How to Make Your Own Christmas Wrapping Paper

Gift giving is one of the most personal experiences people can engage in. A personal present shows that you know what your friends and family are interested in, that you listen and that you know what they appreciate. Whatever gift you decide on, you can make it even more special with personalised wrapping paper. Read on for some handy info on how to make your own custom Christmas wrapping paper on Zazzle! Before we get into the how-to, here’s a breakdown of our wrapping paper finishes.

Selecting a paper type can be a tough choice, but ultimately it comes down to how you want your gift to be presented. Do you want the wrapping to feel smooth to the touch, have texture or glossy photo finishes?

Matte – This 60 lb weight matte paper produces a soft surface and dull finish, while the colour won’t pop it’s perfect for contrast and getting a nice effect from two opposing colours.
Glossy – This glossy finish creates a slight shimmer that’s ideal for printing photos.
Linen – This 24 lb weight paper is textured with a crosshatch pattern similar to linen so will give your gifts an air of luxury.
Tyvek – This lightweight paper is very rip resistant so is perfect for protecting your packages and ensuring they arrive in amazing condition around the globe.

How to Personalise Your Wrapping Paper

With our design tool you have millions of options on how to print Christmas wrapping paper. Either start from scratch or, for an easier option, pick a wrapping paper template from one of our creators. Here are some ideas!

Photos –  Dig out old Christmas snaps and make your or your recipient’s face into some fancy gift wrap.
Initials – Put an initial as a monogram on your wrapping paper; make it a centre point for your festive design.
Name – Add a first or family name to make your gift wrap even more special.
Interests – Does your recipient have any special interests? Maybe they love animals, or play music or a sport. There are plenty of designs on Zazzle that are tailored towards things people are passionate about.


Christmas Wrapping Paper Templates

Here are some of our wrapping paper favourites, ready to make your own:

Create a festive collage with this design. Add photos of your friends and family and you can also adjust the initial.

Collage Christmas Wrapping Paper

This one will give the family a few laughs. This comical design allows you to add photos to animal portraits, as well as names and initials.

Photo Reindeer Christmas Wrapping Paper

Add a range of photos into the Christmas tree frames on this festive gift wrap. Personalise further with names in the red trees.

Christmas Tree Photo Wrapping Paper

Change this classic slate grey and gold antler design by switching the monogram to the letter of your choice.

Antler Monogram Initial Christmas Wrapping Paper

Add an initial to be surrounded by this beautiful holly wreath design.

Holly Wreath Monogram Christmas Wrapping Paper

Another one for the animal lovers, this adorable polar bear design can be personalised with a name. Perfect for kids!

Polar Bear Kids Name Wrapping Paper

Personalise every aspect of this Christmas gift wrap: the monogram being held by the elf, the family name, the greeting and the photos used.

Elf Monogram Christmas Wrapping Paper

Decorate your gift with this modern wrapping paper design. Change the monogram between the pictures, edit your season’s greeting and the names and the year. Don’t forget to change the photos themselves!

Modern Photo Christmas Wrapping Paper

Adding your details is just the beginning. If you want to play around with the designs, you can select ‘Click to customise further’. This brings you to the Zazzle design tool, which allows even more personalisation. Change filters, background colours, tile or pattern the picture, add your own text boxes or your own images.

Well, that’s a wrap! Have fun making your own Christmas wrapping paper!

Kick Off Summer With a Football Party

It’s all kicked off! The on (… and off) pitch dramas, controversial refereeing decisions and wonder goals have begun in Russia. Why not celebrate this international football bonanza in all its glory with a football party or barbeque. Even if you’re not that big of a fan, you know that you’re going to hear about it anyway, so you might as well embrace it. We’ve got some great football party ideas that might just help you along the way.

The timing of your event can be tricky. Do you kick off with your country’s opening match, the final group game or even the final? There’s so many opportunities along the way. If you really have it in you, you can go for the hat-trick, with smaller parties for each group game.  Or if you’ve got a good group of friends, you could suggest taking turns hosting for each game.

