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{christmas gift wrapping}
ideas and tips

one of the goals i set for myself for while getting organized for the holidays was to keep my gift wrapping simple and cute. i scoured the interwebs and pinterest for great inspiration ideas and found a ton of ideas. off to home depot i went for a roll of brown kraft paper. i don't recall exactly how long it is but i paid $10.97 plus some tax for it. maybe a little pricey up front but for all the use i will end up getting out of it, i was thrilled!

i got home and boxed up all of my already purchased gifts and made sure the recipient's name was clearly written on the outside and got busy wrapping.

it was then that i immediately realized that the ideas that i pinned were in no shape, form, or fashion any of the following things:


in fact, if i averaged all the time out, i probably spent close to a half hour on each gift, including boxing, wrapping, thinking, creating, and then finishing. when you think about it - that is a LONG time to spend wrapping one gift! BUT - i will say that now that most of the gifts are wrapped (or at least all the ones i am going to show you) and under the tree, i am full on in puffy heart love with all of them.

instead of trying to coordinate them all with my tree and decorations, i stepped waaaaayyyy out of my box and catered each gift to the recipient... i will explain more in the details in a minute. but it made each gift a little more personal and added a lot of character under my tree. so i bet you want to see my gifts, right?

i shall hold out no longer!

{all descriptions are listed left to right, top row then bottom row}

madisen, wayne, rance, rance

madisen - i made a puffy pom pon for ms. madisen. i wrapped the yarn around three times and just spaced it out as i went to keep it even. i originally stamped her name in lime green but i didn't like the way that looked so i went over it with pinky puffy paint so now it has a cute little lime green shadow :)

{inspiration found here}

wayne - i hadn't really been thinking way outside the box yet. here i just wrapped some shiny blue curling ribbon around the box three times and taped it on the back. then i used blue puffy paint to handwrite his name on the box.

rance - my brother is a brilliant musician (composer, arranger and performer. too legit.) so i thought some vintage music paper would make the perfect bow for his gift. the only problem was figuring out how to make vintage sheet music into a bow. it isn't exactly ribbon. so i cut it into strips about an inch wide and just folded in in half long ways to make a big loop. then i just taped the loop right to the box. i repeated that until it was as floofy as i wanted it to be and then made a circle and taped it down in the middle. super easy.

thomas, mimi, lori, mccall

thomas - since i plan to instill my brother's undying love for music into my sure-to-be-just-as-talented nephew, i figured i could start early. i printed out his name on vintage sheet music and cut out the letters. the sheet music i was using was incredibly fragile so i didn't dare try to cut the centers of the letters out for fear of tearing them up. i did end up liking that though - it gives it kind of a graphic design look. i attached them with double stick tape. for the "bow" i braided together three incredibly long (like i had to stand in a chair to keep it off the floor) pieces of twine and wrapped it around it a few times and tied it in a simple knot.

{inspiration found here}

mimi - i used some scrap scrapbook paper and cut out some cute little pennant flags out and used mini glue dots to adhere them to the box. i used the same dots to string some white yarn across the top and then painted "mimi" on the banner with glitter puff paint. a little time consuming yes, but really simple and really cute!

{inspiration found here}

lori - this was probably the simplest one i have done so far. i wrapped it with two pieces of double sided tape and then covered the tape with glitter. i pressed it in pretty good to make sure the glitter had good coverage. my husband stamped the letters on with teal paint. i'm not crazy about the stamped letters (but not because you didn't do a great job hunny!) but i think i could have come up with something better there.

{inspiration found here}

mccall - my sister-in-law is absolutely in love with the color turquoise! it is by far her favorite color and was it socially acceptable in her line of work, she would color her hair turquoise. in an instant. so i knew i had to use it on her gift. i wrapped it twice horizontally with the turquoise polka dot ribbon and then added the silver ribbon in the middle. then i used more silver ribbon to weave with the first three rows. i used double sided tape and regular tape to secure everything on the back. then i used turquoise puffy glitter paint to handwrite her name on the box.

{inspiration found here}

lori, chris

lori - this is the gift i probably spent the longest time on. i used some more scrap paper to make rolled paper roses. these things are serious amounts of time intensive. then i hot glued some of the silver painted leaves (from the girls' craft weekend!) to the box and then hot glued the roses to the leaves. did you see this tweet? yeah. that. then i used a purple sharpie and hand lettered her name on the box and colored it in.

{inspiration found here}

chris - this is one of my hubby's gifts. when i found the inspiration pin (see below) i could not wait to wrap something like this! i thought it was so cute and really original (or, as original as anything you find on pinterest is...) what i didn't consider was how tricky it would be. i basically had to cut off the extra paper and use nearly a roll of double stick tape to make it work. i didn't take pictures but it really deserves a tutorial. the tutorial that the pin links to is for a book but this is almost totally flat so i couldn't do it that way. anyways - i then rolled some twine up and hot glued it and used a scrapbook embellishment to mark it with a "c" for chris.

