Many correlate cherry blossoms with spring, which is a wonderful time of year, and now approaching in the southern hemisphere, but we’ve also been having some fun with cherry blossoms right now while crafting up some fun makes using pretty gift wrap, for there is no wrong time for beauty! And don’t forget…pretty paper can be used for crafting all year long!
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Tuttle Publishing kindly sent us a booklet of Cherry Blossoms Gift Wrapping Papers a while back, but we have had our hands full with other projects around the house and out enjoying the fine weather we’ve had this summer. Now that the days are already noticeably getting darker, it’s time to bring some cheer and lightness into the house.
There are 12 sheets of blossom-filled paper in this book; they are 18×24″ / 45x61cm and are folded into 4, so you may want to keep this in mind as there will be creases in the pages from this folding. The pages are bound together and to use one you gently tear it out using the perforations. The sheets are a little glossy; if you’ve used Tuttle’s origami kits, they are like those papers in finish, but thicker.
The colours of the papers are varied; blue, teal, red, cream, brown, black, purple…and each family member favours different styles and colours, so you will be sure to find the perfect sheet for everyone.
At the front of the book is information about cherry blossoms in Japan, from ancient times, depicted through woodblock prints, down to modern times with photos of kimono-clad women taking selfies. I know from experience that there are only a few short days when the trees are in full bloom that they are revered and the country celebrates with whole businesses going out and picnicing beneath the trees as the petals begin to fall and look like delicate snow drifting through the air. You can see some of my experience in this hanami post.
The papers are so pretty, that they cry out to be used for more crafty uses than simply gift wrap. There are 9 examples of projects you could use the papers for in the front of the book. You could make hashi wraps (check out our tutorial for those here). The children and I had some fun being creative with them, too.
I covered the book I am currently reading, Japan: A Guide to Traditions, Customs and Etiquette, to keep it in good condition (which is always slightly harder to do when you have children). Check back on the blog later this month where Tristan gives a tutorial on covering books in the Japanese style.
Tristan covered a coffee box to make a cool pencil pot that will look lovely sitting on the kitchen counter, or wherever he is working. He has a plan to create a way to ‘lock’ the lid to keep his school supplies safe, too!
Kallista also wanted to create a place to keep her new pencils and supplies under control…so she carefully covered a tubular box with some cherry blossom paper and she’s very happy with the outcome.
You could also put different items inside the tube and make a game where you have to guess the contents by the sound….try sand, marbles, pens, paperclips, action figures, etc. That would be fun! Or cover a shorter, wider tube and turn it into a drum!
And of course, you can also use the gift wrap for….wrapping gifts! Over the summer, our library had a mini class in making gift bags so I just had to make one at home to try it out. I think the bag is beautiful in Tuttle Publishing gift wrap (this paper style is in this book).
As you can see, we’ve been having a lot of fun wrapping up…everything in sight; there are so many ways that gift wrap can be used! Let me know your favourite way to use gift wrap in the comments below!