Guest Blogger: Rebecca Luminarias

It's my favorite time of year–and favorite time of the month!  Welcome to October's Papertrey Ink Packaging Ambassador post…let's fall in love with fall today, shall we?  There's something about this time of year that gets my creativity brewing–and, no, it's not pumpkin spice.  It's more likely the fact that it's time to ramp up for the holidays.  They. Are. Coming.  It's chaotic, it's exciting, it's a change!  There's a color shift–bye bye bright pink and cheery yellow, hello ochre and deep green.  There's an image shift–see you later flamingos and pineapples; welcome back feathers and pine branches.  There's a mood shift–so long heat exhaustion; so good to wear you again comfy-cozy layers!

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With so many exciting new (and some familiar) things to think about, fall packaging is high on my list.  And the majority of my autumn packages include leaves!  To be quite honest, I use leaves all year long; why should we leave them to languish during the winter, spring, and summer months, to be pulled out only as autumn's orange glow settles upon us?

And yet, I'm guilty of preparing this project especially for my October post, so…

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One thing I love most about autumn projects are their color schemes, and I'm adoring what I've put together today…shades of orange, gold, off-white, and deep, dark hunter green–better known to us here at PTI as Pinefeather.  Allow me to sing the praises of Pinefeather for a moment.  I think it's the "it" color of the season, and it's a color with which I'm reacquainting myself after a 20-year hiatus.  Funny how the cycle of trends and fashion goes, isn't it?  Whenever I think of hunter green, I think of the car my parents drove with immense pride back in the 90's.  It was a dark green Buick Park Avenue with the "Gold Package" and while it was a smooth ride and offered some nice luxuries for its time, I hated gold and I hated hunter green!  Tell me, am I turning into my mother, proudly wrapping up my "gold package" with hunter green ribbon???

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Anyhow, fall is the beginning of gift-giving season, really.  For me, personally, we celebrate quite a few birthdays this season, and then it's onto Thanksgiving–hostess and 'just to say thank you' gifts galore–then, of course, there's the Big One in December and all the presents that go along with it.  Christmas holidays and birthdays aside, this is such a beautiful time to be grateful and thankful and go just an extra step or two if you can.

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With that said, I've wrapped a couple of gift boxes up for thanks-giving.  They include leaves (of course!) and Pinefeather ribbon, and easy gold accents.  They're elegant–the kind of decor you might think of when you picture a sophisticated Thanksgiving tablescape.  Not mine, mind you–oh, no, we gather at our table in comfy clothes, eat off of mismatched dishes–or even paper plates, but the fancy kind so that's classy, right?–and if we're not eating turkey dinner that was mostly prepared by a favorite local restaurant, then we're eating spaghetti and lobster.  When I look at these gift boxes, I'm obviously thinking of someone else's fancy tablescape.

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Let's talk about these leaves first, since the whole idea started with them.  Is it their shape that makes me want to put them on all projects all year long?  They're just the perfect thing to tuck behind elements, and I've long-loved to do this.  I made the majority of my leaves with Rustic White cardstock.  I didn't really want to use bright white, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go heavy cream, either, so I chose the Rustic White and it was a good choice.

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It was a bit flat, though, and I wanted to add some texture to it.  Most of you probably have impression plates for this and can make all kinds of beautiful textured patterns on your cardstock.  Unfortunately, I'm without those for now, but I think I'm starting to see their value!  Anyhow, in a pinch, I decided to try running my paper through my die cut machine with a piece of burlap over top of it.

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What do you know, it worked!  I ran it through around 4 times and when I was done, I had a burlap texture impressed into my paper.  It's not quite as refined or uniform as the PTI Rustic Burlap plate, I'm guessing, but in a pinch, it did just what I needed it to do!

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I cut some leaves out of my transformed paper and wanted to add a couple more details to them.  With a bone folder, I scored some 'leaf lines' into most of the leaves.  There is also a stamp set that coordinates with this die if you'd rather stamp the lines or the entire leaf image instead.

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I thought about adding some glitter to the leaves, just at the ends maybe, and another time I will do that, but for the sake of not wanting to clean up a glitter mess, I instead added a gold border to each leaf with a paint pen.  It's quick-drying, and requires little clean up so I was able to do all my project leaves in about 5 minutes, which was awesome!  The paint pen is from Marvy-Uchida, and I normally pick them up when I'm at Joann.

