheels are turning.

My Itty Bitty this week?

Before you head out the door or start into your first task, text a few lines of love, encouragement, or just sillyness to someone on your contact list. This week, I've been sending them to the hubs, local friends, far away friends, and the responses are always immediate, grateful, and full of joy. It's better than brownies for breakfast (I had to do my own experiment, of course, to be sure).

Have a bright weekend, friends, even if the skies are gray.