Holiday Gift Wrapping: Stars & Frosted Berries

For this design, I opted to go with a plain black wrapping paper. The paper has quite a flat sheen and works nicely with the shiny black ribbon. To finish off this elegant look, I simply trimmed down a Christmas Floral Pick and secured it with wired garland.

I’m always looking for ways to create an impressive look on a limited budget. I recommend purchasing one or two Christmas Floral Picks per year. I usually buy them on sale… often at the end of the season. This makes them affordable to include on any gift, but you can also opt to reserve them for immediate family, so that you can reuse them. I have a limited number of these, but am amazed at how I can completely change the look of a gift by varying the ribbon and paper from year to year.

Finally, I used decorative wired garland to secure the floral pick to the bow. The garland not only adds interest and dimension, but the wire is very handy for securing the floral element.

Check out my latest video to see how easy it is to pull this look together!

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TOP 10 HOLIDAY WRAPPING HACKS & TIPS

Invest in a few more expensive gift embellishments.

1. Designate one paper design to each member of your family! I sometimes do this and completely omit the tags. I purchase a roll of a paper for each member of my immediate family. This saves the hassle of tagging and prevents them from peeking, as there are no names on the gifts! I use other random papers for gifts that will be leaving our house…extended family, friends and co-workers.

2. Budget hack: Invest in a few more expensive gift embellishments, but reserve them for immediately family. This allows you to re-use them year after year.

3. Gift Boxes: I have a large tub of gift boxes that I use over and over again. Not only does this mean I always have a stash of boxes, but also that the sizes of boxes I use are pretty standard. I have a variety of styles, so that once under the tree, they are not all typical shirt boxes. I also wrap with varied focal points, so some are off centre or even positioned vertically to add interest.

4. Good quality ribbon can get very pricey. By using the same boxes from year to year, I can actually re-use my ribbon/embellishments as well. In fact, sometimes I just slide on a previously tied ribbon with decorative elements still tied on from the year before. (PS When you do buy new ribbon…wait for the 70% sale!)

5. The paper gets recycled once gifts are opened, but everything reusable is kept. (Ribbon, gift decorations and even the tags!) My paper changes. but I am often able to incorporate my gift decor complete with attached tags, from Christmas to Christmas. For example, my daughter might receive a gift in the exact same box with same ribbon, embellishments and tags every year. She doesn’t even realize it because the paper and gift are new! (You know what they say KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid)

6. Everyone loves a TAB TOP surprise! Save your tab top cans (Eagle Brand milk) and create a fun opening experience! Follow the link to check out my video to see how it’s done!

7. Now that I’m wrapping for tutorials, I obviously don’t do this, but for years, my strategy was always the same. I would spend hours wrapping every last gift. NO TAGS. NO RIBBON. NO EMBELLISHMENTS. I would simply print the name on the underside of the gift (tiny so it really wasn’t noticeable). I would “decorate” the gifts on a totally separate day.  I would take out my stash of previously used ribbon and embellishments and re-use as much as possible. This would often just entail a few minor adjustments and perhaps (but not necessarily) a new tag. I would then create new looks for gifts that could not work with items from my previous creations due to size or colour. This method saves lots of time and money.

8.  STOCKING STUFFERS: (This isn’t necessarily a wrapping tip, but I always wrap every gift in the stocking!) I always try to include a variety of items in the stockings. I try to get at least one item per category: Something to WEAR, EAT, READ, USE, and DO. I will often use the dollar store metallic paper and/or decorative tissue to wrap stocking items. I find these papers to be super pliable and easy to work with. For example, you can easily wrap a pair of socks without a box because the paper is flexible and simple to work with. I will be posting some tutorials of how I wrap stocking stuffers using this dollar store paper over the next few days, so stay tuned. 

9.  Wrapping Paper Cutter – I just got two of these to help with my wrapping. They work great, but don’t fit around larger paper rolls. Most of my rolls are standard size, so it’s fine, but something to be aware of if you consider purchasing one. The paper cutters make a nice straight cut and are easy to use….love them!  They work well for storing paper as well, but then you’d need one for every roll. I use my DIY toilet paper roll storage system and just reserve the blades for cutting.

10. Upcycle and Repurpose anything and everything! Some of my favourites gift wrapping upcycles are jewellery, Christmas Cracker Wired Embellishments and cellophane which I love to use to make paper flower style bows. 

Hopefully you’ll find some of these tips helpful….Happy wrapping!

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars

I was busy doing Christmas baking on Saturday and whipped up a batch of these for Christmas. I must say Nanaimo Bars have always been one of my favourites and a staple on my Christmas baking list. A few years ago, I doctored up a few recipes and came up with this modified version for a delicious gluten free version. I thought it might be worth a repost with so many busy baking for Christmas . If you love Nanaimo Bars you must try this recipe…you won’t be disappointed.

