02 November 2015

Favorite Things Party

This past weekend, the gals at the store where I teach held their third annual "My Favorite Things" party. This is an idea first shared by Heidi Swapp in which you gather with a group of friends and each guest brings one (or a few) of her "favorite things" to share with all the others. It's a fun way to get to know people...and to discover new things you might enjoy. We've also discovered at least half of the fun is seeing all the lovely packaging. It's really interesting to see what such a creative group can do!

This year, I had a hard time thinking of anything I love enough to call a "favorite thing". It seems like many of my favorite things cannot be packaged! So I started to look at the everyday items I really value -- or buy over and over -- and voila! Three of my very un-glamorous favorite things emerged: preserves, lavender soap, and Cottonelle ribbed toilet paper!

After I bought 17 of each item (one for every guest), I thought about how to package them. It soon became clear that I needed to stack them like the "Tower of Treats" from Harry and David. After that, the rest was pretty easy! 

I wrapped the jars of preserves in tissue paper (more on that in a bit). 
I wrapped the lavender soap in kraft wrapping paper I had on hand. The toilet paper needed no wrapping, since it fit my color scheme! :)

I really enjoy woodland-type color schemes so I decided to use wide green ribbon to bind the three gifts. When I'm doing a project, I always make a prototype with scrap materials first, so I cut leftover teal ribbon to figure out the proper lengths and how many spools of green ribbon to buy.

I cut the ribbon into two lengths, one shorter than the other. The first length I just wrapped around the tower and taped together at the top.

I cut the second piece of ribbon a bit longer and tied it in a snug knot at the top. I think Harry and David are on to something...this is a fun and easy way to wrap unrelated gifts!

I worked in assembly line fashion until I had all 17 "towers" wrapped and tied with ribbon. I should mention that at several points during this process, Spouse asked..."You're really giving them TOILET PAPER?" :)

For the "topper" I decided to cut felt poinsettias and greenery to go along with a small pinecone from our yard. Again, I made a prototype flower to see which colors of felt I needed to buy.

 I LOVE felt, and it cuts beautifully with a die cutting machine. If you haven't tried it, you should! I glued the flowers together and let them dry, then added a brown button threaded with twine to the centers.

After cutting the greenery, I decided to make a tag. So I quickly cut out 17 tags and came up with a simple decoration for the front.

On the back side, I attached this text -- especially for anyone who might be wondering about the toilet paper!

I hot glued the pinecone and the tag to the top of the tower. Then I hot glued each flower to the opposite side, and tucked the greenery pieces around the edges.

After I finished attaching the tags and the toppers, I realized I had forgotten one important detail about the tissue paper wrapping, so I attached it to the side of the top layer.
 It was really fun coming up with a creative way to package these completely ordinary and unrelated items!

 And I'm pleased to say that I made it to the party with all 17 towers still intact! The party was a big success and everyone enjoyed sharing a few Favorite Things!

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