Signature Gift Wrap – Making Kids Parties Easy

Signature Gift Wrap – Making Kids Parties Easy

Are your weekends filled with kids birthday parties?  It can be quite a task to find an inexpensive (yet thoughtful) gift, a birthday card AND something to wrap it with… especially when the party starts in an hour.  Let us introduce you to a concept that’s going to make your birthday party rounds MUCH easier – signature gift wrap.   What is that exactly?  It’s like having personalized stationery, but for your gifts.  When you have a gift to give, you wrap it in your style.  The beauty of having a signature gift wrap is it’s easy, it saves you time (and ultimately money), but it also saves you from the stress of scrambling to pull together a cute kid’s gift before every party.

Here’s the trick – choose a theme and stick with it.

  • Pick something that jives with your child’s personality
  • Stock up on the elements to create an adorable package
  • Crank out those kid’s birthday gifts like a machine

Party after party, your package can be a standout on the gift table, and you won’t have to stress or waste time of putting it together.  In fact, once you streamline the process, gift wrapping for parties will seem effortless.  You’ll confidently pull together an adorable gift within minutes and still have it look like you spent waaaay too much time on Pinterest.  No more feeling like you’re “re-inventing the wheel” by wrapping every single package in a different way – we promise it’s okay  – not every gift “for a girl” has to be wrapped in girly stuff.  When a present for a girl is from a boy, it’s perfectly fine to wrap it in something that fits his personality – we think it makes the gift even more personal.

To get started, you need to pick a theme.  We just debuted NEW personalized gift tags for kids, so we think that’s the perfect place to start for designing your child’s signature gift wrap.  The tags are small, affordable (as low as 0.45 each!), and personalized, so you can skip buying a card all together (look at you saving money already).  You can see all the designs on our website HERE, but keep scrolling if you want inspiration for how to use them.  We’ve come up with easy (yet creative) ways to make your gifts stand out without breaking the bank. Not into wrapping boxes?  A few options show how you can use them with gift bags too.  This process can be as easy or elaborate as you want it to be – the point is to make a plan. Once you’ve picked your signature gift wrap style, stock up and enjoy the ease of one less decision to make for that next party.  You may be thinking it sounds expensive – but hang with us – you’ll be surprised to discover that the cost is reasonable.  Plus, when you factor in the loads of time and stress it will save – it’s well worth the investment.

And now for your signature gift wrap inspiration:

donuts{donut gift tag + hot pink polka dot wrapping paper (had on hand) + teal sheer ribbon (also had on hand)}

cactus 2{cactus gift tag + hot pink twill ribbon ($2 per roll at Michaels) + wrapping paper ($1 per roll at Michaels) + tiny clothespin ($8 for 325 qty at Michaels)}

robot 2{robot gift tag + wrapping paper ($4 per roll at Walgreens, also reversible) + yellow raffia + a 1.5″ bolt from the hardware store}

guitar 2{guitar gift tag + zebra gift wrap ($1 per roll at Dollar General) + picture hanging wire ($3 for the kit with lots of wire)}

dog 2{dog gift tag + blue gift bag ($1 each at Dollar General) + red striped ribbon + red tissue ($1 at Dollar General for several sheets)… see how much a few little touches liven up a plain colored gift sack?}

bulldozer 2 sm{bulldozer gift card + white gift wrap (had on hand) + CAUTION tape ($5 for a huge roll at Ace Hardware) + tiny bit of twine and double-sided tape to keep everything in place}

rainbow 3{rainbow gift tag + green dot gift wrap ($1 per roll at Dollar General) + rainbow ribbon ($5 for the spool at Michaels) – one of the easiest to do but that ribbon makes a big impact, so it’s worth the splurge!}

crab 2{crab gift tag + red gift wrap ($4 per roll at Walgreens) + black parachute cord ($7 at Ace Hardware for a good length, probably enough for 3 or 4 packages) tied in nautical knots for detail}

sports 3{sports gift tag + black/white stripe gift wrap (had on hand, but this would also be cute with any specific sports-themed paper) + orange raffia}

