Archives For Gift Wrap

I am kind of into wrapping gifts. I like to keep it simple, mostly just using brown paper and various embellishments that can be found around the house. And in the spirit of keeping my holidays simple, instead of craft projects or whatever else I usually write about I’ll be sharing a different idea for brown paper packages every weekday from now until Christmas Eve (wrapping gifts + blog content = two birds with one stone). A couple things:

  • I buy my paper from Home Depot–a huge roll is only $10 in the paint aisle. You can also buy it in smaller, more expensive quantities at craft stores or with the shipping materials in grocery or drug stores or you could even cut up paper grocery bags if you’re a total Martha.
  • This year I’m using free printable gift tags from here on all my packaging. I just printed them out on cardstock, cut them out, and punched a hole in each. Voila!
  • And one more tip: this particular type of brown paper does well with tape as long as I run my nail across it to create a good seal, but if tape just won’t stick to your paper try using hot glue instead.

So first up is my gift for Nick. Brown paper and simple cotton string is my go-to move. I just threaded a reindeer gift tag onto the string for a simple, masculine feel that’s easy as pie. You could say that this is one of my favorite things.

brown paper packages tied up with string

I can’t wait to show y’all what other easy ideas I have for wrapping gifts in brown paper. It’s really so versatile and somehow the small measure of wrapping all my gifts in one type of paper just makes things so much simpler. Are you noticing a theme here? I am all about simplicity during this hurried and overstimulating season! Somebody get me some peace and quiet, stat.

PS: Click here to read all my old posts about gift wrap for more ideas

In stark contrast to last year’s week long extravaganza, I wrapped every single present in a few hours’ time yesterday (confession: there are still a few gifts that haven’t arrived yet. Eek!). Motherhood has increased my efficiency, methinks. I’ve been doing the brown paper thing for a few years now, but in the past have always mixed it up with white paper and lots of colorful ribbon or other embellishments. This year I just bought one truly giant roll of brown paper in the paint aisle at Home Depot for about $11 and a skein of natural cotton cord at Hobby Lobby for $5. Sure beats the nearly thirty bucks I used to spend on smaller rolls of kraft paper and fancy ribbon. And here’s a tip: hot glue is by far the easiest way of securing brown paper. It laughs in the face of tape.

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I did get my ribbon and other supplies out, just in case I needed them, but ended up sticking almost exclusively to paper and cord. Do you like how I’ve got my ribbon organized? They’re threaded onto skewers poked through the already existing holes of a plastic storage basket. In the larger woven basket I’ve got tissue paper and gift bags that I’ve saved throughout the year, and apparently a scrap of navy ribbon. Also pictured below is a box of merchandise tags from Office Depot that has seen me through several Christmases now, as well as some burlap for cushioning any delicate items.

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I got the idea this year to cut the strings off the merchandise tags and thread them directly onto the cotton cord. It’s a much simpler look.

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Here they are all wrapped up. I had one item that was not practical to wrap so I cut a long rectangle of fabric, folded it in half, sewed the sides together, and used that navy ribbon to tie it closed at the top. Bam, charming gift bag. It was so easy that I may sew a few more small ones for those last minute gifts that I’m still waiting to arrive.

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Notice how I’ve got some gifts stacked in a galvanized tub? I totally stole that idea from a Pottery Barn catalog. We open most of our presents at my parents’ house on Christmas morning and the rest are all scattered between my grandparents’ and Nick’s parents’ houses. To make things easy on myself when it comes time to unload the car I put all the presents that need to come into my mom’s in the tub. That way we can just grab it instead of standing at the back of the car sorting through which box goes where and trying to carry as many as possible in one trip. (I already had the tub and use it for gardening as a planter or water bucket for most of the year, but you can find them for cheap in the paint aisle)

Here’s something else I did this year that seemed to simplify things: I wrapped my gifts in batches. Before starting I wrote out all my gift tags, lined up my purchases, and placed the appropriate tag atop each one. Then I’d take one larger item and cut out the paper for it, use the scraps from that to cut paper for a few smaller gifts, and wrap them all at once. I think I was able to work faster this way than if I’d given my undivided attention to one present at a time from start to finish.

