brown paper packages tied up with string

in our basement, across from our workbench, is another little work area, but this one’s filled with boxes of tissue paper, glitter glue, and embroidery floss instead of power tools. my university summers were spent working at various overnight and day camps, playing dodgeball and making friendship bracelets. as a result, i have a lot of leftover craft supplies — boxes of them, in fact.

so every december, once (most) of the shopping is done, i descend upon the unwrapped gifts with glee. and, i’ll admit, i’ve been a little traumatized in the past when friends and family destroy the results of hours spent painstakingly wrapping with nary a glance at the packaging. (i have literally picked up discarded kraft paper from the floor and said, “but did you seeee this?”) as it turns out, most people don’t care about how a gift is wrapped — they’re just pretty eager to get at that bottle of wine/v-neck sweater.

so why not just wrap everything up in yesterday’s globe and mail and call it a day? i guess i just love paper and pretty boxes, even if others don’t appreciate the way a package looks. it makes me really happy to give some care and attention to the wrapping of a gift, especially if i’ve just bought someone something off their wish list or registry (ie: no real thought put into the gift itself). plus, beautifully wrapped presents look wonderful under the tree on the days leading up to christmas.


unfortunately, at our house, we won’t put the presents under the tree until christmas eve because our very tiny tree is sandwiched between our living room couch and the foyer. gifts lying out in that particular spot would get tripped on, stepped on, and, if i know my husband, thrown across the room in frustration.

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the top left gift is one for pierre, wrapped in “moving paper.” it’s what my parents brought over the day we moved into our house to lay out on the hardwood floors so we didn’t trek tons of salt and snow through the house (two decembers ago there was snow on the ground). i still have some of the roll left, so i wrapped a few gifts in it this year — and used packing tape too, of course. i used a red sharpie on the twine to give it a quick “candy cane effect” and that red ribbon is just a small piece from an entire box full, saved from all the tiffany jewelry boxes i’ve received at christmastime (so spoiled by my husband!)

the brown paper bag contains my family “kris kringle” gift, which goes down every year at my aunt’s house. it’s your typical family thieving santa-type gift exchange…except we yell and scream and holler and leap over dogs and coffee tables and grammas to get the gift we want. so probably not your typical family gift exchange. you can probably guess how my pretty packaging will fare in that environment, but we’ve already established that i do this stuff for me more than the recipient.

the small box is for my friend kate and i used a rubber stamp, white glitter glue, and some beads. it’s a tiny little box, but one of my favourites that i wrapped today.


another gift for pierre, and no it’s not a bird’s nest! but i did have some random straw around, so.


a third gift for pierre and this one’s wrapped in leftover wallpaper from my bedroom closet project. there wasn’t enough wallpaper leftover to think about papering any other walls and i didn’t think i’d ever need it for touch ups (isn’t the whole thing about wallpaper that you can’t get it off even — especially — when you want to?) so why not use it as wrapping paper? i think it’s pretty appropriate for the season and it’s high-quality paper for sure.

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here’s where i went nuts with pink and gold. and mardi gras beads. the gift on the left is for my friend nicole and the bag on the right is for my sister-in-law, gen.


this stationary was a gift from my boss, who understands and supports my obsession with pretty paper products. she brought it home for me from bologna, italy, where she attends the bologna children’s book fair each year and i do not. a bit of a consolation prize, but i’ll take it! my mom is getting a little something in one of these envelopes.


gramma’s gift is in here, and i don’t think she’ll get the american eagle reference, which is just as well because i think it makes a beautiful gift bag if you don’t realize it’s from a clothing store for teenagers. (or realize that this bag has likely been sitting in my box of bags for 10 years, since the last time i shopped at american eagle.)

these are just the gifts i got wrapped this afternoon; plenty more to go, but much to pierre’s relief, i’ve offered to wrap all the gifts except my own. can’t wait to share what’s inside these boxes and bags with everyone next week.

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