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  • Christmas wrapping ideas

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    Are you looking for new Christmas wrapping ideas to make wrapping presents part of the seasonal fun? If you like a bit of Christmas crafting, I hope you'll like some of my simple, but very effective, gift topper and gift wrapping ideas for Christmas and holiday gifts. If you don't have time for homemade gifts (I rarely do) it might make the festive season seem less frenzied if you can set aside a little time for some kind of creative activity. Making unique gift wrap is very satisfying.

    Christmas gift wrap

    Christmas wrapping party

    I love to see other's gift wrapping ideas too, and it's something people often enjoy, so why not consider making it a group activity? In previous years we've taken part in gift wrapping parties, where we supply brown paper, craft supplies, a bit of greenery and some festive drinks - and ask for a charity donation in exchange. 

    The cost is pretty minimal - brown paper is inexpensive, and bakers twine usually comes in 100m rolls - so it doesn't cost too much to execute. I try to group supplies together so it isn't too chaotic - I organise washi tape by similar colours on these large safety pins. I've found that friends are generally happy to stick with classic colour schemes, so rather than catering for everyone's wrapping whims, try being consistent in your supplies. I like to use a silver and gold Christmas theme, with natural brown paper and foliage.

    If you're expecting a lot of people or think this is something you might do in future years, you might be able to buy brown paper and tissue paper and bulk from your nearest whole flower market - we bought bunches of eucalyptus and a ream of pretty gold star tissue from London't New Covent Garden flower market (you don't need to be a florist or have a wholesale account to shop there, just remember that the prices quoted will exclude VAT, and that if you show up a little later the sellers will be more patient with you.) A traditional colour theme using red ribbon and dark green paper also works well.

    In more ambitious years we've combined gift wrapping with making beeswax candles, lemon curd and peppermint bark, and provided the jars and catering boxes to wrap them in - but more recently I've found it easier to just let people wrap their own gifts. If you really want to include a 'making' element, people love making pom poms with the inexpensive plastic pom pom makers you can easily buy online.

    Have you ever done something similar? If wrapping Christmas presents is not your idea of fun, you might find an event like this at least focuses your mind on the task - or you might find someone enthusiastic to do it for you! I've seen some friends in a new light when I've witnessed creative skills I didn't know they had!

    Christmas wrapping ideas

    Easy ways to make unique gift wrap

    1. Add a personalised touch

    An easy way to make a parcel look special is simply to use a letter sticker to add the recipient's initial, or a rubber stamp to stamp their name or initial. I love the font on these alphabet stamps.

    wrapping Christmas presents

    2. Add a small crafty touch

    Even a small crafty element will make your Christmas gift wrap unique. Your friend or family member will appreciate the extra effort! Here's some easy ideas that anyone can manage:

    Make your own gift tags

    - Even if your crafting skills aren't amazing (I'm all about the quick crafty fix myself), you can stamp a design on a plain brown tag (don't worry if it goes off the edge - that looks great too), add a little washi tape to the edge of a tag or small envelope, or layer a couple of items (try a letter sticker on top of washi tape stripes). You may find creative skills you didn't know you had!

    - Use a stamp to make the tag itself. Many of our rubber stamps are a good size for making tags (we added a silver star sticker on top of our Christmas tree stamp). You can use a rivet punch (this is the one I bought from Amazon) to make a hole at the top.

    Christmas gift wrapping ideas

    Make your own wrapping paper

    - Use stamps on plain brown paper to make your own wrapping paper. We keep paper from online deliveries, stamp it with nature-themed stamps, and then scrunch up the paper afterwards for a rustic look! Geometric designs look better on smooth paper. It doesn't matter if the designs are randomly repeated and not in exact lines so don't worry about accuracy - when it's wrapped up no-one will notice. For small parcels you can add washi tape or glitter tape triangles to jazz up plain paper. I'd stay small scale if you do this one - you'll soon get crafter's fatigue if you attempt anything more ambitious! If you don't have many Christmas-specific craft supplies to hand you can still be creative - try using the rubber on the end of a pencil to make polka dots on plain paper!

