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Category Archives: Homemade Gifts

Housewarming Gifts

Welcome to our humble abode!

Traditionally, the warming of a new house was a literal act, with friends and family taking gifts of firewood to the new home. Fires were lit in all the fireplaces both to warm the home and to cleanse the house of any resident evil spirits. Today however, we are more likely to give housewarming gifts as a way to celebrate the purchase of a new home, when attending a housewarming party or as a welcome gesture for new people to the neighbourhood.

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Housewarming Gift Ideas

Gifts to Take to the New Home:

One of the great things about gifts that you are able to take personally to the new home is that they don’t need to be wrapped up for postage… so you are free to take…

A Fresh Plant:

There is always room in everybody’s house for a lovely, new, houseplant…

Image via Pinterest

Food:

Home baking is always appreciated, as are dinner standby’s such as casseroles and treats such as a freshly made dessert pie…

Housewarming gift ideas

Image of Blueberry Lemon Verbena Pie from 101 Cookbooks

Champagne

Nothing says celebration like a bit of bubbly…

housewarming gift ideas

Image via The Glitter Guide

Homemade Gift Baskets:

These are really fun to put together and can look beautiful, especially if you forget the 1980’s cellophane and big ribbons look, and opt for a more lovely natural style…

housewarming gift ideas

Image via Daily Dose of Stuf

Or A Creative Gift Idea:

Like this fun gift presentation from The Housewife Rookie  which would be great for a housewarming…

housewarming gift ideas

As would this beautifully styled apron, recipe and cake tin gift idea from Julie Blanner

housewarming gift ideas

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Gifts to Send to the New Home

But what if you don’t live in the same town and can’t deliver a house-warming gift personally? Then you will need to send a gift, and at The Paper Package we have some great ideas for you!

A Stylish Set of Rifle Paper Co. Notecards & Envelopes

The perfect thing for every new home-owner to have on hand… to say thanks, or hi, or let people know their new address and phone number…

housewarming gift ideas

Lovely Kitchen Gift Sets

Not the kind of thing people usually purchase for themselves, these stylish and practical items will make a welcome addition to a new kitchen…

housewarming gift ideas

Left: Kitchen Care Gift Pack : Right: Family Recipe Gift Package

Room Fragrance

The unique packaging of this Banks and Co. Room Fragrance is reminiscent of the crystal port decanters on the “Endeavour”as used by the 18th Century Sea Captains. A quality NZ-made product, that makes a lovely gift for a new home.

housewarming gift ideas

Gourmet Gift Baskets

A gift box of yummy treats is ideal for when you want to say “Happy Housewarming” but don’t have either the time (or skills hehe) to make something yourself…

housewarming gift ideas - gourmet gift baskets

Vintage Housewarming Gift Basket

An original gift box featuring a lovely bottle of lavender linen water, delicious white chocolate brownie, organic tea from Harney & Sons and yummy loose fudge bites. A wonderful way to welcome in a fresh, new home!

housewarming gift ideas

And finally…

The Moleskine Home Life Journal

A new release from the uber-popular Moleskine brand, this journal is an indispensable companion for the home. The perfect place to plan domestic changes, organise large and small jobs in the home and record interior design ideas. An original and stylish gift that perfect for a housewarming!

housewarming gift ideas

Happy Housewarming!!

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Valentine’s Day: Last Minute Gift Ideas

So you’ve forgotten all about ordering a Valentine’s Day gift online and the only things left to buy are supermarket chocolate or over-priced roses… well, don’t panic just yet, because we’ve found 5 great last minute Valentine’s day ideas!

Why not share the love this Valentine’s Day by…

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1. Sending them a love letter via the Bureau of Communication

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2. Getting crafty to tell them why you love them…

via http://papervinenz.blogspot.co.nz

52 reasons!! That’s going to be hard to come up with at the last minute – maybe this is more realistic…

via http://www.howdoesshe.com

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3. Making them a yummy heart-shaped something-something…

Like a Cake…

Or a Pizza…

(This would be a thousand times better with Jamie Oliver’s pizza dough!)

Or some sweet cinnamon rolls…

via http://poppiesatplay.blogspot.co.nz

Or BACON (come on… what says “romance” more than bacon?!)

