Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016



[Gift wrap images my own.]

Right now I'm reading Debra Shriver's Stealing Magnolias: Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard (more on the gorgeous book to come). In her last chapter, Shriver talks about 'lagniappe' (lan-yap!), a Creole word describing that little 'something extra.'  One of Shriver's examples that made my mouth water: when a waiter generously adds an extra beignet to your order of a dozen.

For me, gift wrap can be a kind of lagniappe. Obviously if you tie a found seashell or sparkly ornament to the box, that's a tangible extra. But the trimmings can be a visual lagniappe. In the spirit of waste not want not, I try to use materials that can be easily reused by a bowerbird recipient.

The hammered gold mesh I mentioned yesterday is working well. Not prone to wrinkling, it can be recycled many times over. Here it is shown layered onto a humble-yet-sturdy recycled kraft box.

No tape was needed; the reusable velvet ribbons, also from Anthropologie, are securing everything.

Among the creative New Orleanians featured in Stealing Magnolias is artist Amanda Talley. (She shares with Shriver her terrific recipe for the cooling Crescent City Elixir.) Coincidentally, stay tuned here for news this week of a special art sale including the work of Talley and Hayley Gaberlavage.

BTW: In 2008, Talley shared with us her thrifty-but-soulful gift wrapping style. At the time it encompassed tea paper from Pearl River bound with twine and a twig painted gold. She said, "I just get a small limb, spray it gold, and then break off a little piece for each present."

Related past posts: Amanda's Handmade GiftsGood Morning Sunshine, and Practical Magic.


GB said...

'lagniappe', has to be my new favorite word. Thanks for introducing me to it.

Style Court said...


Isn't it a fun word? I've got so much more to share from the book. Thanks for stopping by.

Grant K. Gibson said...

Loving the word as well. I had to look it up- and I can't wait to use it soon!

Now I have to go and buy things at Anthropologie!
Thanks for sharing.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

My mother in law is from New Orleans and always uses it often. Love the word too!

Pigtown*Design said...

Love that word! I remember friends from Louisiana using it in practice.

A few years ago, I found a stash of silk cord with tassels on either end and used them to wrap presents or put around a jar of something. Almost everyone I gave them to wanted to give them back, but I had to explain, it was part of the gift. The lagniappe!

Kristin Myrdahl O'Neill said...

Loving the word too...on the package I appreciate wrapping details as well. I collect vintage wallpaper to wrap gifts. I've used a similar gold paper. I also love adding gold magnolias from the silk flower dept. Even though they are actually quite stiff, not silk at all. They are bold & old world elegant & would look great on your gift.