If you're anything like me, you'll know that shopping for gift wrap at this time of year requires a serious amount of self-restraint. Bespoke luxe wrapping paper? Yes please. Glittery washi tape? Yes yes yes. Holographic rose-gold ribbon? Oh, go on then!

However, this year I've decided (a tad reluctantly) to forego my obsessive and expensive gift-wrap-purchasing habit and stick with just the one, plain and simple wrapping component: brown paper.  

Of course, when I decided to pare things back a little and just use brown paper, I had to come up with a few different takes on how I was going to use it to wrap my gifts...and of course I just had to share these ideas with you! So, without further ado, here are my four, proper-creative, brown paper gift-wrap ideas! 

1. Polaroid & Twine



My first idea is a really simple and cheap way to personalise your gifts without the need for name tags. I've used a print of an Instagram from earlier in the year (as I didn't want to stick a family member's pic on here!) but, in essence, the idea would be to use a cherished and potentially festive picture of the both of you as a sweet way to jazz up some plain brown paper.  

You can get these square prints from Cheerz.com for 30p each- a serious steal in my opinion, as they make a fantastic addition to any present, as well as a lovely keepsake once all the wrapping paper has been thrown away!

Pro tip: I found it easier to wrap the twine around once I'd stuck a little masking tape or blue tac (don't use sellotape as it will rip the photo) to the back of the picture, in order to keep it in place. 


You could also use the prints as gift tags for bigger presents or even place settings for your Christmas table...

+ I love the thought of ordering a load of prints of old Christmas pictures or Instagrams from the year, sticking them in a pretty scrapbook like this one and giving them out to relatives. You could even annotate the prints with funny quotes and memories to make them all the more personal!


2. Alphabet Stamps



My personal favourite, this is an incredibly easy way to personalise a bit of brown paper gift wrap. I chose to stamp just one initial on my sheet of paper, but you could just as easily do a full name or even little phrases in different colours...it's totally up to you!


You can buy alphabet stamps pretty much anywhere but these are the ones I have. Plus, the super duper festive red twine I used to tie this gift can be found here.

Pro tip: with the twine, buy a £1.99 sample instead of a spool- you get a good 10 metres in the sample, which I found was enough to wrap all my presents this year! 


3. Handwritten Memories



This gift-wrap idea is for those that might have slightly more time on their hands and an extra-special person to wrap presents for. Don't get me wrong, this is an incredibly easy craft but it might take you a little bit longer to do and you simply might not have the time (or the memories) to do it for every single person on your list!

The basic idea is to get a sheet of brown paper and write out a long stream of memories and funny phrases that you share with the recipient of your gift!  

I used a white chalk marker for this, but I think gold or silver pens would work equally as well. You could also add ribbon or twine to this one if you wanted, but I think the contrast between the white pen and the brown paper makes this decorative enough as it is!


4. Watercolour and Twine



My final idea is a little artsy but nonetheless incredibly easy to achieve if you're willing to put a tiny bit more time and effort into your gift-wrapping sesh.


Simply grab a tin of watercolours (you could use felt-tips if you have less time) and paint a few leaf and berry shapes across your sheet of brown paper. Wait until the paint has dried and then use a fine-liner to scribble some extra details on your design. You could jazz the design up with some glitter or stickers if you like- but I quite like keeping things simple and rustic-y, so I just finished wrapping my parcel with some bright twine and a twisty pinecone decoration!  


+ those are my four brown paper gift-wrap ideas! I hope I've inspired you to plump for a frugal (ish) Christmas like me and do away with all those rolls of expensive paper that just end up in the bin anyway! If you do give any of these designs a go, I'd love to see a festive Instagram or too... I'm over at @thefreckledfieldnotes! 

Do you have any gift-wrapping ideas or tips that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love + Merry Christmas,

Sian x

4 Brown Paper Gift-Wrap Ideas

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


If you're anything like me, you'll know that shopping for gift wrap at this time of year requires a serious amount of self-restraint. Bespoke luxe wrapping paper? Yes please. Glittery washi tape? Yes yes yes. Holographic rose-gold ribbon? Oh, go on then!

