DIY Holiday Gift Box

With Christmas being almost 10 days away (or as I like to say, 2 Saturday’s away), I hope you have started your shopping. With most of my family out of state and country, I find the names on my Christmas list getting shorter and shorter. While some of you might think that I’m super lucky that I don’t have a long list of people to buy for, believe it or not, I genuinely enjoy Christmas shopping. I like taking the time to pick out unique items for each specific person. And yes, I love wrapping presents!

But, if you are like me, no matter how prepared I am for holiday gift giving, there always seems to be a situation where I need a gift. Whether it’s a thank you gift, a hostess gift, or whatnot. Thankfully I’ve discovered the best way to be prepared for those moments is to have some small items, a box, and some crinkled paper on hand. Then I jut go to that stash of goodies, pick out some items, and create a customized gift box. I add a few fresh flowers (or a succulent) and a small greeting card and I’m good to go.

For those of you needing a little inspiration on designing a Holiday gift box, I’ve designed one for you to use as a guide. I made this for a couple of lemon enthusiasts. Most of the items in the gift box were purchased from World Market.

DIY Holiday Gift Box

What you’ll need:
• Gift Box
• Variety of Items
• Crinkled Paper

What I used:
Wooden crate
• Fresh Flowers + Mercury Glass Vase (similar here)
Honey Lemon Wafers
Lemon Poppyseed Scones
Lemon Drop Candies
Lemon Curd
Orange Blossom Honey (similar here)
Lavender Lemonade Tea
Tea Infuser

Notes:
Holiday gift boxes are great because you can create each one for the specific individual that will be receiving it. I find it easiest if you choose a theme for the box that is appropriate for the person receiving the gift. Whether that theme is a color, an occasion (ie: holiday – like what I’m doing) or interest (ie: tea, wine), having a theme helps you choose items and gives your gift a cohesive look and feel.

Be creative and think outside the box when it comes to the “box.” Crates, mixing bowls, strainers, trays and many other things can be used as your “box.”

I generally include some type of “living” item in each gift box. Depending on the person, you could give a succulent, potted herbs, a small bouquet, or even an air plant.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box
JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

Instructions:
1. Lay out everything you want to include in the gift box – this will help you get an idea of what you have. Keep in mind you might not use everything you bought.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

2. Place the crinkled paper in the bottom of the box.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

3. Start playing around with where items should be placed. Generally, the taller items should go in the back, with smaller items placed on top/last.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift BoxJS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Grand Rapids Floral Designer DIY Holiday Gift Box

Holiday Entertaining: The Cocktail Party

Hosting a cocktail party this holiday season? Here are some tips to make sure your event goes off without a hitch.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Space
– Having a space dedicated for the bar is a must! If you are hosting a large party, it’s even a good idea to have two drink stations in different areas to avoid long waits and bottlenecks.
– Bar carts are an easy when it comes to creating a designated space for drinks.
– Don’t have a bar cart? You can create a bar on a buffet, media console, kitchen counter or even a desk.
– Make sure your bar isn’t too close to your buffet or dining table – don’t crowd all your spaces into one area, let things flow to prevent traffic jams.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Build Your Bar
– Put the best booze on top: if you have a bar cart, put the most popular drinks on top for easiest access and stash the backups below.
– Ditch the full bar: there is no need to offer every kind of liquor, mixer and garnish. Instead, focus on one or two signature drinks, a red wine, a white wine, a beer, and definitely a sparkling wine.
– Signature Drinks: A signature drink can be a money saver and a time saver. Mix up a big batch, give it a fun name, and let guests serve themselves.
– Non-Alcohol: Don’t neglect the non-drinkers. A citrus punch of orange juice, cranberry juice and ginger ale is always a good option.
– Organize with trays and bowls: Use trays to compartmentalize glassware, booze, and garnishes. Use bowls to display the garnishes, bar tools, toothpicks, swizzle sticks, and stylish straws. Don’t be afraid to mix up the styles and sizes.
– Prep drinks + apps: Arrange your apps and prep your drinks prior to your guests’ arrival. Enlist in a friend to help plate the apps and get the drinks flowing.
– Make it festive: Give your bar a decorative layer (just like you would your mantle or dining table).

