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The Uncommon Life

Creative Gift Wrapping Tips to Get You Excited to Give This Holiday Season

December 10, 2015

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Giving gifts can feel great, but wrapping them? Not so much. Finding the perfect box and wrapping paper to fit your present are often the beginning of a tiresome process that often intimidates even the most thoughtful of gift-givers. We get it, more often than not,  it is simpler to just throw the gift in a bag with some tissue paper and call it a day. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Wrapping gifts can feel just as great as giving gifts if you’re armed with the right supplies, tips, and attitude.

We’ve put together some creative and easy-to-follow tips for gift wrapping that will make even the least seasoned gift wrapper excited to pull out the paper and bows.

Basic Tools of the Trade

It’s ideal to have the following supplies on-hand while gift-wrapping:

  • Wrapping paper (depending on the size of the gift you can also use newspaper or another fun alternative)
  • Straight-edge ruler
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape (you can use decorative tape or Washi Tape if you don’t have any double-sided tape)

 Tips for Wrapping Gorgeous Gifts

Gift Wrapping Tips

  1. Use a straight-edge ruler to measure the dimensions of your gift box. It’s okay if your measurement are a little off. You’re still learning. It’s better to have a little too much paper than not enough because you can always cut off the excess if you need to.
  2. Make sure you cut your gift wrap so that you have double the width of wrapping as the width of your box.
  3. Cut along the edge of the ruler to keep your lines straight.
  4. Make sure you have just enough paper left on each end to go up the height of the box.
  5. Use double-sided tape to avoid unsightly tape lines. Place the tape right along the crease at the edge of the package. If you don’t have double-sided tape, you can use Washi tape, so the visible tape lines get a fun touch of design too.
  6. Smooth out the edges by pressing along the creases after closing the wrapping with your tape.

Now that your gift is wrapped, you can add some special touches to personalize your gift even more:

Origami Ornaments

We re-used pages from our 2015 holiday catalog to create these cute origami gift ornaments. For the origami heart in the video below get the folding instructions here, for other fun origami projects check out this site.

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Gift Tags

Print our free gift tags here: http://www.uncommongoods.com/fun/free-downloads/free-downloads

  • Bonus tip: Use a decorative hole-punch to add extra pizzazz to your present.

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Twine

Measure your twine so it is approximately six times the width of your gift box. Wrap the twine around the top of the package, cross it at the bottom of the package and then wrap it back around to the front to create the shape of a plus sign. Insert your gift tag or other origami ornament over the twine before tying it in a bow or a knot.

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We hope these tips help make your holiday preparation a little easier, and add a little extra twinkle to your giftees’ eyes before they rip open their perfect presents. Happy holidays–and happy wrapping!

Gift Guides

Better Than Brunch: Creative Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

April 26, 2015

Better Than Brunch: Creative Mother's Day Gifts | UncommonGoods

There’s one day a year that’s dedicated to all moms; this year, May 10 is that day. Mother’s Day may be a nation-wide holiday to honor the women who raised us, but that certainly doesn’t mean that there’s one gift that’s perfect for every mom. (OK, so maybe most moms are into the whole traditional Mother’s Day brunch thing, but who doesn’t love celebratory food? Treating her to pancakes is just a start.)

We rounded up all kinds of creative gift ideas to help you give mom a gift as unique as she is this year.

2015 Mother's Day Gift Ideas | UncommonGoods

Give Mom a Moment

Remember when you were a kid and you watched your mom balance what seemed like a million tasks at once? Whether she was picking you up from soccer practice on her way home from a long day at work or changing your little brother’s diapers while hoping the pot on the stove didn’t boil over in the 30 seconds she wasn’t looking, it’s likely that mom had very few moments to herself. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s not guaranteed that her life has slowed down any, but at least you can give her a gift that encourages her to remember to take a moment for herself every now and then.

 

Spa Experience Tin | Uncommongoods

 

Mom deserves to be pampered, and the Spa Experience Tin has just what it takes. Complete with Lavender Goat’s Milk Bath Tea, Bath Truffle, Wedding Cake Whispered Shea Crème, and Hint of Mint Lip Balm, this pretty package will transform her next soak into a relaxing retreat.