     

    3. Less doesn't have to be more

    Add as much bling as you're comfortable with: things I like to add include eucalyptus stems (these dry out nicely, so you don't need to worry about bits of pine all over the carpet), gypsophila, dried orange slices, jingle bells, cute paperclips such as these arrow paperclips, and glitter stars.

     

    4. Add a touch of luxury

    This year I'm using this leather string, which is a beautiful quality and a stylish alternative to Christmas ribbon. I'm mainly using it on small gifts, as it's pricey if you're wrapping huge boxes, but for larger boxes, why not try this gold and white bakers twine or this elegant black wax string. Both are 100 metres long so will wrap lots of presents!

     Christmas wrapping

    Gift wrapping ideas

     What are your favourite Christmas gift wrapping ideas?

    Everything used above is available in my shop. You can find all of the gift wrap supplies here.

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    Other blog posts you might like:

    - How to make personalised ribbon

    - Carol music wrapping paper

    - How to make a washi tape feather

  • Kraft vintage postcards

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    This week we've got a special set of postcards as a freebie with every order - 4 kraft postcards with vintage designs (not identical, but similar to the designs you can print at home here.)

    We have limited availability so it's worth placing your order quickly (I'll update when we're sold out.) First visit to our store? Festive collections you might like include:

    - Christmas gift wrap

    - Rifle Paper Co gifts

    - Gifts for crafters

    Brown paper parcels with vintage postcards

    {Included above: gold string lights, gold and white ribbon, dark grey leather string, gold leather string, vintage Paris postcards (just seen)}

    Vintage rose postcards

    gold-leather-string

    Check out our range of gift wrapping supplies here.

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    - Vintage printable gift tags

    - Carol music wrapping paper

    - How to make a washi tape feather

  • How to make personalised ribbon

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    Making your own personalised ribbon is very easy but gives incredibly satisfying results! 

    1. Buy cotton ribbon (such as our grey cotton ribbon) or bias binding from a local haberdashers. The thicker ribbon below is bias binding and is very inexpensive.

    2. Lay a piece of newspaper or brown paper on a cutting mat, so you don't stain your mat. 

    3. Stamp the design of your choice! Our ink pads are suitable for printing on fabric, and you can fix the ink with an iron, but I've never done this and think the results turn out fine! If you use a newer ink pad it will work better as the ink saturates better when fresh.

    personalised ribbon

    personalised christmas ribbon

    how to make personalised ribbon

    I used the below rubber stamps for our ribbon:

    - Pine cone stamp

    - Celebration rubber stamp kit

    You can also see how I stamped our grey cotton ribbon to co-ordinate with our free vintage gift tags here.

  • Make your own advent calendar

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    I've rounded up just a few advent calendars below, including a couple of my own projects which you might not have seen over the last few years. 

    If you 're a fan of the DIY advent calendar, some of these calendars are pretty easy to put together.  Just don't leave it too late! I believe craft fatigue to be a real condition - something I suffer from whenever I have photo shoots, and every year around 31st November when I realise I have one day to make my advent calendar! ;) 

    I highly recommend making an advent calendar as a group activity. I introduced 'Christmas crafternoon' in a previous job - we'd make a calendar with Secret Santa gifts and I'd bring in all my stamps, string and craft supplies. We made some seriously spectacular calendars and I loved seeing how people who don't consider themselves to be creative can still make something amazing! Every day we'd have a little quiz to decide who opened the next 'door' and it was so much fun.

    Fabric advent calendar

    1. One to buy: something like the above fabric advent calendar (which is huge by the way - check the dimensions!) is a good half-way option, as you can still personalise it your way with crafted parcels, bits of foliage and hanging ornaments which are your style. You could make something similar relatively easily - I'm thinking a dowel rod and a roll of hessian would work well (I've bought that before in a pound shop.)