On beautiful summer days, or even average summer days, sitting in a dark bar can dampen the football spectacle. A party meanwhile, can bring the event to life. Set up the festivities in your back garden and show the match in the living room. Have the BBQ ready for the full time whistle because there’s nothing like barbequed meat to help celebrate a win. Just make sure whoever’s cooking knows what they’re doing! Show those would-be chefs who’s in charge with an apron that says as much.

Barbeque Boss Apron

Next up, the decorations. An easy and obvious theme is your country’s flag or kit colours, or a variety if you have an international crew attending. It’s a great way to show pride in your team and to let people know they’ve come to the right place to watch the game. On Zazzle, you can add your team to everything from banners to bunting to the paper plates, napkins and cups!

Why not make things more interesting for your guests by including some competition of your own? For example, run a tournament pot, where everyone gets a team drawn from the hat? The winner gets a prize. It’s a pretty simple concept but it’s a great way of getting people interested or invested in different teams. It’s a strange feeling, cheering on another country that you’ve had no prior attachment to, but it’s surely a good one. For the final prize, why not present a custom football?

Custom Football

Custom England Football

Food is important for any good party. So why not ask guests to bring food or drinks associated with the countries they drew, or are playing on the day? Not only will it mix up the usual party snacks but people can learn about different cultures too. You can even make it more competitive with prizes for the best foods. The almost guaranteed culinary disasters are always worth a good laugh too.

Not everyone is football mad, so it’s a good idea to have an area where these people can go to avoid it all when they get a bit bored. Set up some games like a foosball or table tennis table, a dart board or games system. Or just create an area to sit and chat in the sun. Even the most avid football fans can be drained by boring defensive displays so it’s great to have a place to fall back to.

Throwing a football party can be a lot of work and the above ideas can add a little extra. All you really need is people to come, eat and drink a bit and watch a hopefully good game of football. A small bit of effort could make this a memorable event, no matter if your team whimpers out in the group stages, is annihilated in the quarter finals or lifts the trophy at the end of it all.

Alternative Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

With less than two weeks to go, the Easter Bunny is surely on his way. Remember the fond days of yesteryear, looking for eggs out in the garden? The thrill of the hunt as you find that last concealed prize? And finally the spoils, when you’re gorging on all the treats you’ve uncovered. Relive the eggcitment by throwing an Easter egg hunt for your own little ones this year. These Easter egg hunt ideas pose new challenges, might teach everyone something new and are not all about the chocolate!

Forget your Easter basket. Zazzle has an amazing selection of Easter tote bags to gather those eggs. So, on your marks, get set, hunt!

Back to Nature

Egg hunts are a great way to get everyone outdoors. Why not take advantage of the setting and combine the hunt with a nature trail. Come up with a check list of things the children can look out for, such as types of flowers, trees, insects or leaves. Then hide the eggs near each item on your list to make it easier. This can be a great learning tool and would be ideal if you’re throwing a school Easter egg hunt.

Hop Into Action

Plan an active egg hunt to burn off the sugar rush. Pick up some plastic hollow eggs and fill them with fun exercises like ‘Do 10 jumping jacks’ or ‘Hop on the spot for one minute’. Every time someone finds an egg, they have to do the challenge. This is great for people of all ages! It’ll help all those young kids burn through the abundant amount of energy they have and can give adults a good work out too. Don’t forget to provide treats as well.

Glow in the Dark

This one is for older kids, teens and even adults. Fill up some plastic eggs with things that glow in the dark like glow sticks, or even buy some glow-in-the-dark eggs. Night time egg hunting can be amazing amounts of fun, just be safe and make sure to watch your step with all those burrows around.

Fair is Fair

If you’re throwing an egg hunt with children of all ages, it can be a bit unfair on the younger kids. The older ones tend to be the best and can locate all the eggs much faster than the younger ones. So why not separate the prizes with different coloured eggs. For example, match red eggs for the older kids, yellow for the youngest and blue for the in-betweens. This will prevent the older kids snapping up all the great prizes from the younger ones.

