How To Make Your Own Twist Ties / Unique Gift Wrapping Idea

diy twsit ties

In this post, I’m going to show you how to make your own DIY twist ties.

This is a fun, easy, and quick project. And a good way to give a little pop of color and unique look to a bag or a gift that you’re giving.

twist ties supplies

Twist Ties Materials & Supplies Needed

Washi tape comes in different widths. 1/4 inche – 1 inch. I find the 3/8 inch wide tape works the best.

However, you can use the 1 inch and fold in half like I show in method two.

twist ties wire

You can make these any length of course, but I find 6 inches is a good length for most gifts.

twist ties 3/8 inch

Twist Ties Instruction (3/8 inch tape)

1- Cut the wire 6 inches.

2- Unroll the washi tape with the sticky side facing up.

3- Take the wire and apply it down the center of the tape. (It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want it to be as centered as possible).

4- When you get to the end of the wire, fold the washi tape over onto itself, line up the edges. You might need to adjust the wire as you go.

twist ties cutting

5- Give it a good press with your fingers and cut off the ends. (Make sure you are not using your fabric scissors)!

Twist Ties Instruction (1/2 inch tape)

Washi tape comes in different sizes and if you use a wider tape, you’ll need to fold it a little differently.
Let me show you how to use the wider tapes.

1- Place the wire down the center of the tape just as before.

2- Fold it over, but instead of folding it over width wise, fold the same piece of tape lengthwise with the wire in the middle.

3- Clip it off any excess wire or tape.

Pretty cute and very simple.

Grab a cellophane bag, put your goodies inside, and wrap your twist tie around it.

There you have custom, adorable, unique twist ties for all your gift giving.

When you’re out and about, check out the different washi tapes in the craft stores, in the sewing stores, wherever they sell, crafting, and paper supplies.

You can also find them online.

Have fun making twist ties!





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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How to Make a Sweet Smelling Clementine Wreath

clementine wreath

This little clementine skin wreath is very easy to make, AND you’ll get a little Christmas aromatherapy while making it.

Oh baby, these little wreaths smell so yummy and their bright orange color will add a pop of color to your tree, tied to a package, or hung in your window.

clementine wreath

Clementine Wreath Materials & Supplies Needed

  • clementine or tangerines
  • cake decorating tip (doesn’t’ matter what size)
  • 20-26 gauge wire (about 10 inches long)
  • wire cutters
  • ribbon, jute or yarn for an optional bow or tie
clementine wreath

Clementine Wreath Instructions


Peel the clementine. Try to get big pieces of skin without tears/

clementine wreath


clemintine wreath

Take the cake decorating tip and place the big opening on top of the inside of the clementine peel.

Press down like you are using a cookie cutter to cut dough. You can press out several at a time. 

clementine wreath

Then take a piece of wire and poke out the circles you just cut.

Repeat until you have enough for a wreath.

It will take about 2 clementines for a 3 inch wreath.


Take the wire and start adding the clementine circles, poking the wire in the center of the circle.

Continue adding circles until you have enough for the size you want to make.

clementine wreath


Bring the wire together at the top of the wreath and twist to close the circle. Take the wire cutters (DONT USE SCISSORS), clip off the excess wire.


You can leave them plain or tie a ribbon or jute to the wreath for hanging.

This little craft is great for the kids.

They’ll remember and associate crafts, Christmas and the aroma of clementine with fond memories.





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How To Make Charming Heart Gift Tags With Upcycled Sweater Scraps

DIY VALENTINE'S heart gift tags

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and in this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make these charming heart gift tags using upcycled sweater scraps. I hope you’ve been saving these little fabric gems that you have leftover from your other upcycled sweater project.


DIY VALENTINE'S DAY heart gift tags paper bag

It goes to show you that even the smallest pieces of felted wool sweaters can be made into some pretty cute things! Add a string of jute or ribbon and you have a tag that is unique and something that you don’t see every day.