Meditation Box | UncommonGoods

There was a time when mom probably told you not to track sand into the house. While your dirty shoes used to stress mom out, this sand will do just the opposite. | Meditation Box

Tea Bag Pocket Mug | UncommonGoods

A hot cup of tea can be a nice start to a laid back afternoon or the perfect ending to a busy day. Either way, it’s even better when it’s drip-covered saucer free. | Tea Bag Pocket Mug

Green Tea Kit | UncommonGoods

Take tea time tranquility even further with the Green Herbal Tea Kit.  (Nine herbs and three types of tea further, to be more specific.)

New Mom

Whether you’re shopping for a brand new mother, or a mother who is just getting to know her second or third newborn, these mementos will help her celebrate the journey ahead!

Birthstone Wishing Balls | UncommonGoods

 

Mom can’t control everything that happens in her baby’s future, but she will always be wishing for the absolute best. Each shimmering ball of hand-blown glass comes with 52 tiny slips of paper for her to pause once a week throughout the year and record a message of hope or gratitude. | Birthstone Wishing Balls

 

Sterling Silver Teething Keepsake Necklace | UncommonGoods

We all know that newborns are excited to touch everything, both with their mouths and hands! So why not get jewelry that mom and baby can cherish? The cold sterling silver ring soothes baby’s teething gums, while a gentle rattling sound keeps babies entertained. | Sterling Silver Teething Keepsake Necklace 

Birthstone Definition Necklace | UncommonGoods

Did you know that the gemstones we associate with our birthmonths were also believed by the mystics to carry special meanings and even supernatural powers? Any new Mom needs all the super powers she can get! (Find out what her little one’s birthstone means here.) | Birthstone Definition Necklace 

I Heart You, Mom

There are so many ways to say I love you, but how many ways can you show her? 

A Mother's Love is Beyond Measure Spoon Set | UncommonGoods

Because a mother’s love is like a spoonful of sugar, the best kind of medicine! | A Mother’s Love is Beyond Measure Spoon Set 

What I Love About Mom By Me Book | UncommonGoods

It might be impossible to count all the ways, but this book will give you a great start. (Don’t forget to share the love with Grandma!) | What I Love About Mom By Me Book

Heart Book Box | UncommonGoods

This surprise will be sure to make this a Mother’s Day for the books! | Heart Book Box

 

What The Future Holds Love Locket | UncommonGoods

Whatever the future holds, this pendant will always keep your love close to her heart. | What The Future Holds Love Locket

The Art of Motherhood

We probably don’t have to tell you that parenting is a pretty tough job. It’s certainly not an exact science, but it might be a bit of an art form. Show your mama that you admire her colorful personality, creative problem solving, and technical expertise with a bit of art appreciation.

Bouquet by Wendy Gold | UncommonGoods

Flowers on Mother’s Day will make mom smile. Wendy Gold’s Bouquet will ensure that that smile is from ear to ear.

The Last Slice | UncommonGoodsIt may be true that no one knows how to bake a pie quite like mom, but artist Kendyll Hillegas is a pro when it comes to painting them. (Learn more about the artist here.) | The Last Slice

You Are Beautiful | UncommonGoods

Your mom is beautiful. Don’t let her forget it! | You Are Beautiful by Matthew Hoffman

Earth Mother

For the mothers who nurture Mother Earth, these picks will be sure to make their hearts bloom even brighter.

Birds and Bloom State Pillow | UncommonGoods

Just because you’ve left the nest doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the flora and fauna of mom’s home. | Birds and Blooms Pillows – Individual States

Pocket Wall Vases | UncommonGoods

It turns out that there are many beautiful perks to being a wallflower. | Pocket Wall Vases

Dandelion Paperweight | UncommonGoods

That moment when you make a wish and blow a dried dandelion into a thousand little pieces | Dandelion Paperweight

Pottery Birdhouse | UncommonGoods

Remember when mom used to read you stories about princesses who would get dressed in the morning with the help of beautiful hummingbirds? Well, you might not be able to bring her fairy tales to life, but you can give her favorite birds somewhere to sing. | Pottery Birdhouse

Strawberry Windowsill Growbox | UncommonGoods

A stretch of window sill, abundant sun, and a little patience are all mom needs to celebrate the fruit of her labors. | Strawberry Windowsill Growbox

Do It Herselfer 

For the Pinterest-loving, get-her-hands-dirty, jump-right-in kinda mom who is always up for a DIY challenge.

