The art of giving: creative ways to wrap gifts for the holidays

It's the holiday season! Thanksgiving is upon us, Hanukkah is just around the corner and Christmas is only thirty five days away. EEEK! If you're anything like me you also have a few birthdays to celebrate this time of year and things are about to get crazy hectic!

I don't enjoy shopping. Not even a little bit. I do however, enjoy finding the perfect gift, wrapping it and giving it to my loved one. There are so many amazing online stores now so Instagram and Etsy will be helping me with my gift shopping this year and I don't intend on leaving the house to brave the crowds of stressed shoppers frantically looking for last minute gift ideas. I have total confidence I can get all my gift shopping done online, including greeting cards & wrapping paper.

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left: @tinasosna @bespokepres @riflepaperco @bespokepress

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left: @tinasosna @bespokepres @riflepaperco @bespokepress

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left: @designwonderlab @pennedblack @_inthedaylight @rosielou

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left: @designwonderlab @pennedblack @_inthedaylight @rosielou

My back up plan? Gift vouchers from the servo on Christmas Eve. Yep, I said it and I'm not even ashamed. If you know me at all you'll know the voucher will be gift wrapped or at the very least it will be inside a suitably decorated envelope of one of the nice #christmascards I've already bought online (thanks Instagram!)

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @pear.street.studio @pear.street.studio @wellspringwrites @girlandherpen

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @pear.street.studio @pear.street.studio @wellspringwrites @girlandherpen

Sometimes a voucher IS the perfect gift. I've got two children under two, if someone scribbled a voucher for an evening of babysitting on a piece of paper and handed it to me on Christmas Day I would probably have tears of happiness streaming down my face!

If anyone wanted to bake me some choc chip shortbread biscuits for Christmas I'm totally down for that too! Who doesn't enjoy receiving baked goods? Giving doesn't always need to be about store bought gifts, it's about bringing joy or happiness to the recipient (side note: the act of giving releases endorphins so you'll get a kick out of it too!)

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @giftory.co @habituallychic @gardenista_sourcebook @leighanne_yourhomebasedmom

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @giftory.co @habituallychic @gardenista_sourcebook @leighanne_yourhomebasedmom

Creative ways to present your presents!

If you've gone to the effort of deciding on a perfect gift, why stop there? A little extra effort presenting the gift always makes the receiving seem that little bit more special so if you've ever handed over a gift still in the bag from the store you bought it from it's time to up your gift wrapping game (and not just by throwing the item into a paper gift bag from the dollar store and adding one of those awful plastic adhesive bows!)

The gift bag

Let's keep it simple and start with a gift bag. A reusable printed canvas drawstring bag from In The Daylight is a perfect alternative to the paper gift bag and makes wrapping a breeze for an oddly shaped gift that would otherwise be difficult to wrap with traditional wrapping paper. And as you can see below it also makes a great addition to your decor if you're one of those organised people who finishes their shopping and wrapping early.

Many purchases these days actually come in a drawstring bag so you may happen to have a few on hand. Simply add a gift tag and voila! Christmas gift wrapping sorted! If you want to get a little more creative you can't go wrong with adding foliage. Natives in particular make great additions to gift wrapping because they often dry well.  

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @_inthedaylight @_inthedaylight @alicia_severn @pear.street.studio

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @_inthedaylight @_inthedaylight @alicia_severn @pear.street.studio

The Bento bag

If you like the ease of a gift bag but you're after something a little different than you may want to give these Bento Bags from Pear Street Studio a go. This trusted Japanese design has been around for hundreds of years and has many other uses making the bag a gift in itself.

Image via Instagram:@pear.street.studio

Image via Instagram:@pear.street.studio

Furoshiki wrap

Furoshiki is another Japanese art of wrapping and is my favourite gift wrapping style. It's so simple! Leave the parcel with a single knot or embellish with gift tags, foliage, ribbon or other ornaments of choice.

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @pear.street.studio @pear.street.studio @atleastblog @simoneleblanc

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @pear.street.studio @pear.street.studio @atleastblog @simoneleblanc

The gift box

If you're still not keen to get the scissors out and struggle with the wrapping paper and sticky tape then a gift box is the way to go.

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @pear.street.studio @mimosalaneblog @anastasiamika @resonances

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @pear.street.studio @mimosalaneblog @anastasiamika @resonances

Brown paper packages

If you're more the traditional wrapping paper type and prefer a more relaxed wrapping style you don't need to look far to find inspiration for brown paper packages tied up with string. Add a touch of foliage and a gift tag and you've got yourself one of today's classic gift wrapping styles.

Image via Instagram:@hegeinfrance

Image via Instagram:@hegeinfrance

Image via Instagram:@gatherandfeast

Image via Instagram:@gatherandfeast

As you can see below, white and black paper packages also look great tied up with string and foliage. Clay tags are a popular choice when it comes to adding a special touch to your gift wrapping.

Image via Instagram: @birkatron

Image via Instagram: @birkatron

Speaking of black and white...

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @boxwoodclippings @remodelista @homeyohmy @almostmakesperfect

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @boxwoodclippings @remodelista @homeyohmy @almostmakesperfect

The more traditional Christmas gift wrapper probably can't go past red and white wrapping.

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left: @papersome @notonthehighstreet @gatherandfeast @itsnotonlypaper

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left: @papersome @notonthehighstreet @gatherandfeast @itsnotonlypaper

Add some bling

Do you consider yourself to be a wrap artist? If you take the time to ensure all your folds are crisp and even, all the sticky tape is hidden and the gift is adorned with all sorts of embellishments from fancy satin bows  to porcelain ornaments than you probably also quite fancy a bit of sparkle. When it comes to Christmas you can't go past a touch of gold to make your gift wrapping shine.

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @monikahibbs @shopbetsywhite @papersome @boxwoodclippings

Images via Instagram clockwise from top left:  @monikahibbs @shopbetsywhite @papersome @boxwoodclippings

Get creative with this week's challenge theme

When it comes to gift wrapping the possibilities are endless and I can't wait to see all the inspiring entries come rolling in for this weeks 'Giving' theme. As always the challenge is all about getting creative with the theme and like I mentioned earlier the act of giving is more than gifting store bought presents. A child may learn to give by picking a weed from the garden and giving it to her mum and any mother out there knows that moment is just as special as the grown up child buying her a gift from the store.

May this week of giving evoke creativity, feelings of gratitude and happiness to you all.

Alicia

About the author: Alicia is a mum of three and creator behind Pear Street Studio, an inspirational place to shop for handmade decorations, gift wrapping items and heirloom Christmas stockings.

Follow Alicia on Instagram at: @pear.street.studio and @alicia_severn