lion 2{lion gift tag + orange/yellow striped gift wrap ($1 per roll at Michaels) + blue ruffled ribbon ($4 per roll at Michaels)}

sailboat 2{sailboat gift tag + colorful gift wrap ($1 per roll at Michaels) + turquoise wired ribbon ($4 per roll at Michaels) – for this one, we just punched another hole at the bottom of the tag and used it to thread the ribbon for a different look – easy and cute!  Plus, when you’re not wrapping the ribbon all the way around the package, that roll goes a little further.}

pirate 3{pirate hat gift tag + patterned gift wrap ($1 at Michaels) + cut up fisherman’s netting from the party store – if you cut it into strips, you could get a lot out of one net!}

crown{crown gift tag + leopard gift wrap ($1 per roll at Dollar General) + hot pink tulle ($3 per spool at Michaels)}

turtle wrap{turtle gift tag + white wrapping paper (had on hand) + green dot satin ribbon ($2.50 per roll at Michaels)}

flowers{floral gift tag + pink dot scalloped gift bag ($10 for 10 bags at Michaels) + floral stem (on sale for $4.50 at Michaels, bundle of 8 flowers, which works out to about .55 per stem)

+ dotted satin ribbon ($3 per roll at Michaels) + ivory tissue paper (had on hand)}

So many simple ways to personalize gifts from your kid…and they’re really fun too!  Your kid might just gain a reputation for having the coolest gift wrap around.  Pick out your favorite gift tag HERE and get started!

 

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NEW Personalized Gift Tags for Kids

NEW Personalized Gift Tags for Kids

When we introduced personalized gift tags over the holidays, several customers requested that we do something similar for kids… and now they’re available!  We’ve taken our most popular Kids Stationery themes, added new designs, and created fun birthday greetings for each of them.  They’re available in 15 themes on our website – click the button below to see the designs!

 

Dos & Tres Fiesta!

Dos & Tres Fiesta!

When our sweet customer Casey needed invitations for her son and daughter’s joint birthday party (turning 2 and 3, respectively), she threw out the idea of a hand-painted cactus theme, and I loved it!  Although it would have been easier to use stock artwork, I couldn’t find what I had in mind for this project, so I decided to paint my own.  I’ll admit, I’m a little rusty when it comes to watercolor, but in the end Casey was happy, so I was too.  In fact, it was kinda fun to play with the different cactus plant shapes and  incorporate blues and pinks together (and even a watercolor striped pattern on the back).  With invitations to set the tone for the event, Casey went all out to make her party perfectly festive with little details… which just happens to be our favorite thing EVER!  Check out some of her pics from the party, and maybe you’ll be  inspired to throw a little Fiesta of your own.  Heck, I bet we could even help you with invitations for that.  😉    (PS – we told you cacti were going to be HOT this year!  Casey, this theme is perfection.)

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16990083_10154404902256238_650403153_oWe love this spread with the photos mixed in – it makes it personal and fun.

17016504_10154404899591238_1419728797_oThat cake table is everything.

17015250_10154404898156238_690962516_oThere’s that custom invitation – so happy with how it turned out.

17016221_10154404899151238_1080710547_oSo impressed with these cakes by Lisa’s Sweet Designs in Lamesa… and the incredible cookies decorated by Casey herself!  (Color us impressed.)

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17200436_10154427292386238_628020812_o(Sparkler 3 cake candle brought to you by Barque)

17175876_10154427278901238_740970558_oHow fun are these party favors?  Love the snakes!

17148789_10154427277376238_1231913327_o(1)Adorable mantle-scape – we love the tassel garland, pinata, photo… all of it!

17149023_10154427277601238_609334305_oEverything about this party is on point – from the tassels on the balloons to the colorful tissue garland, to the bright paper flag garland.  Swoon!

17148775_10154427279146238_417139049_oLove this – it’s just so simple.  Beer and not beer.

17193730_10154427278386238_636209590_oAlso  a must – water and margaritas.

