Essentials for Every Wrapping Station

,Here are a few of my MUST HAVE items for any wrapper fanatic:


A few from my wrapping stash!

Of course! This is a no brainer! What you need is an array of wrapping paper. Not every kind that is out there, but at least 5-10 rolls to accomodate your recipients. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you can have an inventory of wrap on hand that is useful and not wasteful.

  • Make sure you have enough colors or designs to cater to the genders and/or ages you wrap most for through the year. For myself, I am surrounded by a good mix of adults and children, but am stumbling upon more children in my life with the girls in school.  So, while I am out, I like to stock up on gender colored wraps that are either plain or have lots of designs, to mix together or use on their own. I am not a huge fan of character paper, except for the holidays. I just feel it’s limiting for children who are particular. I mean, not everyone will love Hello Kitty like I do! But it’s safe to assume most girls like pink, lime green and purple in stripes or polka dots.
  • Look for a roll of paper that isn’t skimpy for the price.  There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive paper that is perfect for that gift recipient, only to get home and discover the roll can only wrap 1 or 2 large presents.  How is that worth it?  It isn’t! Some wrapping paper rolls go for like $10!
  • If it’s on sale, and you need replenishing of wrapping paper…get it. Just don’t overload yourself on paper that you will never use, because it takes up space and you don’t want to be overflowing with it.   Of course, I should listen to this tip, cause I have way too many rolls of paper!
  • Have at least one roll of white paper on hand.  It’s a great blank canvas wrap that you or your child can paint, stamp, or use with that special ribbon that won’t match most papers.

2. Adhesives!

  • Tape- Anytime you see tape on sale just grab a roll or two.  You will never kick yourself for buying it, but you will when you don’t!
  • Hot glue gun with refills.
  • Craft glue.

3.  Scissors! Definitely spend the money to get a pair of good quality scissors. I am such a stickler for scissors (Thanks to my Mom).  I suggest for wrapping a pair of titanium scissor that won’t lose it’s sharpness or ruin / snag when you are cutting it!  Sometimes you have to cut through pipe cleaners, artificial flower stems or the like that have wire inserts, and that can ruin conventional scissors..but NOT TITANIUM!  It’s a chore if you have tough scissors to cut through something delicate like tulle.

4. TULLE! 

Here’s a bolt of light pink tulle.

Tulle is one of my favorite materials to work with when it comes to presents. It is perfect for most gifts…White tulle is great for bridal showers, wedding or anniversary gifts. Subtle toned pink, green or blue tulle is great for baby showers, first birthdays or any age, really. Tulle can come in so many colors. But..  This is where it gets expensive up front, but, because it really transforms a present and is used so sparingly, it ends up working out. Also, I’ll spend the money here because the impact is great.  You can have tulle around for a long time, too. I like to buy bolts of tulle online, like 25 yards at a time of one color (mostly white, ivory or lightest pink), and also 6 inch wide spools of tulle which you can grab at the Christmas Tree Shops, Michael’s or Joanne’s. The bolt of tulle is the perfect size to wrap or swaddle a large gift, and the ribbon spools are great accenting other ribbons, or on their own.  Tulle adds an air of softness you can’t get with other materials.

5. Adornments! 

These are a few of the ornaments I bought at the end of the season! The ballet slipper was used for an 8yr old Girls bday gift already-the rest are going into hibernation for Christmas!

Using ornaments, objects found in nature, craft supplies (i.e. stickers, stamps, pompoms, etc.), or children’s drawings, are great ways to adorn a present to make it that much more special.  My greatest advice for adornments is to hit up the stores when they advertise sales and especially the day AFTER Christmas, or even week.  You’ll find a whole bunch of ornaments out for up to 50%-75% off that would be perfect used on a non holiday gift.  My favorite store to look through is Pier1.  They have the most beautiful bird ornaments or special ornaments that are perfect for gift giving on their own.

6. Ribbons! And Bows!

Make sure to have different textures, sizes and colors so you never have to be without!

Whether it’s tulle, twine, velvet, satin, bakers string, cotton, plastic, washi tape, or lace, ribbons are a MAJOR must. Store bought bows are too; especially for those times you are in a pinch to wrap a present.  But same as my wrapping paper tip, ribbons can be costly if you don’t look for them while they’re on sale or if they turn out to be skimpy.  My best advice is to get a few that cover the colors you have in your stash of wrap, and then some that are decorated or printed.

There isn’t a color a store bought bow doesn’t come in nowadays!

A bag of store bought bows are so not expensive, and much less after the holidays.  That is the best time to go snag some bags.  They come is so many varieties during that time that you can cover most celebrations, genders or ages with a bag or two.  My favorite are the ones geared towards Hannukah.  I love blue.