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4. Re-packaging some supermarket goodies…

… and pretending they’re homemade, he he ;)

via the lovely http://www.twigandthistle.com

… or using this fantastic printable wrapper around their favourite (King-Sized!) chocolate bar…

via http://www.lesscakemorefrosting.com

[n.b. this took me a while to figure out, but you download the wrapper using the little downward arrow (next to the printer symbol) on the "box" (first image)]

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5. Having a laugh…

Funny “Valentine-Schmalentine” minimal-effort printable card from http://mmmcrafts.blogspot.co.nz

Heart-warming sentiment from Patrick!

Printable lunch-box jokes from http://kristendukephotography.com

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♥ HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! ♥

 

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Teacher Gifts

As we roll into the last week or so of primary school for the year, you might be considering giving a small Christmas gift to your child’s teacher(s).

I think it’s a nice idea at the end of the year to let teachers know how much they’re appreciated, and it’s also really nice for your kids to be able to give a present to someone who’s such a big part of their daily life.

With this in mind I did a little internet research to see what kinds of things teachers like to receive, and although it seems this varies widely, some gifts that are sure to be well-appreciated include stationery items (including quality journals or notebooks like the ones at The Paper Package:))…  or a diary for next year… a nice bottle of wine…  a book voucher… a lovely Christmas ornament… or even a gift basket. Realising that these involve a bit of cost however, it could be a good idea to join together with other parents to save the budget a little.

And speaking of cost… it really isn’t necessary to spend much money at all. I am sure any teacher would appreciate a heart-felt thank you card or note – especially if you take the time to specifically mention some of the ways that they have helped your child over the year (rather than just a generic “thanks”). And in our internet hunt we’ve also discovered some cute and creative ideas that don’t cost too much, and that could be fun to make with your kids…

Like this Reindeer Lunchbag idea from Family Fun.go.com. This would be great filled with some nice homemade goodies.

And staying with the theme, this cute Flannel Reindeer from Bumble Bee’s Craft Den is a great way of packaging a nice bar of soap…

Likewise this bag of Reindeer Noses (a.k.a.jaffas) from Craft Fairy also makes a super little gift…

Apples and teachers mix well together, so these simple but effective Candy Apple gifts from Somewhat Simple should make the grade…

Or these sweet looking Apple Cupcakes from Makes and Takes

Or what about these lovely sugar’ n ‘spice Apple Cookies (with free printable tags!) from Mum’s Business

For those of you with active little tackers, these rolls of Dynamite from Jasey’s Crazy Daisy are a bit of a blast…

Or for those with more studious offspring here are a couple of fabulous Wise Owl ideas from Lisa Storms

So cute, what a hoot!

Moving on quickly to more pun-filled fun… how great would these sweet bags & “O-fish-ally the Best”  labels from Eighteen25 be filled with that NZ all-time favourite, Chocolate Fish…

And sticking with the puns, these printable Flower Picks from Skip To My Lou look bloomin’ good!

And who could resist this final idea… it’s PRETTY. I don’t think it really matters what is inside the jar, but Simple As That‘s presentation is so simple and sweet it would melt the heart of Miss Trunchbull!

So thanks to all the teachers out there doing a fantastic job, trying to help all our kids get the eduction and opportunities they deserve!! Enjoy your holidays :)

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

Continuing on with our Christmas gift guides, today’s post is all about choosing gifts for children. Now, we’re not really talking here about parents choosing gifts for their own kids for Christmas (that is outside our expertise as mainly selling gift basket-type products), this is more a guide for extended family or friends who may not have a lot of day-to-day contact with the kids but would like to give them a present at Christmas.

In this post we want to start with some of our top tips for choosing gift ideas that kids will love, then go on to showcase some of our children’s gifts from The Paper Package, and finish up with a few fun examples of homemade gifts kids will love…

1. Top 5 Tips for Choosing Children’s Gifts

Tip # 1 – If at all possible – check with the parents first

Children’s interests can change markedly from year to year, so a quick email or phone call to the parents could be the best step towards finding that perfect gift. They often have interests (obsessions?) related to what is currently popular at school or on TV, and although the trend usually only lasts for a little while, at the time it can be all they want.

Tip # 2 – Online toy stores can have great gift buying guides

It’s really hard to keep up with what stages kids are at, so online stores where you can research what’s age-appropriate and popular can be a great help.

IQ Toys (www.iqtoys.co.nz) is an example of a great website in NZ for checking out kids toys. They have “shop by age” and “shop by price” categories, buyer’s guides for different age groups and customer reviews of products (note: we aren’t affiliated or associated with IQ Toys in any way :) )

Other good places to look for ideas include lists of the latest book award winners (try NZ Post Children’s Book Awards Finalists) or toy awards.