The Golden Egg

Include one egg that stands out from the rest – a golden egg! Make it more difficult to find but an extra special treat so it is worth all the effort. Find a particularly challenging (but safe) spot to hide it and the Easter Bunny will be proud.

The Treasure Map

Draw a map for people to follow to makes things more interesting. Following a treasure map is a whole lot more rewarding when the treasure is chocolate!

Egg Scavenger

Add some more interesting twists by creating clues on where to find the next egg. You can even include cryptic clues or riddles for older children. Present it as more of a team challenge with two sets of clues, and see which team makes it to the ultimate prize first! This one tests your brains, adds some friendly competition and can be full of great prizes.

Beyond Chocolate

Not all prizes have to be chocolate. Why not leave notes in plastic eggs for privileges. Like choosing what to have for dinner, 15 extra minutes before bedtime or picking a movie to watch. You can even get your kids to write and hide some for you to find. Who knows what to eggspect when you put creativity into the hands of cheeky children?

Eggducation

You can use Easter egg hunts as a great way to teach and learn. Try more basic lessons for the younger kids, like matching the top and bottom colours of plastic eggs to earn rewards. For the older ones, include trivia questions in plastic eggs for them to answer before getting their reward. You could even throw an egg hunt in the office as a team building exercise!

So there you have our top Easter egg hunt tips. Feel free to mix and match ideas to come up with the best possible hunt you can dream of. Make it as complicated or as simple and traditional as you want. The most important thing is to have some family fun. Hoppy Easter!

How To Make Flippin’ Good Pancakes This Shrove Tuesday

It’s that time of year again when the nation stocks up on lemon, sugar, syrup and Nutella all in preparation for the tastiest Tuesday of the year – Pancake Day! Get set for the tradition with our guide to the perfect pancakes, whether you like them thin and crispy or thick, fluffy and piled high! The thinner variety are more traditional on this side of the Atlantic whereas in the USA, you can expect a stack of fat pancakes. Whichever you choose, our easy pancake recipes are ideal for anyone, from basic bakers to master chefs. Follow this and we promise your pancakes won’t get stuck to the pan or, worse again, to the ceiling!

Now for a look at how this all began. Feel free to skip right on if you’re eager to get cooking. Pans at the ready!

When is Pancake Day, and Why Pancakes?

Shrove Tuesday lands 47 days before Easter and this year that’s Tuesday 13th February. But what’s up with the pancakes? Well, with 40 days of lent coming up, traditionally it was the day to use up all the good stuff. The last chance to go big and gorge on all your eggs, flour, sugar, butter and milk and anything sweet you had lying around. In some areas of the world it’s known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, and is the same day as Carnival (the last chance to party). With names like that, we think it’s okay to forget those New Year resolutions or diet plans just for one day. It’s a time-honoured tradition, after all. No one will notice – they’ll be too busy stuffing their faces too!

 

English Style Pancakes

Ingredients

256 g flour

8 g sugar roughly (optional but I would recommend)

Pinch of salt

1 egg

2 egg yolks (can replace with one whole egg)

500 ml milk

30 ml vegetable oil

57g butter

Method

  1. Add the flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine. Slip in the egg and egg yolks, followed by the milk and half the vegetable oil. Whisk to mix and remove any lumps.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, or even in the microwave, and pour into the mix. Get whisking again until it’s all nice and smooth. At this point, leave your mixture to rest for about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat your frying pan (ideally 8 inch but bigger is fine) until it’s hot. Add the rest of the vegetable oil and make sure it spreads to coat the pan. When the oil is hot enough, pour out any excess into a bowl or mug. You should be left with a nice coating on the pan that will prevent sticking. Removing the excess is important – you don’t want to flip anything when there’s hot oil involved!
  4. The mix meets the pan. This is the big moment when you’ll know if your mix is up to scratch. You’re aiming to add roughly 30 ml for each pancake. Tilt the pan to ensure an even spread. Cook until the bottom is golden brown (you’ll develop a sense for this by about your fifth).
  5. Now, get ready for the flip (see below for tips) or just use a spatula to turn it over and cook the other side.
  6. Slide the pancake onto a plate. Repeat the process – each one will be better than the last!

