Brown Paper Packages: Tied Up With String

Christmas 2016, although technically my 2nd Christmas in our new home, was the first year I actually decorated and set out presents (we moved in 4 days before Christmas in 2015). Normally, I buy some cute / festive wrapping paper and just pick out a few patterns or designs that I like and go for it. This year, I decided to do something a little bit different. If you’ve read my post about Thanksgiving crafts, you’ve learned about my giant and mysterious roll of brown paper that I found in the attic of my old house. I used that same role for ALL of my Christmas gifts (and still have a huge amount of paper left – it’s crazy). Since this was my first year decorating, I wanted to have stylized wrapping for the gifts under my tree. And, since we have four kitties who LOVE to eat curling ribbon, I am a bit restricted in what I can put on gifts that I’m going to set out. Therefore, due to a combination of factors, I landed on the below wrapping design this year:


  • Plain paper (you don’t have to use brown- you could use any matte paper color you find – so long as you can find a complimentary ink color, of course!)
  • Stamp ink – I used a combination of red, green and black (I bought a multi-pack with these colors)
  • Letter Stamps – I got a great deal on my set by using a 40% off one item coupon
  • Ribbon – I used a variety of designs with the same general color scheme; see below for my thoughts on the best size/type to use

As I’ve said before, I find the most effective way of doing things to be the batch assembly (unless you have others involved and then the assembly line is my preference). So, to start, I would pick a group of gifts I wanted to wrap, go through and wrap them all in brown paper, and then choose what ribbon to use for each. Each ribbon has a coordinated stamp color that I liked to use, so I would batch the same type of ribbon and color of ink to avoid having to clean the stamps a bunch. In selecting ribbon, I found the following things to be true:

  1. 1/2″ thick satiny ribbon is probably the best, even with designs on it. It’s easy to tie and make pretty bows with. You will need to spend a little bit of time to get the bows right, but once you do, they’ll stay in place really well, which is helpful when you need to transport gifts to other places
  2. Glittery ribbon is a pain in the butt. You won’t see this in any of my photos because it was the hardest to work with and get it to look good. I would not buy this ribbon again for future projects.
  3. Really thick (2-3″) wired ribbon can also be a great choice, but use for smaller gifts because it takes a lot of ribbon and it can be more expensive than other thinner ribbons

I hope you’ll give this design a try!


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