The Birthday Card Box

The other day I read a blog post where someone mentioned keeping a box of greetings cards, in case of last minute birthday party invites etc. It got me thinking that we often find cards that are perfect for friends, but nowhere near their birthday, so we buy them in and stash them somewhere we’ll never find them again. Fairly pointless. So i thought I’d have a go at making a Birthday Card Box. Here’s how I did it:

1. Find a box that would be a nice snug size for cards.

birthday box

2. Buy some plain dividers – A5 size will probably work best.

birthday box2

3. Label up 12 dividers – one for each month of the year. You can simply write the month at the top of each tab using a Sharpie or go for something a little more creative like the one below.


4. Now when you find the perfect card, you can pop it in the relevant month with a sticky tab on the front to remind you who it’s for. Simples!


Remember when we used to make mix tapes…

So it’s time for another artist Q & A – this time with the lovely Hana Melin. We’re stocking Hanna’s super baby cards and gift wrap on the site. The Playlist wrap comes with a cassette tape gift tag and as a top tip, it looks beautiful when the tag is tied in with our Beefeater Red Baker’s Twine.

Hanna, which other designers inspire you?
A Dutch designer called Hella Jongerius. She is very good! I also find a lot of my inspiration searching through image archives on the internet, I can do it for hours…

When it comes to gifts, do you buy in advance or leave it to the last minute?
It’s different now. I used to be really organized, and buy well in advance and get the “perfect” gift. Now, having a small child, I don’t have time to go to shops any more, and do all my shopping online. Sometimes that turns out to be last minute.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My baby!

If you fancy stocking up on Playlist wrap & bakers twine, remember your first Too Wrapped Up delivery is free if you enter the code POPCORN at checkout.

**Plus if you post a pic of your lovely wrapped up gift on our Facebook Page, we’ll send you something nice :)**


Ps. Don’t post it until after you’ve given your gift – we don’t want to spoil the surprise!

Introducing the Chalk Lion

Next up for the artist Q & A, we talk with Nicola, the talent behind The Chalk Lion…

Nicola, can you tell us a bit about your designs?

I have worked for many years designing graphics for children’s wear brands so have always tried to have an outlet for my own designs running alongside where I can fully explore my ideas, themes and colours. I officially set up my small print company, ‘The Chalk Lion’ over the past few years to start to bring these ideas together and to set them on their way into this big old world of design. I have always invented weird and wonderful characters and animals as the main theme in my work. I love to develop them into mini stories, funny scenarios and to present them as a range of prints and co-ordinating patterns on cards and wrapping paper.

Which other designers inspire you?

There is so much wonderful work out there. I love all things quirky and unusual. I can get lost for hours exploring wonderful talented artwork online, particularly ceramics and of course prints.  I get really excited about beautiful illustration both current and also work found in vintage books.  A few of my favourite artists and illustrators at the moment are Becca Stadtlander and Lizzie Stewart.  I love fashion/ figurative illustration such as the work of Paula Bonet and Ekaterina Koroleva.  I also love cleaner graphic work like the work ofISAK, Helen Dardik and Marc Boutavant.

When it comes to gifts, do you buy in advance or leave it to the last minute? 

I love buying gifts for people.  I like finding unusual cards that suit their tastes and personalities.  So yes I’d say I normally organise things quite in advance.  Unless it’s for my dad… then of course only an emergency trip to buy socks and beer will suffice.  That’s all he wants!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

I have good memories of lots of gifts I received as a child from my mum and dad… Sindy horses, Sylvanian families, my first and second bike! I would have to say my engagement ring was the best gift and the most special.  I still gaze at it each day and that’s 5 years on! I love to receive books and own a reading pile that could last me the next 10 years, but I’d never tire of having more. They are perfect!

Check out The Chalk Lion wrapping paper


Asking For Trouble – inspired by Japanese Kawaii and all things cute…

For our fourth artist Q & A, we’re talking to Glasgow based illustrator Marceline, who is the talented designer behind Asking For Trouble.

Marceline, can you tell us a bit about your products…
I create stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. I like to design happy colourful products that make people smile.

Which other artists & designers inspire you?
So many! I love cute characters and colourful patterns so a few favourites are character designers Aranzi Aronzo, textile printer PataPri, fabric designer Lizzy House, painter Deth P Sun, illustrator Little Miss Paintbrush and manga artist Ai Yazawa. I also avidly follow all the new characters and themes released by Japanese character brands like San-X – they’re so inventive and crazy!

When it comes to gifts, do you buy in advance or leave it to the last minute?
Usually the last minute! I often buy gifts way in advance but then I just end up giving them months too early because I can’t wait. Surprise gifts are the best anyway!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
It has to be my family helping my sister and I visit Japan for the first time. It was the most amazing trip – seeing Tokyo and Kyoto, going up Mt Fuji, and visiting all the cute shops! We’ve been back to Japan twice since then and I can’t wait to go again.

Check out Asking For Trouble’s cure character cards and wrap packs here:


Q & A with Sarah Ray

For our next artist Q & A we’re talking to illustrator and designer Sarah Ray who draws all kinds of wonderful things including sad slugs, musical worms and rabbits on flying carpets…

Sarah, where do you get your inspiration?

A lot of people say to me, ‘you’ve got a weird brain’. I tend to agree. My inspiration comes from humans and their ways; situations, personalities, mannerisms, expressions; there’s so much to explore! And that goes for animals too.

When it comes to gifts, do you buy in advance or leave it to the last minute?

