Holiday madness is upon me. My biggest challenge is gift wrapping. By the time all the shopping is done, wrapping can feel like a cruel joke.
Veteran wrappers offered me advice. “Buy a Wrapmaster!” commanded Bern. “Stop using scissors to cut your paper!” A Wrapmaster is basically a handheld cutter, but its clever design allows you to cut in one continuous motion. Plus the tool has measurements on it. “Basically what you do is measure the package, then add the height and width dimensions together. You double that to get a measurement of the paper necessary to cover the gift, then add just a little more to create overlap. Then you roll out the paper with the tool next to the roll, resting on the piece you will use. To cut the paper, just press and pull. You will get straight edges and gift wrap that is exactly the right size for the item you’re wrapping. No more ragged edges, tears in the paper, or overlapping bulges. Plus you’re not wasting wrapping paper. I also use a hands-free tape dispenser that just hooks onto my wrist.” The Wrapmaster ($15.95 ) and hands-free tape dispenser ($5.95) are available from simplygoodstuff.com.
Said Faith, “My creative splurge this year will be wrapping each member of the family’s Christmas presents with paper that has their picture on it. Zazzle.com has lots of options. My favorite is the personalized photo gift wrap that has a tile pattern of the photos. You can get it in glossy, matte, or linen ($14.95-$102.95 per roll depending on paper style and size). You can also add text to the paper saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ I also plan to buy rolls of the personalized Santa Christmas wrapping paper ($15.80- 87.60 per roll depending on size), which will say ‘Merry Christmas’ on it and also feature a particular kid’s name.”
“I get my Christmas wrapping paper at Papyrus (two locations: Fashion Valley and University Town Center),” said Kathleen. “It’s my Christmas splurge for myself. This year, I will be buying the Wreaths and Lattice holiday gift wrap, and also the Glitter Pine Cones holiday wrap, which has glitter highlights throughout. ($9.95, 30” by 9’). For my best friend’s gift, I am going to use the Lipstick Lights wrap sheet.” The wrap sheets are 22”x34” — good for wrapping one gift. Most are archival Italian paper ($5.95).
Finally, I contacted Seaside Papery in Coronado, just in case I burned out on Christmas cheer and decided to have someone else to do the wrapping. “We offer complimentary gift wrapping for items bought in our store,” said Jori Fentimen. “But we also offer gift wrapping services for items that people bring to us. We have customers, especially this time year, who drop off their gifts with us and let us just get creative, and then there are others who are very specific how they would like their gifts wrapped. We charge for the cost of the materials, wrapping paper, ribbon, and the boxes, plus a $3 fee. A shop favorite is the line by Cavallini & Co. for their vintage prints, which are both nostalgic and timeless. Or anything from Rifle Paper Co, which has whimsical designs that are very fun to pair with brightly colored ribbon. Reindeer bunny wrap is also a paper that is great for both kids and adults.”
Continued Fentimen, “We sell great gift wrap by the sheet for $5, or by the yard for $4. The ribbon is priced by the yard, and ranges from $.15 to $.50 per yard. Boxes range from $.25 to $5, depending on the size. The gift wrap sheets are unique and made by different designers and artists from all over the country and world. Some of them are handmade, some of them are silkscreened. We offer a great assortment of ribbon, from hand-dyed silk to Italian cotton. To jazz up gift presentation, we like to tie unbreakable tree ornaments into the bows. This year, we have felt mice that have been very popular. We are also using a thin, wired ribbon a lot this season. We love it because it’s not bulky, which makes it good for small packages, but it stands out on large ones, too.”