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A Simple Holiday Crafternoon

By Kristen Schryver
dining room with natural light

We love featuring the creative folks who work to cultivate beauty in the everyday experience, and the girl behind Trouvé magazine is certainly one of them. Amanda Marko, designer and publisher of Trouvé, created this bi-annual magazine to “celebrate the creative lifestyle and those who live it.” Amanda does everything herself, from production and design to packaging and shipping, all from her own home.

With the rush of holiday orders for the magazine, Amanda decided to gather many friends (and hands!) to help her wrap and package each copy of Trouvé, as well as to enjoy an afternoon of good food and conversation. Lucky for us, she let us take a peek into her home (which doubles as the Trouvé headquarters) to share this fun gathering with all of you. Click through to see the lovely details of Amanda’s space and get inspired to host a little wrap party of your own…

Photography by Reema Desai


The inspiration behind Amanda’s home design:

The intention behind my home design is not far removed from my graphic design process. In both instances, I start with a neutral palette, slowly adding key and meaningful elements, with ample negative space and subtle pops of color in between. I think since I work with color, texture and type all day, keeping my home (which is also my office) in a neutral palette helps to keep me inspired and appreciate those graphic and colorful elements even more when they are present.



About the gallery wall:

Oftentimes when I tell people what I do for a living, they say something like “I’m not creative at all”…or “I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life…!” The wall is mostly made up of sketches from my drawing classes in college complete with the grades and my teacher’s critiques! I hung the gallery in my dining room as a conversation piece; I believe that everyone has a creative bone in them, and that with practice and encouragement, we all can make our own unique art. The other pieces include a lithograph from my Art History teacher, a Georgia O’Keeffe print, and a framed piece of my mother’s cross-stitching.

This chandelier was a surprise birthday gift from my husband this year and it’s from Restoration Hardware

The holiday decor:

I am currently living in a home on a sustainable working livestock farm on the outskirts of Washington DC, so my holiday decor is pretty much made up of a foraged pine and cypress with subtle twinkles of white lights and ornaments.


Tips for creating a beautiful buffet:

The serving pieces and buffet are foraged much like the greenery in my house. I love a good antique store hunt, and have collected a tribe of dishes in various shapes and sizes to add to my more sentimental serving pieces (like my Grandpa’s nut bowl). Balancing shapes and height, and using the natural color and texture of the food to decorate, makes a bountiful and welcoming buffet.

The menu inspiration:

It was a “high-low” interpretation of traditional Christmas favorites. Creating bite-size and mini versions of more expensive dishes, like Beef Wellington, makes for an affordable and effortless menu. 

Amanda’s Wrapping Party Menu: 

  • Charcuterie
  • Mini Beef Wellingtons
  • Maryland Crab Deviled Eggs
  • Wrapped Asparagus
  • Winter Salad with Cranberry & Goat Cheese
  • Chocolate Truffles
  • Sugar Cookies
  • Winter Sangria

Click here to see the recipe for Amanda’s Winter Salad.


See the Winter Sangria recipe here.

Top tips for planning a wrapping party with friends:

1. Keep it comfortable.

I think sometimes in our efforts to make things appear rustic or what the internet is currently interpreting as trendy and artful entertaining, we forget that it really is ok to just hang out on the couch and eat with friends! Some of the best conversations are born in an environment of ease and comfort.

2. Keep it portable.

Small bites and small plates not only make it easy to move from room to room and mingle, but also makes it easier to go back
for seconds….and thirds!


3. Keep it simple.

It’s always surprising how just plain paper and twine can make a beautifully wrapped package.


The story behind Trouvé: 

My degree is in graphic design and after college I worked at both an ad agency and then as an in-house senior designer. It was at the last job that I began to dream of a design/lifestyle magazine geared towards creativity. I slowly worked on the idea for 2 years, saved paychecks diligently, collaborated with friends, photographers, and writers, until finally in February of this year I left my job to produce print Volume 01. My days are fuller than ever, but being a one-woman magazine is still manageable. My husband is extremely supportive and my readers are loving —making Trouvé my true dream job and ultimate personal expression of creativity.


On the beautiful magazine wrap:

Each individual magazine copy ordered off (not stockists) comes wrapped in white paper, tied with twine, and stamped with a wax seal.


Because of the bulk nature of how I package Trouvé, I had to figure out an inexpensive solution to make hundreds of seals at once. For about 100 1 inch seals, I use 12 glue sticks (colored sticks available on amazon and craft stores) and 2 inches of beeswax. I melt the two slowly in a pan over low heat and drop a tsp on 10-15 magazines at a time. Stamp them quickly before they harden!

The care and attention to detail Amanda puts into the packaging of Trouvé shows just how much she cares about what she is creating and sharing with the world. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous party with us, Amanda!