A few months back I was invited to a festive gift-wrapping workshop with IKEA in London. It was far too early to really think about Christmas back then (I think it was June!), but the event also offered a sneak peak at IKEA’s Autumn / Winter collection (in-store now), which I couldn’t refuse!
You might remember that last year IKEA put on a Christmas tablescaping workshop for a few crafty bloggers, where I obsessed over a gorgeous black bear ornament. This time we were treated to a gift-wrapping workshop with the lovely Janine, who has a completely different creative job by day, but is a widely acknowledged ‘awesome gift wrapper’ on the side – nice to be multi-talented!
It was lovely to see some friendly faces in the form of Gabrielle from Design Curator and Anna from The Smell of Roses (not to be confused with The Only Smell is Roses, which I nearly wrote – too much TOWIE), and to meet some new faces too – namely Lou from Little Green Shed, Jess from The Only Girl in the House and Georgia from Flowers in the Window. As well as making some gorgeous gift-wraps, Georgia also patiently put up with a mega coughing fit from me on the train back to Essex – sorry!
The IKEA team, bless them, had stalked us all online before the event to give each of us a tailored craft ‘kit’ to work with, based on things we liked. They saw that I’d used boxes for some festive brush lettering DIYs for the We Make Collective, and so I was given a box, while Jess who loves monochrome was given black and white goodies, Georgia, who loves textiles, was given fabric, and Anna was given paper roses.
In between bouts of chatter about Christmas traditions, how we usually wrap presents, and scoffing our faces full of tasty IKEA snacks, Janine bestowed on us some handy gift-wrapping tips, as follows:
- Instead of sellotape, seal your presents using hidden double-sided tape – why didn’t I think of that?
- For the neatest presents, crease the edges and pull the paper really tight (to avoid Baggy Bums®)
- Use a glue gun to embellish your packages with twigs, foliage, pom-pom things, or pine cones
- Draw (or brush-letter) on your wrapping paper / boxes to make them truly unique!
- Instead of using paper, try wrapping bottles in fabric (IKEA sells some FYI)
IKEA’s Autumn / Winter Collection 2017:
As well as the workshop, I got to have a sneak peak at the IKEA Autumn / Winter range, which you can find in-store now. IKEA always has a few different themes to choose from, so the chances are you’ll find a collection you’ll love. I’m always a fan of their sustainable lines like ‘Sustainable Futures’, and anything remotely Scandi-looking, but lush dark blues and greens are also on trend.
I often shop at IKEA for props and furniture for events (for work). Sometimes these shops get a little out of hand – this is me and blurry boyfriend heading home after one such venture – we turned the car into a jungle, and did get some odd looks as we squeezed them all in. I’m also quite impressed that I managed to dress to match IKEA’s rather opulent ‘Midnight Tropics’ range. Spot the difference…
The last time I went to IKEA near Lakeside they were just starting work on their Christmas market, so it’s probably open now, if you’re feeling festive already! Or, if you’re interested in other festive DIY gift wrap ideas (still too early?), check out an inspiration round-up (“that I made earlier”) here.