Monday, December 12, 2011

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String...

...these are a few of my favorite things! {Can you just see the von Trapp children dancing in Fraulein Maria's bedroom?}

I digress...

This weekend we did a little shopping for Christmas.  Only when I say "little", it's never as little as I'd like it to be! 

We purchase 3 gifts for each child ~ to represent the gifts of the wise men.  But, just with the sheer number of children we have that's at least 24 gifts to wrap (we do a family gift for the oldest), not including extended relatives, friends and neighbors!

Last night I began the daunting task of wrapping said gifts! While I was cutting, taping, and curling ribbon, I was thinking, "I've had this roll of paper for over 5 years now!"  Then it occurred to me that others might like to know of the little trick I have when it comes to packaging...

Keep It Simple!

Every gift I giveaway is wrapped in brown paper. I purchased this roll at a local paper supply store, as well as the roll cutter.  The cutter is an investment at first, but is well worth the price for storage and ease of removing the paper.

I keep a supply of ribbon on hand.  What you see in the picture is some Cotton Curl Ribbon in red for our Christmas packages. {I love all matching gifts under the tree!} I usually have a role of pink and a roll of blue/green ribbon as well for birthday, shower, thank you, etc.

I simply have this roll stashed under my bed with scissors, tape and clutter and quick access!

What other gift wrapping ideas to people have?  Do you like all of your gifts to be the same, or do you prefer variety?

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!


  1. I love how you are keeping it simple! We still use regular paper but this is a wonderful idea. Covers all occasions.

  2. Wow, how creative and smart! I love this idea!!

  3. I am thinking that nice roll of brown paper would also make a handy table cover for art projects, or when kiddos are helping with cooking. What a great idea.
    Love the matching packages! At our house, we use different colors of wrapping paper or ribbon as a system of organization. For instance, all the packages that will go with us when we celebrate w/ Hubby's family will be wrapped in identical paper & bows, and a different color paper & ribbon for the gifts that will travel with us to my parents' home on Christmas Eve, etc. Makes it much easier to actually show up with the right ones! Then, for the gifts for our own children, each child gets his/her own color. That makes it really easy for even my youngest to 'play Santa' and hand her brother his green gifts, knowing hers are wrapped in red. Merry Christmas to your Cottage!

  4. We also use the 3 gifts guideline for our family! I like the symbolism.

  5. Instead of ribbon, I like to use tulle. It makes beautiful fluffy bows. It's inexpensive and "travels well". Because it bounces back well, it can be reused over and over. I keep basic colors on hand. I also have a big roll of basic (white) paper that I personalize with rubber stamps. ~Susan V.

  6. I love the 3 gifts idea. Too late to implement this year, but definitely a keeper. What other Christmas traditions does your family have?
    - Jenai

  7. I'm matchy-matchy too when it comes to gift wrap. :-)

  8. So pretty! I love the look of everything matching!

    We do the 3 gifts for our children as well. In the past we have done white newspaper paper and let the kids paint it before wrapping our gifts. Now though we have received so many gift bags that we keep reusing those each year, even with extended family!

  9. I like the idea, it's not wasteful, and you could use a differen't color for each child...I also like matching colors under our tree, we have a color scheme each year and we prefer to keep it all on the scheme

  10. Catching the Matching craze?? Not us. The more bright colors & different paper, the better! I've always LOVED the art & science behind package wrapping. It's one of MY favorite things! :)Paper doesn't have to be $$. Sometimes I've used the comics as wrapping paper & then use red or green ribbon. Brown or white butcher paper with decorative duct tape is fun too!

    The one thing I do is "recycle" my old Christmas cards, usually from the previous year's. How, you ask? Using pinking shears or regular scissors, I will cut out a pretty portion of the front of the card (presuming nothing's written on the "backside")into a star or ornament shape, punch a hole near the top, add a piece of ribbon and Ta-Da...a "new" tag for a gift! (I learned this from my Mom). It's fun, practical & "green"!
    Try it!

  11. One thing about my husband is that he is all for specialty wrapping! To accommodate this, I buy 1 roll of pretty paper, and 1 roll of felty or glittery ribbon at Costco (and since our family does not have a billion kiddos yet, the paper lasts a few years!) But this has been figured into our Christmas budget.
    Now, the way I pinch the pennies are by 1) going tagless; meaning I use a black sharpie and good penmanship to scroll out who the gift is to directly on the package, and 2) throughout the rest of the year, we purchase plain colors for birthdays and such using 50% off coupons I get through subscribing to Michael's adds, and re-using ribbon we have received.
    I agree with the statement that "presentation is half the enjoyment" so if it looks expensive, no one will be the wiser when the gift inside is not.
    I have also heard of people drying lavendar and other flowers, and using those to tie into their ribbons to add an expensive-looking piece of flair. Haven't tried it yet!

  12. I love the cutter. There is one more thing that I find nice about this and that is the fact that you can mail items in this paper as well. I used this paper for wrapping gifts and for mailing packages of books that I used to sell on and eBay years ago. You just slap a label on it and print off your postage sticker and send it off. Love your site it is very encouraging. (some of your Spiritual And marriage posts that I read) I am wondering how many kids you have?

  13. To Adrienne.....It was tons of years ago, but my dad did the same thing with Christmas cards. He and my stepmother and I actually made tons and sold them for a fundraiser for a local organization for like 1.00 for 10 or something. But he cut the Christmas card pieces with pinking shears in various straight cut shapes. Then did a piece of white typing paper slightly larger in the same shape with pinking shears, then did the same thing with coordinating construction paper. Then a small piece of ribbon through two holes at the top to keep all 3 pieces together. Then you could just lift up the pretty piece and write to the to from on the white copy paper. Plus if folks wanted to, they could cut new typing paper and reuse the tags each year. It's really a great idea since it saves money, uses those beautiful cards, and is something everyone can do together. The added bonus is that recipients usually love them!