7. Repurpose!  You might have torn shirts, cardboard boxes, store paper bags, floral hair bands, newspapers, children drawings or supplies, spray paints, twines, or wires, anything else from other areas of your house that could be pretty cool used as or on wrapping paper.  As my example, I remember as a kid (maybe 9) using my father’s Gazzetta Dello Sport newspaper to wrap his Father’s Day present.  The Gazzetta is an Italian sports newspaper that is printed on pink newspaper. It had a big pink bow on top; it was super cool. He thought I was sooo clever.

That is the best advice, be clever and think outside the norm.

8. Boxes, bags, tissue paper, and the like. You will need boxes and bags to wrap a lot of gifts.  Always keep a stash of shirt boxes on hand, and generic gift bags.  Tissue paper is obviously a must with these two items, and it comes in so many colors, edges, and shapes, that you can be so creative inside the bos as well.  They are everywhere, and can be bought on the super cheap at the Christmas Tree Shops, Target, Walmart and everywhere..the Dollar Store is a genius stop for things like this. And don’t forget..after the holidays, too!

9. Gift tags! Whether store bought, homemade, or printed, the gift tag is super important and another great place to use your creativity.  The varieties out there are amazing!  I like to adhere to the policy that gift tags are used when there is more than one recipient you are giving a gift to or the party is at an offsite location where you will be handing the gift to a party helper, and not family.  My favorite tip is to grab a box of general purpose supply white tags from Staples or somewhere like that.  The box comes with a ton of them already with a thin white bakers string attached.  All you need are markers, stamps, stickers, glue, glitter, ribbon..well anything! Your creative options are endless with these tags.

Speaking of creativity, thinking outside the box and repurposing.. and to bring up my awesome spouse… this is a good share to motivate ideas!

My husband is a super talented artist type, and wrapping Christmas gifts is one of the projects he always finds time to put effort into (he is a man without a lot of free time) I thought I’d share his wrap jobs from our past.  A side note, it was my husband’s idea to make every Christmas to me a themed gift. He just does it without flinching, and leaves me to wrap gifts as frilly and frully as I want for him and everyone else.

Our first themed Christmas as newlyweds:  Christmas in Thailand  (any of my Disney friends recognize that elephant mural????)
Our first themed Christmas: Christmas in Thailand
Up close.
Up close. (Any of my Disney friends recognize that elephant mural???? Here’s a hint! It’s from a WDW park!)

I think he loved ^that first year’s challenge a lot more than he thought.  Maybe he loved how much joy it brought me or maybe how much it brought joy to himself reliving his MassArt days trying to create something in a short amount of time?

So, without hesitation or skipping a year, he asks me for a theme.  Every year I choose a theme- I try to stump him most times. To see if he can make something obscure turn into a gift wrap. But it never matters. He always brings his wrapping A-game.  😉

Theme: Christmas in London. Uhm, how awesome is this, right?  Big Ben was completely detailed made out of different shaped cardboard. The top opened in two spots. The tippity top was like a jewelry box where a necklace was dangling, and then at top of the clock; where a giant glass vase was hiding. The girls played with Big Ben for months ..until it fell completely apart. But Lightning McQueen and Peter Pan flew by it a many o’times! 😉
Theme: It’s a Seinfeld Christmas! (If you do not know, Seinfeld is and will forever be my favorite show. I am Elaine, afterall.)
The interior close up. He designed and printed themed paper to wrap everything.  My card, which he makes his own only, is the Human Fund leaflet there. haha It was all seriously awesome!
Theme: Day of the Dead Christmas  Which all the Santa-Sugar Skulls freaked my Mom out.  I love love loveeee Day of the Dead, and he was genius with this one!!

He has made me an African Safari Christmas; where he cut out African animals out of card stock then placed them in a line along the edge of dark wrapped gifts- like they were in migration. A Retro Kitchen Holiday was this year, and everything was wrapped in silver with real cool rivet cut outs and vintage lettering.  One that I coined as the Houdini Christmas.  That was actually our very first Christmas together, but we weren’t married then. I was a lucky 18yr old girl.  He came to my house with a dozen giant gifts all sprayed in silver. Each gift was fashioned with different locks.  I had to figure out what keys went to what gift after finding the keys in the following gift.

There are so many more I can’t even remember..we’ll be married for 13 yrs this September!

The one thing I hope you guys walk away from seeing his stuff is that you can have an inventory of conventional, or unconventional items, and still make a presentation of a gift super amazing. Gifts can be wrapped in ANYTHING. No matter what it is inside!

Happy Wrapping, Everyone!


–Sorry if I am embarrassing you, love.. but I love you! And, I love.. that you make me feel like a special girl.  😉

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