Pimp My Bow

I need to start this post by stating that my boyfriend is the absolute best present buyer on the planet.  The best.

He keeps a section on his iPhone (formerly a tiny, actual notepad) dedicated to present ideas. Every single time I mention something I need or would like or want he whips around the corner and types it into his phone.  I never notice him doing this, but he tells me he does it.  He does it all year long.

This is how I end up with presents like smokers from World Class BBQer Mike Callaghan, snowblowers, those sunglasses I saw once and loved in a store in Detroit and coffee cups with the exact right saying on them.  And his stockings are unparalleled.  I love my boyfriend.

O.K.  Now that that’s been said, I can tell you a little story.

The first year my boyfriend and I were together he gave me a little present.  Just a silly little nothing.  I can’t even remember what it was.

He couldn’t find a box so he shoved it in a Tiffany’s bag he found in my closet.  He gave me a box of bandaids or something … in a Tiffany’s bag.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute and then proclaim my next statement.  Never give a girl ANYTHING in a Tiffany’s bag unless it’s from Tiffany’s.

I don’t even like getting a present in a department store box if the present isn’t from that department store.   It confuses me.  I’m easily confused.  I once tried to return a velour sweatsuit to Pottery Barn.

So this year when I bought my presents I asked every single store I went into for a box.  Not a single one of them provided me with one.  Nope.  No boxes. Oh? You spent hundreds of dollars in here?  Gosh.  Sorry.  No boxes. Which was a more palatable response than the stores who told me they could sell me a box. I left a bloody path of punched noses in my shopping wake this year.  Well, I didn’t actually, but I imagined doing it.

So last week I went and bought a bunch of boxes that were 50% off and started wrapping.  I was excited to wrap because this year I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for years.

I pimped my bows.

You may remember this bow.

Imagine walking into someone’s house with a present with twinkle lights!  Who even CARES what’s inside!  These battery operated twinkle lights were $1.99.  About the same price or cheaper than a store bought bow.  PLUS they can be reused and enjoyed by the present receiver.  I got these super-fantastic black, battery operated lights from Ikea.  They came in white, red and black.  Bought em all.  But you can get these anywhere now.  Dollar stores, hardware stores, garden centres that sell Christmas stuff.  If you’re really lucky you can even get them on a present.

To do this I first made the bow and then laid it on the present.  I then taped the lights on the package so the lights peeked out from in between each bow loop.

Keep taping the lights, then laying the bow on top again to see where your next light should be taped.

Or if you so choose (and I so chose) you can run the lights around the present like you would a ribbon.

It’s a bit easier and quicker to do, but still pretty pimpin’.

And in red …

2 days left.  Happy wrapping.  :)  And remember … stay away from the Tiffany’s bags.


  1. peg says:

    okay!! will be doing some lit boxes.As always a fun read. Thank you :D

  2. black wrapping paper and the lights? simply stunning, Karen. I must try it this year.

  3. Christina says:

    I found you cos I typed “homemade chicken burgers” into a search engine & yours was the first result that didn’t say without breadcrumbs. Without breadcrumbs? Pfft!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Pffft indeed. Try the chicken burgers, I was really, really impressed with how they turned out when I first came up with the recipe. And yes. Use breadrumbs. ;) ~ karen!

  4. Patrice says:

    Your blog is a Christmas gift! It gives me the giggles every day. Thank you so much for being such a creative, wonderful person. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  5. Janelle says:

    Karen, I found you because my friend called me and said “You have to check out this woman who has just blogged about a yogurt tampon”. Amazingly (and fortunately) I did!

  6. JEN RAMOS says:

    FREAKING cool…. :)))))
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you,

  7. Lisa says:

    Amazing! Who thought the bow could get better? I just started following your blog and am thoroughly hooked on your combination of sarcastic wit and fantastic style. Happy Holidays:)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lisa! Same to you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. Out of curiosity, how’d you find me? I always wonder how people happen upon this blog. :) ~ karen

  8. susie says:

    Karen, I say this with utmost fondness and kindness…you are loco in the cabeza. :)

  9. Jules says:

    just to clarify- I pass along your blog to my crafty friends- they are all so impressed…its just the ones who would never make the effort that think IM the crafty one! :)

  10. tracie says:

    Maybe it’s cause I just woke up, but for some reason this is the first and only instruction I find myself puzzled with…and where do you put the big battery thingy? Beautiful though, as usual with your stuff, I must say. I look so forward to what you’re putting up next, I don’t even allow myself to wake up first!