Tip # 3 – There’s always the classics

There are just some gifts for children that never seem to go out of style – for example Lego, Barbies, crafts, stationery (especially for girls), stickers, magic tricks, bouncy balls and books.

Tip # 4 – Family presents make great Christmas gift ideas

Giving a gift to the whole family at Christmas time can be a nice idea. For example – movie passes, tickets to the local swimming complex, vouchers for a simple meal out or items like board games that the whole family can play.

Similarly, a family gift basket can make a great present. A family DVD with a big bag of popcorn (or packets of microwave popcorn if you’re posting the gift) and chocolate bars, minties etc. makes a great movie night basket. Or try a new tray of cupcake tins with cake mix, icings, liners and lots of sprinkles and little sweets for decoration – kids love making and decorating their own cup cakes, and this makes for a fun family-orientated holiday activity.

Tip # 5 – If in doubt – add something sweet!

A few lollies or sweets added to a gift for children always has the effect of turning it into a huge hit! It’s  especially fun to add things that sensible parents might cringe at – like those huge lollipops as big as your face, or their own individual boxes of chocolates. 100% Guaranteed to please.

So, on to some of our own lovingly wrapped gift ideas…

2. Children’s Gifts from The Paper Package

First up, gift boxes. Although it might not be the first thing you think of in relation to children’s gifts, receiving their own “brown paper package tied up with string” in the post or in person can be a fun idea for Christmas. In our Christmas gift basket range we have 4 that are particularly suitable for children (as well as anybody else who is young at heart :)) Please click through the links or images for more details.

Little Xmas Treat Box

Just like the name says – a nostalgic little package of treats…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

Jolly Sweet Gift Box

A traditional taste of the tuck shop in a box – with lots of freshly made old favourites like sherbet, candy rock, gingerbread, cola fizzies…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

Xmas Chocko Box

This is a guaranteed to please idea for most teenagers. Chock full of chocolate and wrapped in a lovely vintage-style…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

Christmas Bluebirds Gift Box

Particularly suitable for tween or teenage girls, this lovely gift box contains cute stationery and more…

Christmas Gift Baskets for Children

As well as these Christmas gift baskets, we also have available a small number of quality paper products for children that could make a great Christmas gift.

For example, these puzzles from the multi award-winning Mudpuppy Press, New York.

Christmas gifts for children

Around the World Puzzle  :  Fairytale Puzzle  :  Pirates Puzzle Package

Or these imaginative and creative gifts with a nostalgic twist…

Christmas gifts for children

Clockwise from top left: Robots Create-A-Card Set  :  Crafty Flowers  :  Little Robots Package  :  Fairytale Theatre

In the final part of this post we’d like to show you a few homemade gift ideas for children this Christmas…

3. Homemade Children’s Gifts

Candy Cane Playdough

A cute and inexpensive idea for littlies…

From The Artful Parent

Picnic / Adventure Basket

This awesome gift was given for a wedding, but the idea could be wonderfully adapted to make a children’s version (or an adventure basket). Thinking along the lines of… a butterfly catcher, binoculars, magnifying glass, notebook & pencil etc. along with the blanket and drink bottle (absolutely love the idea of the viewfinder too!)

From Tiger in a Jar

Ice-Cream Sundae Kit

Along similar lines, this collection of toppings, sauces and cones makes a perfect summer Christmas gift…

From Family Bites

So that’s our guide to children’s Christmas gifts… the next post planned is gifts for women so stay tuned for some nice eye candy :)

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Grandparents & Extended Family

Continuing our series of Christmas gift guides, today we’re focusing on reasonably-priced gift ideas for grandparents and extended family.

It would be interesting to know how many of us still buy or give Christmas presents to our extended family?  A lot of people seem to have agreements to just give gifts to their immediate family members or they run things like ballots or secret santa’s within the family to keep the costs and stress levels down. But, not-to-fear, if your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. are still on your gift list, here are some great ideas…

Firstly, from The Paper Package:

1. Lavender Gift Box  $56.00 including delivery

This lovely gift box features high quality, NZ-made lavender products and old-fashioned sweets. It makes the perfect Christmas present for a grandmother or older aunt…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Lavender Gift Box

2. Talking Family $52.00 including delivery

This is a fantastic gift idea for your grandparents, or as a combined gift for your whole extended family. It’s a set of Table Topics conversation starters focused on family history and stories.Ideal for when you’re planning to spend some time with the whole family, this game can be great fun and who knows, you might even discover some hidden family secrets!

