They say presentation is everything, and when it comes to Christmas gift wrapping, that old adage rings especially true. Instead of looking at wrapping presents as a chore, I like to think of it as an extension of the gift-giving ritual…an opportunity to put even a little more love into the gift, in addition to flexing a little creative muscle.
When the holidays start creeping on the horizon, I make a point to look for wrapping supplies during each and every trip to the thrift-store. There’s always an abundance of fun stuff to play with (in both the craft section and holiday aisles), and by shopping second-hand, I know that I’m not only saving money, but that my gift-giving presentations are going to be one-of-a-kind. To bulk up your wrapping stash on a dime, keep your eyes open for…
Wrapping paper: I have a soft spot for vintage paper, but most thrift stores will also have brand new rolls in stock. (Also keep on the lookout for old maps or mags, both of which make for great wrapping paper!)
Boxes: Craft-paper, plain or blinged-out, decorative gift boxes, you’ll find it all.
Gift bags: Good to have on hand, always. I like to my eyes open for wine bags, as I’m frequently toting bottles to dinner parties and it feels more special when presented in a bag.
Jars: Perfect for edible treats, reusable jars are a staple in my gift-wrapping routine.
Ribbon: Fabric, metallic, raffia, paper, yarn, vintage…pick up a few different kinds so you can mix, match and layer.
Fabric: My go-to for wrapping odd-sized presents.
Ornaments: Fabulous present-toppers and can also be a memorable part of the present.
Jingle bells: Cute to look at, easy to attach and oh-so-very festive!
Tinsel garlands: A glittery stand-in for ribbon.
Bows: Big or small, bows add a sweet finishing touch. I look for multi-packs of the twist-tie velvet bows, as they attach to gifts quickly and easily.
Doilies: Any size and any color!
In need of a some visual inspiration? Here are a few ideas for presentations that’ll make your packages stand out under the tree, using materials thrifted at area Goodwill stores!
From cocoa to cookie mix, who can resist a tasty treat packaged up in an adorable jar? The addition of jingle bells, tied on with twine, takes this patterned canning jar from everyday ho-hum to stocking-ready in mere minutes.
Layered gifts, like this mix for oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, look lovely in tall jars. A Christmas-light ornament, homemade pom-pom and candy-cane colored washi-tape tagged card add a home-y touch.
Goodwill is stocked with many holiday themed jars and tins too. All this baby needed was a curlicued ribbon to make it pop.
Brown craft-paper boxes are blank slates when it comes to packaging. I used craft glue to affix red, green and white pom-poms (another craft section find) to the small box on the right, while the larger one got topped with vintage ribbon and a bottle-brush tree, clipped in place with a glittery mini clothespin. So easy!
Hate wrapping paper? Switch things up and wrap a few presents in fabric this year! I used a vintage scarf and tinsel garland to doll up the package on the left. (Recipients can choose to wear or display the scarf, depending on their style.) On the right, a bit of scrap fabric, edged with pinking shears, tied shut with vintage ribbon (and more ornaments!) secures this package.
When I found some plain, white, flat-packed gift boxes, I knew they had big potential. I embellished the box on the right with gold star stickers, and then followed this tutorial from Mineco for the wrapping, using tinsel-trimmings and yellow gold cellophane, for a suspended confetti kind of look. Fun right?
Bells and whistles aside, sometimes a roll or two of festive wrapping paper is all you need to get the job done. I was so charmed by the vintage cookie and Santa papers, I snatched them up in October! The brown packages are grocery bags turned inside out, finished off with a paper doily, velvet bow and vintage ribbon. Affordable, easy and oh-so-pretty!
Photos by: Julia McMahon // LB Jeffries Photography
Have you hit the thrift for wrapping supplies? If you haven’t before, I hope you’re feeling inspired to give it a try now! For more pretty gift-wrapping inspiration, head on over to my Pretty Packaging pin-board, where I save my favorite ideas for Christmas and beyond.
A version of this post first appeared on the Goodwill / Easter Seals Minnesota blog.