Holiday wrapping made easy

One of my favourite things about the holiday season is shopping for other people. I love spending countless hours in stores, buying loved ones the 'perfect' gift. The best part, though? Wrapping up all the presents!

When I was in University I worked as a holiday gift wrapper in the mall and at Holt Renfrew, and it was one of my favourite jobs. Wrapping presents makes me happy, and I'm an excellent bow maker. (I just got excited saying that, since I lack all culinary skills, as you know—I can't cook, but I can make an awesome bow!)

"There is something very cathartic about wrapping presents," style expert Lynn Spence said to me when I interviewed her last week about holiday wrapping tips.

Lynn Spence is on CityTV's CityLine on a regular basis, offering her advice on everything having to do with home decor, and so much more. Spence was the decorating editor for Chatelaine Magazine and is a contributing editor for Canadian Home and Country Magazine. She is considered to be one of Canada's Top Style Makers.

Meeting Lynn was like a breath of fresh air. Her passion and excitement for making things look great was clearly evident to me from the minute we started talking. She inspired me to go home and think 'outside the box', pardon the pun, when it comes to wrapping presents.

I used to think that printed wrapping paper wouldn't look good with a bow that had a different pattern on it, but seeing what she created made me re-consider my view on that.

Some tips she shared with me? You don't have to use traditional holiday wrapping paper.

Know someone who loves Paris? Why not wrap their gift in a map of their favourite city? Add a huge red bow, an ornament of the Eiffel Tower, and voila—a totally original and personalized gift, wrapped with love.

Is your friend taking a tropical vacation this winter? Why not wrap her new pair of flip flops in gold and silver, complete with starfish? The possibilities are endless. Such a brilliant, yet simple, idea.

Before I left, Lynn gave me a beautifully wrapped box filled with everything I'll need to wrap some gorgeous presents of my own, including a pair of Scotch Precision Ultra Edge Scissors that make paper cutting a breeze, and Stay Seamless Scotch GiftWrap Tape. Of course, the box was so pretty, I didn't even want to open it!

Here are some other tips Lynn shared with me that are sure to help you this December, too:

1. Stock Up – Before you start wrapping, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies. Quality scissors and tape will make the gift wrapping experience a breeze!

2. Stay Sharp – Have a sharp pair of scissors, such as Scotch Precision Ultra Edge Scissors, for cutting paper and other materials. It will allow you to achieve greater precision with your cuts. And if tape on your scissors is a pet peeve, Scotch Precision Ultra Edge Non-Stick Scissors uses non-stick technology that means no more sticky build up on blades.

3. One of a Kind Tags – You can make your own gift tags by using old holiday cards. Cut pictures or words from magazines, and paste them on the gift card to make it festive, and you've got your own customized gift tag.

4. Go Glam – Add luxury to your packages with glamorous materials such as metallic papers that will make anyone feel spoiled. Fashioned inspired animal print or sophisticated quilted paper will look luxurious under the tree.

5. Mix It Up – Move away from traditional wrapping paper by incorporating new textures such as rice, foil and matte papers into your wrapping repertoire. Mixed colours and patterns are also a great way to add visual interest to your presents.

6. Au Natural – For a more organic, eco look, use recycled papers or materials such as linen, Kraft paper, fabric remnants, burlap or a fabulous vintage scarf.

7. In Lieu of Glue – For tasks where you’d traditional use glue, reach for Scotch® Double-Sided Tape, a no-mess alternative for light duty attaching and mounting tasks.

8. Fit to Be Tied – Homemade bows are easier to make than you think. Simply tie the ribbon as you would a shoelace, and use fresh greens or other ornamentation to “dress up” the package. The recipient will surely be impressed with the “professional look” of the present!

9. Stay Seamless – Scotch GiftWrap Tape features a unique satin finish that disappears on most gift wrap papers. Makes all your gifts look great! Easy to dispense and sticks securely.

10. Make It Last – The joy of giving is always in style but before you start wrapping gifts, make sure you stock up on quality tape like Scotch Brand to ensure your packages stay sealed until its time to unwrap them.

11. Waste Not, Want Not – Get creative with scraps of paper, ribbons and other found items to add pizzazz to your wrapping and help the environment by keeping these items out of the waste basket.

12. ‘Tis the Season – Before you start gift wrapping, put on some holiday music, relax and have fun! Remember – it’s the thought that counts!

So what are you waiting for? Get wrapping!
And you don't have to thank me for this post. Consider this one of my Christmas presents to you!
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blueviolet said...

I need to look for that seamless tape, and I agree sharp scissors are critical. :)

Bruna said...

I recently visited your site and can't help but to come back for visits. Your posts are so easy to read and I can identify with you on so many levels. I like the way you write and have added you to my blogroll! I'll be checking back ever day.

I, too, get all excited about wrapping presents. It's my favourite part about getting gifts for loved ones. Thanks for all the tips!

Elaine A. said...

Love these tips but I'm just not sure I could use non holiday paper - it's the only time of the year we can use it and I just love all the pretty ones out there!

And I used to wrap gifts as part of a couple of my previous retail jobs and always found it so relaxing! :)

Shell said...

I have to admit- I'm horrible at wrapping. The only thing that I do is to assign a different wrapping paper for each of my boys. Then we know by sight whose gift is whose.

AO xoxxo said...

Wow!!! Your presents looks AM-A-ZING! I am not very good at wrapping, but I find that if I get gorgeous wrapping paper, no one notices! Your bows are awesome!
Now will you come to my house and help me with my bows? :)

Lady Mama said...

Great tips! I'm going to come back to this when I come to wrap my gifts. Funnily I once had a job wrapping gifts, too, and there definitely was something cathartic about wrapping gifts for hours on end. I loved it too.

Mom2Miles said...

What a fun job! Those presents are gorgeous. My dad used to pay me to wrap his gifts for him, but I was never as talented as that.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Good tips! I am a rather...impatient...wrapper, so these are nice and clear for me!

Scary Mommy said...

I despise wrapping. It's funny- I'm a creative person, but it's just too precise for me and I usually go the gift bag route. You're inspiring me, though!

Jill said...

I love gift wrapping ... what great ideas! Your boxes are BEAUTIFUL!!! I'd love to see the faces of your friends receiving them...

CaraBee said...

I love wrapping presents. Actually, let me amend that, I love wrapping square/rectangular presents. Round or irregularly shaped ones drive me crazy. I love going to the craft store and picking out fun ribbons and papers and little extras like beads or ornaments to tie on. Honestly, it might be my favorite part of Christmas.

ModernMom said...

Why oh why do I always run out o tape? I stink at wrapping! Hey if we lived closer you could do the wrapping and I could do the baking! Hmmm someone would have to drive us around to get our supplies though:)

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Simply beautiful! If I ever got a package that lovely I wouldn't want to open it!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love wrapping presents. Buying special wrapping paper was always a family holiday tradtion (which package is the prettiest?) I died a little inside when I got married and my husband said I spent too much on wrapping paper and I should just buy the cheap stuff at CVS. WHO ARE YOU??? DO I EVEN KNOW YOU???