    Hoop advent calendar

    2. Hanging parcels from a loop: I'm fond of an embroidery hoop (also below) and it always looks great. The above uses black wax string.

    Tree shaped advent calendar

    3. Make a simple tree shape: decorate with fairy lights and little parcels. You could use old cardboard or foam board as long as it is thick enough to stand up. I'd probably make a smaller version of the above and use a staple gun to add the parcels (covering the staples with a bit of fancy tape.) The advent tree above uses these advent calendar tags.

    Safety pin advent calendar

    4. Giant safety pin advent calendar: easy for attaching little brown or wax envelopes - perfect if you want your advent calendar to include festive 'to dos'. You can see the full project here.

    homemade star advent calendar5. Star advent calendar: - this was one of my favourite craft projects EVER as a combination of recycled brown paper, my trusty rivet punch (favourite tool of all time) and stitched paper was always going to be a win-win combination for me.This uses these same advent calendar tags. It was quite time-consuming to make but I have a lot of love for those brown stars. And the velvet ribbon. Oh, and you can never go wrong with eucalyptus. Can you tell I liked this one?! You can see the full project here.

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    You might also like:

    - Vintage printable gift tags

    - Carol music wrapping paper

    - Brown paper stamped Christmas gift wrap

  • Christmas gift wrap ideas

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    It's coming up to the time of year when I'm pinning Christmas gift wrap ideas like crazy! I prefer easy, crafty ideas and supplies which can be used all year round (no Santa paper here.) My gift wrap supplies stash is, as you might imagine, quite large, but I love simple ideas. In recent years I've stocked quite a lot of gift wrap from House Doctor (hello, favourite leather string) and one of the nicest things is that they style beautiful images for their stockists to use. Here's some of my favourites from the last few years - the emphasis is on a stylish, generic patterned wrapping paper (we don't stock those as they're not cost-effective to post!), but adding simple twine and a stylish Christmas tag or postcard for a seasonal touch.

    gift wrap ideas

    {Items included above: winter nature postcards, advent calendar tags. Similar items: black wax string.}

    natural gift wrap

    star gift wrap

    {Included above: white star garland.}

    Gold leather string

    {Included above: grey leather string, gold leather string. Similar: jute twine.}

    Black and white ribbon

    {Included above: tailor scissors. Similar: gold and white ribbon.}

    House Doctor gift wrap

    Metallic Christmas gift tags

    Christmas gift wrapping ideas

    {Included above: metallic Christmas gift tags.}

    House Doctor gift wrap styled

    Christmas gift tags

    {Included above: Metallic Christmas gift tags, brass arrow paperclips, winter gift tags, mixed gold gift tags. Similar: gold striped ribbon, dark grey leather twine.}

    Triangle paper clips

    {Included above: triangle paper clips, grey fabric ribbon. All photos © House Doctor.}

    Check out the Papermash range of House Doctor gift wrap and the full range of gift wrap tags, stamps and twine here.

    Tips for styling pinnable gift wrapped images:

    - I love the vinyl photo backdrops from Capture by Lucy; great quality and they roll up for easy storage. She stocks lots of similar backdrops to the textured backgrounds used above.

    - Wooden bobbins such as those which come with our range of leather strings look great when half-rolled out around the edge of photos.

    - Add a natural touch with foliage and pine cones. I try and remember to collect pine cones and keep them from the previous Christmas, and greenery such as eucalyptus is available all year round, so you can style a stylish image out of season. Pine cones can be decorated with white or neon paint, and even glitter. Any kind of dried flower with a bit of glitter can look festive, though this kind of accessory might work best for styled photo shoots - gift recipients might be less thankful for half-dead foliage under the tree!

    - Add a pair of Instagram-worthy scissors (note that most pairs we've tested aren't brilliantly sharp so we tend to use pretty scissors mainly for styling.)