However, this year I've decided (a tad reluctantly) to forego my obsessive and expensive gift-wrap-purchasing habit and stick with just the one, plain and simple wrapping component: brown paper.  

Of course, when I decided to pare things back a little and just use brown paper, I had to come up with a few different takes on how I was going to use it to wrap my gifts...and of course I just had to share these ideas with you! So, without further ado, here are my four, proper-creative, brown paper gift-wrap ideas! 

1. Polaroid & Twine



My first idea is a really simple and cheap way to personalise your gifts without the need for name tags. I've used a print of an Instagram from earlier in the year (as I didn't want to stick a family member's pic on here!) but, in essence, the idea would be to use a cherished and potentially festive picture of the both of you as a sweet way to jazz up some plain brown paper.  

You can get these square prints from Cheerz.com for 30p each- a serious steal in my opinion, as they make a fantastic addition to any present, as well as a lovely keepsake once all the wrapping paper has been thrown away!

Pro tip: I found it easier to wrap the twine around once I'd stuck a little masking tape or blue tac (don't use sellotape as it will rip the photo) to the back of the picture, in order to keep it in place. 


You could also use the prints as gift tags for bigger presents or even place settings for your Christmas table...

+ I love the thought of ordering a load of prints of old Christmas pictures or Instagrams from the year, sticking them in a pretty scrapbook like this one and giving them out to relatives. You could even annotate the prints with funny quotes and memories to make them all the more personal!


2. Alphabet Stamps



My personal favourite, this is an incredibly easy way to personalise a bit of brown paper gift wrap. I chose to stamp just one initial on my sheet of paper, but you could just as easily do a full name or even little phrases in different colours...it's totally up to you!


You can buy alphabet stamps pretty much anywhere but these are the ones I have. Plus, the super duper festive red twine I used to tie this gift can be found here.

Pro tip: with the twine, buy a £1.99 sample instead of a spool- you get a good 10 metres in the sample, which I found was enough to wrap all my presents this year! 


3. Handwritten Memories



This gift-wrap idea is for those that might have slightly more time on their hands and an extra-special person to wrap presents for. Don't get me wrong, this is an incredibly easy craft but it might take you a little bit longer to do and you simply might not have the time (or the memories) to do it for every single person on your list!

The basic idea is to get a sheet of brown paper and write out a long stream of memories and funny phrases that you share with the recipient of your gift!  

I used a white chalk marker for this, but I think gold or silver pens would work equally as well. You could also add ribbon or twine to this one if you wanted, but I think the contrast between the white pen and the brown paper makes this decorative enough as it is!


4. Watercolour and Twine



My final idea is a little artsy but nonetheless incredibly easy to achieve if you're willing to put a tiny bit more time and effort into your gift-wrapping sesh.


Simply grab a tin of watercolours (you could use felt-tips if you have less time) and paint a few leaf and berry shapes across your sheet of brown paper. Wait until the paint has dried and then use a fine-liner to scribble some extra details on your design. You could jazz the design up with some glitter or stickers if you like- but I quite like keeping things simple and rustic-y, so I just finished wrapping my parcel with some bright twine and a twisty pinecone decoration!  


+ those are my four brown paper gift-wrap ideas! I hope I've inspired you to plump for a frugal (ish) Christmas like me and do away with all those rolls of expensive paper that just end up in the bin anyway! If you do give any of these designs a go, I'd love to see a festive Instagram or too... I'm over at @thefreckledfieldnotes! 

Do you have any gift-wrapping ideas or tips that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love + Merry Christmas,

Sian x


It's December! It's actually December guys! This can mean only one thing...it's officially time to get started on whipping up some good old-fashioned Christmas cheer.

I don't know about you but I have a few foodie staples that I have to at least try and make at this time of year- otherwise I find I get to June and suddenly I'll start having random, intense cravings for all the mincemeat (of the fruity variety) and Bailey's hot chocolate I missed out on at Christmastime.

So, to prevent such a catastrophe, I like to make sure I've got all the staples covered...and one of those staples always has to be roast chestnuts.


