Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What kind of gift wrapper are you?

As I was wrapping some Christmas gifts last weekend I began to wonder what all of my friends thought of gift wrapping.  So this is your time to shine or confess, maybe a little of both.  Here's what I want to know:
1.  Do you love or hate wrapping gifts?
2.  What kind of wrapping do you use?  Do you like regular paper, foil gift wrap, kraft paper, fabric, newspaper, etc?
3.  Do you coordinate the gifts under your tree (use all the same wrapping paper or a few that coordinate) or is everything just mixed?
4.  Do you love ribbons and bows?  Do you make your own?
5.  What about gift tags?  Do you use the stick-on ones, use a scrap piece of wrapping paper, make your own?
6.  How much tape does it take for you to wrap a gift?  Do you use tons or can you wrap an entire box with only 3 pieces?  Do you use stickers as tape sometimes?
7.  How do you feel about gift bags?
8.  What do you do for the gifts you have to ship?
9.  Are you a skilled wrapper or do your gifts look like a 2 year old wrapped them?
10.  How do you prep the gift inside the box?  Do you use fancy tissue paper to pre-wrap the item or do you just stick it in there and call it good?

I'm really very curious about how each of you wrap.  I guess I should confess my techniques as well.  Please don't think less of me after this post.
1.  I do not particularly enjoy wrapping gifts, but I don't hate it either.  It's just something that has to be done.
2.  I usually buy my wrapping paper on clearance after Christmas.  I have way too much and could probably last 10 more years without buying more.  I can't pass up a bargain.  Foil wrap frustrates me even though it is so pretty.  I should confess that I sometimes use those boxes that have pictures on them and don't use any wrapping.  Yes, I'm that lazy.  For small items, I like those pretty little boxes that are printed on the outside and inside.  I think they're cute.  I would like to use something more creative like fabric but I never have.  Maybe someday...
3.  My gifts are totally uncoordinated.  I do however try to use more masculine paper for the guys and girly stuff for the girls. 
4.  Please don't hate me... I kinda gave up on ribbons and bows years ago.  I have a big box of bows, but I rarely use them (except for kids' gifts because sometimes the bow is better than the gift.)  We usually travel for Christmas and it is just too much trouble to deal with squashed bows.  Presents stack better in the car and under the tree if you don't have to worry about bows.  Without bows, ribbon seems silly to me.  There is one exception to this- see #5.
5.  Gift tags- I can go 2 ways on this one.  I like to cut up Christmas cards and use them as gift tags.  If I do this, I punch a hole in the top and then use curly ribbon on the present to attach the tag.  My other option (again, don't hate me) is the stick-on kind.  They're cheap and easy.
6.  I probably use a lot more tape than the average person.  I'd say about 8 pieces per box.  I don't tape the boxes shut unless they are busting open (due to me choosing a box that is too small.)  If the box requires packing tape to stay shut, I try to remember to fold one end of the tape as a "courtesy tab" so it can be easily opened.  
7.  I use bags for odd shaped gifts mostly.  I'm not the best with making tissue paper look pretty and again, they don't travel very well.
8.  Gifts that ship are pretty much like all my other gifts.
9.  My gifts probably look like a 12 year old wrapped them.  It could be worse, but it could definitely be better.  I did not inherit my Mom's skills at making packages look beautiful.  I hope she comments and tells you all about how she wraps (hint, hint.) 
10.  I usually pre-wrap the item in tissue paper.  If the tissue paper is patterned or colored, it's probably been recycled from a gift that we received.  Occasionally I will buy colored tissue paper, but only if it's a good deal.

So that's my confession for the day.  Basically I'm cheap and lazy when it comes to wrapping gifts.  Thank you to those of you who get gifts from me and love me anyway.  Please share your approach to gift wrapping.  If you don't comment for yourself, I may feel compelled to do a separate post on how you wrap based on gifts we receive.   
Stay tuned for confessions on Christmas shopping and gift OPENING.  


Alyson said...

1. I do like wrapping gifts. It's kinda fun.
2. I use cheap-o paper from Walmart or Target. I also get mine on sale after Christmas, but this year I RAN OUT! I'm so used to having a stock pile that I wasn't paying attention and actually had to go buy some full price. I would love to do the pretty foil wrapping stuff, but I'm usually too cheap. Maybe I'll look for some on sale this year.
3. I don't coordinate. Sometimes I coordinate one person's gifts or all the santa gifts, but usually out of laziness of not wanting to change papers halfway through wrapping.
4. I have those cheap-o bows and ribbon that you can curl with scissors that I use sometimes, but not as a rule.
5. I do the stick-on gift tags, or just cut up pieces of wrapping paper and fold it.
6. If I'm wrapping a regular box, I use maybe 4 pieces. If it's irregularly shaped, I use a little more. I'm not one to tape up all the seams, though.
7. I don't love gift bags. BUT I saw a cute idea for gift bags: cut the top off of a cereal box and wrap it with paper. It makes a sturdy gift bag!
8. I wrap them like normal, but for Amazon gifts I don't pay to gift wrap. I either tell them to wrap up the whole Amazon box, or I ship it to a nearby family member and have them wrap it.
9. I have the ability to be a good wrapper, but I don't always live up to my potential. I could actually see myself getting into wrapping in the future when I'm not too cheap to buy nice paper and bows and ribbon and whatnot.
10. If it's in a box, I try to put tissue paper or something in there so it doesn't rattle around.

Amber said...

Oooh- I like the cereal box idea. If you left the boxes unwrapped, you could have a cereal theme under the tree. Oh wait, that's just me being lazy again, sorry...

ksstableford said...

