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November 2018

Christmas

The Christmas Gift Wrapping Guide: 2018 Edition

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

 

Most of you know will know by now that to me the wrapping of a present is just as important as what’s inside. Aside from decorating the tree, Christmas gift wrapping has to be one of my favourite tasks of the entire year.

After last year’s semi-rustic brown paper wrapping scheme I wanted something really different for 2018. There was a brief moment everything almost went green. Very brief, but it was there. I found the paper, I could see it all taking shape in front of me… and then I came back to earth. I’m not ready for that level of colour just yet. So, as you may probably have guessed from the abundance of imagery, this year’s scheme is entirely monochrome.

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

Choosing The Paper.

It all began back in September when I spotted this textured white paper arrive on The White Company’s site. White paper is tricky, not many shops actually do it without it being drenched in glitter, something I can’t say I’m a fan of – see ‘A word on glitter’ below for further details.
When I’m deciding how to wrap my presents generally I pick a hero wrapping paper that’s a little more expensive, in this case the textured white one and then look to find ones that compliment it. Usually this means a trip to IKEA, I’m a big fan of their wrapping department. The black craft paper you see here is from IKEA, priced at £1.75 for 5 metres. You can also find great little boxes and packages for those difficult to wrap shapes. If you’ve never thought to check IKEA for your wrapping needs, you’ve been missing out.

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

 

To wrap the presents I alternate between the white textured paper and the black one, so there’s a good variety going on. Every now and then there’s a hint of another paper, generally left over ends of rolls I might have in my Wrapping Paper Basket, which yes, I do unashamedly own.

Generally each present also has a ‘belly band’ of contrasting wrap. Dreadful term for it but there you go. To make these I simply fold a contrasting piece of paper into a long strip and then fold over the cut edges. Stick in place with clear ‘Magic Tape‘. Don’t go to all the effort of making your wrap incredible and then stick on some horrid shiny tape people. Think of the big picture.

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

Ribbons & Twine.

I always purchase my grosgrain ribbon from eBay. It is simply the cheapest way to do it. Here there are two different grosgrain ribbons, a 6mm and a 10mm. I layer them over the top of each other usually, so it’s nice to have a contrast both in colour and sizes. The grosgrain used here comes on a 25 metre roll with prices from £2 a roll. Buying you ribbon from high street stores is likely going to cost you a fortune, eBay is a great way of helping you keep costs down.

The monochrome twine was a last minute addition. It all felt like it was missing something, so back to eBay I went. It won’t appear on every present, but it’s a nice little addition that brings both colours together perfectly. It’s also very handy for adding on your gift tags and any little extras you might want to add.

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

 

The fun bits.

This is where the fun really is. Once your presents are wrapped and you’ve negotiated the tricky task of tying bows with double ribbons, you can start to add all the amazing little extras that will make them really unique. Last year I included origami paper stars with my presents (you can find out more about how I did those here) and my gift tags were luggage tags stamped with the recipients name.

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

 

2018 however, is a little more jazzy. I’ve been a prolific buyer of Christmas tree decorations over the years, unable to say no to a pretty bauble should my eyes rest on one. There’s too many to feasibly use even on my gigantic tree, so I decided to put them to good use, adding a glass bauble here and there with some twine. You’ll also see my origami talents have been put to good use again. I used up scraps of white paper from last year to do this, but if there’s an expensive paper you have your heart set on but simply don’t want to have to buy rolls and and rolls, it’s a great way to incorporate it still.

The little glass baubles here were from H&M Home. They’re not online currently but I’m sure you’ll find them in store if you take a trip!

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping

 

I also used the twine to thread porcelain stars to the bows, writing the recipients name on the underside in gold pen so they could perhaps be used again. The porcelaine stars I used here are from Hobbycraft and have ended up on my gifts purely out of a change wander into a store.

They have been created to support the charity Together For Short Lives, with half the sales of each and every star going to the charity to help families and children for whom Christmases will sadly be in short supply. They’re sold out online currently but they are still available in store if you have one locally.

 

monochrome christmas gift wrapping monochrome christmas gift wrapping


A word on glitter.