I’m going to show you how to easily cut out a small heart freehand, a few ways you can apply it to a card, and show you how to sew several hearts together to make a HEART GARLAND.

supplies green heart heart gift tags

Heart Gift Tags Items & Materials Needed

  • Paper scissors/paper cutter
  • Fabric scissors
  • Felted sweater scraps/felt pieces
  • Card stock paper
  • Glue stick
  • Paper punch
  • Lightweight jute
  • Sewing machine (optional) for heart garland
cutting out heart gift tags

Instructions for Cutting out Heart Gift Tags

If you want, you can create a small heart pattern with paper. However, I find just eyeballing and cutting is much easier due to the small size of the hearts.

Take a piece of sweater fabric and fold it in half. You’ll only be cutting out the shape of a half heart. Start at the bottom point of the heart. You can make these as wide and as tall as you want. You may want to practice on a folded piece of paper to get the hang of it. It really is quite easy.

Heart Gift Tags Paper Prep

Decide how big you want the tag or card to be and cut out a piece of cardstock to that size. You can make the tag be a folded card or a single-layer tag.

heart gift tags glue

Heart Application

There are a few ways to apply the hearts to the paper. The first one is to just glue it on using a simple glue stick or craft glue.

heart gift tags red heartAnother way is to SEW IT ON. Yep, you can use your sewing machine to sew a simple line down the center of the heart. This gives the card a unique look and allows the sides of the heart to flop a bit, which I find to be really cute and different. TIP: to avoid thread nesting on the underside of the fabric, hold your thread for the first couple of stitches and then let go.

If you want to add a ribbon or tie to the heart gift tags, simply use a paper punch.

Fold the ribbon in half and insert the folded end into the hole. Stick the cut ends into the loop and pull to tighten. Tie the heart gift tag to your gift bag. SO CUTE!

heart gift tags heart garland

How to Make a Heart Garland

Another thing you can do is make a vertical heart garland by sewing several hearts together. You can do this by hand sewing, but using a sewing machine makes it a snap.

heart gift tags threadsStart by pulling out about 5 inches of thread from your machine.

heart gift tags sewing machineTake a fabric heart and start sewing at the upper notch of the heart down to the point of the heart. DO NOT CUT THE THREADS!

heart gift tags sewingTurn the handwheel of your sewing machine toward you to bring the needle in the uppermost position. Lift up the presser foot and pull the sewn heart back until you have the distance between hearts that you want.

heart gift tags garlandSew another heart in the same manner and continue with this process until you have a heart garland the length you desire.

heart gift tags doorknob

These heart garlands are adorable hanging from a doorknob or on the wall.

There you have it; another fun way to use up those small pieces of felted sweaters. These heart gift tags are not only for Valentine’s Day but make cute additions to baby gift wrappings and other gifts.

Be sure to check out my other Valentine crafts and gifts.

DIY Valentine Heart Branches / Love Grows on Trees / Easy Craft Tutorial

DIY Valentine Paint Chip Bookmark / Kid Friendly Craft

Paper Heart Garlands: Made From Recycled Magazines

Heart Lollipops: Made with Upcycled Sweaters & Felt





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How to Make Parchment Paper Treat Bags: Sewing Method

When it comes to giving treats, these little parchment paper treat bags are a fun, unique way to package goodies. They are simple to make and require items I’m sure you already have in your kitchen and craft box.

Parchment Paper Treat Bags Items Needed

  • Parchment paper (can be purchased on rolls or sheets)
  • paper scissors
  • rotary cutter & mat (optional)
  • stapler
  • sewing machine (could be stitched by hand)
  • ruler
  • ribbon, note cards, jute (optional for embellishments)

You may be wondering why I don’t have any glue listed on my list. I have tried gluing parchment paper and it JUST DOESN’T WORK!  After it dries, it comes apart. So I have come to the sewing method and it works like a charm. You know me, I like sewing paper!

You can also just use already assembled bags. I like these brown ones.

