23 November 2010

how-to create a gift wrap station

by holly of the southern scrapper

with the holiday season upon us, most folks are wrapping more gifts than normal. whether you are mostly done with your shopping or don’t get started until December 24th, consider getting yourself organized for wrapping up those presents. the best part is that having a system in place will help with year-round gift giving, as well!

creating a gift wrap center does not have to be costly, nor does it require a large amount of space. though there are a multitude of fantastically fun wrapping organizers available for purchase, this can easily be done with supplies (and space) you already have! i have often dreamed of a delightful gift wrapping room stocked with the perfect papers and ribbons and bags…all neatly organized on beautiful shelving with matching containers and tidy labels. but let’s be realistic here! so, what do you need to create a practical wrapping area?

(1) a large flat surface – large rolls of wrapping paper can be cumbersome and hard to handle if you don’t have a large, smooth surface. this can be a kitchen table, countertop or even the floor. (for the record…i use the floor.)

(2) storage area near your working surface – to keep the concept of wrapping easy, i recommend storing all of your supplies close to your work surface. if you are using your kitchen table, maybe you can spare some real estate in your pantry, a hall closet, etc. if you are using a spot in a specific room, try carving out space in that room’s closet or maximize hidden areas, such as under the bed. if it’s entirely impossible to have these nearby, be sure that your storage containers are portable.

(3) wrapping supplies – this is a bit obvious, but you need the basics of wrapping: wrapping paper, ribbon, gift bags, tissue paper, boxes, bows, and gift tags. everyone wraps uniquely and on different levels. just be sure to gather the supplies you use most often.

(4) tools – at a minimum, you should have a pair of good scissors, transparent tape and a nice pen (i recommend something permanent that won’t smear). if you find that you are “hunting” other items as you wrap, these are things that need to be included here. it’s worth a little bit of money to purchase a few extras to keep for gift wrapping purposes only.

(5) storage containers – it doesn’t matter what you use to store your items, but wrapping supplies and tools need to be somewhat organized. you can have all items stored together, or multiple containers can be used. the object is simply to have everything where you can get to it quickly and easily when it’s time to wrap up a gift.

now that you have the five key things to wrapping, here are a few useful tips to keep in mind for
the holiday season and beyond:

• do not wait to buy wrapping supplies only when you need them. some of these things can be pricey so keep your eyes open for cute & fun things all the time. by watching clearance sales, you can save a bundle on basics such as solid-colored wrapping paper, curling ribbon, tissue paper, etc.

• think outside the box when purchasing wrapping supplies, particularly when holiday related. Don’t hesitate to purchase that pack of valentine’s day themed tissue paper at 70% off. the solid pink will work great for your niece’s birthday. red can work for christmas (and a myriad of other things). the hearts will make your hubby swoon on your anniversary. you get the point.

• for holiday-specific wrapping items that are not flexible, consider packing them away with your seasonal decorations to save space the rest of the year. and always shop the post-holiday sales to stock up for next year!

• in contradiction to a point i made above, you may want to consider not packing your christmas wrapping supplies away with your decorations. the usefulness of this tip may depend on when you start your shopping (do you shop before you unpack your decorations?). one of my favorite holiday season efficiency tips is to wrap as you go. instead of letting gifts pile up, creating the need for an all-night wrapping session, try wrapping as soon as you buy something. this is even better if you are an early shopper! did you find the perfect gift in july for your sister? go ahead and wrap it, then stuff it in the “gift closet”.

• if you happen to enjoy any type of paper crafting, consider keeping a small container of scraps near your wrapping station. these can easily be punched or cut into quick gift tags.

• when choosing an area for your wrapping station, consider privacy. will it be difficult to wrap gifts for immediate family members?

• as an extension of gift-giving, i recommend being prepared with cards on hand, as well. whether you make your own or purchase them, try to stock up on everyday themes such as birthday, thank you, sympathy, get well, etc. consider stashing a book of stamps with your wrapping “tools”.

• if you find yourself mailing a lot of gifts to out-of-town family and friends, you may want to consider adding some basic shipping supplies to your area as well.

be sure to follow this link to take a peek into holly's own wrapping station.

do you have any tips to make holiday wrapping easy and fun?

image via kate spade

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how-to series archives for tons of tutorials from readers like you.
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden


ag. said...

i love that image!
thanks for tips...it's getting me excited to get wrapping!!

Erin {pughs' news} said...

These were great tips! I am always losing things like scissors and tape because I end up sitting on them when I've got all the stuff laid out on my bed. I think I'd better get a gift-wrap station organized for the holiday season ahead!

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