 

Tips

– Prepare the mixture in advance and take it straight to the pan.
– Trick your family and friends into helping by letting them cook and flip a pancake each.
– Have all your toppings ready to go before the first lot of batter hits the pan. The pancakes are best eaten right away.

 

On the flip side…

 

American Style Pancakes

135 g plain flour
15 g baking powder
A pinch of salt
16 g caster sugar
130 ml milk
1 large egg
30 g butter

 

Method

  1. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg.
  2. Melt the butter and add to the milk and egg. Whisk to combine completely then pour into the flour mixture and whisk some more. The lumps should disappear quite quickly to leave a thick, smooth batter. Leave it to rest for a few minutes.
  3. Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the butter when it’s hot. Wait for the butter to melt and tilt the pan to coat the bottom.
  4. Grab your ladle. Scoop out some batter and add it to the pan. American style pancakes are small, thick and fluffy, so you might be able to fit more than one in if your pan is big enough. Your mixture might seem thick and gloopy but this is exactly what you’re aiming for!
  5. Let the pancake cook until the top starts to bubble. Turn it over with a spatula or flip it (see below for tips). Be careful if you’re flipping more than one at the same time!
  6. Keep going until you’ve used up all your batter. Stack your pancakes on a plate, add syrup and dig in!

 

Top Tips

– Add mashed banana to the milk, egg and butter bowl to make banana pancakes.
– These thick pancakes work really well with ice cream.
– They’re deceptively filling.

 

The Flip 

Method 1

  1. Hold the pan firmly in two hands, one hand if you’re brave enough.
  2. Arch your wrists, so they’re pointing towards the pan and the floor. Keep an eye on the floor, you don’t want the pancake landing here.
  3. Flick your wrist in a fluid gentle motion while slightly raising your arm. Exert enough force to lift the pancake out of the pan.
  4. Watch as gravity does its magic – the pancake soaring through the air, flipping, spinning and, optimally, landing back in the pan and not on the aforementioned floor.

 

Method 2

Don’t think too much, just flip the pancake

 

So there you have it, two great recipes. Now is when the fun really starts – with the toppings!  Keep it simple with lemon and sugar or slather on jam, syrups, chocolate spread, fruit or ice cream. It doesn’t even have to be sweet. Ham, cheese and veggies all work well too. Happy Shrove Tuesday! How will you be cooking yours?

7 Easy and Affordable Ways to Brand Your Business Packaging

Done wrong, packaging can be expensive and is hardly noticed. Done right, it’s a powerful tool used to distribute and promote your brand. Custom packaging makes a good first impression and well-designed extras like business cards or flyers may be kept, reminding customers to come back. It will make you look more professional and polished – suggesting you put that extra effort into everything you do. Check out these seven easy and affordable ways to brand your business packaging.

1. The two things that people look for when they get a package is the product they ordered and its receipt. An easy way to make the most of your internal packaging is by making the receipt more special by adding a personal message and thank you. Also remember to pop in your business card or flyer, perhaps with a discount for a future purchase. Simple extras like this can do wonders for building goodwill and improving your brand.

2. Rubber stamps are a great way to add your brand to plain packaging, quickly. They will keep your branding consistent but without the need to pay for bulk printed materials. It can also can give your wrapping a more homemade look. Café owners could stamp their paper coffee cups, shops paper gift bags or card designers can add their logo by stamping the back of each card. If you bake and sell sweet treats, why not stamp plain gift tags to label your goodies.

Logo Rubber StampLogo Rubber Stamp

3. Do you sell small, high quality products that deserve great looking packaging? If your customers are spending that little bit more on your goods, it makes a difference to present them properly. Rather than basic boxes, custom favour boxes or bags are great way to package homemade sweets, soaps and jewellery without spending a fortune.