17142516_10154427295441238_797026405_oOf course no fiesta is one without a pinata…

17193793_10154427278151238_2054215079_oand one super cute family…

Thank you Casey for letting us help with the invitations to your amazing soiree!  We feel so honored to even have a small part in this shindig, and we hope Bennet and Jennings have many more memorable parties to come!

xoxo,

Kandice and the Barque Team

P.S. – here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the cacti painting session:

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Carry On Chico

Carry On Chico

Jon Hart Chicos are great – they’re the perfect size that you can use them for lots of things – makeup, charging cords, medications – the chico is VERY versatile.  You can’t have too many of them, so that makes it the perfect gift for anyone!

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite uses for the Jon Hart Chico – a dedicated “carry on” Chico!  This is one of my best tips for traveling by air because it makes packing so much easier.  I used to make list after list of what I needed to remember to pack, and inevitably I would forget something small that I wished I had.  Now, I keep all of my favorite little “in-flight” needs packed and ready to go in a Chico.  I never have to remember to pack “all the things” – I just have to replenish anything that I’ve used up and grab the bag and GO.

Here’s what I keep stocked in my “carry on” Chico:

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  • tissues
  • ear buds
  • gum
  • Tide to go stick
  • ear plugs
  • lip balm
  • a pen (and usually sticky notes too)
  • cough drops
  • hand sanitizer
  • tea and honey

Handy, right?  I think so!  It’s actually a gift I love to give as well – and the concept doesn’t have to only be for frequent flyers.  You could fill a Chico with dance or cheerleading must-haves:  bobby pins, mini hair spray, lipstick, glitter, breath mints, etc. and hot stamp “team work” or “game face” on the outside.   You could also fill a Chico with orchestra needs:  extra strings, resin, a polishing cloth, etc.  That would be fun to stamp with “strings things”.  This would be a great idea for teachers too – they always need little “emergency kits” for the classroom… The possibilities are endless!

The Chico is available in lots of colors, and we can hot stamp a name, initials (or specific phrase like mine) in about 3 days.  It’s a great gift for $34 (and it would be even more cute if you pre-filled it with some of their favorite necessities before gifting it).  What do you think?  Who do you know that could enjoy a dedicated Chico?  Let us know – we’d love to hook you up with this clever gift idea!

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Valentine’s Day Brunch for Dinner

Valentine’s Day Brunch for Dinner

For this semester’s Barque Team get-together, I thought it might be fun to have “Brunch for Dinner”.  The benefits would be twofold – a great way for my girls to sample a few of our food products (like buttermilk biscuit mix and local jams)… and second,  I thought it would be easy to cook on a weeknight!

In this post, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the invitation, party details, decorations, menu and party favors – plus an idea you can borrow to spark great conversation at your own Valentine’s Day gathering!

brunch invite

bday mantle

vintage vtines

Since I love Valentine’s Day, I thought that would be an easy theme to work with.  I utilized my collection of vintage Valentines to add a little interest to my mantle.

dunce

For the table, I used lots of layering – starting with a simple white tablecloth, then adding a length of sheer pink fabric (on clearance at Joann’s), followed by heart-shaped cut outs and doilies.  To finish it off, more vintage valentines strewn about (some on tiny easels) and a sprinkling of conversation heart candies.  For added ambiance, I combined a few tall white candles with strings of battery-operated, mini copper lights (a new arrival at the store).

vday table 3

bday table

For each place setting, alternating pink and red napkins (folded in the shape of a heart) were adorned with a hand-lettered doily as a place card.  The talented @kelseylaineholt (check her out on Instagram!) made them for us – as well as the food/drink labels – and they really made the tablescape swoon-worthy, don’t you think?

doiliesBefore guests got settled in, everyone was asked fill out 2 “Conversation Hearts”. This idea was inspired by Darcy Miller’s new book, Celebrate Everything – and it ended up being one of the favorite parts of the evening for all of us.  HERE is a link to a free printable with the instructions, which can easily be displayed in a basic 4×6 frame.