{inspiration found here}

noah, chris, dad, grayson

noah - i had a leftover piece of cardboard (from something.. but sadly i don't remember what) that i cut a big "n" out of and then used mod podge and glitter to cover it. more yarn wrapping and yarn poms finished this one off. i just glued the letter to the gift.

{inspiration found here}

chris - i used some orange curling ribbon to wrap the gift and then stuck yet another yarn pom on there. i think i have a new obsession - what do you think? the note on it says "to my favorite cowboy! pistols firin! #okstate". i'm sure you can deduce what that is all about. and because chris and i are huge twitter nerds during football games (seriously we are battling for the best stat via twitter) the #okstate hashtag is kind of a play on that.

dad - this one is literally all me! my dad is a big outdoorsy fellow and loves to hunt. so the gift inside coordinates both with the wrapping and his lifestyle. i found a paw print stamp in my huge craft supply and tried to make it look like an animal had run all over his gift and left its tracks behind. with green sharpie i wrote "happy hunting!".

grayson - i used the same method and inspiration for noah's gift for this one but used red raffia to secure the letter to the gift instead of hot glue.


for those of you wondering what else i did with the silver painted leaves.. wa-la! :) i just punched holes in them and strung them around a present! :)

so after all of this gift wrapping i did learn few really good tricks when working with heavy kraft paper like i was using.

one. use only what you need.

i worked at dillards for two christmas seasons. (cue me banging my head on the wall). i worked in the fragrance department and we were required to wrap our own purchases. (hint - if you buy something in dillard's and don't want to pay to have it wrapped - befriend a fragrance girl. she will hook you up. #stickinittotheman) in case you have never had something wrapped at dillards before - they measure the wrapping paper.

i haven't figured out if it is for the purpose of getting a perfectly wrapped gift or saving money, but either way...

it made me a crazy gift wrapper. like maniacal. in this case however, it totally worked out for me. if you have extra paper that will have to be folded under to conceal it, just cut it off. trim everything down to only have just as much paper as you absolutely need. it will help you when you try to tape everything down. whatever extra you cut off just wad up and use as packing in other gifts.

and speaking of tape...

two. invest in quality tape.

buy scotch tape. (this is the kind i use) don't buy dollar general tape and expect it to hold kraft paper to itself. it just isn't going to work. and also, buy scotch permanent double stick tape. it really does the job to hold your craft paper to itself and leaves you with a nice clean edge. so that if you are crazy like me, you don't have random pieces of tape stuck every where. just pretty paper.

three. don't skimp on using the quality tape.

when you get your tape, just go ahead and get one of those multi packs. you will thank me later. personally, i use about 12 inches of tape per gift, regardless of size. i'm a tape-a-holic. but to get the look i'm really going for i just have to use a lot of tape. especially with the kraft paper. you can never have too much tape (so long as it isn't showing) with kraft paper. anywhere the tape would show, just use the double stick tape instead!

four. make nice with the creases.

one really simple way to make sure your final job looks polished with any paper you use is to emphasize the creases. when you are folding the ends in use the back of a knife to make the creases sharp. this will also help when it comes to taping everything down. once you have it all wrapped, run your thumb and pointer finger along the edges and pinch each edge to sharpen the crease there. it will give your gift that extra pop and a professional, finished look.

(in the fourth set of pictures, compare noah's gift to chris'. i creased the corners in chris' and not noah's. see the difference?)

five. don't forget that this will all be torn apart christmas morning.

{this only works if you are NOT me}

at the end of the day does the wrapping matter? no. people are mainly invested in the gift inside the wrapping paper. and while i am well aware of this, does it make me care less about the paper? no. i still want it to look pretty when it gets handed to them by whomever is playing santa. so i guess what i am trying to say is, as long as you are NOT me, don't let this be the focus of your christmas. if it isn't perfect, who cares. just stick it in the back where no one can see it.

however, something that JUST occured to me was that you could unwrap the gifts carefully and then maybe cut out the pretty parts and frame them. there. that makes me feel like all my work wasn't totally pointless.


so tell me all about your gift wrapping. have you started? are you finished? what color paper do you use? do you stick with stick-on bows or are you a wrapping professional and making me look like a fifth grader with a roll of tape? i love wrapping paper! tell me all about it! :)

edit to add: even if you aren't going to blog about them, sometimes it helps to take pictures of your presents anyways. that way when your dog pees on them and you have to rewrap them you have pictures to go by. #truestory.


  1. I just read the last part about the dog peeing, whaaa??? Crazy! You presents are all so pretty! I was hired out by my MIL to wrap her presents, they are the kind of people who keep the present in the original plastic bag they brought home from the store and say here you go! Let's just say I was raised a LOT differently and I go all out for wrapping!

  2. Oh my gosh! I loved how you wrapped all those gifts, gives me some inspiration for when I wrap presents soon! :) You are so creative love! xoxo

  3. These are amazing! I was going to list my favorites but I gave up, I love them all! I always buy paper on sale after Christmas and don't want to use it the next Christmas. I think my paper is 3 years old! Next year something new for sure!

  4. Looooove the wrapping on Lori's gift :-)

  5. Wow, these are beautiful! Are you going to want to kick them in the face when they tear them open though? :)


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