gift wrapping ideas

Do you love giving gifts? It’s one of my favorite things about the holidays — I love shopping for gifts that I think my family will love. When I find something that’s just right, I relish wrapping the gift, thinking about how the recipient will (hopefully) enjoy what’s inside. I guess it’s cheesy, but the whole process is such a tangible expression of love, and it brings me joy!

While I’ve always enjoyed shopping, the wrapping process used to be a chore. Over the years I’ve come up with a few tips that make it easier and more fun.

1. Buy all the wrapping paper and supplies at once.

Every November I hit up my favorite stores (Home Goods and Michaels) and buy 8 or so rolls of paper in coordinating colors and patterns. The paper isn’t cheap, but It’s SO much easier when I buy it all at once! I also usually grab some brown Kraft paper, jute twine (my favorite for unfussy gifts), black Sharpies, white chalk markers, and ribbon.

This year I wanted to do a neutral theme, so I chose paper in cream and black. In the teachers’ aisle at Michaels, I found a roll of inexpensive black bulletin-board paper — perfect for wrapping a few gifts in dramatic, black paper.

The big hole punch from Paper Source is a quick, easy way to make gift tags from cardstock paper. If I’m wrapping late at night, the “names” on the tags tend to get pretty silly — all part of the fun.

Similar wood slices available here (affiliate link).

2. If you want to do something creative with the gift wrap, set aside one evening and tackle the project.

I love carving my own stamps from potatoes and stamping designs onto Kraft paper (affiliate link). It’s such a low-cost, low-risk, crazy holiday craft! Kraft paper is pretty cheap, so if it goes badly, no big deal — at least you had fun! While I enjoy all aspects of this project, I tend to go a little overboard (as in all things). This year we had long pieces of paper draped over the couch, dining table, and living room chairs, waiting for the paint to dry. I realized that, for me, it’s fun to do the project once every season. If I do it more often, it starts to feel like work!

if you decide to try this project, remember that the shapes don’t have to be perfect (it’s a potato!), and the paint doesn’t have to be evenly dispersed each time you use the stamp. The shapes also don’t need to be evenly spaced on the paper — you probably won’t be able to see any spacing imperfections after the gifts are wrapped. This is just for fun!

In case you’re curious, here’s the paint I used this year (color: Hauser Medium Green). I cut the potatoes into stars and trees. Some of the tree shapes didn’t turn out well, as you can see in the bottom of the photo, so I kept trying until I got one I liked.

3. Set up a gift-wrapping station for the season.

This is my secret weapon! I gather all my supplies in a big basket and hide it behind the couch in the living room, and I stash rolls of wrapping paper in a corner of the room. Because everything is in one place, it’s easy to pull out the supplies and wrap the gifts as they arrive in the mail. And the gifts don’t pile up, so the task doesn’t feel overwhelming. The wrapped gifts are festive and beautiful and get us in the holiday spirit even before we’ve put up the tree!

Happy shopping and wrapping this holiday season!

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