Brhea Koneman is a photographer, food enthusiast (to put it mildly) and aspiring writer living in Charlotte, N.C. with her husband and 4-year-old son.
Find her over on Instagram at @brheachristine.
Call me over-the-top, but I’ve been known to coordinate my Christmas pajamas with my wrapping paper choices. I thoroughly enjoy giving and wrapping gifts – it’s truly one of my love languages.
Perhaps you’re not as enthusiastic about wrapping, or it’s forever been a skill that has eluded you. I’m here to take the mystery out of a perfectly wrapped present, with some tips and tricks to make the whole experience more enjoyable.
LOOK IN UNEXPECTED PLACES.
I have the best luck with making my packages unique, when I’m not just shopping the two designated gift-wrapping aisles at Target (though I LOVE me some Target).
Venture out. Have you checked craft stores in their ribbon section? Add real greenery, sprigs of holly, cinnamon sticks, look for small ornaments and décor items like bells, wooden snowflakes, monogrammed ornaments etc. Just a few small unique touches like this make such an impact!
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
If your technique is what’s lacking, check out this video!
The earlier in the season that you start browsing, the better. I like to use 2-4 different papers, usually one is always a simple solid color (I love the classic feel of brown paper – you can find this in the packing/shipping section of most stores or on Amazon). I try to coordinate my packages without making things too matchy-matchy. It helps to lay everything out, to get a bird’s eye view before you begin wrapping.
Focus on enjoying the process, not just the end result. I clear off our entire kitchen table, set myself up for success with plenty of tape, scissors that cut well, all of my gift-wrap, ribbon, adornments etc.
You’ll want to have a favorite playlist (might I suggest my cozy Christmas playlist here) or a movie, podcast – whatever will lift your mood and keep you in the zone. Fill your essential oil diffuser with Christmas Spirit, pour yourself a festive beverage and get wrapping!
I added wood beads to mine, so that I could drop some essential oils onto them!
What you’ll need:
A small craft rolling pin
A wooden skewer or straw
String, thin ribbon or twine
Letter stamps/ lace/ anything you’d like to imprint in the clay
Cookie cutters or round lids to cut out your shape
Work the polymer clay in your hands until its flexible, then roll it out flat, to your desired thickness, be sure that it’s even.
Cover clay with plastic wrap (this isn’t necessary, but I find makes the cut outs look more “finished” and keeps things clean). Push cookie cutters into plastic wrap and through clay. I used round cut outs for these, but you could totally use whatever shape you’d like. Remove excess scrap.
Using a skewer or straw, make a hole large enough to fit your twine or ribbon through. Be sure that this goes ALL the way through (I learned this lesson the hard way).
Decorate! You can push rubber stamps, lace, letter stamps with the recipient’s name on them, whatever you’d like to add texture and design! If you are making extra shapes out of clay and “sticking them” onto the ornament like I did, be sure to score the two sides that are being attached with an x-acto knife, or use a product called “bake and bond”.
Bake them off in the oven! Follow the steps on the back of whichever clay you purchase.
Let cool, touch up with a file if needed. Slide ribbon or twine through, add beads, tie it off and boom! Just like that, you’re the fanciest gift giver in all of the land. Don’t forget to add your favorite holiday oil to the wood beads, this takes things next level, which is where I am at my happiest.
Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season!