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    Follow our gift wrapping Pinterest boards here:

    - Gift wrapping ideas

    - Christmas wrapping

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    Other posts you might like:

    - Black and white gift wrap

    - Sheet music gift wrapping ideas

    - Brown paper stamped Christmas gift wrap

  • Sew your own paper gift bags

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    Make your own wrapping paper
  • Carol music wrapping paper

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    I love all types of ephemera, and went a little crazy buying old Christmas carols books on Ebay recently. I've used different pages to wrap parcels in lots of different ways. You can photocopy the pages to extend them a bit longer but I love the yellowed quality and feel of the original paper.

    Music wrapping paper

    sheet music wrapping paper

    Items used above: silver glitter parcel stickers / lowercase stamps / mistletoe stamps / black ink.

    music note wrapping paper

    Items used above: Black and white bakers twine / glitter letter stickers / jingle bells / gold glitter stars.

    Items used above: Jute twine / brown strung tags / gold star stickers / metallic tape set / copper fairy lights.

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    - 3 easy age gift wrapping ideas

    - Liberty print washi tape

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  • Star advent calendar

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    This year I wanted a natural-looking advent calendar using these stylish black and white advent calendar tags, and I wanted to integrate my all-time favourite packaging, recycled packaging paper which I've saved from lots of Rifle Paper Co orders! It features on my Instagram often!

    Star advent calendarI used a cookie cutter to draw out the template, and then cut out and sewed round lots of stars, adding the contents before finishing. I sewed 12 stars with white thread and 12 with black thread.

    Inside the advent calendar I added small toffees, hazelnuts, and lots of stationery including the following:

    - Brass triangle paperclips

    - Midori brass number clips

    - Gold numbered bulldog clips

    - Gold camera paper clips

    - Gold foldback clips

    Next, I punched a hole in each star and tied the tags through (I used a rivet punch with copper rivets but you can't see the hole so it doesn't matter too much.)

    I tied the stars at varying lengths to an embroidery hoop (you could also use a giant safety pin, similar to when I made this advent calendar.) I'm just realising my advent calendars have a recurring theme, as I added eucalpytus (again) ! I always have eucalyptus in my home in varying stages of decay so it's a given for my Christmas decorations.

    I used black and white bakers twine to attach the stars to the hoop, and bought some thick velvet ribbon from the local haberdasher to finish it off.

    Have you made your own calendar this year? Please link your calendar in the comments so I can take a peek!

  • 3 ways to wrap using bakers twine

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    I always have a supply of bakers twine close at hand (we stock lots of colours) - it is an easy way to smarten up plain brown or white paper, and at 100 metres in length it lasts a really long time. This Christmas I tried out three different ways of wrapping using bakers twine.

    bakers twine

     1. Simple plaiting

    You'll have to fasten the string underneath your parcel, but it shows off beautifully the colours of the two-toned twine. I painted round the edges of white paper with watercolour paint and added a vintage brooch (part of the gift) as an extra fastening.

    bakers twine styling

    2. Twine-stamped paper

    I wrapped some string around a spare stamp block, and stamped it randomly on plain white paper (brown paper would also look good, perhaps using a metallic ink). I quite like how it shows the stripy effect of the string. I used a hand-lettered tag and a contrasting metallic twine.

    Bakers twine UK

    3. Bakers twine tassels

    To make the tassels, just wrap the twine round your thumb and first finger until it looks nice and chunky, tie a piece of string around it and snip! I've used red and white string here, and a plain brown tag, personalised with an alphabet stamp.

    red and white twine

    Which is your favourite?

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     You might also like:

    - Vintage printable gift tags

    - Carol music wrapping paper

    - How to make a washi tape feather

  • Peppermint bark

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    Chocolate bark
    There are some things you can be guaranteed to find around these parts at Christmas; glittered roses, dried oranges, some sort of Christmas Crafternoon with friends, and peppermint bark. It’s delicious, easy to make, and impressive to look at. I …
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