You’ll notice that there is some white glitter paper used in the wrapping scheme here. I bought it a few years ago from The White Company and due to glitter going absolutely everywhere when you unrolled it, didn’t really use it. Glitter on paper actually stops it from being recyclable. At the time this wasn’t something I knew.

I decided it shouldn’t go to waste and have used it here simply to not be wasteful. It’s something to keep in mind however as you choose your paper this Christmas period, even the faintest hint of glitter or foil and all those mounds of discarded paper come Christmas Day have to go in the bin rather than the recycling.

Last year I used a series of three brown printed papers from IKEA to create a really striking, cost effective way of making your presents the best dressed. That paper is still available on the site so it’s just as relevant now as it was then! If you need some further inspiration you can check it out here.

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Christmas, Fashion & Style, Shop

The millergrey Christmas Gift Guides 2018. Him, Her, Them, You

 

Full disclosure here: I start my Christmas shopping in January. In fact if truth be told, I never really stop it. Throughout the year I pick up pieces as and when I see them, as ideas pop into my head or as I’m visiting somewhere. For some the very idea of that is enough to turn the stomach I’m sure.

I love Christmas. I always have. I love buying presents, I love wrapping presents and I love giving presents. Generally if someone receives a present in my family it’s indirectly come from me, being that I’ve been tasked with my entire family’s Christmas shopping since I was a kid.

So without further ado, I put forward my gifting advice for the season ahead. The millergrey Christmas Gift Guide 2018.

 

Him.

 

I’m all for monogramming. I’m all for dapper pyjamas. Combine the two I’m near ecstatic. Soho Home’s festively green robe (1) can be personalised with initials embroidered to the chest and positively reeks of gentlemanly cool.

Anything from Jo Malone London and I’m happy personally. This Whisky and Cedarwood (2) cologne is by far my favourite. The bottle’s a beauty too. Mast Chocolate (10) doesn’t just taste amazing, it looks amazing. Stack them up, tie in a velvet bow and please even the most design-conscious folk.
House Doctor recently launched this Instagram-worthy metal toolbox (3). If you’re the kind of person to furiously yell at the fact you keep finding DIY implements around the house (yet continue to redo just about every room in your house) let’s at least give them somewhere aesthetically pleasing to be returned to upon said yelling.

 

 

|1.| Ned Bath Robe, £75 |2.| Whisky & Cedarwood Cologne, £120 |3.| Metal Tool Box, £42 |4.| Leather Card Holder, £25 |5.| Roll Neck Jumper, £79 |6.| Toast, Hash, Roast, Mash, £13 |7.| Bluetooth Speaker, £45 |8.| Gypsy Water Shower Gel, £34 |9.| Leather Tote, £125 |10.| Gourmet Chocolate Bar, £7.95 

 

Her.

 

Gucci Soho Disco Bag (3), just ‘cause. Slouchy Arket Knit (9), again just ‘cause. My love of personalised things at Christmas is apparent. This wool sleep mask from Soho Home (6) can again be embroidered with up to three initials, whilst these leather stick-on letters from Anya Hindmarch (2) are just plain fun. If she’s the type to also love a good notebook or diary, I’d suggest a nice new leather one to go alongside them. If you’re buying jewellery, keep it classic and keep it timeless. This beautiful circle necklace from Daisy London (above) is as classic as they come.

Diane Keating’s coffee table tome, The House That Pinterest Built (4), is an excellent piece of evidence that sometimes time spent on social media is indeed productive. Elevate their commute with this incredibly stylish travel mug from Royal Doulton (7). The red plastic number they bought whilst food shopping may be practical, but it certainly isn’t as chic is it?

I like the idea of passing on your love for something; so why not gift someone your favourite book and tell them exactly why you love it on the tag. If they never read it, it’s unlikely to have cost you a fortune. If they do, maybe they’ll love it too. Out Of Africa (10) is one of my personal favourites, I’ve passed it on to several people over the years.

 

|1.| Estee Lalonde Necklace, £99 |2.| Leather Letters, £15 each |3.| Soho Disco Bag, £805 |4.| The House That Pinterest Built, £30 |5.| Facial Cleanser, £40 |6.| Wool Sleep Mask, £12 |7.| Travel Cup, £25 |8.| Linen Bath Robe, £34.99 |9.| Slouched Jumper, £135 |10.| Out of Africa, £7 |11.| Candle Set, £35

 

Them.

Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries II (4) is a beautiful book. If they’re keen cooks it’s a wonderful walk through a year of eating. Complete the gift with some organic olive oil (9) and artisan coffee (5). I couldn’t create a gift guide without a few nods to the environmental issues I continually push; this Soho Home jute shopping bag (8) is truly one of the classiest reusable bags around. Fill it with foodie treats and add a tag.

People say candles or diffusers can be a boring gift, I couldn’t agree less. Make sure you take some time to think about the kind of scent they’re going to like; this Goop candle (7) smells like roaring fires and incense.

 

 

|1.| Martini Gift Set, £145 |2.| Coffee Maker, £40 |3.| Reed Diffuser, £59 |4.| Kitchen Diaries II, £17 |5.| Brazilian Coffee, £5.50 |6.| Jacquard Thow, £55 |7.| Church Candle, £66 |8.| Jute Tote, £12 |9.| Organic Olive Oil, £35 |10.| House Bird, £155

 

 

You.

The festive season is a busy one. You spend all of your days buzzing around thinking about everyone else, so it’s important you treat yourself every now and then again too. This edit might also come in handy if you’re looking for those little extras to send someone’s way as a subtle hint.
Long soaks in the bath, preferably with a book or an episode or two of Brothers & Sisters are my favourite. Goop’s G’Nite bathsalts (11) my turn your bath a strange camel colour, but the results are stellar. Susanne Kaufmann Winter bath oil, included in this kit (1), is what Christmas would smell like if it were a liquid. Christmas Eve in the tub sorted. Bring the Broken Heart Gin (6).

You’ll need a party outfit (or two) so buy separates to mix and match and make the most of what you have. This sequin skirt from Zara (9) is epic and will inevitably also serve you well when that friend announces their birthday is ‘Great Gatsby’ themed next year.

Going to be spending a lot of Christmas Day in the kitchen? Give yourself a fancy pants apron (10), let’s elevate the gravy stains.

 

 

|1.| Bath Oil Set, £21 |2.| Orange Bitters Cologne, £96 |3.| Colour Block Jumper, £69 |4.| The Christmas Chronicles, £9.99 |5.| Reindeer Biscuit, £3.99 |6.| Broken Heart Gin £37.80 |7.| Cocoa Mask, £20 |8.| Handmade Face Earrings, £15 |9.| Sequin Skirt, £49.99 |10.| Cotton Apron, £25 |11.| G’Nite Bath Salts, £30

 

Stuck for ideas?

If you know someone’s a reader, or perhaps even that they want to be reading more than they are, books are one of my favourite presents to give. Each year I deliver my Grandma and Mum a stack of books I’ve spent the year buying for them. It’s a relatively inexpensive way of giving a gift that has a lot of thought behind it, showing you’ve spent time selecting things you think will interest  – Grandma likes anything to do with the war or European history, whilst Mum generally gets a selection of the ones I’ve seen winning awards or receiving amazing reviews!

Keep your eyes on sites like The Works, quite often you’ll find them do five books for £10. Place them in a nice neat stack and tie in a bow. Go all out and add in some cashmere bed socks and some gourmet hot chocolate, their own personalised winter start kit.

 

 

I always like to provide a baked good or homemade chutney with presents. Handily enough you’ll find the recipe for a quick and easy biscotti here. Baked a few days before, fill a jar and write a little note. They’ll be good for a week or two if the container’s air tight.

Don’t underestimate the pre-made gift. A whole host of brands are now producing ready made gift items; from chocolate filled baubles to sleep inducing sprays concealed in patterned crackers. They’re a great (and easy) way to add something a little extra to a gift.

 

Recently I discovered Evolve Beauty via Deliciously Ella’s Instagram. Their Radiant Glow Mask features in the You edit above, the same product that is also included in this beautiful little cracker, £20. It’s made of Cocoa and coconut and whilst it might take ALL OF YOUR MIGHT to not just eat the thing, the results are great. The brand’s organic and ecological credentials make it a firm favourite of mine.

And now to wrap them. Looking for some ideas? Check out last year’s wrapping guide, crafted with paper from IKEA. Cheap, chic and sure to look perfect beneath the tree.

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