While I do not love shopping, I do like picking out presents for the people I love; I especially like wrapping gifts. There is just something about creating beautiful packaging that calls to me. So, I don't mind spending a little extra time and effort when I'm wrapping Christmas gifts. I do give myself a rule, though: I don't spend a lot of money on supplies. I like to use things I already have around, and I like for them to match but not be exactly the same. I don't wrap everything like the ones in these pictures. Some are just basic with bows.
I thought maybe some of my ideas from this year might be helpful.
I try to always keep basic wrapping paper on hand. Craft-colored wrapping paper is cheap and you can do so many things to it to make it pretty so its always in my closet. I found rolls of it this year at Target. I also try to have plain white, red, or polka dot paper around. This year, I also grabbed one roll of the wood grain paper from Target for a fun accent.
Top row, from left to right:
1. I like to use crepe paper instead of expensive ribbon. A roll of crepe paper runs about 89 cents and you can find just about any color you want, but you have to work with it. Unlike ribbon, if you just tied a bow it would look cheap. Here I took a needle and thread and pleated the paper back and forth. Then, you just tie the ends and you get this gathered look. I had little white birds from an old project so I just glittered one and added it onto the package (Sebastian is in love with birds; "birdie" was one of his first words and he points them out everywhere we go so it was the perfect addition to his gift). I also made book page tassels just by slicing up some old book pages and wrapping them with a little velvet ribbon.
2. Here I used a little tulle. It's inexpensive and, if you are traveling, the bows won't get ruined because they don't smash. I also used a strip of muslin to stamp on the name.
3. More pleated crepe paper and a shipping tag I painted with chalkboard paint left over from another project.
Middle row, left to right:
4. Baker's twine is another thing I always keep on hand. You can buy it in bulk from a baking company and it lasts forever. I added a few cheap pom poms and cut some paper in the shape of holly leaves.
5. I love using little muslin bags for gifts. Here I stamped on the name and added a little wooden tag.
6. This is why I love craft paper so much. I added polka dots by just hand drawing them on with a gold foiling pen. There are so many options, you could add dots, stripes, letters, a poem or quote. Then I used a doily to add the name.
Bottom row, left to right:
7. Here I just added a few office labels and some bakers twine. The box was pretty itself so I didn't even wrap it.
8. This time I just stamped the name all over the present.
9. This is crepe paper again, but instead of pleating it, I just made fringe by cutting the top and bottom over and over. Just make sure you leave space in the center to hold it all together. Also, you want a few layers to make it feel full, so wrap it around the present a few times. I thought little crowns would be really cute as gift toppers so I made these by cutting up toilet paper rolls (I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that). Then, I painted them with gold leaf (Martha Stewart has great gold leaf paint at Michael's). After that, I just added the name with a pen. Here is a closer image of that gift.
If you want sources, or if you have questions about anything, let me know in the comments and I'll answer them!