Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thrifty Yet Chic

It was my Aunt’s 60th recently, and I gave her an old book (really old, 1871!). I wanted to wrap it a bit special and I came up with the above.

Firstly I wrapped the book in white tissue, then I sewed an envelope of old sheet music from the thrift store. I used my sewing machine and a vintage cotton that had the prettiest soft rose/beige/antique colour to blend in with the off-white paper but have a little bit of pink in it.

Finally I topped the parcel with a bow which was stitched and curled, and stuck down with a piece of double-sided tape. Don’t make the mistake I did of using a huge piece of double-sided tape. My poor Aunt had to really attack the parcel to get in. A tiny square of tape will do, just to keep the flap down.

If you see books of music at the thrift shop, grab them, even if you don’t play an instrument. They are good for wrapping gifts the normal way too, and covering books or storage boxes. I did plan to stitch a square of the paper on the centre front of a plain greeting card, sadly I ran out of time, but that would be a nice touch too. Imagine an envelope made out of it, with a label for the name or name/address.

I’m not really into paper crafts or scrapbooking, but just thinking of ideas for this music I have is quite fun. I prefer to do it the thrifty way than spend a fortune on custom supplies though. Sorry Martha Stewart!


  1. This gift looks really pretty and it is different, I like it!

  2. My half-sister does stuff like that, and it's very charming.

  3. That is a beautifully wrapped gift. How nice for the recipient!

  4. That is really beautiful and creative Fiona!

  5. Love it! Great idea...very unique. xxBliss

  6. What a pretty and creative way to wrap a gift. I adore rare and antiquarian books - what's the book about?

  7. Beautiful. What a lovely way to present a gift to a loved one. I bet your aunt feels so special.

  8. Fiona,

    So clever and creative!

    I love wrapping gifts but have not come across sheet music. I will certainly look for it from now on.

    Hope your aunt is pleased with the book.

  9. Lovely idea. When I replace old road maps, they become wrapping paper. And pieces of strange fabric I don't want to sew into a garment. Also the paper that comes wrapped around flowers, if it didn't get wet (I iron it). Or scraps of wall paper. In fact, just about anything is likely to be used as wrapping paper in this house...

  10. This is an absolutely fantastic idea. And I am sure your aunt probably loved it more than she could say.

    And if you wouldn't mind, I would love to copy the photo to a file of inspiration images for the future. If not, just let me know.

  11. I've used otherwise tossed or recycled items to wrap gifts before, but always doing it the usual way - folding and taping. How clever and chic to use your sewing machine, Fiona! It made your thrift store find look VERY high end. And you aunt must have realized the time that you put into making her gift even more special. As it has been said, "presentation is everything", as you have beautifully demonstrated. Brava to you, dear.

  12. Kalee, of course you may. And thank you for asking.

    Janet, you are back to commenting! I haven't been able to either. Maybe I can now.

    Shelley, old maps is a fantastic idea too.

    Fashion, Art and Other Fancies, it is called A Christmas Cake in Four Quarters by English author Lady Mary Anne Barker and is about Christmas day in four countries - England, Jamaica, India and New Zealand. Funny that you asked with Jamaica in there too! There is an ebook of it here:

    Merci for all your lovely comments.

  13. Fiona, I'm so impressed. I would never have thought of something like that. What a talent you have.

  14. So elegant and charming. And MUCH better than all that crafty garbage.

  15. That is so pretty!!

    Monique xx

  16. hi, my name is claudia and i am in washington dc. i love your blog and really connected to the one about getting back to the "chic" feeling. i think your advice is correct and means doing the things that bring us relaxing pleasure, that bring us closer to our inner selves, a kind of sensory meditation. a hot bath ,soft music and a good read sounds just right.
    i also loved hearing about dear little atlas ands his time with you. what a blessing you made and honored his original person. it is hard to lose pets no matter long they have graced our lives.
    in an earlier blog you asked for suggestions on how to be chic, and since you are in the shoe business, and i am the ultimate shoe person, i say take good care of your shoes! i clean mine regularly with either LEXOL or EUCALAN , or saddle soap and a denture brush and soft cloth. then i sometimes use a sachet, like lavender, shoe trees, and proper storage. they are my "jewelry" . an agatha christie novel once had the clue to solving the crime as that a woman pretending to be a "lady" wasn't as her she was not "well shod" and if she was a lady no matter what she would have well tended
    also, when you return to Paris, which you will, i have found a great source of places to stay, just email me at . thank you fiona for your blog. it is a joy and inspiration to read. i will be goin to Paris later this summer and my husbands first trip there will be more enjoyable for both us for your blog. au revoir!

  17. That gift looks wonderful! I would LOVE to receive such a beautifully wrapped present. It almost wouldn't matter what was inside!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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