    • Karen says:

      Tracie – You just wrap the excess wire around the battery pack and then tape the battery pack to the back of the box with 2 long pieces of tape. :) And it’s only 2 AA batteries, so it isn’t all that big. ~ karen!

  11. Traci says:

    This year my boyfriend collected all of the boxes we got from a shipment his aunt sent of Omaha Steaks to wrap presents in. Luckily, I saw him and while I couldn’t stop him from using the boxes, at least I know I won’t REALLY be getting steaks or “gourmet” hotdogs for Christmas!

  12. Norma says:

    Love it but where does the battery pack go?

  13. Jules says:

    Yep- me again with the dumb questions- I guess I over think things..but where/how do you hide the battery pack thingy??? Just tape it to the box? under the bow? I know mine will not look like this..I have a few of these things that are not as bright as I would have liked for the purpose I bought them- so using them on a gift will be perfect!

    pushed my fried cookie making to Christmas so still have not done it..god I hate working…I could just read your blog all day and PLAY! Very distracting you know..

    Thanks for the inspriation! I love how I get credit for being crafty and all I do is copy you..haha!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Jules, I just wrapped the excess wire around the battery box and then taped the whole thing to the back of the present with 2 long pieces of tape. You don’t notice it at all, keeps it out of the way and makes it easy to turn on and off. Good luck. ~ karen!

  14. mel says:

    oh my…. this is just awesome!
    i just want to run home and rearrange all my christmas wrapping!
    oh wait.. just checked the internet. IKEA is a big grich and not selling those lights here in switzerland…. crap

    • Karen says:

      Mel – Crap is right! Anywhere they sell Christmas ornaments should have them. Maybe not in black … but definitely in standard white! ~ karen

  15. Valerie says:

    I love the lit package! While not as creative as your boxed gift have you ever put a box into a balloon and then blown it up before presentation?

  16. Shea says:

    Can’t get enough of your blog! And I want to get a present from you. Your boyfriend can shop for it and you can pimp the package.

  17. debrah says:

    totally awesome! as always, inventive and unexpected and written well, and with a sense of humor!…love it!

  18. Kerry says:

    I love watching you take things to that next, totally unexpected level…too good!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kerry. And yet every single day I think “Well .. that’s it. I’ve got nothin’ left.“. And then luckily, I do. :) ~ karen

  19. Pam'a says:

    My gosh, Karen! Those are pretty danged impressive.

    All I keep thinking is… What on earth will your recipients expect NEXT year?!! I mean, how are you going to top these?

    (Somehow, I know you will.)

    Merry, Merry Christmas!

    • Karen says:

      Pam’a – My boyfriend walked by as I was making these, looked at the bow, kept walking and said “Gonna be hard to top that next year”. I had indeed thought of that. I’m thinkin’ of looking into some sort of taxidermy bow. Merry Christmas to you too! ~ karen

      • Tigersmom says:

        I’m normally far too cool to <3 anything, but I seriously <3 the fella.

        Not in a creepy want to steal him way, but in a way that makes ne glad you have someone who treats you the way you deserve and both gets and appreciates your particular wit, style and sassiness. It takes a special breed and I'm glad you found one. Lucky for me, I found one, too. I'm a buttload to put up with.

  20. Sharon Woo says:

    Agh one time about five years into my relationship (with my now husband) I received a gift in a tiffany bag, in a tiffany box wrapped in the tiffany aqua paper. Just as I was about to open it he must have realized his stupidity and nervously blurted “it’s not a ring”. At least I really did get something from tiffanys.

    • Karen says:

      Sharon – So you know my pain. I didn’t mention the fact that since “the incident” I have received many actual gifts from Tiffany’s. :) So that’s one good thing that came out of it. ~ karen

  21. Alexandra Dare says:

    You know, I’m not really very crafty of a person, but I think I come to this blog and read every single post because I’m wondering… What will she think of next?

    Today the answer is… Presents that LIGHT UP.

    Good God.

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