When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was a big deal. Our family tradition was that everyone would sleep in the living room on Christmas Eve night, so that on Christmas morning, we would wake up right next to the tree. I remember how much I loved this tradition. I remember the year I pretended to still be sleeping as my parents rolled our new bikes into the living room from the garage. I also remember sitting in my nightgown on my sleeping bag opening my first “grown-up” tape recorder (and by grown up, I mean that it was a normal tape recorder, and not a Fisher-Price one). I spent hours in my room with that tape recorder making my own “radio show,” where I would be the DJ, playing my favorite songs, talking about my favorite things, and interviewing very interesting people (my brother and sister). I wonder if I still have those tapes somewhere.
We all have childhood memories associated with “the best gift we ever received.” Now please don’t hear me say that giving and receiving gifts is the most important thing about the holiday, because we all know it’s not. However, as we do give and receive gifts, we form emotional memories of years past. The feeling you have as a child of tearing open the package is a beautiful feeling. To me, giving gifts is a way of showing you love and appreciate someone.
So why in the world would we not do our best to make our gifts as presentable and beautiful as we can? Again, I am not implying that gifts must be perfect, or that pretty wrapping makes a gift any more meaningful. For me, it is simply another creative outlet. So here are a few of my tips for pretty (and inexpensive) gift wrapping.
This paper came from Hobby Lobby last year or the year before, and everything else I had on hand.
Gift wrapping has three important factors: the paper, the ribbon, and some type of embellishment.
Let’s talk paper. I never pay full price for wrapping paper. I re-use the same paper from previous years most of the time. I also pick up a roll or two the day after Christmas when everything is marked down 50-70% off normal retail prices. If you’re without holiday paper, have no fear! One of my favorite things to use is plain brown craft paper because it works for all occasions. Baby shower? Check. Christmas? Check. Birthday? Check. Wedding gift? Check. You get the point. You can also use black and white newspaper (I have seen some GORGEOUS wrapping using newspaper), wrap your gift in a scarf (both pretty and reusable!), or in a real pinch, use any themed paper on its opposite side so that it simply shows white.
Next up is ribbon. The options are unlimited! I do occasionally use normal cloth ribbon, but my favorite things to wrap a gift in is regular twine, or colored baker’s twine. My suggestion is to look around your house and see what you can find. Thinly sliced strips of a coordinating wrapping paper can work as ribbon as well. A thin scarf can work here as well. Don’t go out and buy something new every time you have a gift to purchase. Look around your house and I’m sure you can come up with some thing to wrap your gift in. There’s a reason Julie Andrews mentions “brown paper packages tied up with string” as one of her favorite things…the string is an important detail!
Lastly, let’s talk about embellishments. I think a gift looks perfectly topped off with anywhere from one to three finishings. The amount, of course, depends on what it is that you’re using. I like to use a lot of natural things, such as small pinecones, sticks, dried citrus slices (see my tutorial for that here), cinnamon sticks, leaves, pine clippings, wood slices. The possibilities are endless. I also often add a name tag of some kind, just so that I don’t forget who the gift is for after I finish wrapping it. For kids, you can add a tiny toy as embellishment, or a pretty piece of candy. This is the step that brings it all together, so it’s an important thing to add. The good news is that you can add just about anything you want here, so you can certainly find something you have at home or go out into your yard and find something just as easily.
How do you wrap your gifts? What’s your go-to accessory for finishing your wrapping? I’d love to hear about it! Be sure to follow me on Instagram @rumfieldhomestead for the latest updates on what I’m doing! That’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!