Gift Wrapping Like A Pro (& transitional decor that will save you $ + work after the holidays)

This one is for all you last minute shoppers and wrappers (my kindred spirits 😉 )! I have to tell you, I’m a little nerdy about wrapping. I have a whole board on Pinterest (come find me here!) that is mostly Christmas wrapping ideas and I think I’d choose wrapping over the actual shopping any day. That wasn’t always the case, but here’s why I’m such a fan of going all out with my gift wrapping: 

1- it’s a great creative outlet and basically feels like you’re doing a holiday craft!! If you like that sort of thing, it’s almost therapeutic to do something you enjoy in the bustle of this month.

2- it becomes part of your decor! Especially if you’re trying to save money this time of year, it’s a great two-for-one when you can get those presents wrapped a few days early and let them dress up your home under the tree!

3 – it makes the gift giving even more special. People feel thought of and cared for because someone took the time to wrap a beautiful gift for them before they even see what’s inside! 

Let me first say though, if gift wrapping isn’t your thing, that’s OKAY! It only lasts so long before it’s in the garbage anyway and what people really care about is what’s inside. Buuuuut, if you want to dress up your presents a little extra this year, here’s the simple tutorial on how I wrap for you to grab some inspo from this weekend! 

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The first thing I always start with is deciding on a theme or style for the year. This year my goal was creativity + cost effective! So I chose what I’d like to use again from past years and added just a few new things to give it a fresh spin. I like to keep my wrapping pretty neutral and, like I mentioned above, because I think of it as a form of Christmas decoration, I usually try to match or at least have it compliment my home well. This year I reused the red houndstooth paper and brown paper, the brown paper bags, as well as plain, brown twine. The crinkled brown paper and shredded music sheets have also been used in the past. Most years I like to add greenery here and there from my yard because it’s free and adds a lot! In the past I’ve made my own tags out of music sheets, but this year we’re simplifying things with these tags from Fred Meyer. All of my paper usually comes from TJmaxx or Marhshalls (always a great deal at $2.99 a roll!) and this year I added the cream reindeer paper as an accent. TJmaxx is also where I found the red pom pom ribbon this year ($4.99 for a spool of 30 ft.) I added green string from the Target dollar spot and cookie cutters. Some of them I found in the cooking section at TJmaxx in a bundle for $2.99 (I’ve also seen them in the cooking section of Marshalls) and I bought a few at Ross Dress For Less in a pack of 12 for $3.99. 

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Alright, now that we have our theme planned, here’s the way I go about putting it all together. I like to create a simple “plan” for wrapping just to spread out my styles and create some variety. I’ll walk you through my thought process for one round of presents and hope it makes sense. 😉

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Because I have three different papers (and a bag option) I’ll usually identify my base color and my accents (in this case my accents are the two colored papers). If I’m wrapping four presents for Jordan, two will be wrapped in my base color (the brown paper) and one each in an accent color. Since the cookie cutters are my most expensive gift ornament, I decided to use only one per person with either the brown twine or green string. Every present starts with paper and is tied with string, then it gets a tag and an “ornament” (most get greenery.) The only presents I’m opting out of the greenery on are the majority of the bags, most of the presents with cookie cutters, and any with the red pom pom ribbon because they don’t need more… it counts as string+ornament. 

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Ideally, every person would have a present with each kind of wrapping paper, each kind of tie, and both “ornaments.” Or, if I’m gifting a group one present per person, I’ll do my best to change up the combinations so that all or most presents are wrapped uniquely from each other. Again, this is just how I like to plan it out and if it seems a little over kill, it probably is. But for me, doing this is FUN! If it’s not fun for you – don’t worry about it!! There’s so many great things about this season that don’t deserve to be overshadowed by things that don’t truly matter or you don’t care about (nor does anyone else, really, for that matter!) If you’re like me though, and this stuff is fun for you too, I hope sharing these pictures and my planning method helps spark your own creativity! 

IMG_7881 2.jpgI used the leftovers to add a little Christmas spirit to things already up in the house and I’m loving the way it dressed up our home a little extra and tied everything together. The remaining wrapping items would’ve taken up space anyway and this way we saved money on decorations too! I’m all about using transitional pieces in my decor to minimize items in storage and the need to be constantly working on redecorating with each new season. Most of these things I’ve shared before, but I thought I’d give you a little peek into their Christmas makeover. None of this will have to be taken down after the 25th (except for the tree!) – just modified a little. 🙂 

I ended up liking the cookie cutters so much that I bought some extra and hung them on our tree with twine. They make great ornaments! When I was left with a few after wrapping, I strung them together and hung them from my music sheet pillar in our living room. It was a last minute throw together that I ended up loving! The homemade wreath was so simple (it can be seen in the “merry DIY” highlight on my instagram!) I just hung it right over our fireplace sign that stays up all year with a tack and ta-da! Christmas! The last thing I changed in this space was our lantern. I highly recommend investing in a lantern as part of your decor. It’s one of my favorite transitional pieces! I change out the inside each season and there’s really no limit to what you can do.

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This Christmas I filled it with a house from the target dollar spot ($3), twinkle lights from the Target dollar spot ($3), a bottle brush tree I already had (but can also be found in the Target dollar spot in packs of 5!), and some pulled apart cotton balls from our cupboard! SO easy!

I’ve shared about my love for paper scroll signs a million times (you can find all the info about them here!) and changing these two took me all of about 20 minutes!

The left sign (from our living room) was drawn with sharpie and the right (from Finnley’s room) was stamped with my favorite alphabet stamps from Micheals!

I love using DIY signs that can be changed all year. Mixing these in with the trendy wood signs does a good job of keeping your home from being over filled with too much of the same style. A letter board is another great way to do this. Ours is a super affordable from Walmart, but we broke off the frame and added our own of reclaimed wood.

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Another favorite of mine is using chalk boards. We have a couple throughout the house and it’s fun to doodle different things on them throughout the year. This chalk board + card holder is from Craft Warehouse. (I couldn’t find the exact item to link, but they always have a lot of similar products in stores!) I painted ours myself and hopefully I’ll share that tutorial here soon! 🙂

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Dressing up your transitional items can be so simple. I grabbed another set of the $3 twinkle lights from Target and threw them on this plant for a little extra something!

The last area I’ll share is the peg board in Finnley’s room. (You can find all the info. about it and how to make you’re own here!) It’s one of my favorite things to change up in different seasons and it’s so easy. I just stamped some Christmas song lyrics on his scroll sign, strung some of our pom pom ribbon from TJmaxx, and hung a mini stocking from the Target dollar spot. After next week, I’ll just take those accents down and leave the board as is. This wall is functional for us because we have limited storage in Finn’s room. Clothes are always hung on the peg board anyway, so I like to choose any themed clothes or items that especially represent the season. Then the clothes become a decoration!

I hope these ideas get you thinking about how you can invest less money in decorating for the Christmas season by being a little extra creative. Every year I get a little sad to take down our Christmas decor so knowing that most things in our home will stick around and that I get to be creative with transitioning them for the new year brings me joy. 🙂 Hope it does for you too!

Merry Christmas friends!

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