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I cut a few more leaves from gold glitter paper and peach crepe paper to have some variety of color and texture.

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I set them aside to play with some trims.  I'm using off-white lace, peach crepe paper, and Pinefeather grosgrain ribbon on the first box.  I tell you I'm mad for that deep green and peach pairing!  I also added an orange fringe bow; this color is kind of a dark peach/light rust color, about a shade or two softer than Canyon Clay, and it, also goes so well with the Pinefeather ribbon.  (Even though I didn't use it here, Melon Berry is another beautiful pairing with it.)

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I wrapped a length of peach crepe paper around my kraft box; this box is 8" x 6".  This was followed by a strip of lace, and then the contrasting green ribbon, tied in a bow on the right side.  I added the fringe bow on top of the ribbon bow.

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After that, I began assembling the 'pile of leaves' that would nest above the trims.  To do this, I just play around with them, trying each of them out in different spots and positions, alternating between the white leaves and the glitter leaves.  I knew I wanted to add a sentiment somewhere to this set up, and this was a factor I considered whilst arranging the leaves.

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In the end, I decided on stamping 'give thanks' onto an oak leaf.  The sentiment is from the Autumn Pumpkins stamp set and I definitely wanted to incorporate an autumn or Thanksgiving message to each of these boxes.  'Give thanks' fit so nicely across the oak leaf, stamped in Canyon Clay ink, and I placed it at the front of the bouquet.

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When I had an arrangement I was happy with, I began adhering them in place.  As I normally do, I chose not to add heaps of glue, and instead went with my daughter's preschool teacher's mantra of 'dot, dot, not a lot.'  It's sound advice for adult crafters, too!  By not cementing the leaves down, I can curl up their edges and get great dimension.

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In between a couple leaf layers, I curled up some metallic gold thread for one more whispy accent.  From the leaves, the gold, the shades of orange, plus all that beautiful texture and the scene-stealing Pinefeather ribbon, you can tell that 'Autumn's here'.

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Instead of 'wrapping' the second box, I made a gift topper for it.  Many of the same elements are used on it as the first box, but there are a couple of substitutions.  Mainly, I went with a large tag for my sentiment, and swapped out the Pinefeather ribbon for some vintage green velvet ribbon that belonged to my grandmother.  Because of the way I used the crepe paper and lace this time, I wanted something just a bit wider than the 5/8" grosgrain; this velvet ribbon is 1 inch.

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I took about 16" of my peach crepe paper and folded it in half, creating the upside-down V; I did the same thing with a 12" lace strip.  For the velvet ribbon, I cut two 5" strips, notched their ends, and layered them on top of the lace.  To keep all the trims together, I secured them with a gold paperclip.  It's relatively unseen and I don't have to use glue to hold them all in place.  (If you'd rather use glue, go for it!)

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With the Tag Sale #1 die, I cut the tag from more Rustic White cardstock textured with burlap.  Again, I've outlined it with the gold paint pen, and stamped 'choose to be grateful' in True Black ink.  I added a gold resin flower for a little detail and dimension.

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Using some of the leaves I created at the start of the project, I began arranging them just as I had earlier, though I used fewer leaves here due to the type of packaging I went with.

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I clipped the tag and 2 leaves to the ribbon bundle and adhered a trio of well-placed leaves underneath that.  Again, dot, dot, not a lot, but enough to hold the clothespin in place, and enough to secure the bottom 3 leaves to the box.

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The last touch was another pale orange fringe bow, and the package was complete.  The good thing about this gift topper is that, due to its size and make up, you can use it on larger boxes or clip it to a gift or wine bag if the size of this box doesn't work with the gift you're giving.

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I'm so pleased with the way both of these boxes turned out; I guess it's no wonder that we dig out our favorite leaf stamps and dies when the weather turns cool–but seriously, they don't have to hide away during the other 3/4's of the year, do they?

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Join me next month when we move straight into Christmas wrapping, because, packaging…  You can bet the lovely Pinefeather will make another appearance for that!  Happy wrapping, friends!

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Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

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