OK. I can take a hint, so here are Amber's Mom's answers to the gift-wrapping questions:
1. Wrapping gifts is something I don't actually love, so to speak, but I do enjoy it to some degree. I am glad when it's all finished with the packages placed under the tree to enjoy.
2. As far as paper goes, I've never used anything other than regular paper and foil gift wrap, which I purchase in the after- Christmas sales. (I think I have plenty on hand for several years to come.) If I'm mailing gifts or going away for Christmas, I'll use more of the regular paper. If Christmas is at home, I'll use mostly foil wrap, ribbon, and bows. The tree has 7-8 strands of flashing lights on it, and they cause the gifts to twinkle also, which I love.
3. I use all different colors of wrap, but when placing gifts under the tree, I try to coordinate them so that the colors nearby go well together. I try not to place gifts that might be wrapped alike to be anywhere near each other.
4. Every package will have ribbon and a bow (or multiple matching bows if it's a large gift). I rarely make my own ribbon bows anymore. (However, I still have my little white bowmaker from the 1970s.) The thrifty part in me causes no bow to be thrown away unless it is definitely showing its age. I save bows and make tape loops to use them year after year, especially my favorite ones. On Christmas morning, we have a "bow bag" which catches (often literally) the bows for re-use the next year. I rarely save ribbon to use again unless it is from a very large box or is very decorative. I also like to find the Christmas boxes that are decorated inside and out, and they are sturdy enough to be used over and over again -- that is, if the recipient wants to turn loose of them.
(OK. I'm having to give my comments in 2 entries since my original attempt was too long -- it exceeded the 4,096 characters allowed.)
5. I usually use stick-on gift tags of some type, which I also purchase in the after-Christmas sales. They must shine if I'm using foil paper, but I use others on regular paper. I have recently begun saving parts of Christmas cards that make cute tags, taking that idea from my thrifty daughter.
(That ends Part 1 of my comments. My original post was much too long -- it exceeded the 4,096 characters allowed.)

ksstableford said...

Part 2 of Amber's Mom's comments:
6. As far as using tape goes, I probably go overboard. Of course, a piece is placed where the paper comes together and on the ends after the they are folded. However, I sometimes put tape on the ends to secure the paper as it's folded to meet the box, especially if the box is big. No piece of tape is visible after the gift is wrapped. Every outer piece of tape is covered with a sticker and/or ribbon, which have to coordinate with the type of paper used. I plan ahead as to where the ribbon will be placed on each gift so that I know where to position the paper seam so it is not visible. I also do not like the ends of the paper to gape open at all, so double-sided tape or tape loops are also used to secure the paper so it hugs the box better.
7. I have used gift bags, and I like to buy ones that really are decorative, especially those that have a 3-dimensional aspect to them. Gift bags are great for odd-shaped items. I also use them for stocking-overflow, since they'll hang behind the stockings on the hooks on the mantel. (They have also been known to sit on the floor below the stockings if they are extra-heavy bags.)
8. For gifts that I ship, I do not pay as close attention to detail on those like the ones that will be under the tree, but they are still done with care. I used to protect bows for transit by positioning pieces of cardboard around them. In more recent years, I don't worry with bows anymore on shipped gifts, and I place a decorative tag in their place.
9. As for the amateur or professional appearance of my gifts, after so many years of gift-wrapping, I think I do a pretty good job. However, those who make their own beautiful bows from scratch with the wider, wired (or not) decorative ribbons you can find, often accented with flowers, sprigs of holly, etc., can make a gift look so much better than what I do. I have never spent enough time with that craft to see if I have any promise for it or not. I do have some good friends who are extremely talented in that type of bow-making, and I am very envious.
10. As for the gift inside the box, almost everything is wrapped or covered with tissue paper, some decorative and some in solid colors. If I'm wrapping a gift card or envelope that's placed inside a box, sometimes that's the first thing you'll see when the lid is removed. That is rare, but it does happen (and it will be used this year).
Sorry for the novel, but I think that covers all of the questions that were posed -- and more. Some people might think I'm a little too picky, but that's just me.

ksstableford said...

Even after all of that rambling, I forgot something:
When I am traveling for Christmas, I number the packages and the bows (which are all bagged or boxed together) and then match them up before putting the packages under the tree. It makes transporting the boxes much easier, and the bows arrive intact.

Captain Y and Plant Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Y and Plant Girl said...

1. Don't hate wrapping but don't really like it either

2. Regular paper. The last couple of years I’ve bought it from a student I know, they sell gift wrap as a band fundraiser. So, it’s kind of expensive but I’m supporting a good cause, the paper is really thick and I always by the double sided paper, two patterns on one roll!

3. Matching? I can hardly manage to match my socks to my outfit every day, there is no way I can manage to coordinate gift wrap!

4. Nope. I gave up on bows a couple years ago since we almost always travel for Christmas and ship the rest of our gifts.

5. Stick labels are the only way to go. I got the 99cent package from Target this year :-)

6. I would say I use a medium amount of tape, not tons but I’m not stingy with the tape either

7. Gift bags: Love them for birthdays, hate them for Christmas – peaking is way too easy. The one exception is I like to give baked goods in the lunch sack style bags; punch two holes in the top and tie it closed with ribbon.

8. I try and have the store ship them for me. If not I usually wrap them and stuff them into a priority mail envelope or box

9. I was really good at wrapping after working at Murphy’s in Stillwater, my skills have gone downhill since

10. I typically just stuff things into any random box. I’ve been known to empty out cereal and cracker boxes to find boxes. If there is a lot of empty space I either fill it with newspaper or tissue paper, depending on what I have around.