Watch the video tutorial below

Play Video


1-  Decide how big you want your bags to be.

Suggested sizes: Large, Medium, Small


CUT PAPER: 12 1/2 X 8 1/2 INCHES





2-  Cut parchment paper to size.

I like using a rotary cutter because of the marked grid lines on the mat. However, you can use a pair of scissors and ruler.

3-  Line up short ends of paper (without creasing) and sew down the edge.

USE WHITE THREAD! The photo shows black only to emphasize the seam contrast.

4-  Open up the bag and eyeball the seam in the middle. 

Use your fingers to crease the outer edges of the bag. Fold seam and crease as well.

5-  Fold up bottom edge 1/2-3/4 inches and crease.

6-  Take the scissors and cut the outer corner of the folded paper.

Start at the fold crease. Do this for both sides. ( This is just to reduce bulk but not necessary). You can skip this step if you want.

7-  Cut away just the inner paper on fold line.

8-  Sew the bottom flap using the sewing machine. 

Get creative and use a fancy stitch if you want. There are a lot of options. Change thread colors to make the stitching pop.

9-  Now repeat steps 5-7 for the top flap.

10-Fill your bags with all kinds of treats.


11-Once the bag is filled, sew the flap closed.

12-Embellish with a ribbon, card, tag or whatever your creative bones can come up with.

Such a fun way to give treats!

These are great for party favors, children Valentine gifts, or an addition to any gift.

You may be interested in another Valentine craft: Paper Heart Garlands

Have fun crafting my friends!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

10 Simple Gift Wrapping Ideas: Brown Paper Charm

Let the gift wrapping begin! 

I’m all about simple when it comes to wrapping presents. I like to use items that are unique, available, and even repurposed. Brown craft paper and twine are some of my most favorite ways to wrap a present.

Those of you who know me, and perhaps received a gift from me, know that I like my brown paper and twine. I have to tell you something about the twine. Years ago I was shopping at Restorations Hardware (back when they had cool home stuff) and found this HUGE thing of twine. I got the whole deal for like $5. I don’t think I’ll ever run out.

You can get it online HERE.

So obviously, I use it for EVERYTHING. But you know, it works for so many things. You can dress it up, or be rustic and casual with your crafting.

Ya, ok I also have a thing for brown craft paper as well. I used to print and sell my clipboard calendars on brown paper, which was an icon of mine for years until I stopped printing them. 

You can get brown craft paper on rolls quite cheap at stores, or you can also just use an upcycled brown paper bag.

10 Gift Wrapping Ideas

1- Colored Rubber Bands

Seriously, how simple can it be? Just wrap a few, or a lot of colored rubber bands around a small box and top with a bow. You are good to go. I love having a bag of colored rubber bands around, they really do come in quite handy for a lot of things.

2- Reindeer Box

Kids and adults like getting a gift wrapped up like a cute little reindeer.

What you need:

This example is just for a small box, but you could use a bigger pom, pom and larger antlers if you wanted.


  • Wrap your gift in brown paper
  • Glue the nose, using a glue gun, to the front end.
  • Draw on the eyes and mouth.
  • Fold a pipe cleaner in half, and just start forming the antlers in random lengths. They don’t have to be exact.
  • Leave about a 1 inch folded tab on the bottom for gluing.

3-  Dried Orange Slices

Several posts ago, I showed you how to dry orange slices. The bright orange color adds such a cheery look to any craft project AND gift wrapping. 


  • Dry the orange slices (video directions HERE)
  • Apply to package using a hot glue gun.
  • Wrap the package with a few loops of twine (optional).

4-  Paper bag sewn closed with sewing machine stitching

This particular brown paper bag gift wrapping is embellished with some sprigs of Elderberry bush. I love how the blue berries and greenery look against the brown bag. 

I have also added a tulle bow. Tulle is a fun fabric to work with. There are so many fun things to make with it, including a simple tied bow. 


Using a sewing machine is a fun unique way to seal the top of a gift bag. You can use a variety of stitches and colors of thread to give the look of your choice.

