Saturday, 20 December 2014

Winter Wonderland: Wrapping Gifts

As previously discussed, I love Christmas & one of my favourite pre-Christmas rituals is wrapping up all the gifts I've bought & making them look as tempting as possible. So, for this instalment of Winter Wonderland I thought I'd share my Christmas wrapping tips & tricks with you.

I purchased most of my items on Etsy (because supporting small retailers is cooool) but since Etsy items ship from around the world they can take a little while to arrive, so if you need wrapping tools for this Christmas I'd suggest checking out places like Hobbycraft, Amazon, or independent stationary stores.

I think the first step in beautiful wrapping is a solid base material. Each year I use a combination of plain brown paper (great for personalising & super cheap), some pricier but more quirky papers (this year I went with these triangle & tree print papers from Bright Stem), & tissue paper (great for smaller gifts).

The next step is some classic ribbon choices. I love these chunkier ribbons from Ginger Ray, but I also picked up this more delicate red ribbon set, & this gold set from Hobbycraft. Ribbon can get pricey though, especially if you want to do the traditional cross plus bow on every present, so try experimenting with things like wool, twine & scraps of tissue paper.

As a kid, it was always my job to go to the tree & bring people their presents to be unwrapped & I always loved the anticipation of flipping over the tag on a really big gift to see who it was for. This year I bought this uber cool tag set from Carta Papirea on Etsy, but I like to mix things up so I also used some plain brown luggage labels I had left over from last year, as well as the tags I received in last month's Happy Mail package from A Beautiful Mess. If you have a chunky pen you can also write directly onto the wrapping paper & I tend to do this on bigger gifts where I think the tag may get knocked off.

I love adding little personalised touches to my parcels, & one way to do that is with stickers. I picked up these gold arrow stickers from Carta Papirea (they have loads of super cool designs including mini banners & diamonds) & I really enjoyed finding creative ways to include them in my wrapping.

Another way to give your parcels a personalised feel is with washi tape. I went with this 6 pack of tapes in various designs off Amazon & while they're not all particularly festive, washi tape is one of those items you'll get use out of throughout the year. I think the key with decorative tapes like these is understanding their limits: they can't be used in place of sellotape, particularly not over large areas, as they just don't have the stickiness to hold paper in place; instead use them to break up the expanse of paper on larger items - I created simple shapes & used the tape to attach labels.

My big wrapping discovery this year was stamps & I'm completely obsessed. I bought a few different designs from both The Petite Package & Nora Jane on Etsy - some festive, some just generally cute - along with 4 different coloured ink pads from Hobbycraft (I'd definitely recommend the gold & the burgundy ones). Not only are stamps great if you're a bit creatively challenged but they're also pretty cost efficient - ink pads are £2 each but should last a while if you take care of them, & the same goes for the stamps. I stamped everything, from wrapping paper to gift cards to Christmas cards, & not only does it add a bit of interest but it also tells people that you took a little extra time on their gift.

I couldn't talk about Christmas wrapping without giving a shout out to the incredible Christmas postcards I picked up from Clap Clap Designs. Yes, they're a little pricier than just buying a set in Tesco but they're absolutely stunning & there are lots of people in my life who I'll probably never send a gift to but I want them to know I'm thinking of them, so for me it's a worthwhile cost.

I've only got a few last minute gifts to wrap (& am feeling ridiculously smug about it) but I'd love to hear about any wrapping tips or tricks you have which I can use next year - let me know in the comments.

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