Christmas Gift Ideas - Family Gathering

3. Merry & Bright Sugar-Free Gift Box $58.00 including delivery

Thinking of older family members again, many of them may be diabetic or pre-diabetic. We have designed this Christmas gift box to be as sugar-free as possible, so it makes a great choice for anyone who needs to regulate their sugar intake…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Merry & Bright Sugar Free Gift Box

4. Jolly Sweet Gift Box $49.50 including delivery

For the younger family members, this gift box of tuck-shop treats would be perfect to send to nephews or nieces this Christmas. Packed with old-fashioned sweets like sherbert fizzies, fruit jellies, candy rock and gingerbread and wrapped in a gorgeous, nostalgic style with a handmade “jolly snowman” gift tag…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Jolly Sweet Gift Box

Christmas Gift Ideas

5. Ciak Golf Notebook $38.00 including delivery

The Ciak Golf notebook is handmade in Florence from soft leather. It makes a high quality gift for under $40.00 and is perfect for the golf enthusiasts in your family (women or men)…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Ciak Golf Notebook

6. Winterthur Flowers Flip Top Notecards $29.00 including delivery

These fabulous note card sets make a great Christmas gift for your nana, aunty or sister-in-law. Made by Galison, New York, this lovely set contains 12 gorgeous note cards and matching envelopes in a keepsake magnetic-closure box. The beautiful “Winterthur” flowers vintage design comes from a 19th Century book of watercolours, originally produced for the porcelain work of Thomas Dimmock & Company in Hanley, England.

Christmas Gift Ideas - Winterthur flowers notecard set

So that’s our top selection of Christmas gifts for grandparents and extended family… but of course there are plenty more gift ideas on our website that you might find suitable for Christmas this year, including some from our ranges of  gifts for men, gifts for women or Christmas gift boxes.

Now on to some other great gift ideas that you could make at home…

DIY Photo Coasters from Lee La La

Christmas Gift Ideas - Homemade Photo Coasters

These would make a fantastic gift idea for grandparents!

(note: in NZ Mod Podge is available online from http://www.artsupplies.co.nz)

Map Coasters from Martha Stewart

A similar idea that could be great for a grandfather (especially if you were able to use maps of places you had visited together or that were close to his heart…)

Christmas Gift Ideas - Map Coasters

Felt Christmas Decorations from Bugs and Fishes

These are very cute ideas for giving to extended family or friends (popped inside a Christmas Card maybe?)

Christmas Gift Ideas - Homemade Felt Decorations

If you have children at home it would be a great project to do together (especially if they don’t turn out looking this good – then you could blame it on the kids lol :))

Personalised Guess Who? Game from obSUESSed

This is a really fun idea for the whole extended family. Use an old “Guess Who” game to make a personalised version for your own family members…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Personalised Guess Who Game

Imagine the fun you could have asking “Does he look prematurely bald?” or “Does she have a silly expression on her face?” Could get the Christmas Day get-together off to a great start!!

Grandpa Photo Collage from Women Living Well

We first came across this idea when looking for Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas, but it works equally well for a Christmas present…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Grandpa photo collage

(of course you ‘d have to have the right number of grandkids in the family for the name you use!!)

Candy Cane Mice Decorations from Martha Stewart

Another great little gift idea from Martha Stewart. These look fairly easy for children to make with just a little bit of help, and would also make great little gifts for their friends…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Christmas mice decorations

And finally…

This last gift idea we found COULD be fun to give to your grandparents (but only if they have a nice and dark sense of humour!)

All My Friends Are Dead $14.12 from Fishpond

Christmas Gift Ideas

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas – For Neighbours, Colleagues & Acquaintances

We are starting our series of Christmas gift guides with this one for “neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances”. It is probably fair to say that these are people who you need/want to give Christmas presents to, while at the same time you don’t want to spend TOO much money on.

We’re thinking here of gifts for people like your neighbours (especially if they’re collecting your mail or feeding your cat over the holidays), your boss or co-workers, your customers or business acquaintances, and your children’s’ teachers, doctor or nurse etc. etc…

Some general gift buying tips:

  • Because these are people that you may not know very well personally, it is probably best to choose gifts that are fairly generic and non-personal (a good rule of thumb is that the less personal the relationship you have with somebody, the more generic the gift should be)
  • A good price range for these types of gifts would be around the $5.00 – $30.00 mark
  • You really want to avoid anything that has religious overtones, is tasteless or trashy or, worst of all, comes within the “humorous rude” category (especially for gifts that people have to open in front of others!)
  • And, as with all gifts (but especially inexpensive gifts), presentation is everything.

