Today’s post is written by the talented, handcrafted lifestyle expert, Aimee Ferre! Follow along as she shares her unique designs and style while creating a beautiful gift for a special gal in her life. <3
During the cold month of January, with cloudy and dark skies, I start feeling restless for brighter and warmer days. Just when I think I can’t take one more day of gloom, February peeks her head around the corner and offers feminine shades of pink and red for Valentine’s Day. The love and sweets that she offers act as a “hold me over” until spring returns. I do love Valentine’s Day, but I have to admit, I love Galentine’s Day even more!
One of my favorite gal pals lives several hundred miles away. Her marriage last year took her all the way to Los Angeles to finish schooling. It’s my daughter Elsa. Now as an adult, she is a favorite gal pal even though we are so far apart.
When my three daughters were little, I always had “Cupid” come and bring them valentines and sweets in handmade boxes and fabric bags. It’s become a tradition I don’t want to ever let go of, no matter how old they are. So, this year, I thought of designing a beautiful care package to ship off, and not just in a red, white, and blue Priority Box from the United States Postal Service.
I want to send something like we sing about in the My Favorite Things song, “brown paper packages tied up with strings.” That’s what I was going for, with the addition of sweet ink stampings covering the outside of the box, giving a hint of the treasures that could be inside. I couldn’t wait to begin designing Elsa’s Galentine’s package with my Close To My Heart stamp sets!
My Acrylix® Air Mail by Aimee Ferre:(Outlined images coordinate with Thin Cuts metal dies.)
I am drawn to the large heart candy boxes of yesteryear with the oversized satin bows. For the past several years, I’ve made variations of these candy boxes for girlfriends. Sometimes I’ve hosted a swap where we all bring items to exchange and put in the heart boxes, and some years I provide the treasures inside. This year, I loved the way I could really embellish and personalize the heart boxes, the stationery, and even the shipping boxes using the Close To My Heart stamps and Thin Cuts paired with a few other materials.
This air mail sparrow card used Mint, White, and Ballerina cardstock. I stamped the designs with Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie Exclusive Inks™. I glued Julep sequins pieces inside the stamped hearts and on top of the “cloud.” The cloud was made from a small sampling of loose quilt batting that was then machine sewn on using a straight stitch all the way around the edges of the cloud. I used 3-D foam tape to stick on the air mail sparrow. The envelope was sealed with the “Sealed with a Kiss” heart that was hand trimmed and glued halfway onto the envelope flap.
I found a 12″ heart box from the local craft store made of brown paper mâché and a smaller paper mâché heart box perfect for a bag of favorite candies or small jewelry piece. (You could also recycle any commercially made heart candy box.
Using a good quality paint that has primer included in the mix, I painted 2-3 coats on each box. Hardware stores now offer sample paint containers of whatever color you want for a few dollars, so I chose a color that went well with the Close To My Heart exclusive colors I planned on using: Ballerina, Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie.
On the smaller heart box, I stamped the two leaf sprig stamps from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre set directly on the box. I love that the banner in this stamp set is left blank to hand letter a recipient’s name or a sentiment inside. I stamped the banner in Candy Apple red, used the coordinating Thin Cuts metal die to cut the shape out, and attached it to the box with 3-D foam tape.
Once my large box had a base coat, using coordinating colors, I freehand painted some simple folk-art designs on the lid. To beautify the inside, I lined the box with parchment paper.
Every Valentine’s Day, I bake my famous fortune cookies dipped in chocolate to share with friends and family. I knew Elsa would feel close to home if I baked her a few to include inside along with some favorite candies of dark chocolate truffles, peppermint white chocolate pretzels, and, her favorite, sour gummy hearts.
I painted the rims of plain white paper baking cups with watercolors and stamped the bottoms using various designs from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre and Snail Mail by Aimee Ferre stamp sets. Some of the cups I trimmed off a half inch to create a layered tutu look when nested inside each other. I even machine stitched a couple cups together at the bottom using coordinating thread.
I nested cellophane bags of sweets in the paper baking cups. Once the box was filled, I tied it up with a red and white striped ribbon. Using the scalloped heart stamp that coordinates with one of the Thin Cuts dies, I created a gift tag and tied it to the box.
Plain white or brown shipping boxes can be decorated as well. Make opening the package part of the excitement and experience of receiving their package. Measure the rectangular box flaps on the side that you plan to put the address label on, and then cut 4 sheets of cardstock one inch smaller all the way around to mount on each of the inside box flaps. It makes opening up the package a fun surprise!
You could write personal messages, poems about friendship and love, write memories or sweet sentiments on each of the flaps. You could even include fun photographs. I used a mix of hand painted folk-art designs and hand stamped artwork from both of the Aimee Ferre stamp sets to decorate the flaps.
Brown paper packages, sweet treats, and hearts can all say, “fries before guys” to those gal pals that are some of the sweetest relationships in your life. I hope you find yourself thinking of those powerful women who influence your life for the better, and then create something special for them that will keep them close to your heart.
Hugs, Aimee Ferre