Himalayan Salt Foot Care Set | UncommonGoods

Because no matter what, mom is always putting her best foot forward. | Himalayan Salt Foot Care Set

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With only a few DIY components, Mom can create an efficient device to monitor when the family’s toilet paper inventory is running low, amongst other applications. Need we say more? | Modular Smart Home Kit 

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Keep calm and knit on! | Birdie Yarn Bowl Knitting Kit

Nerdy Mom

Maybe she loves sci-fi or is always the first in line for the latest gadget. Maybe she’s ever on the lookout for another piece of great literature to add to her home library or the newest research on her favorite area of study. Whatever her preferred form of geekdom, she’ll be happy to see that she raised you to show nerd pride AND great taste.

Literary Scarves | UncommonGoods

 

Mom’s more of a literati than a fashionista (and proud of it!). Let her show off her classic style with a Literary Scarf printed with pages from one of her favorite classic books.

Smartphone Vase | UncommonGoodsIt’s easy to add a little nature to her tech-filled world, even if your thoroughly modern mommy likes to keep her smartphone nearby on her nightstand or end table. | Bedside Smartphone Vase

Zodiac Embroidery Hoop Art | UncommonGoods

 

Mom is the brightest star on Mother’s Day, but she’s OK with sharing the sky with the constellations. | Zodiac Embroidery Hoop Art

 

Silver Solar System Necklace | UncommonGoods

If your science-loving mom is the first to jump in on any discussion about Pluto’s declassification, she’ll love this Sterling Silver Solar System Necklace. The “ninth planet” is present in this pretty line-up of celestial charms, making it an uncommon way to spark conversations about Pluto’s fate.

Mom Who Has It All

Whether mom is the most stylish person you know, or the most beloved hostess there is, these conversation starters won’t fail to impress!

Porcelain Bird Bud Vases | UncommonGoods

Whether or not she has it all, the last thing any mom wants to have is a water leak to clean up. This beautifully designed vase always ensures a beautiful, leak-free presentation! | Porcelain Bird Bud Vase 

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Bridging the worlds of fashion accessory and art canvas, this is the piece mom didn’t even know she was missing. | Manhattan Bridge Scarf

Recycled Glass Elephant Night Light | UncommonGoods

Because she’ll always protect you and your herd, no matter what. | Recycled Glass Elephants Night Light 

Bread and Butterfly Serving Board | UncommonGoods

A party accessory that will be sure to make her heart flutter. | Bread & Butter(fly) Serving Board

Because You Treasure Her

Giving mom a bracelet or necklace might seem a little old school at first, but these new pieces put a unique twist on traditional Mother’s jewelry.

Sea Glass Sterling Clasp Bracelet | UncommonGoods

The phrase “I’m turning into my mother” gets a bad wrap, but it can be a good thing. Show her that you’re glad to be two of a kind with a Sea Glass Sterling Clasp Bracelet featuring two beautiful pieces of found sea glass.

 

 Silver Dreamcatcher Pendant | UncommonGoods

Thank mom for encouraging you to always follow your dreams with a piece to help her catch hers. | Silver Dream Catcher Pendant 

Mother BirdFamily Necklace | UncommonGoodsYour mama bird took care of  you for a long time before you left the nest. Now you’ve spread your wings, but you’ll never fly too far away. | Mother Bird Family Necklace

My Lucky Stars Necklace | UncommonGoods

You thank your lucky stars to have such a fantastic mother. We bet she feels the same way about you. | My Lucky Stars Necklace 

 

See More Gifts Mom Will Love!

 

Gift Guides

Non-Traditional (But Totally Adorable) Gifts for Your Valentine

January 25, 2015

Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is a chance to show your someone special that they’re always on your mind. A card with a big, red heart smack-dab in the middle is a nice place to start, but these less-conventional gifts are perfect for taking it to the next level, at any stage in your love story.

 

A Twist on the Traditional
We’re not saying you should skip the chocolate, because chocolate is delicious, but adding one of these more unexpected Valentine’s Day gifts is sweet AND original!

Personalized Love Birch Cuff | UncommonGoods

You’re in love. You want to shout from the rooftops and immortalize this epic romance by carving your initials into everything. Show your affection without excessive noise or vandalism with a stunning Personalized Love Birch Cuff instead.

