Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Insourcing...making gifts and planning ahead...

Do you have a gift budget? Or do you just spend as required? Does this mean you sometimes overspend?
Do you admire those who always seem to have the knack of gifting something unusual?
Do you wish you were one of those people who always has the right unique gift on hand for impromptu (or planned) gifting?
News flash.
It's not hard. And you don't have to be a crafting guru to manage it.
You just need to plan ahead.
Look at these precious things. Little gilt embossed 10ml atomisers, embellished with tiny black grosgrain bows, and filled with customised essential oil fragrance blends.
I made 6 of them in less than an hour BUT I had to plan ahead.
You see one of my goals for this year, was to teach myself how to blend essential oil perfumes. I have Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting to thank for reigniting my interest in essential oils this year. She's been running a series on The Home Pharmacy, and having a Mum who was hugely into natural remedies...well...it was a winner at first sight.
We are big on scent of all types in our home, and so little DIY scents seemed like a clever thing to do. I already had a stockpile of lovely oils left over from soap making and body product manufacturing of all kinds over the last few years. So really...why not?
Fortunately little perfumes are dead easy to make and master, and after a small amount of research, I was able to concoct 5 different potions, each with their own unique loveliness.
But FIRST, I had to find suitable atomisers. These caught my eye with their delicate gilt embossing. You can find them here. They were ridiculously inexpensive, but took about a month to arrive.
I'd done my research (this is important so that you can determine how you want your gifts to look), and decided that these Guerlain atomisers was the look I was after.

I think my representation is along the same lines. Simple, elegant, yet eye catching. The thing is to seek inspiration, not replication.

Powder puffs were on the to-do list this year as well. Annabel also has wonderful ideas for these. You can find them here.
Annabels look like this...

...I try never to copy someone elses idea slavishly, so my first ones are polar fleece with oversized pastel chiffon bows, and look like this....
These are scented with a chocolate powder sachet inside them and I bought the Chocolate Fragrance Oil here. I mixed it with cornflour and popped it into a little paper swatch, and hid it inside the stuffing of the powder puff. These will be the most adorable Easter gifts, and calorie free!

This pretty rose stamped gift wrap is made with the cut bottom of a bunch of celery, and a simple black stamp pad, found at any stationers. Who'd think celery could look so lovely? I stamped Butchers paper, but brown paper would be just as beautiful. That's the sort stuff you buy by weight from wholesale stationers or party supplies.

I spotted these lovely wrapped chocolates on Instagram and just knew I'd be replicating them for Easter as well. I have done these before and you can see my version here. To me, this looks like wallpaper samples, so I know where I'm off to this afternoon. There's a wallpaper supplier right near where I live, so I'll be putting on my best smile and simply asking if they'd sell me some swatches, and see what happens!

A simple gift of Miracle Cleaner in a pretty cut glass bottle with gingham cloths cut from recycled sheets can be a lovely housewarming gift for the right person. This is another idea I got from Annabel. You can see her post on Miracle cleaner and pretty cloths here.

This sublime Laduree cup has me brainstorming how to make a similar cover for coffee cups. I'm thinking pistachio velvet and gold cord.
You see, there is inspiration everywhere. You just have to...
Be aware, and look for opportunities.
Think laterally...you don't have to replicate exactly...use the idea and make it your own.
Package your gifts prettily...it makes all the difference.
You can do it.


  1. Your gifts look beautiful Mimi! Thankyou for the inspiration and links !
    Ive been interested in oils for about 22 years and have a collection of oils , and like you Ive beenn inspired again by Annabel and you. I have made my own scents in the past. Many years ago a friend gave me a gorgeous small flat scent bottle . The surface is textured glass and it has a silver spider with paua abdomen sitting on an angle to one side and the silver lid has a tassell off it, I just love it.Its about 2inches in diameter.
    Gorgeous ideas and so pretty , with love Maria xxx

    1. Hello Maria, and thankyou! Isn't it funny how these ideas just gather momentum from time to time. It's a good case for keeping things, not getting rid of them...although that's a dangerous subject in itself...lol! Your scent bottle sounds simply sublime. You lucky thing. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Thank you Mimi! I am LOVING the coffee cup and luxury theme there. This could be big! I went off and ordered those little spray perfume bottles. What a buy! They look lovely and this will make such nice gifts.
    With your Mum's knowledge of essential oils you are ahead. I am working away on these and some homeopathics as here were are in autumn and its almost flu season. Seriously after last year this gave us all a fright. And the US had it so bad... our news barely mentioned it but they closed schools and movie theatres etc and the death toll was staggering. Due to antibiotics etc we all made light of illness a bit and now suddenly it is a bit different with super bugs and so on... I think this didnt worry me until having Grandchildren and seeing one so sick.... Anyway this has spurred me on to max. prevention and a line up of treatments. And on the more gentle side I LOVE the calming essential oils... I mentioned this to you already but for a divine recipe google DoTERRA ClaryCalm and note the ingredient list... something about it is so good! I am addicted to it! thanks for the mentions... the powder puffs are a divine gift! With love Annabel.xxx

    1. Dear Annabel, my brain is just in overdrive sometimes. Once you see possibilities in one area, it's hard not to go off on a tangent in all different directions! I'm in the midst of doing the coffee cup sleeve right now, and whilst it's a little more challenging than I thought, like everything, once I have the method ironed out, it will be smooth sailing. Flu season is just the pits, and I always pat myself on the back just a tad too early. There really is no escaping it completely, but we CAN minimise the impact on our own families for sure. I'm off to check out this ClaryCalm. It sounds divine! Thankyou for so many wonderful ideas. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. I love your gift ideas; so feminine and original. Looking forward to seeing how you go with the wallpaper wrappings. I have to admit to buying those chocolates in lovely wrappers for some huge price. Not sure that the chocolate is really that good but they look great.
    Janiebabe x

    1. Janiebabe, I know what you mean. I once bought a chocolate bar in a wrapper made to look like a one million dollar note. The chocolate was awful, but it was a fun idea! Mimi xxx


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