Highlights: My Class in Berlin

November 27, 2011

Hello everyone! I was in Berlin again and now that I’m back home I want to share some highlights! This time, I taught a gift wrapping class for Anthropologie at the amazing Barcomi’s cafe where they had a “pop up cafe” this week to celebrate the launch of their new German online shop. I was able to chat briefly with owner, author and baking queen Cynthia Barcomi (a highlight!) before I got started and then, my students arrived and we made pretty and inspiring gift packaging and tags using torn fabric, masking tape, decorative papers, maps, paper punches, rubber stamps, cocktail napkins, lace, yarn, etc.

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

Below is a photo of me with my dear students (I’m in the center in green). There were 8 of us, but a few others joined in like my friend Sandra Juto and fashion blogger Camilla along with Jana and Massimiliano, so there were 13 of us total and it was such a fun bunch!

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

On the table you can see all of the things that we made. Each student made 4 projects, some did 5 — a box, a gift tag, a lunch bag and a sheet of patchwork paper. The patchwork “quilted” paper ideas was one that I learned from my dear friend Leslie Shewring that she taught in her washi tape class in St. Paul this past Fall at The Creative Connection event. I can’t take any credit for that idea but Leslie told me I could teach them how to do it so I did and they had a good time making their patchwork sheet of wrapping paper. Above you can see me with Anna Sterntaler, Simone Haffner, Annie Raymond, Toni, Ursula Markgraf, Julianne, Anja, Urszula Lotysz-Bossart.

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

My idea was to show them how to make gifts look pretty without always running out to the store for the typical roll of wrapping paper and pre-made bows and tags and so I taught them how to create beautiful gifts using what they may already have at home. I thought this was very much a part of the Anthropologie way of thinking as well — to be creative with what you already have because Anthro is known to be such an inspiring place to shop since they’re very creative with their own store displays using random objects to create gorgeous installations.

Here are some pictures of the things that I made. I used basic white boxes from a discount store and applied tapes, papers, torn fabrics and even cocktail napkins to decorate them. In Germany, white paper bags are everywhere right now for Advent so I used them to decorate as well. I told students that these bags are great for giving baked goods – just wrap cookies or chocolates and place inside with a sheet of pretty tissue paper or shredded paper.

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

I naturally went with my soft color palette with a punch of hot pink or turquoise. I think it’s important to go with what your instinct tells you and wrap gifts in a way that not only reflects your personal style but that shows the recipient that you thought of them in a special way and made the outside look just as nice as the gift waiting within.

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

The gift above was topped with torn fabrics as ribbon and a silver star.

Highlights: My Class in Berlin

The box above in purple and orange was wrapped using two cocktail napkins. One for the bottom, the other for the top, in two different patterns to add interest. If the cocktail napkin doesn’t cover the box entirely, that’s okay — you can trim it out with tapes, found papers and ribbons and it will look great!

I had such a great time, thank you to Massimiliano (Grazie mille!) for helping organize everything and for my students (Danke schön!) for joining me and Anthropologie at Barcomi’s for a crafty class!

(photos with white borders: anna sterntaler/all others: holly becker)


  • Reply tinajo November 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Looks like you had a great time – and those tags and boxes are cute! :-)

  • Reply Maria November 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    They are all lovely! So nice ideas and simple and cute! We may not have been in the class but thanks to this post we learnt a lot and I am now ready for Christmas time gift wrapping! Thank you Holly!

  • Reply kim baise November 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    fantastic wrapping ideas and i want that koi fish cup with painted scaley handle!!!!

  • Reply Ege Denne November 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Nice idea :)

    Have a nice day :)

  • Reply Ría November 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    What a nice class! I hope you come sometime to Spain and then I will able to go to one of your classes.
    Have a great sunday!
    Greetings from Spain.

  • Reply Cam November 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    thanks so much Holly for letting me be a part of your Crafts & Fun Group at Barcomi’s .. it was a great time and experience!

    Hope to meet once again soon.. stay in touch!

    Best xoxo


  • Reply Silke3d November 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Some nice ideas for personalized christmas gifts :D

    Your class looks like fun, envy so much that i cant be there :(

  • Reply Mitzi Curi November 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Fresh ideas, beautiful colors. I love it! I’m a fan of washi tape, but don’t own any (yet)…..

  • Reply andriana {lifelikes} November 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I love when things look vintage – used – old – handmade, and show the beauty of imperfection! Great inspiration Holly… thank you!

  • Reply Misty DuBois November 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Love the colors! Great ideas. The birds in the purple and orange combination are lovely. Thanks, Holly : )

  • Reply tanja November 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    GREAT …I love it ….greetings tani

  • Reply Anette November 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Love the designs and those ‘unusual’ Christmas colors – it’s so GREAT to see something unique made out of ‘daily life’ things…
    Have a wonderful Advent – Time!

  • Reply Nicole B November 28, 2011 at 1:30 am

    This is so special! Thank you for sharing your wonderful creativity!!
    Nicole B

  • Reply Jane November 28, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Oh Holly – what deliciousness! I’m drinking in every detail – thanks so much for sharing ?. J x

  • Reply Rose November 28, 2011 at 4:48 am

    This is fabulous Holly. It looks like it could have been a whole lot of fun making this crafts as well.

  • Reply Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! November 28, 2011 at 8:14 am

    This looks like a great class! Great ideas. One of my favourite things about the holiday season is all of the gift wrapping- I love it!

  • Reply Juliette November 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

    This looks like it was a fab time! I think the prize ribbon is adorable; such a good idea. I’m also loving the fabric strips. I’d planned on incorporating more fabric this year, but hadn’t really decided how -I’ll definitely be trying a few of these things myself! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Urszula Lotysz-Bossart November 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

    It was a REALLY inspirational class! Thank you Holly! I already ordered some masking tape & stamps for wrapping this year’s gifts! :-))

  • Reply Judy November 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Wowooooo~Love all of these! Beautiful color, and so esquisite! LOVE~

  • Reply Stéphanie Rousseau November 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Very nice ideas for christmas gift!

  • Reply Kim November 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    This looks so much fun! If you ever do this in the UK I’d love to attend.

    Such beautiful things too. My favorite is this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/decor8/6411092527/ So pretty! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Jko November 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    The boxes and tags are very nice and creative design. It seem fun and really a productive day for you.

  • Reply the chronic utilitarian November 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    holly, i so love this post.
    you always remind me to play more.
    thank you for that.

  • Reply Heidi November 29, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Love these ideas! Thanks for sharing and capturing the moments in your lovely photos. I’m now inspired to wrap (although I still have much Christmas shopping to do! :) )

  • Reply Annie Raymond November 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

    It was so much fun! Thank you so much Holly for teaching us all of those great techniques! I’ve already picked up some washi tape… now I just need to finish my Christmas shopping, and I’ll be ready to make the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever made!

  • Reply Denise November 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    So beautiful and inspiring! Love the little tags with the washi tape.

  • Reply Karboojeh December 7, 2011 at 2:52 am

    so cute – love Anthropologie as well as your blog, so it’s like a match made in heaven, and to add icing on the cake, I’m in love with Berlin – i had a concert there a few years ago & was so sad to have to go back home; Berlin has such a strong creative energy.
    Anyhow – Great tags! very Berlin-ish ..

  • Reply Cutelicious December 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Big thanks again for such a nice time!!! It was simply amazing!

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