In Australia (where I’m from) we say we’re ‘wrapped’ when we are delighted. We were indeed ‘wrapped’ to be invited by the gorgeous Carolyn to offer some tips and tools for I am captivated`s Christmas wrapping workshop.
To tie it all up (ok I’ll stop now), here are our top tips for keeping your presents looking as though you’ve called on the professionals.
- DON’T BUY FOIL WRAPPING PAPER. It tears, it scratches, it crumples and it looks…. well….to be frank….. oh nevermind.
- DON’T BUY FOIL RIBBON. Idem.
Now for the fun part…..
- Get in early. Buy in bulk (avoid going for different designs that may clash) and opt for timeless basics. Brown, white or gold paper and the accompanying ribbons can be used year round. Then you’re not ducking to spinneys for leftover wrapping dregs on Xmas Eve nor are you left with stacks of dusty Rudolphs you need to cover and store for 12 months. In my cupboard you’ll always find……… Brown paper, white doilies (20 AED for hundreds that can wrap / be cut / used as stencils….) and twine. You will be saved over and over again –all year.
- If you have purchased ‘busy’ wrapping paper (we prefer wrap that only uses a few colours but it’s just a preference), match it with plain tags and ribbon that brings out one specific colour in the wrap.
- Less is more. Nice ribbon will always save the day but…..You have wrap? Check. Something to tie it up with? Check. You really only need one more element – a gift tag or embellishment for example. Don’t go overboard.
- Why not make your own? Have your children stamp their handprints with gold paint, type out your favourite Xmas carols and print or buy a roller stamp / Xmas stamps and ink pads – all on A3 paper. It won’t help for the big pressies but it will be beautiful for the small ones.
- Embellish embellish embellish. A candy cane, mini Christmas ball, holly (or a twig of rosemary as an alternative) adds flair to your presents.
- Gift tags can be cut from stray card, thick magazine pages or even Xmas cards you are throwing out. Trace from a template you are happy with. Stick them on a plain piece of paper before you cut them to hide the back
- Alternatively, if you are using plain paper, hand write, use magazine letter cut outs or stamp names on the paper to indicate who it’s for! Easy and lovely.
- A good pair of scissors and tape dispenser before you start may make this exercise enjoyable (how many of us sat last year with a roll of tape hanging from our knee so we didn’t lose the end?!) Try to bring the edge of the paper on the back to the edge of the present so there are no paper lines running down the middle of your gifts. It takes more paper but looks much better.
Enjoy! It really is the thought that counts. Designer looking Christmas trees with matching presents isn’t what we’re going for here. A little effort (including a mini handprint from a pint sized family member) will seal the deal.
Wishing you a magical festive season – wherever you are celebrating. Be safe. Be kind. Be merry.