 

Hanging Heart Vase | UncommonGoods

Flowers are a safe bet for Valentine’s Day. But, as the old saying goes, presentation is everything! |  Hanging Heart Vase 

Joystick Future Fossil | UncommonGoodsShow your partner that when it comes to love, you’re game. | Joystick Future Fossil 

Anatomical Heart Pendant | UncommonGoodsIf you’re going to give her your heart, make sure it’s anatomically correct. | Anatomical Heart Pendant 
You Are Beautiful Earring Bowl | UncommonGoods

 

You already tell her she’s beautiful every day, but this little message is a nice added reminder. | You Are Beautiful Earring Bowl

 

Send the Message
From “Hey, I think you’re cute,” to flirtatious first date banter, to deep “You complete me” conversations, relationships are all about communication. Here are a few ways to say “Be my Valentine” that blow conversation hearts right out of the candy dish. 

Lil Mib Message in a Box Recorder | UncommonGoods

“I love you” and “Happy Valentine’s Day” will get even bigger smiles when they come from Lil’ Mib.

Love Letter Kit | UncommonGoodsSaucy texts are fun and all, but a handwritten love letter is really something special. This Love Letter Kit even comes with calligraphy instructions for those with less-than-fabulous handwriting.

Crumple the Make-it-Yourself Bear | UncommonGoodsAnd if you don’t find the right words on the first try, Crumple The Make-It-Yourself Bear is the perfect place to stuff your less-than-perfect drafts.
Love Yarn Bowl | UncommonGoodsWhat better way to say “let’s get cozy together” than a little knitting? | Love Yarn Bowl

Our Love Story-A Journal | UncommonGoods
Our Love Story-A Journal, because your romance is one for the books.

Heart Book Box | UncommonGoodsSpeaking of books, sometimes what’s in the pages can surprise you. Stash a little treasure in the Heart Book Box to let your Valentine in on the secret.

 

Pre-Date Primping
We know that you love each other no matter what, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a little extra sparkle on your big date night. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Mens Military Field Grooming Set | UncommonGoods

Clean up while you man up with this no-nonsense, vegan grooming collection. | Men’s Military Field Grooming Kit

 

 

Spa in a Bag | UncommonGoods

If you’re planning a destination Valentine’s Day (lucky!), or looking to recreate your favorite spa experience, this portable set is a must-have to achieve that head-turning glow. | Spa in a Bag 
Collar Stay Punch | UncommonGoods

Look sharp without rushing around trying to find those pesky collar stays! | Collar Stay Punch 

 

My Heart is Always Yours Necklace | UncommonGoods
Let your accessories speak for themselves. | My Heart is Always Yours Necklace

 

Romantic Evening In
Whether you’re cooking a candlelit dinner together, or ordering in from your favorite spot, these goods will set the mood for a delicious, cozy evening with your favorite person. 

 

Cheese & Crackers Serving Board | UncommonGoods

 

Because this special night is all about savoring “you & me” quality time. | Cheese & Crackers Serving Board

 

Pi(Z*Z)A Stone | UncommonGoods

 

Take another little pizza my heart now, baby. | PI(Z*Z)A Stone

 

Molecular Flutes | UncommonGoods

You might not be able to explain your bond, but you know it’s strong. Cheers to finding that allusive chemistry! | Molecular Flutes 
Ooma Bowl | UncommonGoods

You share everything else, so why not cozy up to your favorite snacks together? | Ooma Bowl 

 

You're Intoxicating Heart Bottle Opener | UncommonGoods
For all of the hopeless romantics who are guilty of being drunk on crazy, beautiful, intoxicating love. | “You’re Intoxicating” Heart Bottle Opener 

 

Get Steamy
You know how all that romance makes you feel sort of…sexy? Go with it.

DIY Soy Candle Kit | UncommonGoods

Set the mood by getting crafty together, and then ignite the flames. | DIY Soy Candle Kit

Fondue for Two | UncommonGoods

Incorporating cuisine into an intimate evening doesn’t have to be cheesy. Throw some chocolate in the Fondue for Two pot for an extra-enjoyable dessert.

Aromafork | UncommonGoods

 

Tease the taste buds with the AromaFork kit and let your senses of taste and smell have a little rendezvous their own.

