My daughter Zhouyi turned 20 very recently, and is officially no longer a teenager! 😱 She is, however, still a huge fan of unicorns with no sign that that will ever change — proof that some of us don’t outgrow the magic of our youth! ✨
I believe that many of us have an inner child, and a part of me hopes that even as she begins her journey into womanhood, Z will always remain enough of her mother’s daughter to give the girl in her free rein…at least occasionally. 😉
Here she is, looking so very grownup, especially in her college pics. Did I mention that she aced her final year and graduated with Triple Distinction* for BTEC (Triple) IT? 🎓🎉 It’s a very popular course, but sadly male-dominated. She was the only girl in her class, but took it all in her stride. No mean feat for a young lady who also suffers from Dyspraxia as there is still poor awareness of this condition here in the UK, and all this whilst there’s a pandemic going on. Very #ProudMum here! ❤️
Seeing as we’ve kind of gone back into lockdown, I decided to make a point (see what I did there? 🦄😜 ) of brightening up an otherwise uneventful birthday by putting even more effort into Z’s present. 🎁 Of course I could just buy a unicorn-themed gift box or wrapping paper, but where’s the fun in that?
To bring your unicorn to life, you would need the usual craft accoutrements such as scissors, cellotape, glue, and obviously a box. Plus the following:
• Wrapping Paper
Either white or any pastel shade.
• White Card
Two sturdy sheets of A4.
• Coloured Gift Tissue
• Marker Pen
I used gold but the choice of colour is entirely up to you.
You could draw the ears and horn on the white card if you have a steady hand. If not, feel free to download and print the PDF templates I have illustrated, including a blank speech bubble for you to fill in with your own greeting.
Assembly is pretty straightforward, but to keep the horn from flopping over, it’s best to sandwich it between the flowers and the tissue “mane”. The latter will take you a little more time to put together, but it’s by no means a complex endeavour. You could cheat and buy a packet of spiral tissue, but I’m not in favour of forking out when I can so easily make something myself, especially when I’ve already amassed a collection of used gift tissue.
I’ve seen tutorials in which people draw a spiral before cutting it out, but seriously, there’s no need to be so meticulous. Just eyeball it, and save your energy for the birthday party (or whatever special occasion you’re celebrating). Besides, the imperfections will give your unicorn a certain wild charm! 😄
When cutting out your spirals, aim to stray no further than approximately 1 cm or 1.5 cm from the edge. ✂️ I used sheets of tissue that were roughly 20cm by 20cm, and as the spirals unwound/stretched, ended up with really long strips which I later had to segment.
The more strips you have, the “fluffier” your unicorn’s mane. Once they’ve been cut to the desired length, arrange the strips into bunches and tape (or staple) them together at one end. Then hot glue them behind your unicorn’s ears, give the “mane” a good ruffle, and hey presto…
…your mythical stabby friend is ready to ride off with its (no doubt) enchanting bounty. That last bit wasn’t far from the truth in our case, since (amongst a few other bits and bobs) Z’s presents also included a load of witchcraft 🧙♀️ paraphernalia, such as spell kits, incense, and a scented cauldron candle topped with treasures like a “Tree of Life” pendant and precious stones/shells.
In fact, I bought Z so many items I had to use the biggest box I’d saved…It’s a good job I don’t like throwing away the external packaging of my online purchases! 😅 This is why the unicorn parts fill up an A4 card. However, if your box is smaller, most home office printers will allow you to downsize the image using their native software.
I won’t say we had a galloping good time on Z’s birthday since it had to (under the circumstances) be a quiet one. However, she seemed to like it that way, possibly because we also got her a new game, so she spent half the day cosying up to Steam. 🎮 As an introvert myself, I personally think there are worse ways to enjoy your birthday! 🎂