created by Karen Bartolomei ~ Grapevine Invitation NYC
I have a full confession to make. I am surprisingly low-key when it comes to holiday gift wrapping. It is only the rest of the year that I go crazy with gift wrapped detail. I am sure that this is such a preposterous statement, that you have a hard time believing me, right? Shouldn't this be the time of year when I personally go all out? Wouldn't my bows be bigger than usual, more opulent, shouldn't they just be drop-dead gorgeous? Not really and I will tell you why even before you ask me, because I have thought about this a great deal. I don't even buy holiday gift wrap, I use what I have and just re-work it with seasonal embellishments (which you shall see). Before I start explaining myself, all these lovely gifts were found on Country Living.........yes, it appears I completely missed their Gift Wrap section when I did yesterdays post. They asked paper experts to come up with novel holiday wrapping ideas and I impressed enough that I thought they were worth sharing. This particular favorite of mine was created using old "Jingle Bells" sheet music that was enlarged on a heavier weight copy paper, tied with beautiful gold ribbon and real jingle bells of course........simple but beautifully done.
So now back to the gift wrap question. Why of all occasions would I think it best to keep it somewhat more understated? Two reasons actually, the first being it's a reciprocal occasion. This is the one time of year when I am giving a gift and then receiving one and to over-indulge my wrapping just doesn't feel right in many cases. I am much more comfortable when I am doing the giving, when I can indulge any gift-wrapping talent I have, all in the name of spoiling the recipient. I am all for that. Second reason, I think the holiday season upon us is fraught with stress for most people. It is the time of year when we are likely buying for multiple people, wrapping 10-20 gifts with any sort of detail really becomes just one more task for most people to say nothing of the time and cost. I am not suggesting that you go buy tacky store bows by bulk or anything (though most sensible for infant and kids gifts only) but to relax your expectations if time or budget demands it. The gift shown above is creative and easy ........take a closer look. Inspired by the Japanese furoshiki (fabric wrapping cloths) the author of Wrapagami used a thrift store shirt and brooch to wrap this shirt box in remarkable eco-style. You could maybe add a sprig of holly. Just one, ok maybe two.
created by MinLee Cho - Paper & Cup NYC
While you are still reeling from this revelation of mine, I will qualify this statement and say I still do pay particular attention to gift-wrapping with a few friends who share the same creative propensity. The exchange of gifts and wrapping techniques only adds to the holiday fun. But I am not going to suggest that every holiday gift should be gift-wrapped to the hilt and in this economy it is a time to be sensitive to the reciprocal budgets and efforts of other people. It is a time of giving, not competing in any way, shape, or form and that includes gift wrapping. There are clever ways to add style to holiday gift giving and wrapping and have some fun. Whimsical clip art images and personalized speech bubbes (no gift card needed) were glued to the affordable tissue paper wrap (use 3-4 stacked sheets to obscure bax) though it would just as clever if you lets the kids draw or write a message on the tissue. You can't see it well here, but a top cello layer gives it some extra gloss and polish and protects the artwork. We will come back to this idea in the future, it's a good one with lots of creative possibilities.
created by Joy D. Cho ~ graphic designer San Diego
Plain Kraft paper is ribbon layered with colourful masking tape ( I have a few of my own Kraft paper examples coming up) makes for a very festive package, especially when you fray the ends of striped drinking straws, and tie them together as a candy cane ornament topper. Kids could have fun with this idea. So this is what I think, when gift wrapping at this time of year always think of the other person. I am no way letting you off your wrapping effort, every gift conveys a thought and feeling and it does begin with it's packaging. If your gift wrapping effort will make the other person feel awkward or inept in the exchange then scale it back, keep it simple. If it is a family member, friend or relative that delights in your presentation efforts, , then go for it with all you got. You know exactly what I mean. Though if you ask me this any other time of year, I will totally deny ever have said any of this. That's a given.
All photos ~ Country Living