wrap-spiration {and a few helpful tips}

Please don’t hate me.

I only have two presents left to wrap.

I used to be a Christmas-Eve-gift-bag-wrapper.  I would begrudgingly stuff things into bags with copious amounts of tissue paper, without time to add any bows, and lament how silly it was to wrap things that’ll be opened in less than 24 hours.

Over the years I’ve grown to look at my wrapped gifts as part of my household Christmas decor.

It’s a way for ME to enjoy the gifts before I give them to my nearest and dearest.

As a peace offering to those who are still deep in the throes of shopping and wrapping, I offer this bit of “wrap-spiration” for you.  Maybe some brown paper packages tied up with string will be JUST the ticket to help you navigate the last 10 days of Christmas prep.  Maybe?

If not, they’re here to look pretty in your browser and take your mind off the holiday stress.

Tips for easier (and prettier) wrapping-

  • Have a staging area- Put the unwrapped gifts, paper, ribbons, and supplies in one area to keep them out of sight. We don’t currently have any guests, so our guest room was the staging area this year.  It could simply be a large tote bag that you shove into the closet each time you have a wrap-fest. Just have a way to put away the clutter until you have free time to wrap gifts.  Nothing makes you resent the process more than staring at your wrapping supplies throughout the month of December.
  • Buy more tape than you think you need- I don’t think I need to explain this.  I sat down with all my supplies last week and discovered there wasn’t a single strip of tape in the whole house.
  • Wrap in groups of 5ish- As we purchase (or receive from our friendly FedEx man) our gifts, I will sit down for 30 minutes and take the time to wrap a few.  I used to wait until I had every single present in my possession before I wrapped and would take a few hours in front of a Christmas film.  This just isn’t fun or feasible, and it left the crazy for the last few days before Christmas.  I like this method much more.
  • Buy only a couple rolls of printed paper-  Then add solid coordinating paper (I’ve always been a fan of brown kraft paper, personally) to round out the wrap.  This makes your present pile look less cluttered, and, more practically, leaves you with leftover neutral paper for other gifts following Christmas.  I always make an effort to use the printed paper first and my solid wrap last.  This way I’m not dealing with excess clutter I’ll never end up using.
  • Choose a theme- This doesn’t have to be strict, but buy paper that coordinates.  You’re the one who will stare at these gifts for a few weeks.  Why not make them gorgeous?
  • Diversify- All one paper looks boring and unimaginative. Try for two coordinating prints of your choice, then add your solid paper.  This adds the right amount of rest for the eyes and won’t make you sick of any one paper.
  • Add texture- I’ve never been one for adding ornaments or extra gifts onto wrapping, but I do love to use real ribbon and twine.  This year I used a mixture of red satin wired ribbon (from Costco, the best place to buy it), wide burlap ribbon, jute rope, and striped bakers twine.  These touches make a gift feel much more luxe than a pre-made bow.  These can really add interest to the gifts. This isn’t an expensive addition, but it makes your gifts look like a million bucks!
  • Gift tags- I love the look of a cute hanging gift tag.  This year I purchased some round kraft paper tags from the stationary section of my craft store.  I added a cute “M” stamp from this year’s Christmas cards to give some cohesion between gifts.  A handmade tag goes a long way!

I added strips of my solid paper (and vice versa) to add some interest on larger gifts.  For two-item gifts, I wrapped one part in the solid and one in the print.  This keeps things from looking too busy with loads of patterned paper.

I. LOVE. BOWS.  It’s in the southern girl handbook.  Tying bows doesn’t come easy for everyone.  Wide wire edged ribbon is your friend when it comes to bows.  It makes a dinky bow look like a statement, and when all else fails you can tie it in a knot, cut the ends of the ribbon at an angle and call it a day!  Wide ribbon is beyond forgiving!

One of my favorite ways to use multiple ribbons or twines is to wrap bakers twine around a gift several times.  It adds a bit of color and a classic touch.

Bags aren’t all bad.  Sometimes they’re unavoidable for awkwardly shaped items.  I loved this cute bag that coordinated with my stripes and polka dots theme and broke up the look of only boxes grouped together.

I hope this post has given you a bit of inspiration for your Christmas wrap situation. Hopefully you can enjoy your Christmas gifts for the remainder of the season until they head to their new homes.

Merry merry!

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