  • Place the gift inside the bag and fold the top over several times. You can cut off some of the bags if it is too tall. 
  • Take it to the sewing machine and sew across the top. Get creative and play around with different types of stitches and colors.
  • Embellish the bag with a bow, sprig of greenery, bell, or whatever you fancy.

5-  Mini Rosemary Wreath

I absolutely LOVE rosemary. Rosemary is awesome to cook with, craft with, and just enjoy the look in the garden. I am lucky enough to have a place on the South side of my house where it thrives and doesn’t freeze in the winter. We go out even during the winter to clip off some sprigs for a recipe or crafting.

Rosemary smells AMAZING! Adding a little sprig or wreath of rosemary not only adds such charm to a gift but also a clean aroma.

Items you’ll need:

  • A fresh sprig of rosemary. (Dried rosemary will crack when bending).
  • Floral wire or tape (2 strips cut to approximately 2 inches)
  • Ribbon for the bow (optional)


  • Cut a sprig of rosemary long enough to make the desired size of the wreath. (approximately 7-8 inches)
  • Bend the sprig to form a circle, overlapping ends about an inch.
  • Take the wires and wrap them around the ends to secure them in place. Try to wrap underneath the little leaves to hide the wires.
  • Embellish with a bow (optional)
  • Using a glue gun, apply to a gift package. 

6-  Bias Tape Trim with Button

Homemade bias tape is a fun way to add a fabric trim to any gift. Who would’ve thought? Such a fun way to add color to any gift wrapping. Just think of all the little fabric prints that you could use. You can just use a solid color of bias tape if you want. That you can buy at the store in several sizes and colors. But colors are limited, and they don’t sell printed bias tape.

I have a tutorial on how to make your own bias tape. You can locate the video HERE.

What you’ll need:


  • Simply wrap around the gift overlap about an inch. 
  • Cut 
  • Using a glue gun, glue the end of the trim to the backside, then overlap the other end and glue in place.
  • Leave just as it is, or embellish with a shiny button or whatever you choose.

7-  Buttons, buttons, buttons

Here’s a fun way to use those buttons you’ve been saving. Am I the only one who has a jar, or two, of random colored and sized buttons? I eventually use them for something. Not only do I use them, but I also love the look of a jar filled with multi-colored gems sitting on my shelf.

What you need:

  • Handpicked buttons of your choice. Enough to cover the area you want.
  • Hot glue gun/glue
  • Twine for wrapping (optional)


  • Handpick and arrange the buttons in a way you like before gluing.
  • Keep them there, and one at a time add a dollop of glue to each button and adhere to the package.
  • Do the same thing with each button.
  • Wrap with a string of ribbon or jute (optional)

8-  Holiday Baubles and Twine

Go through your Christmas decorations and look for a little miniature of things. These mini plastic bulbs look so cute tied up on a package.


  • Tie an arrangement of bulbs together with a thin piece of ribbon or cording.
  • Wrap the gift with jute or ribbon and insert the loop with the bulbs and tie a bow.

Simple, straight forward addition to any gift.

9-  Rosemary & Bells

Little jingle bells are a great way to add a festive look to a holiday gift.

Items you’ll need:

  • jingle bells
  • ribbon or twine
  • rosemary or other greenery sprigs


  • String the bells onto a strip of ribbon or twine. (I love this red & white twine)!
  • Wrap the gift with twin, inserting the loop of bells.
  • Tie a bow.
  • Tuck the sprigs of rosemary under the twine.

Simple greenery  & twine

One last shout out for ROSEMARY.

Just a few sprigs of rosemary, or any other greenery, tucked under a bow of twine is a classic and natural look.

So there you have it, a few gift wrapping ideas perhaps you haven’t thought of.

Perhaps this will get your brain thinking outside the box as far as gift wrapping goes. Don’t stop at the standard way of wrapping gifts, look inside your craft box, and use what you have! 

Have fun wrapping!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More