If you are anything like me when it comes to wrapping a present, you’ll take the easy option of  hastily and messyily wrap a piece of tissue paper around said gift, wrestle with a roll of sellotape and popping said gift into one of your numerous recycled gift bags, hopefully remembering to remove the tag with a message to yourself before giving said gift to its lucky recipient. Needless to say there’s been the odd occasion when I haven’t remembered, which, as you can imagine is pretty embarrassing and shows you up somewhat as a cheapskate!

wrapped bike

Are there times when wrapping an awkward shaped gift is a nightmare or you wish that you were more creative?

I’ve always admired anyone who can turn gift wrapping into an art form. How do they manage to get those perfect folds and crisp lines? I always end up with too much paper at one end and struggling to cover the surprise inside at the other end. How do you not end up using miles of sellotape to stop it all falling apart and getting really frustrated when it misbehaves? What I admire most though is the thought and imagination that goes into creating a beautifully wrapped gift that anyone receiving it would be thrilled to get. My sister spends a lot of time and effort adding gorgeous little embellishments to her Christmas presents and I’m often tempted to leave my gift unwrapped so that I can just look and admire her beautiful creation for the rest of the festive season. The great thing about it is that she created something lovely especially for me. Someone taking the time to be creative when gift wrapping does add to the enjoyment of receiving the gift and making you feel just a little bit more special. Don’t you agree that you appreciate a gift just a little bit more if someone has put some thought into making it look beautiful?

Being a rubbish wrapper and wishing I wasn’t, you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to a gift wrapping workshop ran by Amanda whose business Giftfrippery is based in Bristol. I’ve known Amanda for a while through Twitter and Instagram and have always admired her talent for creating beautifully wrapped gifts using  fripperies that she loves to collect. She also has a talent at effortlessly upcycling bits and bobs to embellish her wrapping, and can show you that you don’t need to spend a fortune on lots of fancy decorations or paper to make an impact. Having met Amanda I knew that the workshop would be great fun as she has such a bubbly personality and absolutely loves what she does.She is in fact the Mary Poppins of gift wrapping!

The workshop on this occasion was held in her beautiful and welcoming kitchen. There were four other ladies attending. Most of us are keen Instagrammers and bloggers and so we had that in common. Over coffee and cake we introduced ourselves and got to know each other a little better which definitely broke the ice. It’s amazing how quickly you gel with each other when you are all having a go at something you haven’t tried before and giving each other words of encouragement or trying to remind each other how that ribbon rose was made.

We had all been asked to take along a bottle of wine. I was secretly hoping that maybe we were going to end up having a rather tipsy workshop, but sadly not. The bottles were of course for wrapping. I usually take the easy option when giving bottles of wine as presents and that’s to simply  pop it into a bottle bag. They aren’t exactly the easiest things to wrap are they! Amanda demonstrated by using cellophane and tissue how to get around that problem and gave us little tips on how to make wrapping easier. I would never have thought to hang the piece of ribbon needed to tie around the bottle neck around my own neck so that it was at hand when you needed it. She showed us how to make raffia tassels and gift cards. Then it was our turn to have a go. The art of making the wrapping look neat was all in the pleating of the cellophane and tissue. All that was required was a few little tweaks to finish it off and voila, a beautifully wrapped bottle!

By the end of the workshop we had also learnt how to embellish a wrapped box with tulle and a handmade ribbon rose, and created our own little gift envelopes using pages from a colouring book. It had been such fun and a lovely experience. Not only had I learnt new skills, but I’d discovered that I do have a creative side and came away wanting to gift wrap everything in sight.I’d also met a group of lovely ladies who I’d like to keep in touch with through social media. We are now digital chums!

If you live in or near Bristol and want to try something new or want to improve your wrapping skills, I’d definitely recommend getting in touch with Amanda. Why not get together a group of friends and have your own workshop. I bet one would make a great hen party activity.


Look what I did? I can’t take credit for the pretty egg box wrap, that was a lovely little extra from Amanda

Eek..I think I’ve caught a workshop bug. I’m now dying to try lots of new things and gaining new skills. I’m itching to be more creative and discover if I have any hidden talents. I’d like to learn how to write, paint, draw, take photos, create a website, embroider, knit, make sourdough, be clever with flowers and lots more besides!

start somewhere

And where better than at a workshop!