Fun surprises and holiday spirit {Handmade Gift Exchange}

5 Dec

Last month, I was so excited to hear about the Handmade Gift Exchange organized by Linda over at Craftaholics Anonymous. {Side note: You should definitely check out her blog for fun and amazing craft ideas!} Anyway, the gift exchange worked like this: I signed up online, was assigned a lovely partner, we exchanged a couple of emails about the kinds of things we like, and then got to work on gifts for each other!  Fun idea, right?

Sneak peek {more details below}

First, I’ll tell you a little about the gift my partner made for me! In our initial email exchange, I sent her a link to my basement redo Pinterest board and she ran with it.  I was so excited to receive a beautiful pillow cover last week with the coral theme I am planning for that room!  I truly love it, and it really renewed my excitement about getting our basement together. I *think* I even found a rug this weekend that will serve as the anchor for the room.  More on that later.  Here’s a quick picture of my lovely new pillow and a link to my partner’s blog post about it!  {Thanks, Breanne!}

Can't wait to get this in our finished basement!

Now, a little about my gift for Breanne!  She mentioned that she likes classic Christmas decorations and Pottery Barn style, so I decided to make a decorative wreath.  After scanning the holiday section of the Pottery Barn website several times, it seemed that monochromatic, metallic was the way to go.  I started with a 12″ floral wreath form, gold ribbon, and some wooden letters – all from Micheals.

I then spray painted the letters gold and wrapped the wreath form with gold ribbon {which was a bargain at 70% off – I stocked up on lots of wired holiday ribbon!}.  When the whole surface of the wreath was covered, I just secured it in the back with a staple gun.

Gotta love spray paint!

Next up, I played around with a few ideas for center of the wreath.  I settled on backing the center with craft paper with a stamped leaf design.  I simply traced the inside of the wreath on craft paper and stamped around the circle using watermark ink.  Finally, a couple of leaf stamps in the center with gold embossing powder, and I was happy!

Next up I looped some more gold ribbon around the top of the wreath and tied a bow to hang it with.  I backed the craft paper with some thin cardboard using spray adhesive to make it a little sturdier and cut the backing down to size. This was also secured to the back using a staple gun.  Finally, it was time to attach the letters using a hot glue gun.

I was happy with the finished product and was hoping Breanne would be as well! Here’s a peek!

Finally, I wrapped it all up in some craft paper and festive twine and nervously put it in the mail {it’s amazing how much I cared what someone living halfway across the country who I will most likely never meet in person thought about my gift, but that’s probably why this gift exchange tends to work out}!

Hope she likes it!

The gift exchange was a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and and to get a taste of the talent and generosity of a complete stranger!  Thanks so much to Linda for organizing and to Breanne for putting so much thought and effort into my beautiful gift! Click here if you’d like to see examples of other handmade gifts given through the exchange! Happy holidays!

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4 Responses to “Fun surprises and holiday spirit {Handmade Gift Exchange}”

  1. Steph December 5, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    How very cool!!!

  2. Breanne December 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Thank you again for the beautiful wreath! It is fun to see how it all came together.

  3. jessi4098i December 15, 2011 at 4:34 am #

    Hello! I’m Breanne’s sister, and that is definitely her style. It turned out so good!

    • kpolon December 15, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Thanks, Jessi! I am definitely loving the pillow cover your sister made as well – it has really motivated me to do more work in our basement and we have since picked out a rug and a couch!
      I also clicked over to your blog – sounds like quite an adventure you’re having! Good luck!

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