The Knowledge – Gift Wrapping Edition

Now we are practically at the night before Christmas, everyone must be at the gift wrapping stage? Yes? Every year I get a little serious about my wrapping; now I know I am not a professional, there are some absolutely technical skills out there and creative ideas that still blow my mind. However as someone who loves wrapping gifts, there can be great pride in a well trust up present. It’s the final touch to a thought out gift and can add wow to the simplest item. So after finding another selection of great wrap I snapped some pictures on instagram  and some of you wanted more so….

Here’s what I got up to for 2017; what I used and the steps I took to get there.

Using as little paper as possible; excess paper makes for bulging ends, I wrap mainly boxed items. Holding on to boxes any online orders come in for weeks before I need them. Then I match the paper either in the centre of the underside of the item or the edge, folding it over on itself to make a straight edge (I cut pretty wildly).

Textiles are also ok to wrap loose but I normally avoid awkward shapes grouping items together for larger shapes. If you have tiny items buying gift bags with a little tissue or raffia inside can look great. I posted a few gifts this year and found some on theme brown paper style string & button envelopes to send them in (from Tiger a good bargin).

My ends I think are pretty textbook envelope style, making sure to put extra strong creases in to make the folds stick and not pop open. Then match the upwards fold to the diagonal downwards creases. Sometimes I add decorative tape if it doesn’t look right.

Each year I have a new favourite embellishment, last year was the minty raffia string you see again this time and this years new addition is the origami bow. I learnt a new shape just a few weeks ago from an Urban Makers East workshop in their Kings Cross Pop Up. So after lots of practice with plain paper I broke out some nice origami squares, choosing the festive colours and made a whole selection. All the small red ones went on my Christmas cards but a few went on gifts I was hand delivering.

Here are a few top tips for tackling your own presents.

You’ll notice from my photos a general theme. Brown paper usually makes an appearance for me as I know I can find it anywhere every year, stock up and then decorate how I like. I am also a traditionalist usually, settling for an understated Christmas with lots of natural tones alongside festive green & red.

Ideas could be: silver & blue, pattern clashes, woodland themed, anything with Santa on, or glitter rules. Just keep a common thread in all your supplies from paper to tags.

I think this is sometimes the biggest challenge but makes such a difference. You feel like you need lots of hands but once you get a handle on weighting down the edge then applying the double sided tape, its a winner. Any tricky edges can be doubled up with washi or foil tape to make sure they stay down. I find the thinner stuff to be easier, as smaller gifts might not have much of an end.

If you think just wrapping a gift isn’t enough add a bow, creative contrasting tag or decoration like live foliage. Add some coloured tape to the ends or a box around the tag, it’s a chance to get creative. I added pom poms in place of mistletoe berries in one instance and for a hint at what’s inside some cut out Lorna Syson birds replacing tags on others. Using the same wrap doesn’t have to mean the gifts look the same, making each individual allows you to experiment or just make slight variations on a classic look.

I am someone with not particularly legible handwriting to anyone other than myself, so pick a nice handwritten font on your computer and type out some common phrases then copy. If your particularly struggling print it out and trace. Or stick with just the names, nice and simple.

Something to keep in mind you gift should have a top and bottom or front and back, whichever makes more sense. So if your wrapping has a scene on keep it the right way up and then when adding tags and bows keep them reading from left to right. This just makes for better images I think.

A gallery of wrapping papers and supplies I love including the ones above I have used! There really are some beautiful choices from lots of independents if M&S isn’t for you.

And some more close ups of those lovely presents!

Happy Wrapping!