Holiday Gift Wrapping Ideas: Cork & Black

This is a super simple gift wrapping design, but the fun is in the unexpected. Such an unlikely Christmas look…plain black paper dressed up with dollar store metal ribbon (love this) and a cork snowflake. The design is anchored with a plain canvas looking fabric ribbon that draws on the cork colour. The lesson in this look is really just about thinking outside the box. Black and brown are not typical holiday colours, but I think it’s the simple colour scheme with a variety of textures that makes the design so elegant. You really have to pick up some of that metal ribbon…such a cool embellishment!

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DIY Washi Tape Tree Tags

Gift tags certainly aren’t expensive and there are many beautiful options now a days, but that wasn’t always the case. I used to find that a majority of tags were either tacky or used colour combinations that were difficult to work with. The styles and designs have really improved over the last few years with many more options that are less busy and more versatile. These “Washi Tape” Christmas trees are not so much about saving money (although they probably cost no more that a couple of cents each), but rather just a fun DIY project that takes no more than a few minutes to add a personal homemade touch to your gifts. It is also a great way to use up those rolls of Washi Tape that you’ve collected and have yet to use!
I simply mounted the Washi Tape on a chunk of leftover card stock (about 4″ X 8 1/2″). My tape was older and wasn’t sticking well, so I just reinforced it with double-sided tape. I then flipped the cardstock and measured off 2″ staggered guide marks across the top and bottom (on the back). The guide marks were made every 2″, but with one end starting 1″ in from the edge to set up the “stagger” for diagonal cuts. I then used the guide marks to cut narrow triangle Christmas trees.

Check out this short video to see how it’s done!

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Holiday Gift Wrapping: Brown Paper & Polka Dots

Let’s face it…polka dots are fun! For this brown paper gift wrapping idea, I used a pencil eraser to add white polka dots to the surface of the gift. I love how the white polka dots give off a “Charlie Brown snowflake” kind of a vibe. I decided to stick with the snow theme and add white ribbon, a cute felt snowman garland and a splash of colour with the snowflake.

Check out my latest video to see how it all comes together!

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Holiday Gift Wrapping: Distressed Brown Paper

I have to admit….I’m addicted to brown paper wrapping! One of the reasons I love it so much is that it’s perfect for tutorials. Although many of my tips and tricks can be adapted and used with different papers and patterns, I like to demonstrate with plain paper (brown, black and white) primarily because it is so duplicatable. The whole premise for the tutorials is to make the designs achievable. Not only are the ideas simple and inexpensive, but I’ve also tried to use materials that are readily available.

In this video tutorial, I demonstrate how to use a dry brush technique to distress plain brown packaging paper. The paint in and of itself does not actually look that great, but when combined with simple rustic embellishments the final design makes quite a statement. Never underestimate the impact of dollar store items, especially when strategically combined. The burlap ribbon and wooden snowflake were purchased at the dollar store and the sprig of greenery is from my front yard cedars. I love how the embellishments stand out against the white paint.

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Holiday Gift Wrapping Ideas: A Festive Touch

As previously mentioned…this roll of Martha Stewart birch bark-like wrapping paper was certainly a great thrift store find! The paper is excellent quality and I love the simplicity of it. This design was inspired by a basic white on white look. Although the birch bark paper has some grey and black, I feel like the overall look speaks “white”. I love the concept of combining different shades of the same colour, as well as multiple textures. For this project, I used my DIY white paper ribbon along with a simple wired white ribbon. I recently picked up a package of wooden snowmen ornaments from the dollar store. They come in a pack of 6 for $1.25, so well worth the money. The wooden snowman really compliments the birch bark paper and helps create a very nature inspired look. The sprig of greenery not only brings a hint of colour, but also gives the gift a festive touch.

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Happy wrapping!

Holiday Gift Wrapping: Brown Paper with Layered Snowflakes

This simple tutorial combines a cream coloured felt ribbon with snowflakes. The larger snowflake is made from plain chipboard and the smaller wooden one came from a set purchased at the dollar store. I often find that the wood elements the dollar store sells are comparable in quality to the higher end craft stores. These snowflakes would probably cost close to $5 at a regular craft store. I picked them up for a $1.25 ….what a steal. I love how the smaller wooden snowflake picks up on the cream colour of the ribbon. This is a very simple design, but looks great with the brown paper base. Do you have 45 seconds? Check out my latest tutorial to see how simple it was to pull it all together.

Happy Wrapping!

Holiday Gift Wrapping: Birch Bark Paper & Snowflakes

I really scored when I picked-up this brand new roll of Martha Stewart birch bark-like wrapping paper at a thrift store for 50 cents! The paper is excellent quality and I love the simplicity of the design. What better combination than snowflakes and birch bark! Check out my latest wrapping tutorial that incorporates dollar store snowflake buttons. I bought a large bag of the snowflakes for $1.25 and they make fantastic embellishments for Christmas wrapping. Always be on the look out for great deals!

Happy wrapping!