Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Round-Up: Gift Wrap

I've always been a bit fanatical about gift wrap; indeed, how my gifts look are almost as important as what they contain. While I don't have a gift wrapping station (or any sort of crafting corner for that matter) dedicated to the pursuit, I do keep a stash of gift wrap on hand for year-round gifting. The holidays, of course, are when I really go crazy and stock up on a number of wrapping papers as I look forward to a marathon gift wrapping session. In my book, a glass of wine, a classic Christmas movie (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Love Actually are two of my favorites), and some serious wrapping is a great way to spend a quiet, chilly evening in. I frequently offer to help family members with any last minute gift wrapping as well and they generally indulge me as none of them find the process remotely entertaining.

That said, I know there must be other gift wrapping freaks out there. After all, why would The Container Store exist if there weren't? And so, I thought I'd indulge myself a bit today and pull together a round up of my favorite wrapping paper for the holiday season. Of course, I won't be using all of this paper -- I generally select three or four papers to get the job done (and typically at least one of those is an inexpensive, jumbo roll from Tarjay for children's presents, which are invariably gigantic). When it comes to trimmings, I usually invest in some cute gift tags, but otherwise tend to leave gifts unadorned, save for maybe a simple ribbon. I know the look is a bit incomplete, but since many of my gifts are shipped to Florida every year, elaborate embellishments aren't particularly practical. Also, while I love the idea of coordinating my gift wrap with my Christmas decorations, my gifts always end up under someone else's tree (we've yet to celebrate the holiday at home) and so the effort of matching would be for naught.

Source List:

1. Holiday Garland gift wrap paper by Elum Designs ($3.50/sheet). Lime and fuchsia is such a fun, poppy twist on the traditional green and red. It's also printed on 100% recycled paper and has a lovely matte finish (so much more modern than a strong, plasticky string).

2. Tori gift wrap from Erin Ruth ($3/sheet). Grey and purple is a very sophisticated, on-trend color combination. The wintry motif in the damask print is subtle enough that leftovers could be used for gifting throughout the year. PS - Erin Ruth also sells gorgeous matching gift cards and purple ribbon for one-stop shopping at its best.

3. Nutcrackers gift wrap from Hello!Lucky ($2.50/sheet). I love the vintage feel of this whimsical print. A perfect choice for the men (and boys) in your life who might shy away from more feminine patterns or colors.

4. Red Berry Branch gift wrap from The Container Store ($7.95/sheet). I love the minimal, chinoiserie feel of this pattern; it's just so classy. I'd tie it up with some lovely white and red ribbon.

5. Merry Christmas Black on Kraft gift wrap from Kate's Paperie ($9.99/roll). The combination of bold lettering and common butcher paper feels very homemade and cozy. A bit of white, black or red twine is all the adornment you'll need, but a few sprigs of holly or pine would be a great, organic touch.

6. Merry Berry gift wrap from Whimsy Press ($8/roll). Simple and classic, but in a modern way. This paper comes in a huge roll so you can get a lot of mileage out of it.

7. Chilly Dogs recycled gift wrap from the Container Store ($7.99 for 2 sheets). Dachshunds with reindeer antlers? This paper was made for me (and fellow doxie-lovers everywhere). I wrapped many of my presents up in this paper last year and it was a huge hit with the extended family (there are a half dozen dachshunds between my cousins and I). For the truly obsessed, pair with these charming wiener dog tags.

Source list:

1. Merry Christmas Purple gift wrap from Kate's Paperie ($11.99/roll). My gift wrap of choice for this holiday season, I'll be stocking up on several of these rolls to pair with this lovely gold star paper.

2. Spruced Up gift wrap from Whimsy Press ($8/roll). The unexpected pops of hot pink are a wonderful surprise to the Christmas tree design. Whimsy Press sells particularly high quality paper and I can't recommend their gift wrap enough.

3. Cardinals gift wrap from Snow & Graham ($3/sheet). Love the red and turquoise color combination on this high quality matte paper. I'd save this for someone who can really appreciate the packaging.

4. Pavilion double-sided gift wrap from Smock Paper ($8/2 sheets). I'm always a sucker for double-sided gift wrap (2 patterns for the price of one!), but I particularly like this design from Smock Paper, which features gorgeous pavilions on one side and a red and white geometric print on the other. Sure, it's not strictly "holiday", but it's got red in it, right?

5. Jewel Tone Ornament wrapping paper from Rock Scissors Paper ($5.99/roll). The fun colors and vintage atomic styling just makes me smile. Equally perfect for kids and MCM fans alike.

6. Reindeer gift wrap from The Container Store ($8.99). A sophisticated black and white palette with just the right amount of shimmer. Particularly gorgeous in person.

So what about you? Are you a fan of gift wrapping? If so, what are some of your favorite sources or tips and tricks?


Isabella & Max Rooms said...

I'm in the camp of just get the job done, probably because for some reason I'm not that good at wrapping presents. Perhaps this is due to my not investing in the good stuff to do the job. I am still working on a mega roll of wrapping paper purchased at Costco several years ago, I kid you not!
I recently saw Amy Bulter sells wrapping paper, that with some beautiful ribbon and other pretties and I may become more of a fan of this task! Your approach sounds quite enjoyable as well!

Sanity Fair said...

Averill, I'm completely with you! I hoard interesting bows and baubles for package tops, delight in unusual papers, and will willingly (and to my own exact specifications - no input thanks) wrap anything that comes within 10 feet. It feels like such an accomplishment, especially since you know it will make others happy. It's such a fun part of the holidays.

Sarah said...