I am so glad to have all that wrapping knocked off my to-do list. Now the only thing I have left to finish is the dang Christmas cards. Everyone else’s cards keep arriving in the mail, taunting me, and I’ve gotten more than one inquiry from folks who apparently look forward to our cards every year (I think they enjoy seeing the pets forced to participate).

My dad is the kind of guy who has everything. Everything he wants, at least. We used to always give him Home Depot gift cards until he quietly let us know that he had run out of things he wanted from there (and this is coming from a man who built his own house!).


The only thing he ever asks for now are super-specific parts for his motorcycle. I asked him last night and he said he thinks he will never run out of ways to tinker with and improve upon his bike. It’s a hobby that will entertain him for life, which is awesome. His birthday is June 17th, which is always really close to Father’s Day, but this year the two days were one and the same! He and my mom were out of town last weekend, though, so we met for dinner last night to celebrate. I had procrastinated too long on getting a gift to track down whatever motorcycle part he’s currently coveting so I had to improvise. Here’s what I whipped up for about $40:


Dad’s been talking for a while about wanting a beverage tub, so I picked up this galvanized bucket in the paint aisle at Lowe’s for about $14. Then I lined the bottom with burlap to lift everything up a little and added a bunch of unhealthy but delicious-looking snacks I thought he might like ($20 at CVS, but it probably would have been cheaper if I’d gone to the grocery store instead) and a Harley-Davidson koozie ($6 from Amazon). Then, I rolled some of the brown kraft paper I use for wrapping gifts into a tight cylinder and used a pair of scissors to cut it into strips. Bam, instant curly paper stuff to sprinkle around all the goodies. Dad seemed happy. He said he was going to take the nuts with him to work the next day.

His dad is equally hard to shop for, so I anticipate this problem only worsening as he ages. Nick is the same way. He just doesn’t want anything he doesn’t already have. It’s a wonderful way to live, actually. I’m a tad jealous. There’s always stuff I want but don’t have!

I spent yesterday morning getting the last of my presents wrapped before heading out of town and, as promised, I’m here to share. This one’s for my Aunt Barbara, who I got in this year’s family Christmas drawing. I followed my dream of cutting out her first initial to plop in the center of a paper doily, but the edges were looking a little rough (especially the insides, since I had to cut those with an exacto knife). Solution? Disguise the ugliness with glitter!

This one’s for my mom. Another cylindrical gift wrapped in fabric, but this time I added a little flair with a bright pink ribbon threaded through a paper doily (I just measured and cut two slits with an exacto knife), then a little medallion of hot glue + glitter in the center.

For my Grandma, who is one classy lady: white paper, a band of burlap, and a fabric flower.

This one’s for Nicholas (from my PawPaw, who outsourced his shopping this year). I was determined to use that pretty paper somewhere, even though Nick is unlikely to give it the appreciation it deserves. I cut a large circle and trimmed the edges with scalloped scissors, then layered a paper doily and a wax paper flower on top. Very manly looking.

And here they all are under my tree, right before Nick and I packed them all up to head out of town (our parents both live 1-1.5 hours away and we spend holiday weekends shuffling back and forth between the two). Ten bonus points if you can spot Pistachio living amongst the presents.

Of course there were a few last minute things that I’m going to have to wrap at my mom’s house using regular ol’ normal people wrapping paper, and that’s okay. I’m just so ready to be done with all the hustle and bustle so I can just relax and enjoy the holiday! I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again, thank you so much for reading and I hope you have an awesome, amazing, absolutely spectacular holiday weekend! I’ll be back on Monday to talk about some of the gifts I gave (there’s at least one DIY in there). Merry Christmas!