Once upon a time, I’d still be wrapping on Christmas Eve, feeling stressed, with three children buzzing about . No matter how old my children became the still insisted they believed in Santa. My daughter is now 30 years old and still ‘believes’! This came about because many years ago I happened to say you only got Christmas stockings if you believed in Father Christmas!
So things had to change. One year I deliberately invited all our neighbours for drinks on Christmas Eve, 6-8pm.
This was such a good plan because I made sure everything was wrapped and ready, the house was clean and tidy and the mulled wine was in the slow cooker (oh YES! Slow cooker is perfect for mulling wine). When the neighbours went home I still had a considerable part of the evening to actually relax, watch a film etc. It worked so well we’ve done it ever since.
So, I can’t tell you how happy I was when WHSmith contacted me at the end of October. They’re really chuffed with their Christmas range and asked me to review it. The range is extensive and has coordinating ribbon and tags with which you can mix and match. I’ve picked out some of my favourites to work with and may well be tweeting other examples too. Follow me on Twitter @GiftFrippery so you don’t miss out!
I only ever review products occasionally, and I’m make sure they’re relevant to my business and therefore probably of interest to my readers. And here’s the thing……I only tell the truth! My pet hate is paper which isn’t strong, which you end up putting your fingers through as you wrap. (This did not happen…Yay!) Also, stick on shiny bows that aren’t sticky enough! (These are…Yay!)
So hopefully, between WHSmith and myself we’ll inspire you before the main event!
1. I love the shape of noodle boxes so bought some new ones (on line) and decided to treat it splendidly! Carefully remove the handles and you’ll find the whole box unfolds.
2. Select some paper. I chose the mistletoe paper from the range. It needs to be large enough to fit the flattened box on to.
3. Using a glue stick I stuck the outer side of the box to the wrong side of the paper and then carefully trimmed all the way around the box.
4. Gently remake the box, encouraging the folds in all the original places. Replace the handles with care. I had to use a skewer to redo the holes. I also added some gold ribbons which match the paper. The beauty of the noodle box wrap is that you can make them in advance and then just stick down the lid at the time you put your gift inside.
1. The underside of all the WHSmith wrapping paper is helpfully marked with a grid. I don’t usually measure anything but this paper is perfect for the tetrapacks because you need a square.
2. Fold two opposite sides of your square into the middle, overlapping them slightly. Glue stick them down. You should have created a flattened tube.
3. Fold the end up. Snip off each side of the end so it’s angled inwards. Trim the inner layer and glue the outer end layer down. It should lay nice and flat on the main body of the tube.
4. Now for the other end. Open your tube/bag the other way to create an interesting shape. I have no idea what this is mathematically speaking so I call it a tetrapack. Please leave a comment if you know. Remember to slip your gift inside at this point and then repeat step 3 with this end of the package.
5. Once you have the hang of this…….it’s addictive! You can vary the size but should know that the very big ones don’t hold their shape quite as well, and this is more suitable for light weight gifts (such as money or vouchers) I picked out all the retro looking paper from the WHSmiths selection for these.
1. I called this wrap Milly because this is an actual gift for an actual little girl called Milly! The toy packaging has a indentation on the front so to make it easier to wrap I simply laid a piece of card over the front which gives it some body and firmness.
2.I went BRIGHT with my choice of paper and OVER THE TOP with the embellishments. I’m not keen on twirling ribbon in general but there is a time and a place. Children love it and it can look exciting. Trust me when I say it will never look exciting with two sad wisps that you’ve run your kitchen scissors down!!!!! Don’t do two…..do twenty-two! You need it to look abundant not sad.
1. This is called Jess’ presents because they really are for a young lady called Jess! She apparently loves macaroons or at least she loves the colour of them! I couldn’t keep my hands off WHSmiths lovely natural range any longer. I wrapped the two boxes then chose the saddle-stitch ribbon because it’s perfect. Real ribbon whilst lovely can be a bit pricey so a good tip is to take it only one way around the parcel. I used the shiny Christmas tree paper to create a little fan. Just pleat the paper and the punch a hole through one end and securing it.
2. The other present for Jess is tied with the rather gorgeous paper raffia. I used natural and red raffia together. The bow was a revelation. Those who know me well, know I hate shop bought shiny bows. These were lovely and papery and matt. I really loved them and what’s more, they stuck well too.
1. I usually make my own crackers at Christmas. You could use the same technique to create a gift package though. Put three identical cardboard tubes end to end across the paper. (I know! I know! Yes they are loo rolls!) Only glue down the centre one as you will eventually remove the other two. I used some matt red plain paper I already had. (This is great for using up small pieces of paper.) Cut your paper to size and stick all along the length. Pop your gift into the centre cardboard tube. Edge the outer tubes out slightly, not all the way. Twist gently in the gap you’ve just created between the tubes.
2. I used the lovely cream ribbon (honestly, even the spools are lovely!)WHSmiths had sneaked a few embellishments into my selection pack and I loved these holly leaves. They are self adhesive (no seriously….VERY self adhesive) so using them is as easy as pie.
3. The result? Gorgeous! Don’t just think of crackers as crackers. They are great for small presents too.
1. If you have a really awkward shape a whoosh of cellophane is easy and looks splendid! I dressed this up in stunning spotty ribbon .
2. Take a moment to drool over the rest of the selection too.
1. A lovely crate (from gadsby.co.uk) was the base for my hamper. I put straw in the bottom of it to keep the gifts stable. This is actually a present for my Mum , who always says she doesn’t want anything! So I’ve got her lots of little treats but want to wrap them up individually so she has plenty to open.
2. She will adore this paper……such a gorgeous colour. So, wrap your presents but position them weight-wise (to keep a balance) and make sure if you’re using different papers they are mixed up.
3. Once full (actually, I couldn’t fit the honey in, don’t tell my Mum but I’m keeping it!)Tug at the straw to pull it up a bit between the gifts. This will protect them but look nice too.
4.Nothing like a swoosh of cellophane to catch the light and make someone feel special!
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