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Simple Bar Checklist
– Alcohol: red + white wine, beer, champagne, two signature cocktails
– Mixers: club soda, fruit juice, soft drinks, water (sparking and still)
– Garnishes: ice, lemons, limes, maraschino cherries, olives
– Glassware: champagne flutes, old-fashioned glasses, wine glasses,
– Tools: bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail shaker, cutting board, ice bucket, jigger, strainer, pairing knife
– Odds + Ends: coasters, toothpicks, drink stirrers, swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins
– Trays + Bowls

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer DIY Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Party

Full Bar Checklist
– Alcohol: beer, bourbon, brandy, champagne, gin, liqueurs, rum, scotch, sherry, tequila, vermouth, vodka, whiskey, wine (red + white)
– Mixers: club soda, fruit juice, ginger beer, soft drinks, tomato juice, tonic water, water (sparking and still)
– Garnishes: ice, lemons, limes, maraschino cherries, olives
– Glassware: champagne flutes, old-fashioned glasses, highball glasses, martini glasses, wine glasses (red + white)
– Tools: bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail shaker, cutting board, ice bucket, jigger, strainer, pairing knife
– Odds + Ends: Coasters, toothpicks, drink stirrers, swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins
– Trays + Bowls

For a printable PDF, click here

Strawberry Rosé Sangria

At the beginning of July I had the pleasure of throwing my best friend (and fellow employee) an engagement party for her and her fiancé. More about that event in a later post, I promise. One of the drinks I served was quite a hit and it seemed perfect to share with you for when you need something to sip on during these hot summer days.

JS Weddings and Events, a Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer. A refreshing drink for those warm summer days. Strawberry Rose Sangria.

Strawberry Rosé Sangria

Ingredients:
1 (750 ml) bottle rosé wine
1 cup strawberry vodka
1 ½ cups citrus soda (I really like Fresca)
1 cup pink grapefruit juice
10 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Instructions:
1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, vodka, juice, and half of the strawberries.
2. Refrigerate for an hour (can be refrigerated for up to 6).
3. Just before serving, add the soda, the rest of strawberries, and stir gently.
4. Serve over ice with strawberry garnish.

Yields: 1 Gallon

For a printable PDF, click here

JS Weddings and Events, a Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer. A refreshing drink for those warm summer days. Strawberry Rose Sangria.

DIY Housewarming Gift

I stumbled upon this colander at the World Market in Grand Rapids and fell in love. Pure love. I tend to fall in love with housewares a lot. I stood in the aisle admiring its flawless curvatures, the beautiful copper luster, all perfectly accented by those golden toned handles. I definitely stared at it longer than one should stare at a colander, all the while knowing I did not come into World Market for this, but trying to come up with ways to justify buying it. I definitely needed a new colander. False. Fine… The colander I had was just not the right ratio of height to width like this one. False again. Umm, I could use this for a centerpiece for a housewarming party that I would eventually be asked to help with… Negative. That’s when I realized that it would make a wonderful housewarming gift for my friend to give to his clients and boom, in my basket it went. Now, if I could have only remembered what I came to really buy at World Market.

ŸŸInstructions:

There are no real instructions here. You simply find items you want to include and you arrange them in the colander. I chose items that all revolve around cooking and the kitchen, but you can use any items you want to; make the gift personal by catering it to the recipient’s taste and style. Play around with the placement of the items, putting the larger items in the back, with smaller items placed on the top. I then added some flowers in a vase just to pretty it up, but you could also do a potted herb plant or fresh cut herbs.

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DIY Gift Box

“May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness, and tied with love.” L. O. Baird

Over the past year, gift boxes have become more and more luxurious and stylish. Gone are the straw baskets with the generic and mass produced items and in their place are locally curated, thoughtfully designed, and entirely customizable gift boxes. For those of you needing a little inspiration on designing a gift box, I’ve designed one for you to use as a guide for your own creation.

What you’ll need:
• Gift Box
• Variety of Items
• Crinkled Paper

What I used:
Wooden crate
Terrarium + Air Plant
• Picture Frame (similar here)
• Journal (similar here)
• Small Pouch (similar here and here)
• Lotion + Shower Gel (similar here and here)
• Watercolor Print (similar here)
Napkins
• Wine Stopper (similar here)
Sparkling Wine

Notes:
Gift boxes are wonderful to make because you can customize each one to the individual that will be receiving it. I find it’s easiest to if you choose a theme for the box that is appropriate for the person receiving the gift. Whether that theme is a color, an occasion (ie: housewarming, wedding, new baby) or interest (ie: coffee, wine), having a theme helps you pick out items and gives your gift a nice cohesive look and feel.

Have fun and think outside the box when it comes to the “box.” Bowls, crates, and many other things can be used as your “box.”

I like to include some type of plant in each gift box. Depending on the person, you could give potted herbs, succulent, a small bouquet, or even an air plant.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

Instructions:
1. Lay out everything you want to include in each gift box. It helps you get an idea of what you have. Keep in mind you might not use everything you bought.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

2. Place the crinkled paper in the bottom of the box.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

3. Start playing around with where items should be placed. Generally, the taller items should go in the back, with smaller items placed on top/last.

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift 13

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box

JS Weddings and Events Grand Rapids Wedding Planner and Floral Designer - DIY Bridesmaid Gift Box