I love wrapping too! Oooh, my favorites are the Merry Christmas Kate Spade, and the Double-side Pavillion from Smock (love them!). Great finds! I just buy mine at all the regular stores though, no fancy searching online - I'm lazy:) I do make my own gift tags and I try to coordinate my color palette. We are such nerds;)

Dumbwit Tellher said...

You are not a gift wrapping freak standing alone. I throw up my hand to join in. The Doxie wrap is a must and your last years card is divine. Thanks for all the great finds Averill. You always pull off a very through & fun search for the best.

Happy December to you ~ Are you cold?

Laurie Sonforth said...

I think Whimsy Press has the best designs and having used their paper last year, you will receive endless compliments!

sarah @ realestatestyle said...

LOVE the smock paper pavillion paper!! I too love wrapping coordinating gifts. I don't have a wrapping station either. It's called the floor! My plan is a lot of craft paper with pretty ribbons!

Anonymous said...

I love the wrapping part too, Averill! I also love your paper choices... Last year I found an amazing gift wrap package at Costco of all places. I know, you're probably thinking that Costco generally has thin, ugly paper in bulk, and before I found this set I would have agreed. This set, however, had four rolls of paper in chocolate, cream, gold, and turquoise patterns. Some in simple geometrics, some with trees, some with glitter or foil decorations, and even some with velvet flocking. The set came with coordinating tags and ribbons. The only problem was that there wasn't enough ribbon; I used it all last year but still have tons of paper. Fortunately this year I found some great gold wired ribbon at Costco that should complete the set!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I love gift wrap. There are so many great ones on the market now too.

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

I'm an unabashed gift wrap snob! I always plan out my yearly gift wrap style, even if it's not particularly fancy. The last few years I've done Container Store's heavyweight, glossy red with wide, white, double-faced satin ribbon. It's simple and lovely. Another favorite is brown parcel paper with "candy stripe" string. I add sprigs of fresh rosemary shortly before the gifting session begins.

I'm so terrible, but I often judge a gift by it's wrap - my in-laws are famous for wrapping their Christmas gifts in recycled newspaper - no ribbon, no tag - just a lot of smudged fingers when it's over - Arrgghhhh! ;)

Cristin said...

Love the nutcrackers from hello lucky! Gorgeous selection.


susie said...

Thank you so much for including one of our wraps (jewel tone ornaments) in your source list! I'm am part of the wrapping fanatics club. I just love it! I have a few friends that hate to wrap and I always offer to do it for them! My first job was working at a very nice local department store in the gift wrap department. This was back in the 80s when there was still such a thing. I was responsible for wrapping 100s upon 100s of "pre-wrapped" gifts for the housewares department. To this day, I must stand at a counter height table to do my wrapping as a result. You just can't do a good enough job sitting down!

Christy said...

I do the same thing - wrapping last minute gifts for family members. I LOVE wrapping. And I used to always wrap while drinking prosecco and watching Love Actually. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or an evening. I love paper from Papyrus and all the places you listed! What a fun post -- totally love it!

Averill said...

Alison - And I thought my in-laws were bad! In addition to frequent re-gifting, they frequently rewrap (i.e., reuse wrapping paper!). As you can imagine, it always looks a bit worse for the wear!

Susie - I totally agree: wrapping is best done standing up. (And you're very welcome -- you guys have a wonderful shop!).

Kitty said...

Averill, you're such an excellent writer. Did you know Picasso hoarded haute paperie?

Patch said...

I looove wrapping presents and like you Aves make an event of it. My fav paper you posted is the cardinals one. Adorable! I got a bunch of "vintage" (circa 1990) tags and bows from my parents' attic and have been using those so far, to great results.

Southern Aspirations said...

Oh I LOVE wrapping! We too haven't managed to have a Christmas as home either but I still try for the coordination, futile as it may be. And I like to incorporate ornaments (flat for shipping).

These are such fantastic finds of paper though-thank you for sharing!

Oh- and I lived in the outskirts of Houston on the west/NW end (between 10 and 290). Left when I was 10 (but visited my dad who lived downtown), but I've always had a soft spot for Houston!

Anonymous said...

I actually love looking at all the beautiful wrapping papers (you have a lot of great choices in this post!) and great gift wrapping ideas, but when it comes to actually using it I find it quite boring. :-) My husband's actually better at it than I am (he has more patience)

Sarah Klassen said...

I adore gift wrapping! Just yesterday, I re-organized my gift wrapping centre -- perfect timing and it allowed me to see where I had gaps in ribbon, boxes, bags, paper or gift wrapping accessories. This year, I am going to do some with pretty ribbons, and others with a thick string and wax seal. I love the variety, and the personalization that goes into wrapping. Such fun!

p.s that paper with the pups and reindeer antlers is my fav :)

Nichole said...

I love to wrap gifts! I used to have a ton of different papers, etc... Then I read an organization book by Peter Walsh and he said the 2 biggest clutter problems he sees in American homes are scrapbooking supplies and gift wrap. My gift wrap wasn't out of control yet but I could see how it would be soon. So I bought a wall hung organizer from Pottery Barn and I have 2 plain papers and many spools of ribbon on hand at all times and that is it. Love all the papers you picked:)

Style Redux 2 said...

A great round-up. Love the Chinoiserie one of course.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

All of these are so pretty - I can't choose just one. I enjoy wrapping but am terrible at it (I have issues cutting straight lines), so I never spend too much on paper. I try to buy it during the week after Christmas at steep discounts.

Anonymous said...

I admit it. I'm a gift wrap snob too. I have about 8 HUGE old rolls from the gift wrap areas of old department stores that are closed now. These rolls have enough paper to wrap for 50 years. HOW are package loks is as important as what's inside. No question.

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