 

Love is Art | UncommonGoods

Love can be a little messy, but in this case, that’s a good thing. Get a little dirty, make sweet art, and have almost as much fun cleaning up afterward. | Love is Art Kit

 

Wake Up Together
The stars have aligned, and Valentine’s Day is finally falling on a Saturday this year! Here are some essentials to enjoy a sweet, relaxing morning with your special someone.  

Love Bird Coffee and Tea Set | UncommonGoods

Two soy lovebirds with an extra shot of espresso, coming right up! | Love Bird Coffee and Tea Cup Set 

First Light | UncommonGoods
Your Valentine might not love mushy songs first thing in the morning. Here’s a more subtle way to say  “you’re the wind beneath my wings.” | First Light

What I Love About You By Me Book | UncommonGoods

At the end of the day–and the beginning of the day–it’s the thoughts that count. | What I Love About You By Me Book 

 

Happily Ever After
Whether you’re newlyweds or a self-proclaimed “old married couple,” Valentine’s Day is another chance to show that the spark is still there. (And it’s stronger than ever!)

Intersection of Love Art | UncommonGoodsMarriage isn’t exactly a destination, but it is a pretty exciting point in your journey together. Celebrate the Intersection of Love with personalized art.

Have & Hold Stemless Wine Glasses | UncommonGoods

You’ll always have each other to hold. Consider these glasses to hold your wine. | Have & Hold Stemless Wine Glasses

Marital Bliss Card Game | UncommonGoodsNow you can literally earn points with your spouse. | Marital Bliss Game

Love Grows Here Terrarium | UncommonGoods

 

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but a happy marriage just might. | Love Grows Here Terrarium

 

Love a Little (One)
Cupid might not be aiming for your fur babies or newborn babies, but how could you possibly resist? These tokens will be sure to show your adorable Valentines what you mean when you gush “I love you!”

 

XO Booties | UncommonGoods

Time for your baby’s first Valentine’s Day? Cover those cute little toes with x’s and o’s! | XO Booties

 

Catnip Chocolate Covered Strawberries | UncommonGoods

More meow-worthy than Meow Mix, this sweet dessert is sure to satisfy the sassiest of kittens! | Catnip Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Squeaky Dog Donuts | UncommonGoods
As if your pups needs another reason to glaze you with kisses. | Squeaky Dog Donuts 

 

Uncommon Valentine's Day Gifts

Gift Guides

Top 10 Gifts for Music Lovers

August 18, 2011

Looking to celebrate the music lovers in your life?  Shuffle through UncommonGoods Top 10 gifts for music lovers, and check out our picks for some late summer songs that will get you singing along!

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Cool Jazz Ice Stirrers bring together two things every party needs: music and drinks!  Fill the tray with water before your party for a fun way to keep cool, or mix it up and use the set to make your own popsicles.

The Portable Balloon Speaker is an attractive and easy way to share music from an mp3 player or your mobile device’s headphone jack more effectively than loudspeakers alone would.

Designed by Hannah Garrision & Steve Bernstein, the Guitar String Bracelet is handmade from guitar strings.  Bracelets are sold individually and come in five different colors.

Artist Jeff Davis turns classic LPs into functional and unique Record Bowls.  Whether your favorite genre’s hip-hop or jazz, the bowls come in a variety of styles so we’ve got you covered.

Or, if you have a record of your own you’d like to have made into a bowl, just mail Jeff the record and he’ll create a truly one-of-a-kind Custom Record Bowl.

Our Mechanical Music Box Set puts a new spin on the old-fashioned music box: included are three strips of paper, a hole puncher, and instructions for creating your very own tunes to crank through the instrument.  The set is perfect for budding musicians or seasoned professionals, and comes with a sheet of the Happy Birthday song pre-punched.

Exclusive to UncommonGoods, the Glass Guitar Picks are handmade in Hawaii and available in three colors.

UncommonGoods artist Jeff Davis makes Record Cuff Bracelets from recycled records.  The bracelets, like Jeff’s record bowls, are handmade in Pennsylvania.

Getting ready to go back to school will be infinitely more fun with a pair of Drumstick Pencils in hand that do that classic double duty: business in the front and a party in the back!

Speaking of parties, the Geneva Sound System will have you geared up and ready to go the next time guests are over.  Winner of the  Consumer Products Award by I.D. International Design Magazine in 2010, the speakers are a beautiful way to amplify your tunes.


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