Monday, November 19, 2012


Our church has the best Sunday School teachers EVER and one of my sweet friends (who has taught me so much!) leads a group of young career single and newly married girls.  She is doing an awesome job teaching them some practical things about homemaking, and she wanted to do a "wrap a pretty present" party, which I was thrilled to host in our home.

I wrapped some gifts before hand to give the girls some ideas and taught them how to make a bow.  Most of all, it just takes practice!  We asked the girls to bring a gift or two to wrap, and my friend and I provided the wrapping materials.  If you want to host your own party it would be great to ask everyone to bring some supplies and put them all together to pick and choose from. 

I wish I would have remembered to take a few photos of those cute girls and their packages!  They did a great job!  I can never remember to pull out the camera during a party...but always feel a bit strange doing that anyway. 

Who doesn't love anticipating what's in a beautifully wrapped package?  Sometimes the presentation of a gift can be just as much fun as the contents.

Over the last few years I've tried to put a little extra effort into wrapping pretty packages.  Of course, I like to be thrifty with the materials used or it could be easy for the cost of wrapping to overtake the cost of the actual gift!

One of my favorite stand-bys is the traditional brown craft paper.  This can be found with the mailing supplies in most stores, but it's now more readily available with the regular wrapping paper.  I even picked up several rolls at our Habitat ReStore for less than $1/roll.

Pair it with greenery clipped from the yard and some simple trim, and you have a classic gift ready in seconds.  The trim with the red edges is upholstery webbing purchased at Hobby Lobby (about $.60/yard with your coupon) and the white is unfinished upholstery cording (less than $.20/yard with your coupon).  I just happened to have a lot of that left over from my recent upholstery project.  This one is finished off with some rubber alphabet stamps and a red ink pad. 

There is nothing extra special about these gifts for my niece (who IS extra special!), other than this is my favorite ribbon to use on Christmas gifts!  And, these gift tags are adorable if you haven't seen them.  You can download and print them for free from Jones Design Company.  There's even a chevron one that's not pictured here...too cute! 

Simple craft paper again, with a pretty ribbon and feathers.  I also like these manilla tags that can be found at most craft stores.  

This idea from Polkadot Notebook is so cute!  Make a word search with the recipient's name and circle.  I also included our family's name so they would know who gave the gift.  I like the mix of wrapping the gift in newspaper, and a big poof of curly ribbon is fun for the kids.  This one was for my young nephew, so I used the "cars" section of the classifieds. 

This gift is for my daughter.  I used a letter ornament for the gift tag and made a felt flower using this tutorial.  An alligator clip is hot glued to the back of the flower to make it easy to attach, but will also allow her to use the flower as a hair clip or to pin in on a shirt or jacket.

 Always stock up on fun ornaments that are left after Christmas when you can pick them up for pennies.  They make great gift tags, especially if you get a variety and can match the recipient with a fun ornament they would like from your stash.  This one was plain white and easy to personalize.

More flowers were made for this package for my Mother-in-law.  The two on the sides are the same as the green one above, and the red one in the middle is a little bit different and was made following this tutorial.  I glued a pin backing to it so it can be reused as well.

Another ornament tie-on, but this one was one of those ornament frames.  I just popped out the back and used the alphabet stamps again to label for Caleb & Emily.  The big spools of tulle are also a staple in my gift wrapping supplies.  They offer enough colors at Christmas that I buy several and use them on all of my gifts through the year.  Big rolls can be found at Hobby Lobby for around $5 and they last forever.
Finally, what would we do without good old burlap?  It is the perfect choice for those odd-shaped gifts that are hard to fit in a box.  With a simple ribbon, tag, and sprig of greenery, it couldn't be easier to present a charming gift.

Throughout the evening I asked a few "get to know you better" questions of the girls, and the answers determined the winners of a few door prizes...

a roll of paper, ribbon, and tape!  

By the way, I always buy those packs of white gift boxes when they are WAY discounted after Christmas, and my family probably thinks I'm nuts when after everything is unwrapped I'm gathering up all of my boxes and ribbon to reuse next year.  The boxes fold flat and I cram it in a tub try to re-roll the ribbon so everything is easy to store.

Have you wrapped any Christmas gifts yet?  I wrapped these for the party, but I'm usually the mom up at midnight on Christmas Eve finishing up!  Hopefully I'll do better this year...

Linking up with:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


  1. I absolutely love this idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. How fun! I LOVE a prettily-wrapped package, and you have so many fun ideas! I am a crazy recycler, so I re-use any unwrinkled bit of wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon over and over again. Those little fabric flowers are such a great use of fabric scraps - I have to remember that cute idea this year! And how fun is the tulle!! And the word search to-from tag!!!
    Thank you for sharing - I'm looking forward to wrapping gifts in new ways this year!

  3. Is that the cutest collection of ideas! Love the brown wrap, I have a HUGE roll I bought in the paint department (Walmart, I think). Love all your special touches for name tags and, the upholstery webbing is my favorite!

  4. You just made me want to wrap gifts all day long! I would be afraid to open my gifts if they all looked that beautiful!

    -Sarah {}

  5. Amazing! For years I didn't do much in the way of bows and ribbons because we always traveled with our packages. Now I can do more. :) You've given me great ideas.

  6. Jennifer your gifts look so pretty! Great inspiration!

  7. Great idea! I think I might try to host one of these parties!

  8. All of the gifts are beautifully done! I remember my mother always, always saving paper, boxes, bags & ribbon. Of course, I try to save a lot of the same items myself now. :) My daughter wraps the most incredible packages I've ever seen ~ no one wants to open them, ever. You're on the same thought wave I think.

    She worked at The Container Store for several years. The first holiday season was an eye opener ~ one lady bought over $600 worth of paper & ribbon! That was about 15+ years ago so you can imagine what it would cost now. We never figured out the "why" or what in the world she was wrapping. So much $$$ ~ and such a waste, IMHO.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! I like the party theme very much.


  9. Oh. My. Gosh. This is a brilliant Idea, a gift wrapping party! I would have loved to have gone to a party like that as a young woman. Thanks for all of the amazing ideas.

  10. I love the idea of a gift wrapping party. What pretty presents and great ideas you have.

  11. Okay, my friend...Love the idea of this party for that age group of girls. Really, really great and fun idea. LOVE your wrapping, ideas, pics...always. ;)

    Kind of laughing how you're always one step ahead. #whyareyousoawesome? I'm barely making it in time for Thanksgiving and you're on to Christmas. "Wrapped presents yet?" ;)

    P.S. Never feel weird about pulling out your camera. Always better to catch the memories in the making than be sorry you missed them. :) Just be a paparazzi and hide around a corner or something. Lol.

  12. P.S. Thank you for your very sweet comment on Annabella's post! :) That was really nice of you to do that for her.

  13. Your gifts are all so lovely! I really enjoy packaging things up in fun ways - and brown craft paper is a great go-to!


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