Surprise gifts for yourself : a surprise box in the mail!

Did you know?
Fair Ivy was originally created as a way to buy surprise gifts for yourself.

The concept was that once we grow up, fun care packages sorta dry up.  Our parents may have sent them to us when we were kids at at summer camp or at college, but once you head out into “the real world”, they just…disappear.  Only bills appear in the mail.  Sadness ensues.

Surprise gifts for yourself: Surprise box in the mail

But never fear!
In 2008 Fair Ivy was born, as a way to treat yourself to a monthly surprise gift—because you deserve it. Each month you receive something that is a complete surprise to you, and is also lovingly hand-wrapped by an individual who wants you to enjoy the item as much as they enjoyed making it.

Surprise gifts for yourself: Surprise box in the mail

Today
We’ve found that since Fair Ivy’s inception, people have flocked to our surprise subscription service for a multitude of reasons beyond what we even intended.  Our most numerous customers are:

  • Women treating themselves to a lovely monthly surprise gift from a US-based artist (we know you’d love surprise gifts for yourself too!)
  • Men buying a gift for their girlfriend/wife—either because their girlfriend suggested Fair Ivy, or because it’s a great way for them to not worry about finding that perfect gift every month.  Woohoo for surprise gifts in the mail!
  • People of all walks of life buying these as mother’s day gifts, or as birthday presents for their sisters, aunts, grandmothers, or close friends.  Often our customers tell us they buy them as “pick-me-ups” for friends and family members who are feeling a bit low and could use a fun snail mail cheer-up each month.

Want some surprise gifts for yourself?
Sign up for our Surprise box in the mail subscription!

Surprise Box in the Mail : Surprise Gifts for Yourself

Handmade gold and silver rings necklace

The handmade jewelry surprise that was sent to our surprise gift boxes subscribers in November was a bit unique in that it contained both gold and silver!  This handmade gold and silver rings necklace was created specifically for Fair Ivy by Silver Vine Boutique, and was mailed out with care as one of our monthly gift boxes for women!

Gold and silver rings necklace - handmade jewelry gifts

Artist's card for a fair ivy surprise package

We loved its dainty size, as well as the lovely, bright contrast between the gold and silver textured rings.  The handmade necklace came in an adorable little envelope, and included an information card about the artist who crafted it.

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The artist card reads:
“Welcome to Silver Vine Boutique!  We specialize in providing unique, handcrafted and vintage items for you and your home.  Our jewelry designer Jen has been crafting and selling her creations for over 10 years.  A talented artist, she also paints, hammers and stamps goods for the home and garden.  We hope you enjoy your treasure!”

Gold and silver rings necklace - handmade jewelry gifts

Gold and silver rings necklace - handmade jewelry gifts

I actually loved this necklace so much that it made it onto my neck on Christmas Day.  It is just the right combination of elegant, simple, and classy.  I got a lot of compliments!

Gold and silver rings necklace - handmade jewelry gifts

If you weren’t lucky enough to receive one of these lovely handmade gold and silver rings necklaces in November (because you aren’t a monthly gift box subscriber!), don’t be too upset:  you can head on over to Silver Vine Boutique’s store and pick one up yourself!

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Do you want to receive a handmade suprise gift package every  month?  Or even two? Fair Ivy monthly suprise packages sends them to you! All of our monthly surprise gift boxes are handmade and come hand-wrapped, along with an informational note card sent from the artist, so you can connect with their process, business and background (and sometimes their unusual hobbies)!  It’s luxurious, pampering, and you will be supporting US artists at the same time.

Sign up for handmade surprise packages

Click here for more info!

Orange clove soap surprise

This November brought a lovely handmade orange clove soap surprise to our monthly gift box subscribers. This all-natural cold process soap was made by Emerson Soap Co in the lovely state of Colorado.

Handmade orange clove soap

Handmade orange clove soap

We loved her branding, which gave a really eco-friendly vibe.  The label itself was made out of seed paper—so you can just pull it off, plant it in the ground, water it and have some surprise plants!

But our favorite part of her packaging may have been her creative gift wrapping…check it out below!

Handmade orange clove soap

Handmade orange clove soap

Cute gift wrapping - organic gift wrap from fairivy.com

Cute gift wrapping - organic gift wrap from fairivy.com

Cute gift wrapping - organic gift wrap from fairivy.com

How great is this gift wrapping?  Her orange clove soap snuggled nicely in the egg carton soap box, was wrapped with a lovely piece of fabric, tied with twine, and embellished with a pine spring and a Made in Colorado wooden hangtag.

Hangtag for handmade gift

Cute gift wrapping - organic gift wrap from fairivy.com

Cute gift wrapping - organic gift wrap from fairivy.com

Loved it!  If you are looking for some fantastic soapy gift items, her orange clove soap and other wonderful soap products are all found on Emerson Soap Co‘s Etsy shop.  All her soaps are all-natural and include essential plant oils, herbs and other botanicals.  Plus you can add the above pictured creative gift wrapping to any purchase!