You can download the conversation heart templates HERE and HERE – just print them out on pastel colored cardstock and cut out by hand.convo hearts

We collected the completed hearts in a fish bowl, and they later became our dinner conversation starters!  It was really fun to try to guess who each heart belonged to – and it sparked great conversation!  We learned a lot about one another (and laughed a lot too).

hearts

The menu consisted of traditional breakfast food – eggs (heart-shaped of course), bacon, sausage, turkey bacon, buttermilk biscuits (see our tips for those here), local jams from Kelle B, fruit, yogurt (with heart sprinkles), and a modified version of Bobby Flay’s Rosemary and Pancetta Home Fries (from the cookbook Brunch at Bobby’s).  To be honest, I’ve made this recipe before and it was delicious, but I must have done something wrong this time – oops!  It didn’t work out as I had planned, so it became mashed the potatoes with rosemary and pancetta mixed in – sometimes you have to improvise!

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food

We tested out a recipe from the Forest Feast Gatherings Cookbook for the bar – Ruby Mimosa Punch – and it was quite tasty!

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brunch babes napsI think a party always needs a favor, and for this one, each of the girls received a ball cap (monogrammed with the Barque logo), a box of conversation hearts, a mini jar of Kelle B Jam, and a Butter London nail polish.  I love how the personalized tags turned out too!party favorsCorny or not, the tags are true – I really do love these girls!  They’re a great bunch, and I’m so blessed to have each one of them working with me.  The best part is I think they genuinely enjoy one other too – It’s not often you can work and play together and enjoy so much laughter.

staff pic smAren’t they they cutest?

teamI hope our Team “Dinner” inspires a few ideas for your own Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Brunch, and if it does, we’d love to know about it!  Tag us on Instagram  (@barquegifts) or email us photos – we love to see how our friends and customers throw a party!

 

 

 

 

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Buttermilk Biscuit Basics

Buttermilk Biscuit Basics

At the store, we love the buttermilk biscuit mix from Callie’s.  They make making biscuits easy and delicious (plus they make a great gift when paired with our local Kelle B Jams)!

If you’re a biscuit pro, you might not need any tips, but if you’re a biscuit newbie, we want to share our best biscuit tips with you.

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First, start with our pre-packaged mix and add COLD butter.  And with a pastry cutter, keep breaking it up until it becomes crumbly in the mix.

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See those “crumbles”?  That’s the look you’re going for.  Now do the same thing with the cream cheese (amount specified on the package).

Next you want to add buttermilk.  Don’t have any buttermilk?  No problem, you can use regular milk, just add lemon juice and stir until it becomes a thicker texture and more curdled.

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Slowly add to the biscuit mixture and combine.

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It will look very sticky and wet.  Don’t panic.

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Turn the dough out on a biscuit-floured surface, and use extra mix to knead the dough gently (just so it’s not sticky).

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Now you want to carefully roll out the dough, folding it back over itself and keeping the thickness about 1/2 inch or more.

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Roll and fold, roll and fold (and turn as necessary).

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See how rectangular it looks?  That’s a good thing.

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See how folding and rolling creates layers like this?  That’s a VERY good thing – that’s where your flaky layers come from!  Next, cut the biscuits with a floured cutter and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  **Make sure that the biscuits are touching – they’re like little soldiers, so they need to stand shoulder to shoulder to rise properly – this is very important!**

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Brush with melted butter.

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And pop in the 450 degree oven.  You’ll end up cooking them 14-16 minutes, but set a timer after 12 so you keep a close eye on how brown they get (and turn around the pan if necessary to promote even cooking).

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Look at how beautifully they rise!  And those layers!  (all the heart eyes)

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Once your biscuits are golden brown on top, they’re done.

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Quickly remove them from the pan with a spatula and move them to a basket with a towel to keep warm.

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Perfection.

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Seriously.  Look. At. Those. Layers.  Aren’t you glad you took the time to make that magic happen?

Now, you just have to pop open a few jars of Kelle B Jam, slather on extra butter, and you’re all set!  Delicious buttermilk biscuit perfection.

We think you’ll love how easy (and tasty) they are.  You might even enjoy them so much that you decide to host your own Biscuit Bar Brunch?  Oh yeah.

 

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