Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yes, I really do iron tissue and ribbon......

It might not be the most interesting part of gift wrapping but it is the most practical and ecological. I have tons of better things to do these days of which I will get to in a minute, but that didn't stop me from ironing, yes ironing, a lovely pile of ribbon and tissue paper that I keep in a "to iron" box. I really like the gold stripe tissue that comes in Kate Spade boxes and there is no way I wouldn't feel bad throwing away perfectly good and stylish tissue paper without at least trying to see if it could be successfully "de-wrinkled" and used again. I will show you why and what I did with this golden mass in a upcoming post...........just not today. Explanation up ahead.

Then I thought I might as well iron a generous handful of green and gold ribbon that my friend used for my birthday gift last winter. Add a few colours to my collection. Yes, I already of a ton of new ribbon but I  can't not use these lovely satin lengths and so should you. A reminder of sorts for the holiday ahead. 

The left is the wrinkled state, the right where I ironed. Smooth and easy as can be. What is not going to be easy is the next few weeks. I am opening up what is lately referred to as a Pop- Up shop here in my local area to tidy up my excess gift inventory. You rent a temporary shop for a limited time period and have a big sale, when everything is am I. I am going to be a real retail girl for the next month, the kind that has to dress up every day, open up the doors each day at regular hours, orders take-out for lunch (sushi next door-bonus), and have a few fun events like a Gift Wrap workshop. Sounds kind of fun doesn't it? It may mean less blog posts, it may actually mean more as a way to pass gaps in customer traffic. Hard to say, right about now I am doing crazy really well.

Is it kind of weird to iron your tissue and ribbon? And then re-use it? Let's put it this way, these days it seems even weirder to have piles of it this holiday season and just throw it away into the garbage doesn't it? If anybody gives you a gift with any kind of ribbon, store it in a box and when you have the need for gift wrap materials or the desire to do mindless ironing, then go for it. I found it to be quite relaxing. The same applies to store tissue and gift wrap paper, you have nothing to lose by trying. There is a few ribbon exceptions. If it is, you know, the really, really cheap kind of ribbon that many of us use for mass gifting, it may melt right into your iron so watch the temperature, do a test spot and take it from there. I store my ironed ribbons on those velvet hangers you can buy by at Target. Gift wrapping in your closet. See you to work I go.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life


  1. Another great post, Sande. And congratulations on the shop. I know it will do fabulously well! Who could resist your style, charm, AND gift wrap expertise?

  2. I'm pre-heating the iron!
    Sande I never knew you could iron tissue paper!
    I always save beautiful ribbon too but when I go to re-use it I'm always trying to tie it so the wrinkled part doesn't show.
    This is so helpful.
    I can imagine while ironing each ribbon you are smiling and remembering the gift it was once wrapped around. I think the ribbon is smiling too because of you! Now you go out there and sell your big heart out!!!
    xo Lisa

  3. I love ironing always takes me back to my ballet days. Have ironed tissue, too. Best of luck with your new venture, Sande.

  4. Dearest Sande,

    Wow girl, I have to compliment you for your remarkable art of KEEPING THE PLANET GREEN!
    This is a super idea and yes, indeed it depends on the quality of ribbon for the possibility to iron it yes or no. With my background in fashion, I studied to 'feel' fabrics by touch and mostly I will know if it is silk or polyester or even less than that.
    Also the same is true for the paper quality, the higher the quality the better the ironing goes. That applies equally to high(er) quality bed-linens or garments as well.
    Thanks ever so much for sharing this. Genial idea!
    Good luck with your one-month store set-up. Another great way to run a Pop-Up shop!

    Sunny greetings (still... frost for the weekend nights!) from Georgia,


  5. Oh Sande....I already save paper and ribbon. I have a cupboard at the bottom of my dresser full of it and in other drawers and cupboards too !!!! There is one shop where I buy most of my clothes, that wraps everything in tissue that is covered in old script and looks like parchment. I love it and always ask them to put in extra !!!! I'm a girl after your own heart. I'm just a little old amateur and you are a professional at the gift wrapping art but, I have learnt some of the tricks over the years. My sister and I save nearly all of the wrapping and ribbons at would be proud of us !!
    Best of luck with your pop up shop Sande. XXXX

  6. Very relieved to discover it is not just me who re-uses and irons out old wrapping paper and ribbons! Now I don't feel like a cheapskate anymore, because you have given it style and eco-reasoning! For me, it is more about not being able to bear to throw out anything pretty or beautiful.