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Do you want to receive a handmade surprise gift box every  month?  Or even two?  Fair Ivy monthly surprise packages sends them to you!  All of our monthly surprise gift boxes are handmade and come hand-wrapped, along with an informational note card sent from the artist, so you can connect with their process, business and background (and sometimes their unusual hobbies)!  It’s luxurious, pampering, and you will be supporting US artists at the same time.

Sign up for handmade surprise packages

Click here for more info!

Ocean handmade stationery set surprise

November for our monthly gift box subscribers brought this ocean-themed handmade stationery set that was custom-created just for Fair Ivy. How cool is that?

Handmade ocean stationery set from Fair Ivy

Created by handmade artist Nicole Ray of Sloe Gin Fizz, this set of 4 blank notecards are a perfect way to send a lovely little note to someone you care about.

Anchor stationery card - surprsie gift from fair ivy

Anchor stationery card - surprsie gift from fair ivy

Anchor stationery card - surprsie gift from fair ivy

Window art print - from fairivy.com

Stationery themed card set - handmade

Cute gift wrapping from fairivy monthly subscription gifts for women

We really loved the nautical-themed creative gift packaging that the ocean handmade stationery set came in.  Not only was the wrap-around paper of a sea wave design, but the “Handmade for you” hangtag was hand-drawn with an anchor on it!

Cute gift wrapping from fairivy monthly subscription gifts for women

Cute gift wrapping from fairivy monthly subscription gifts for women

Artist's Card from Fair ivy

Cute handmade hang tag

Stationery themed card set - handmade

Artist's Card from Fair ivy

Sloe Gin Fizz’ unique, playful artist info card reads:

“Nicole Ray is an artist and illustrator based in southeast Michigan.  She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York and Trinity College in Connecticut.

Nicole creates a line of whimsical art prints and paper goods infused with a playful sense of humor under the name Sloe Gin Fizz.  Her daily rhythms are fueled by bottomless cups of coffee, towering stacks of books and ginger-filled dreams of savory and sweet. 

Nicole and her mister recently moved to a log cabin on a lake where they are busy cultivating a growing network of critter friends.

This set of Water Ways cards was inspired by all things water and contains two designs created specifically for Fair Ivy – and you.”

Stationery themed card set - handmade

Didn’t get a chance to nab this lovely ocean handmade stationery set as an item in your Fair Ivy gift box subscription?  Not to worry!  Head on over to Sloe Gin Fizz’ Etsy shop and pick up a set for yourself!

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Do you want to receive a handmade surprise gift box every  month?  Or even two?  Fair Ivy monthly gift boxes for women sends them to you!  Every surprise gift is handmade and comes hand-wrapped, along with an informational note card sent from the artist, to let you know about their process, business and background (and sometimes their silly hobbies)!  It’s fun, luxurious, and you will be supporting US artists at the same time.

Sign up for handmade surprise packages

Click here for more info!

Inexpensive Holiday Gift Wrap (Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Box DIY)

Inexpensive Holiday Gift Wrap (aka Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Box DIY) from the creators of Fair Ivy's monthly boxes for women

….It’s time for an inexpensive holiday gift wrap post!

As you all know, cute gift packaging is one of my top favorite things.  Combine that with some creative gift wrapping, PLUS something that is eco-friendly AND inexpensive (free actually), and I’m yours.

This blog post is going to teach you one way to create some inexpensive holiday gift wrap using ONLY things you already have around the house, and resulting in an adorable pillow box for wrapping little unique jewelry gifts.  Zero cost, and about 1 minute of effort.

DIY Inexpensive Holiday Gift Wrap

Materials:

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Twig of a Christmas tree
  • Raffia, twine, ribbon or yarn
  • Newspaper or magazine page

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Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Box DIY:

1Fold one end of the toilet paper roll down towards the center.  Each flap should go a little past the middle of the roll, so that when you fold down the second side, there is no gap between them.

 

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2Do this to both sides, so that you have essentially a pillow box.  Well, that was easy!

 

DIY Inexpensive Gift Wrap (aka Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Box)

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Next we want to spruce it up a bit with some embellishments!  Take a piece of newspaper or magazine paper and cut a thin strip, about 1″.  Then roll it around the toilet paper pillow box and tape the end (on the underside).

 

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Grab some sort of ribbon material.  I really like the organic gift wrap style, so I suggest natural-colored raffia (pictured below), garden twine, or a natural-colored yarn.  If you want to be really organic and fancy, you can go outside and find some New Zealand flax (it’s everywhere), cut a leaf and let it dry for a couple days.  Tear it into strips and you’ve essentially got some free raffia.

