gift wrapping tips & tricks

I'm just going to go ahead and say it: I love wrapping gifts. It's one of my favorite things about the holiday season. Nothing makes me happier than wrapping presents while playing Christmas music in my flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks.

My Dad was always the official Wrapper in our family growing up, and I was his designated Elf (otherwise known as Tape Girl). Basically I would assist in the wrapping process by always having small pieces of tape on each of my five fingers, ready for Dad to grab and use at any time. Can someone send me a Tape Girl, please? My current Elf bulldozes over all my wrapping paper rolls and opens presents as I wrap them. I'm willing to bet there are no three-year old little boys in Santa's Workshop.

After years of watching my Dad, the master wrapper, I've learned a few tricks of my own. I'm still nowhere near his level of expertise, but I've picked up several tips along the way that help make the gift wrapping process much easier.

1. Use toilet paper rolls to hold wrapping paper in place.
I can't tell you how many rolls of gift wrap I threw away before learning this little trick! Simply cut a toilet paper roll lengthwise and put it over the paper.

2. Use gift tags that can be reused.
I used this one as decoration rather than a name tag, but either way works! Target sells these wooden chalkboard labels in the Dollar Spot (6 for a dollar) and I've seen them in craft stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby. The recipient just pulls the string off the back and it's reusable as a gift tag or ornament for the tree!

3. Use chip clips to keep ribbon from fraying.
Y'all should've seen my ribbon collection before I started doing this; it was such a mess! I always had 2 yards of each roll spilling all over the place and the ends were fraying so badly I would end up wasting a lot of ribbon. This is much easier, and paper clips or binder clips work, too.

4. Raid the pantry for boxes.
This is something I thought everyone did until a couple days ago at a play-date. A friend started talking about how she and her parents use boxes from the pantry to wrap gifts, and several of the moms were amazed. We always did this growing up; I can't tell you how many gifts cards I thought were taco shells. The recipient is even happier when they open the gift and realize you didn't get them expired Malt-O-Meal. No reason to spend money on expensive gift boxes that just get thrown away.
side note: Those Dill Pickle Pringles are the best thing on the planet. #addict

5. Use ornaments to decorate.
Out of bows or tired of tying ribbon? Use mini ornaments for smaller presents, regular size for bigger boxes. They string perfectly and make a present look so pretty! Plus it's an extra little gift for the person opening the package.

6. Use toilet paper roll pillow boxes for small items such as gift cards.
Oh toilet paper, here you are again! I have the hardest time finding gift boxes small enough for jewelry and gift cards, so I always save toilet paper rolls to bend into pillow boxes. Wrap a little ribbon around and viola! You can even cut squares out of another roll to make matching gift tags.

7. Store your ribbon on a hanger.
My friend Kiley taught me this trick, and I can't thank her enough. I now have my ribbon organized by hanger in our craft closet: birthday ribbon, Christmas ribbon, hairbow ribbon, etc. I wrap gifts in one of our guest bedrooms and I sit on the floor, next to the closet. The hanger is right beside me on the doorknob and it makes decorating gifts a much more organized process.

8. Make your own gift bows.
Several years ago, I made my own bows using this tutorial. It's much easier than you'd think and you can use everything from old magazines (pictured) to newspaper to ribbon. Great way to upcycle!

9. Use natural elements to decorate packages.
My favorite is pine sprigs; we always have a few of these fall off the tree each year so I use them on gifts! Of course real ones are best because they're both fragrant and festive. You can also use pinecones, leaves, flowers, or anything else you can find in the backyard.
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Several other tips not pictured:
-use double-sided tape to make your wrapping look professionally done
-always save paper scraps as you wrap to use for smaller presents
-use a clear quilting ruler to cut paper
-color code gift wrap so you can skip out on name tags (ie I'd wrap Bear's in blue, Zach's in green, and mine in purple paper)
-use washi tape instead of ribbon
-saved ribbons from last year? remove wrinkles with a hair straightener
-place your wrapping paper in a garmet bag for easy storage

Thanks for sticking with this lengthy post! Hope you found it helpful!
xo, Britt