  7. Hi Sande! WoW! Congrats on new venture, I wish you the best of luck and success! I hope that inventory is gone fast. This post made me smile, my Mom used to iron her ribbon and tissue (and sheets, etc!) She had a really hard time letting her beautiful ribbons go so she would wrap my gifts with them so that she was sure to get them back! I had the prettiest packages on earth!
    Thanks for the beautiful memories!
    Good luck these next few weeks!!!

  8. I agree Sande~ attention to detail is so important! & I'm sure it gives a more professional look. I think it shows that you are a very caring person.

  9. I've ironed ribbons, but I don't think I did tissue paper (unless it was the tissue of sewing patterns)... but I like the idea.

    You're not only beautiful but practical!

  10. Dear Sande,
    I see you continue to inspire and delight!! I have a lot of girlfriends with November birthdays and came here for some ideas. You NEVER disappoint! It never would have crossed my mind to iron tissue paper but of course it makes sense. I also adore your brooch idea for decorating a gift box.
    Best wishes!

  11. I have ironed ribbon and tissue before. In fact, I've ironed pattern pieces many times when I've re-used a pattern and it comes out beautifully! And believe it or not, I've even used the tissue pattern pieces to wrap small items in a larger box! There are so many old patterns out there available at yard sales and such! It turned out really cute and very vintage looking!
    You are so smart! And it makes so much sense to live green now more than ever, doesn't it?
    Excited for your shop...hope you'll share photos with us!
    --Lee Ann

  12. Being a confessed ribbon-aholic I have always saved nice ribbons and so does my sister. I admit she is much better about ironing and storing them then I.

  13. Wonderful. Why waste things that can be used and loved and admired again? People today call it "environmentalism" but in my parents' day it was called "being sensible" or "having lived through the war!"

    I hope you'll tell us all where your retail venue will be so that we can come and support you!

  14. I think it's a very good, green and simply fabulous thing to do and there's absolutely nothing wrong with ironing your ribbons to re-use them. Quite frankly I'd rather iron ribbons than shirts any day :-) All the best wishes and lots of luck (not that you need it with your talent) for your shop. Love from London xo

  15. I love the idea of a pop-up shop!!! Can't wait to hear more about it.

    I always saved beautiful ribbon and have ironed it to re-use. It never occured to me to try the tissue paper too!

  16. Not at all! I do the same and I love my ribbon collection. It's wonderful, eco-friendly and sensible to re-use pretty wrapping materials. I am totally with you on this!

    xx Charlotta

  17. Am anxious to know where we can find your store. Please let us know so that we can come and shop.

  18. Ironing ribbon? Yes, yes, yes! Following my son's recent wedding, I confiscated all that lovely hunter green ribbon from Williams-Sonoma to iron and re-use for holiday packages this year. Why not? I cannot imagine throwing it to waste. Great post.

  19. I loved the colors green/gold together!
    I am always learning something new when I come here.

  20. I am glad I have stumbled across your blog, I love gifting and can't wait to read your older posts to find out more about your 'gift'. Reusing ribbons and paper are a good excuse to give the best quality isn't it?

  21. And to think I thought I was the only person to ever iron paper! I love your blog!

  22. Nice, it's become acceptable to reuse.I have been ironing my tissue and ribbon for years although I've never told anyone except my mother and my husband and kids know of course.

  23. Ooooh - gift wrap workshop!? Can't wait!!!!! Please give us plenty of notice so those of us in Toronto can make sure to come.

  24. Wonderful, I thought I was the only person that ironed tissue and ribbon. Did you know if the bow is left over from say last Christmas and a bit smashed instead of taking it apart use your curling iron to fluff it back up to its original shape.


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