Ever since I started the blog back in 2015 I’ve been documenting my Christmas Wrapping Schemes. I call it a ‘scheme’ as that’s precisely how I unashamedly approach it. I think about a theme or a central colour, then work to find papers, ribbons and trimmings that all fit within that. This year I found the monochrome blotch paper first then worked to find things to compliment it.
This year, like most of the content I’m producing, there is a strong focus on sustainability. The papers I’ve used are recycled and recyclable. The gift tags and trimmings are all designed to be reused and repurposed. If you’re anything like me, the ribbons are always kept for the following year anyway. If they’re not too festive they make their way onto birthday presents throughout the year too.
We’ve been without a lot of things in 2020 but nothing more so prolific than the ones we love. Like many of us I have family and friends I haven’t seen since the start of the year, some since last year in fact. It’s unlikely that will change until next year now, so Christmas is our chance to really make people know that whilst we’re here and they’re there, nothing has ultimately changed. You’re still thinking about them.
Instead of a gift tag – so invariably discarded in the bin along with ribbons – this year the gifts feature a printed Polaroid tucked beneath the ribbon. It’s a memory of that person I have, or on occasion us together. In the case of my mum, it’s a selection of photos from our childhood.
I wanted something that would be kept, even if it’s just on the fridge. These cards were ordered from PhotoBox and they’re named the ‘Retro Print’. You just upload your pictures and within a few days they’re with you. There is almost always a discount code advertised on site too, so also incredibly cost effective. Make sure you check the homepage and pop up banners for the codes.
As you’ll have noticed, all of the images I used are black and white. This was easily done via a free editing app called Snapseed. You can download it to your phone, open the picture into it and convert it to black and white, saving as a copy of the original. You can also add some tonal filters if you want everything in sepia or pastel, muted shades perhaps. The world’s your oyster. If you want to, you could grab a sharpie and scrawl their name beneath the picture.
The striped wrapping paper used in the images here has since sold out. Sorry! I know it’s going to be annoying. I originally purchased it from H&M Home for the bargain price of £2.99, before then buying another roll on Selfridges that was near identical. Both are now gone and I can’t say if they’ll return before Christmas. Just in case it does, you’ll find it here.
If you really want to recreate the stripes yourself, this thinner paper on Amazon is the closest I’ve been able to find. You can find two alternatives from Etsy here and here also which are both excellent.
I never think wrapping paper itself should cost the earth. If you’re doing it right, you should be able to wrap largely in something cheap and then utilise more expensive papers in smaller amounts. The cheaper option used here is simple white Kraft paper, bought from Amazon here. Any offcuts were used to create the origami stars that tuck in under the ribbons, or go on to make garlands around my flat. You can find that tutorial here.
The monochromatic ripple wrap here comes as a set of three 49cm x 79cm sheets from Wrap Magazine – an amazing independant online store that sells an incredible range of wrapping papers and cards by various designers. It’s £4.75 for those three sheets. You’ll find it used to wrap smaller presents entirely and then on larger presents, I cut it into strips, fold over the edges neatly, and add as a band. This can be just down the middle of the present, or across both sides to overlap. It’s a really cost effective way of getting in paper you love without spending a fortune.
Elsewhere we have shimmering gold ribbon from Paperchase and then my standard grosgrain ribbon, ordered in bulk from eBay. Where possible I always think it’s more cost effective to stay away from the larger department stores for your ribbon, you’ll pay a fortune for tiny amounts! I tend to buy varying widths so I can double them up, as you’ll see here.
To finish everything off I added silver glass baubles to the presents, tied on with scraps of the black ribbon I had from the presents themselves. These were an absolute steal, purchased in store at TKMaxx, they were £6.99 for 25. Hopefully they go on to find a home on the recipient’s Christmas tree! They’re not available online but in the three TKMaxx stores I went into pre-lockdown they all had plenty, so I’ll assume they’re available in almost all stores.
If black and white stripes aren’t your thing, I’ve picked out some of my favourite alternatives below. Pick your favourite paper, pick a cheaper paper to mix it in with, then be inventive with your trimmings! Baubles or trinkets work great, so does anything you can personalise.
1. Cosmic Wrapping Paper, £4 2. Velvet Ribbon, from £5.25 for 10m 3. Jute Ribbon, from £5.37 4. Snowflake Wrap, £2 5. Woven Ribbon, £3.50 6. Nordic House Wrap, £4 7. Wooden Baubles, from £1.85 8. Star Print Kraft Wrap, £13.50 for 10m 9. Leaf Print Wrap, £3 10. Copper Kraft Wrap, £8 for 10m