Simplify the Giftwrap!

By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Chief Wife

The year before last, I refused to buy new gift wrap. I already had a closet full of wrapping paper and bins full of ribbons, all accumulated over years. Mostly bits of this and leftovers of that, with papers sized just large enough to wrap a single gift. So that year, I went through all of it, until there was nothing left.

What a relief. Because last year, I decided to buy only ONE roll of paper. Just ONE. And the gifts under the tree never looked so beautiful . Let me explain:

Everyone in the family wrapped their gifts in the same paper and then adorned the packages to their liking, from the bins of ribbons and findings that still remained from years prior. The single color of paper unified the look and made everything look very chic and organized at the same time. Granted, Santa has not visited our home in quite a few years now, so the fact that splashy Santa-patterned papers were no longer present helped a lot.

And what helps a lot too, is the simplicity of having only one color of paper to work with. Here's what I do:

  Buy a 100′ Roll of Wrapping Paper – I'm still working on the roll that I bought last year at PaperMart. I have used all year. The color in my photo above is called Victorian Champagne. I chose it because it's gender and generation neutral and can be used all year round, customized for the occasion with the embellishments that are added. This cost me a little over $60, but given the “retail” price of giftwrap, I know that this is a great deal.
And what about the embellishments & trimmings? Here are some ideas to make the gift wrapping fit any season and any person:
Washi Tape – This “masking tape” is semi-transparent and is great for gift wrapping. And, not just to seal the package but also to create various geometric designs on the paper to instantly transform the look. I love using it on “generic” paper gift bags too. Find Washi tape here and here.
Decorative Tape – These tapes are great for adorning the giftwrap or to add a fun & colorful touch when taping up the shipping packages too. Lots of fun patterns and colors to choose from. Here is their ideas page, call Tacky Ideas (pun intended, I'm sure). Shop here.
Gift Tags – So many opportunities to embellish the gift just with the gift tag. Like with these charming stained wood gift tags to give the gift a real nostalgic feel of yesteryear Christmases. Add a sentimental message in Sharpie pen to make these keepsakes to be hung in the tree. Or, for something that can be stamped, go for these Kraft gift tags.
Ribbons & Garlands – Forget the curling ribbon. That's not where it's at anymore. Instead, think texture and geometric shapes. Like the circles garland shown here. Or this adorable tinsel ribbon. Or this puff ball wire. You get the idea…
3D Embellishments – To make a gift instantly more interesting, add a 3D element to it. So many choices. The sparkly garnishes on my own wrapping in the photo above are from Michaels. You can also add ornaments, real gingerbread (baked with a hole to pass the ribbon), a real pine branch or other elements from nature, jingle bells… The options are endless. As long as they don't include store-bought bows, your package will look great.


For me, this paring down of gift wrapping paper has greatly simplified my life. One roll fits all! It's a LOT less expensive too. Plus I get to push the creativity to personalize the package, which is always fun and rewarding.

And now, if there should still be someone in your family that needs to learn how to properly wrap a gift, show them this video.


Merry Christmas!!


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2 Responses to Simplify the Giftwrap!

  1. Chris says:

    $60 seems like a lot until you think about it! that paper looks like really good quality, too, nice and thick. love how the purple, gold and red/green looks on the champagne. Super elegant.

    • Chris, I’ll have to disagree with you on the price. Yes, the $60 100 foot roll is more expensive up front, but that’s $0.60 per foot, compared to $2.50 + for an 19″ single sheet of gift wrap. Still, what I like best is the simplicity of having just the single roll. Simple and works for all occasions.

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