Paper Bags for Businesses

4. Stickers or labels customised with your logo or business name can really make your brand stick. Add to external packing to brighten up boring brown boxes and even catch the attention of the delivery guy. Use them to seal envelopes, wrapping paper or paper bags for a practical but pretty finishing touch. You could even include a few unused stickers in your packages for customers to spread the word.

Business Stickers

5. Wow them with your wrapping! Extra-special wrapping paper shows thought and attention to detail and makes the arrival of your product more of an event (perhaps even an unboxing). If you have company colours, make your wrap match, or even print your own wrapping paper with your logo. Use custom tissue paper to wrap more delicate items or to stuff in gift bags. For a final flourish, you could even add ribbon.

6. If you sell in a shop or on a stall, why not pop your products in branded re-usable bags or totes? Not only will this demonstrate you’re environmentally conscientious, but your customers may use their bags for their own shopping too, showing off your brand to the world! With most supermarkets charging for plastic bags today, your bag is bound to be put to good use.

Goodie Bag Tote Bags

7. Don’t underestimate the power of swag. Throwing in fun items like badges, magnets, pens, key rings or even clothing will put your customers in a good mood – who doesn’t love a freebie! Brand yours with your logo and hopefully your customers will remember you every time they open the fridge or grab their car keys. Items like this are often shared, spreading the word even further. Try to pick swag that suits your customers. For example, other businesses may use Post-it® Notes, whereas fashion fans may prefer a tote bag.

Personalised Pens

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

So, one week in to 2018, how are those New Year’s resolutions ideas going? The bad news is that more than half of them fail, but they don’t have to be yours! If you wanted to exercise more, eat healthily, learn something new or cut down on bad habits, our top tips will help you to stay on track (at least to the end of January…).

1. Focus on just a small number of things, ideally just the one. Trying to change too much at once is a recipe for failure. Don’t even think of it as one big resolution – more of a New Year’s plan, then you can start small and work your way up. If you plan to exercise more, just focus on certain days a week; if you’re planning on giving something up, cut down by X% then more gradually; if you want to travel more, why not start closer to home? Small steps make big changes.

2. Write it down. It’s important to clearly define your goal and list the reasons why you’re doing it, and break down bigger goals into smaller targets. Writing these thoughts down as a New Year’s resolution list gives you something to refer back to. Equally, why not start a journal and to write about your progress, your setbacks and achievements, no matter how big or small. Treat yourself to some inspiring new stationery like custom post it notes or notepads and calendars to keep your scribbles all in one place.

3. Make it public. You don’t have to tell the world, but telling people what you’re trying to achieve can be helpful. Not only can they offer support in times of need, but they can give you that extra bit of drive and motivation. Those raised eyebrows when you try to sneak in an extra Malteser can make you think twice… Just never lose focus that you’re doing whatever you’re doing primarily for you.

4. Reward yourself, especially during those hard first few days, but then you can make it weekly, monthly and finally reward yourself for your year milestone. Treat yourself with a trip to the cinema, some new clothes or a meal at your favourite restaurant.

5. Inspire yourself with New Year’s resolutions quotes. Inspiration can be hard to come, so it’s important to surround yourself with things that will keep you positive, hopeful and driven. Zazzle has a selection of inspirational posters, mugs and clothing that can give you the edge you need on the days you just don’t feel up to it.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There will be setbacks, you won’t make your weekly target, you’ll lapse, you’ll give in and you’ll give up. Understanding this before starting will help you react positively when there is a setback. There’s always time to bounce back on track, even you go off the rails for weeks.

7. Knowing when to call it quits. Sometimes we’re doing things for the wrong reasons. If you so much as get a hint of this go back to the list you made at the start. Maybe your reasons for doing the resolution have changed, or maybe you’ve even completed them. Sometimes calling it quits is the best thing to do.

New Year goals are tough work and not many people can complete them, but by following the steps above and staying positive no matter what will go a long way in realising your resolution!