The taste of roast chestnuts always reminds me of a holiday in France a good few years back when, as a family, we (yes, we actually did this) sat round an open fire and roasted fresh chestnuts on a shovel. It was just before Christmas and I promise you, I have never felt more like a living Christmas card in my entire life!

But it was, of course, an unbelievably perfect way to start the holidays and now I can't have a Christmas without, at some point, eating my weight in chestnuts...      


So, if you'd like to make a dish of these festive nuts (!) for yourself, you will need:

* 800g unshelled chestnuts
* 3 sprigs of rosemary
* 100g butter
* 2 teaspoons of salt
* 2 teaspoons of fresh black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to around 220c/425f and place a large sheet of foil on a baking tray.
2. Place the chestnuts, flat side down, on a work surface and carefully score an 'x' on the rounded side of each nut.
3. Soak the scored chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for a minute (to help them steam whilst they're roasting) and then drain and pat them dry before placing them into a bowl.
4. Add the rosemary, butter, salt and pepper on top of the chestnuts and toss everything together. It will feel like there is a lot of butter going in with these guys but don't panic! It will all melt in the oven, I promise you!
5. Arrange the chestnuts in a single layer on the centre of your pre-prepared baking tray and gather up the edges of the foil around the chestnuts, leaving a large gap at the top.
6. Roast in the oven until the peel begins to curl up and the chestnuts are cooked through. This should take around 30-45 minutes.
7. Transfer the chestnuts to a dish, scraping off and adding any yummy seasoning stuck to the foil as you do, then toss everything together once more. Add extra salt and pepper to taste, and then serve!


Crispy, salty, chewy and earthy...aah, there's nothing better!

Do you have a certain Christmas treat that you absolutely have to rustle up at this time of year? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x

Rosemary Roasted Chestnuts

Friday, 2 December 2016


It's December! It's actually December guys! This can mean only one thing...it's officially time to get started on whipping up some good old-fashioned Christmas cheer.

I don't know about you but I have a few foodie staples that I have to at least try and make at this time of year- otherwise I find I get to June and suddenly I'll start having random, intense cravings for all the mincemeat (of the fruity variety) and Bailey's hot chocolate I missed out on at Christmastime.

So, to prevent such a catastrophe, I like to make sure I've got all the staples covered...and one of those staples always has to be roast chestnuts.


The taste of roast chestnuts always reminds me of a holiday in France a good few years back when, as a family, we (yes, we actually did this) sat round an open fire and roasted fresh chestnuts on a shovel. It was just before Christmas and I promise you, I have never felt more like a living Christmas card in my entire life!

But it was, of course, an unbelievably perfect way to start the holidays and now I can't have a Christmas without, at some point, eating my weight in chestnuts...      


So, if you'd like to make a dish of these festive nuts (!) for yourself, you will need:

* 800g unshelled chestnuts
* 3 sprigs of rosemary
* 100g butter
* 2 teaspoons of salt
* 2 teaspoons of fresh black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to around 220c/425f and place a large sheet of foil on a baking tray.
2. Place the chestnuts, flat side down, on a work surface and carefully score an 'x' on the rounded side of each nut.
3. Soak the scored chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for a minute (to help them steam whilst they're roasting) and then drain and pat them dry before placing them into a bowl.
4. Add the rosemary, butter, salt and pepper on top of the chestnuts and toss everything together. It will feel like there is a lot of butter going in with these guys but don't panic! It will all melt in the oven, I promise you!
5. Arrange the chestnuts in a single layer on the centre of your pre-prepared baking tray and gather up the edges of the foil around the chestnuts, leaving a large gap at the top.
6. Roast in the oven until the peel begins to curl up and the chestnuts are cooked through. This should take around 30-45 minutes.
7. Transfer the chestnuts to a dish, scraping off and adding any yummy seasoning stuck to the foil as you do, then toss everything together once more. Add extra salt and pepper to taste, and then serve!


Crispy, salty, chewy and earthy...aah, there's nothing better!

Do you have a certain Christmas treat that you absolutely have to rustle up at this time of year? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x

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