It's not really looking or feeling like Christmas yet, but there's no escaping the building excitement. Of course, many have been preparing and shopping and decorating for weeks. Not me. I love the rush and excitement of last-minute everything. So the fact that I have already thought up some wrapping schemes and it's still November is nothing short of remarkable. Here are a few of the ideas I've been cooking up.
1. Type A
I was pretty excited to hear the news of the recent launch of Paper Society Co. The Toronto-based business features the graphic artistry of a former colleague, Ashleigh Schouwerwou. Ashleigh's elegant yet simple aesthetic and cleverly written messages are a breath of sophisticated fresh air in a category I sometimes find to be a little too heavy on the cute. One look at these gift tags she designed and I knew an all-white wrapping scheme would be the perfect accompaniment — allowing the tags to be the main attraction. For this holiday season I'll use cord and oversized rickrack trim from my sewing desk and butcher's string from the kitchen drawer. These parcels will really stand out once they're placed under a tree alongside gifts done up in traditional holiday wrapping.
2. Festive Fabrics
I'm a fabric nut so I always have a storage bin or three filled with remnants, vintage fabrics and designer fabric scraps leftover from magazine projects. I like to scan or photocopy pretty patterned fabrics and print them on 11" x 17" sheets, which is just the right size to wrap small gifts and stocking stuffers (yes, I wrap stocking stuffers). It's best to do this with vintage fabrics so as not to reproduce designs protected by copyright. With paper this pretty I keep embellishment to a minimum. A few sprigs of evergreen and green jute twine finish the presentation.
3. Preppy Parcels
Ikea always has a fantastic selection of wrapping papers. I swear I circled the Christmas section for 30 minutes deciding which pattern to buy. Then I spied a single pack with a roll each of dots, checks and stripes. Sold. Of course there's no mistaking this as the cheeriest Christmas red but I chose to pair it with navy, which I think gives it a more preppy vibe than the expected green. For tags I used spice jar label stickers from Staples.
4. Tartan Dressing
There are two things I can't get enough of during the holidays: shortbread and tartan. This scheme is my ode to the latter. A box wrapped in kraft paper is treated to a sash of tartan remnant fabric, a sprig of boxwood and a darling tartan squirrel from Indigo. These ornaments come in a set of five shapes and are made of basswood laminated with tartan fabric. Inside this package, by the way, is a selection of assorted nut treats (get it?). I love dressing gifts with ornaments and fabric that can be reused season after season.
5. Oh Canada!
Is there a pattern more quintessentially Canadian than the HBC Signature Stripe? Hmmm, maybe Maple Leaf tartan, but we'll save that debate for another time. For now, here is my wrapping scheme dedicated to our home and native land. The formula includes kraft paper (thanks to paper mills in New Brunswick), bits of bark shed from my firewood pile (please, please don't go peeling bark off trees for Christmas wrap), B.C. cedar, B.C. holly and these great little metal Signature Stripe animal ornaments from The Bay. The little darlings are made in Canada by Whigby and all your favourite Canadian wildlife icons are available: beaver, elk, polar bear and goose, plus there's even a Mountie (must have!).
Happy wrapping! Check out my next blog post for holiday mantel dressing ideas, plus our editors' top gift-wrap trends photo gallery.
1-5. Margot Austin