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Giving a great gift to newlyweds  is a joy because often you’re giving the couple something that they will use or admire forever… And if you’re going to the trouble to get such a lovely gift, you may as well go the whole way and present it beautifully.

This is a project that works two-fold – it allows you to explore your creativity and play with different watercolour techniques and palates, plus it creates beautiful and unique gift wrap that you can use for weddings and other gifts.  As you may already know, we are partial to a polka dot or two around here, so I created watercolour polka dot paper in green, pink and blue.  Then for contrast, confetti flecks in the same colours.  I used a roll of gold foil paper and painted the back because I love the idea of double sided wrapping paper that is just as pretty on the inside as the outside.  Tied with bright ribbon and metallic tag attached, these pretty little parcels are going to make the married couple smile with delight- and you know no one else will have the same wrapping as you, it’s a signature DIY move that sets you apart!

You Will Need:
1 x roll white paper (or as we used, gold foil paper)

Watercolour paints

Paintbrush

Water

Scissors

Sticky tape

Ribbon & gift tags for wrapping

Step One. Cut a large piece of gift wrap or paper and spread out on table ready for painting.  We used the back side of gold foil gift wrap so it would be double sided.

Step Two. Take time to make your watercolours mixing a few drops of water with the paint.  Using an artists palate can be really handy as it makes it easy to mix varying shades of the same colour which works well for this project.

 

Step Three. Time to get painting!  Try a few practice designs on a scrap piece of paper and once you have decided, take your time to complete your chosen pattern onto the roll of gift wrap.  We firstly used a polka dot in varying colours.  Then we tried some confetti-style ‘flecks’ in varying colours.

Step Four.  Once you have finished the first pattern check for ‘even-ness’ of pattern – add additional polka dots if required, then leave to dry.

 

Step Five. Once completely dry, wrap your presents in the gift wrap. Tie with complementary ribbon and metallic gift tags.  We folded back the foil side for a pop of shine.  If you aren’t using the gift wrap right away, once dry, roll paper back onto cardboard roll and store away until ready to use.

Ms Zigzag says: Once the wedding is said and done, newlyweds have something exciting to look forward to (yes, waking up next to their new husband or wife and spending the rest of their lives together!), but another thing is opening their wedding presents together. Imagine the couple’s excitement when they stumble across beautifully hand painted wrapping paper too! They will be feeling the love. 

About Jessica Derrick: I’m a writer and a lover of words and stories, pretty papers and flowers. I find great satisfaction in creating something beautiful from the simplest of materials. I’m happiest in a home bustling with conversation and music, sitting at a beautifully decorated table surrounded by good friends and delicious food – with a glass of champagne in hand, of course!

There is nothing better on a hot Summers day than an icy pole (or a popsicle for our American friends) and this tipsy take on an old favourite makes for an easy and refreshing twist on classic Summer flavours.

With tropical lime and pineapple, we added a little Coco Vodka to the mix, for a rather hydrating, healthy frozen cocktail treat. If you’re making this for little ones, we suggest substituting coconut water  for Coco-Vodka.

We’ve included the ingredients below in parts since each icy pole or popsicle mold is a little different!

Ingredients 

One part lime juice

Six parts pineapple juice

Six parts  Coco Vodka

Fresh mint leaves

Method

In a large jug, combine lime juice, pineapple juice and coco vodka.

Pour into your icy pole molds and add mint leaves.

Freeze overnight.

Enjoy!

Recipe and image: Polka Dot Bride 

When deciding on favours for your guests, there are many culinary delights as delicious options! If you’re looking for something a little different, and your guests love a bit of heat, why not make your own sweet chilli sauce? There are many different recipes, but we’ve stuck with a simple process which you can tinker with.

Once you’ve cooked up a storm in the kitchen, decant into gorgeous jars or sauce pots and label with a sweet tag. Remember to let guests know how hot you’ve made the sauce, and be sure to keep a few extra jars for yourself. Delicious!

What You Will Need:

  • 500g chillies
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups castor sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Heavy based saucepan
  • Sterilised jars and wrapping decorations
  • Sharp knife
  • Mixing spoon – use a metal one to avoid passing chilli onto other dishes!
  • Disposable gloves – keep those hands away from the face!

What To Do:

Step One. Weigh and wash your chillies. You will need quite a large amount (unless bulking up the sauce with tomatoes or red peppers), so ask around to see if anyone you know has any growing in their garden. If you’re up for a bigger project, try growing them yourself – they are incredibly easy!

Chop half the chillies finely and place in a heavy-based saucepan. Deseed the other half before chopping them as finely as possible, and adding to the saucepan. Be very careful at this point to either wear gloves, or keep your hands away from your face. If you’re wanting a finer sauce, place half the chillies in a food processor before adding to the saucepan. And if you’re looking to make a hotter sauce, keep all the seeds in.

Step Two. Add the vinegar, sugar, and garlic cloves (minced) to the saucepan. Keep on a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Once the pan has reached boiling point, turn it back down and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. Keep a close eye on the saucepan, as it can quickly turn to caramelised chillies because of the sugar content.

Step Three. Once the sauce has reached a pouring consistency, decant into your chosen jars and seal. Decorate and wrap the jars to match your theme, adding a tag to let guests know how spicy the sauce is!

Ms Zigzag says: You could have some fun with the quotes on the labels…For jars of jam, I’ve seen “Spread the Love.” What works for sweet chilli sauce? “Some like it hot” perhaps? 

About Ms Honeycomb  – Hi, I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric-loving, mint tea-drinking, brownie-baking, book-obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).