A bit of both! I’m a bit forgetful when it comes to birthdays so if I see something that I know someone will like, I’ll just buy it as I go along and store it until I need it. Usually somewhere safe where I’ll never find it again!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Ooh I don’t know, the little things I think, like written letters and homemade cards – they’re always the best. My family have always done our own cards to give each other. Also a friend recently sent me a second-hand book about worms by Janet and Allan Ahlberg for no reason other than she knew I’d appreciate it. That was nice.

We’re currently stocking Sarah Ray’s ‘Wish’ tote bags and ‘Let’s Celebrate’ birthday cards.


Childhood, Santa Claus & generous donations

For our second designer Q & A we caught up with Demelza Haines from Welly’s Wonders to find out a bit more about the inspiration behind their fab baby gifts and cards, which as it turns out is rather intriguing…

Demelza, can you tell us a bit about the Welly’s Wonders illustrations & products?

We wanted to create images and items that were both unique and timeless. We thought how great it would be to have characters and designs that would seem familiar to you, your childhood, your parents’ childhoods, grandparents’, etc and at the same time be relevant now and also in the years to come.
Our characters are inspired by my father’s tales of growing up in Wales. For example, Burton The Brave and Jenkins The Hare are based on my father’s memories and stories of close family friend, actor Richard Burton (Jenkins being Richard’s actual surname). Our fabrics are 100% organic cotton. It’s definitely softer and gentler that other cottons and very stretchy – perfect for growing bubbas! We are just finishing our first ever children’s book – very exciting! It features all of our Welly’s Wonders characters. The illustrations are just beautiful – Adam has done an amazing job to go along with my story. It should be ready and published by Christmas.

Which other designers inspire you?

Well, I’ve always been obsessed with anything art nouveau or art deco. In terms of clothing, I’m a massive fan of McQueen and Westwood. Adam could probably list a hundred artists and animators who inspire him. I guess our biggest influences are the stories we read as children.

When it comes to gifts, do you buy in advance or leave it to the last minute?

I used to be super organised – the long-term effects of being a stage manager for so many years.  However, since having a baby those types of things are tending to be more and more last minute. I tend to do most of my gift buying online now and have it shipped straight to the recipient. And between you and I (and those people reading this!), quite a few of them tend to be belated! Sorry everyone!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

About the time Welly was born at Christmas 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for A LOT of money – around $4 billion to be precise. Adam had been working on a project for them for a while and we were living in Singapore with Adam working at the Lucasfilm studios there. We were both feeling a little stressed as to how we were going to afford the hospital bills and had spent the last few months of the pregnancy planning how much we could put on each of our credit cards. The morning after Welly was born, Adam went down to get some money out of the ATM and get a coffee. He came back up to the room with this strange look on his face. It turned out that George had given ALL of his staff generous bonuses. It was enough for us to pay for our hospital bill and a little left over to wet the baby’s head. We’ll never forget the feeling of relief and appreciation for such a wonderful gesture. It changed our lives. Oh, and as a side note – after thanking his staff by giving them all generous bonuses, George donated EVERY single cent left over from the $4 billion to educational charities in the US. Portly, grey beard, glasses……he IS Santa!

We’re proud to be the exclusive UK retailer for Welly’s Wonders selling their baby blankets, bibs and matching character cards as new baby gifts.

 Welly's Wonders


Welcome to our little gift emporium

One of the things we’ve really enjoyed about setting up Too Wrapped Up is working with the creative peeps that make the lovely gifts we sell. We thought we’d put the spotlight on a few of them over the next few weeks with a little Q & A so you can find out a bit more about the artists behind the products.

First up is Katie Leamon…

Katie, can you tell us a bit about your designs…

My designs are largely inspired by my love of typography and vintage curiosities. There is always something in the design, from the illustration or the packaging with a touch of vintage charm about it. I love the written word, stories and to combine that into my designs is really important for me, I love to experiment with scale, weight and style of line across my written designs as well as combining that with illustration or pattern.

The subtle colour palette that runs throughout my work is instinctive and a good summary of my wardrobe! I love pastels but the running theme of monochrome design that supports all the soft colours was a deliberate attempt to create products that were true to me, whilst also being timeless. I think the colours, or lack of, is a key thing people notice and seem to love with my work and although I will continue to dabble in complimentary colourful designs I will always keep the monochrome hand printed range at the forefront.

Which other designers inspire you?

I think there are a lot of stationery brands out there doing amazing things that I constantly look up to, like Rifle Paper Co, they seem to be at the top of their game and ​are always producing hand drawn and hand finished products which is important to me.

I also get inspired by artists and designers in other fields, like fashion and interiors or fine art. I still love the timelessness of William Morris work and the playfulness of Picasso, I hope my work falls somewhere in-between! I also love any form of design when typography iOS incorporated, I love work to tell a story. I also get inspiration from the fashion world; fashion week has always predicted the colour palettes for the season ahead and I think that translates to all areas of design. My latest marbled collection seems to correlate well to the wealth of pastels in all the shops at the moment! I would love to say that was planned but it was actually a bit of a happy accident!

When it comes to gifts, do you buy in advance or leave it to the last minute?

​I wish I could buy in advance and I always plan to, but inevitably I’m buying a last minute present 90% of the time! I am better at Christmas where there are so many to get, but generally I am a bit last minute! Its the danger of having nice shops on your doorstep, I think if I wasn’t based in London I would probably have to learn to be more organised!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Ooh this is a hard one. I love an ‘experience’ present, like a voucher for something nice, or a trip somewhere…. ​My friends recently gave me and my boyfriend a voucher for a meal in an amazing restaurant in New York, it was such a nice treat and something we would never have done ourselves! I love giving presents more though – I love designing a nice voucher and putting it in a nice big box to confuse them!

We’re currently featuring Katie Leamon’s beautiful stationery & wrapping paper on the site…