It's no secret that I like to gift wrap but I do generally stick to plain brown paper, usually recycled from a delivery. Still, I like to make a parcel a little bit special and today I'm sharing a few very easy gift wrapping ideas which celebrate the birthday age! Some people are extremely sensitive about their age (in my case it is two youngish male friends who steadfastly refuse to tell me their age) so if it's not a landmark celebration, you might want to be sure they'll appreciate it! In my opinion we should celebrate every birthday as in ten years we'll look back and think we were so young! I can remember very little of significance from when I was 30, because it was so long ago, but I meet people with so much anxiety around a big birthday - some as young as 30 even starting to think about Botox!
Anyway, if you have a friend who's having a significant birthday or who you know makes so secret of the fact, I'm sure they will love the personal touch of any of the below gift wrapping ideas.
1. Photograph number landmarks and print the photos
I've been saving this for ages - it's a photograph of a table outside an Italian ice-cream cafe near Clapham Common bandstand. Just waiting for the 41 year old friend with a summer birthday so I can roll this one out! There's lot of easy services to print your Instagrams or iphone photos. I printed this from the Printic app a few years ago, and it arrived from France within a few days and in a very stylish orange envelope. I've also used Social Print Studio and found their quality also to be good (thicker than Printic, which is nice for a gift tag, though you'll need to order a larger quantity.)
If you spot an appropriate number while you're out and about, you can easily photograph it and save it for an appropriate birthday! Can anyone suggest a number-themed hashtag on Instagram to give us some ideas of where to go and be snap-happy? Or if you know any good London number spots, please share the location in the comments!
(Tape: similar glitter tape here.)
2. Look out for vintage ephemera
I bought the below old price labels at Chiswick car boot sale in West London, which had (at least the time I went) a stall with all kinds of vintage ephemera and paper. Even if I someday become a minimalist (a change I've seen happen to many as they've gotten older) I expect I'll keep picking up these bits, which make great photo props and it's a bonus if they fit a birthday too! One of my joys is having the time to rummage through my ephemera box of old French comics, sewing patterns, shorthand books and numerous other bits of paper long forgotten by their original owner, but much loved by me. Usually, after a few years have passed, I might consider cutting them up even though it seems like a little bit of a sacrilege!
For the below I'm waiting for a 42 year old - and unless I'm totally confident of my present-picking abilities, maybe one who's given me a list! (I'm all about the list, by the way.)
3. Decorate with vintage stamps
I love decorating with old stamps and always have some in my craft stash. I used to work across the street from Stanley Gibbons in London, and I loved to pop in at lunchtime and to the other traditional stamp shops on the Strand. I'm not sure how many people from my publishing company were using their lunch hour for such pursuits but I loved the history, the specialised nature of it and the clientele. Who exactly is shopping in there? I'm not sure I've ever met a stamp collector in real life but I can see the appeal. Please reveal yourself in the comments if that's you! For crafting and essential gift wrap kit you can buy inexpensive bulk packs in places like WH Smith, who stock lots of designs including these bird stamps. You may have to trawl through your pack a bit to find countries which have age-appropriate currency (see my Polish and Vietnamese stamps below - their stamps come in denominations of 30 and 40 - bonus!)
Which is your favourite? I'd love to hear any ideas you might have! If you have some brown paper and washi tape, there are so many possibilities!
Other gift wrapping ideas you might like:
Gift wrapping supplies from here.