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Find some sort of leaf to embellish the top with. Since it’s the holiday season, we found a perfectly good Christmas tree right in our living room. We cut off a tip and used the Christmas tree spring!  Other recommendations are rosemary, dried berries (see this post for ideas), or even some dried twigs or dried (dead) leaves.

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DIY Inexpensive Holiday Gift Wrap (aka Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Box)

DIY Inexpensive Holiday Gift Wrap (aka Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Box)

Voila: Your super fancy, organic toilet paper roll pillow box!  We love using this type of DIY inexpensive holiday gift wrap for all our smaller holiday presents (like unique jewelry gifts).  The organic vibe also goes along really well with the types of gift wrapping we feature in our monthly surprise gift boxes from Fair Ivy (click here to check out our subscription options!).

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Want more cute gift packaging ideas?  Click the button to see all our posts in that category:

Cute Gift Packaging

Organic Gift Wrapping and Mason Jar Terrariums: A Crafternoon

Crafternoon at Whole Foods: Upcycled Creative gift wrapping

This past Saturday, I was invited to do a presentation at Whole Foods Santa Monica on upcycled organic gift wrapping.  Along with Megan (the Whole Foods Marketing Team Leader…and blogger of  The Dinner Party Association), we hosted Whole Foods’ first Crafternoon crafting event!

Whole Foods Crafternoon with Lucy and Megan  Whole Foods Crafternoon in Santa Monica

 

Mason Jar Terrariums with Megan:

Megan did a wonderful presentation on how to make really creative & fun gifts using mason jars, a bit of soil and moss, and a succulent of your choice.  Then we got to decorate the mason jars with adorable little ribbons and holiday-themed embellishments.  The result was a fantastic mason jar terrarium that would make the perfect holiday gift!

Mason Jar Terrarium DIY at Whole Foods

Mason Jar Terrarium DIY from Megan at Whole Foods (Crafternoon)

Mason Jar Terrarium succulents - at Crafternoon!

Mason Jar Terrarium craft

Holiday mason jar terrarium with succulents    Holiday mason jar terrarium with succulents

It was an absolutely fantastic presentation, and I really enjoyed learning a new crafting skill!

Upcycled Organic Gift Wrapping with Lucy:

Next was my turn!  Whole Foods just asked that I do some sort of creative gift wrapping presentation, and left the details and theme up to me.  I settled on an upcycled materials theme that focussed on an organic gift wrapping style.  In case I haven’t made it obvious already, this is my utmost favorite style, and also the one I often encourage Fair Ivy‘s monthly featured surprise artists to use!

Fair Ivy surprise packages founder Lucy Fairweather at Whole Foods presenation

Whole foods bags as organic gift wrapping paper

We started with Whole Foods brown bags, to upcycle into wrapping paper.  We simply cut them open and used the backside, which made for perfect kraft paper that kept with the whole organic gift wrapping vibe.

Organic gift wrapping using leaves and natural embellishments

I put together little boxes full of natural embellishments—leaves, twigs, flowers, berries, and other non-wilting plants that were perfect for embellishments on organic gift wrapping packages. Each Crafternoon participant got their own little box of organic goodies, and were allowed to be as imaginative as they wanted.

Fair Ivy founder Lucy Fairweather presents on organic creative gift wrapping    Organic gift wrapping using leaves and natural embellishments

Organic gift wrap - A presentation from Fair Ivy surprise packages

Organic gift wrapping from Fair Ivy (which sends a surprise gift box every month)       Organic creative gift wrapping from Fair Ivy (the surprise subscription boxes company)

Above are a few of the sample packages I created, all using organic embellishments that I simply found in the garden or outside my house.  The idea was to focus on natural items that don’t need water to remain beautiful—so low-water-needing plants (like succulents, ficus trees, rosemary, Christmas trees), dried plants (like twigs, dead leaves, dried berries) and even little pebbles.  For ribbon we used twine, natural-colored yarn, or raffia (made from the raffia palm—how much more natural can you get?).

Fair Ivy founder Lucy Fairweather presents on organic creative gift wrapping

Organic creative gift wrapping from Fair Ivy

I brought a little bottle of white paint as well, which participants used to spice-up some of their kraft paper, with little dabs of their finger.

Organic creative gift wrapping from Fair Ivy

And look at how perfect the holiday paper bags from Whole Foods are for wrapping paper if you use the outside!  They even have snowflakes!  These dried red berries were also a perfect holiday wrapping paper touch.

Participants learn how to create organic gift wrapping in a DIY creative gift wrapping class from Fair Ivy  Organic creative gift wrapping from Fair Ivy founder Lucy Fairweather

Organic creative gift wrapping from Fair Ivy founder Lucy Fairweather

Thanks to those of you who joined us, and we hope to see many more of you at the next event.  Oh, and….

Happy Holidays!!

Ps. If you need any help or suggestions for upcycled creative gift wrapping ideas, just drop me a line 🙂

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