 

So, on with the gift suggestions. Firstly we will feature some suitable gifts we have available at The Paper Package, then we’ll go on to some other great gift ideas that you can put together yourself.

Gifts from The Paper Package:

We have a number of products available in the gifts under $30.00 price range that we particularly like as Christmas presents for your neighbours, colleagues or acquaintances.

1. Little Bottle of Gift Tags – Nature ($16.95 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A cute little bottle of woodland/nature themed gift tags – perfect for Christmas-time gift giving.

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Little Bottle of Gift Tags

2. Banks & Co. Body Bar ($24.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A lovely, luxurious gift for women, prettily wrapped up for Christmas…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Banks & Co. Body Bar

3. Gardener’s Hand Cream ($29.90 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A very popular hand cream for men and women, gardeners and anybody working outdoors…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Scully's Gardener's Hand Cream

4. Italian Leather Notebook ($29.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

Handmade in Florence, this is a high quality, stylish gift for under $30.00

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Ciak Lined Pocket Notebook

5. Butterfly Notebook ($29.90 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

This is just the most adorable Christmas gift… a gorgeous purse sized notebook from Cavallini & Co.

Christmas Gift guide 2011 - Butterfly notebook

and last but not least, a gift that will probably suit everybody…

6. Merry Christmas Paper Package ($29.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A cheery little gift box of Christmas treats!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Merry Xmas Paper Package

There are plenty more Christmas gift boxes and gifts under $30.00 to check out on our website, but for now we’ll move on to some fabulous, inexpensive gifts that you could put together yourself…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Vintage Xmas Postcard

Food items make an ideal little gift for Christmas, especially when they’re presented creatively…

Homemade Biscuit Dough Roll

This is a great idea for an inexpensive Christmas gift from Southern Living… your favourite biscuit dough in a roll, wrapped in a printout of the recipe/baking instructions (note: this does have to be kept in the fridge – but wouldn’t it be a great Christmas gift for your neighbours?!)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Cookie Dough Roll

Cupcakes

Cupcakes might be so last year, but how could you not love these!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Frog Prince Paperie

And how cute are these…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - North Pole Cupcakes

North Pole Cupcakes from Kara’s Party Ideas

Or, moving on from cupcakes, what about a plate of these fun melting snowman biscuits from Crazy Domestic? Love them!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Melting Snowman Cookies

No-Cook Food Gifts

But if home baking is not your thing, there’s this idea for a hot chocolate mix in a jar (I know these ideas aren’t the most seasonally appropriate for a summer Christmas… but they all look so great!)

Peppermint Stick Cocoa from myrecipes.com

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Peppermint Stick Cocoa

And a couple of other non-cook food related gift ideas that we’ve come across:

  • a pretty old teacup & saucer from a second-hand shop filled with an assortment of herbal teas
  • custom spice blends or bbq rubs in jars with recipes to accompany

Gifts in Jars

Talking about jars… turns out just about everything can look better in a jar!

Like mini marshmallows (from delia creates – a lovely blog that has some great ideas for neighbourly Christmas gifts)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Snowman Jar

Or bath salts

Christmas Guide 2011 - Bath Salts

[Click through the image to the recipe for these homemade bath salts, or there is another great tutorial here]

Or some gorgeous-looking homemade vanilla extract

Christmas Gift Guide - Vanilla

This beautiful DIY project from Style Me Pretty involves vodka, vanilla pods and 2 months infusing… so just a heads-up that if you’re interested in making it for Christmas gifts you will need to start it within the next couple of weeks :)

Other things that look good in jars…

Gift Cards!! (when they look like snow globes that is!)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Snowglobe gift cards

Such a clever idea to make gift cards more fun from One Charming Party

And moving on from jars… a lovely fresh herb plant also makes a festive & inexpensive Christmas gift

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Christmas Herb Plants

And finally, here’s one to appeal to the guys… reindeer beer! An inspired idea from Life of a Modern Mom

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Reindeer Beer

So that’s about it for our Christmas gift guide for neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances. Hopefully you’ve found something to inspire your Christmas giving… and remember to keep checking The Paper Package website for other great gift ideas (we’re busy adding new products all the time) ♥

 

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