I am a sucker for a beautifully wrapped present.
When someone gave my Granny a present she would always say (in a lovely southern accent) that it was just to beautiful and she couldn’t possibly open it. As a kid, that sounded absurd, why wouldn’t she want to open her present. Now, I understand. Amazing gift wrap makes a present so much more special. Besides, wrapping presents is sooo much fun!
On Monday, I told you about the chevron crochet baby blanket that I made for my friends pending little one. The chevron pattern was designed to match her grey and yellow nursery with chevrons and elephants. I wanted to wrap it up in packaging that also fit the theme. I was thinking about stamping grey and yellow elephants onto a simple white shirt box I had on hand.
Then I had an idea. An awesome idea – and a total experiment. What if the gift wrap was more than gift wrap? What if my friend could open her shower gift and still use gift wrap for something else? How awesome would that be? This is what I came up with. Pretty cute, huh?
Since I am becoming a pro at embroidering on card stock, I thought I could make an elephant in negative space on a shirt box like the monograms that I shared a few weeks ago. Then (here is the awesome part) the elephant could decorate more than a gift box, it could have a second life as wall art, if I included instructions to cut it out and packaged it with a matching frame. Once it came to me, I got twitter-pated with the idea and had to start crafting immediately.
Here is how I made this embroidered gift box. I started with a vector image of an elephant that I downloaded for free here. I edited a little in illustrator to simplify the elephant and then made the outer line dashed. Here is my final pattern (download it here).
I printed out the pattern, taped it to the top of the box and poked a hole through every dot. After the holes were poked, I could see the elephant on the inside. I took the opportunity to draw a 8×10″ square on the inside with the elephant in the center. I used the lovely family that came in my frame as a template, drew around it, and added my simple instructions… Cut here.
Then I got my embroider on. I started by backstitching around the elephant. Don’t know how? Check out my post about embroidering on card stock.
To add the stitching around the elephant, I just made random stitches, poking holes as I went. I made them pretty dense near the elephant, and then added some sparse stitches a little further away. It took a little time, but was pretty easy. I am seriously obsessed with this technique.
To finish, I painted my simple frame with a couple coats of grey acrylic paint. I put the rest of the frame and the blanket in the box and tied the frame to the top with some yellow ribbon. The frame showcased my embroidered elephant perfectly, not to mention hinting at the box’s dual use.
My embroidered elephant was a hit at the shower, even though the mama-to-be thought thought that there was a framed picture attached to the box, not just an empty frame. And I got many compliments on my creative prowess – enough to make me blush several times over. I can’t wait to see my embroidered elephant all framed up in the lil’ one’s nursery.
Have you ever done something out of the box with a box (or gift wrap)? Do you get twitter-pated about crafty ideas? I’d love to hear about it.
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This post was also linked up at Mum’s Make Lists’ Friday Baby Shower.