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Christmas Gift Wrapping

After a frantic couple of weeks wrapping gifts, assembling hampers and printing shipping labels here at The Paper Package, it’s so nice to be able to sit back for a while and browse the internet for fantastic and creative Christmas gift wrapping ideas.

You can never over-emphasise how much the enjoyment of a gift begins right from the moment of receiving it, and how much fun it is to be given a present that has been wrapped with care and creativity.

So heading into the final days before Christmas,  I hope you enjoy some of this inspirational gift wrapping eye-candy…

Natural Style

Adding embellishments to a gift package can be a great idea – and what’s more traditional and festive than red berries, greenery, holly and ivy…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Sweet Paul  :  Decorative Country Living  :  Spread Decor  :  Older and Wisor

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Red and White Stripes

Red and white peppermint stripes are the perfect fun touch for Christmas…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Paper Crave (with free printable “no peeking” gift tag)  :  Country Living  :  Good Housekeeping  :  Elle Decor

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Vintage Post Packages

There’s no denying the nostalgia of Christmas past with these fun takes on the Christmas post…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Lololina  :  Willow89  :  Stylizimo  :  Bugs and Fishes

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Fabric Style

Using lovely scraps and different textures of fabric can be a stylish and original way of decorating gifts…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Older and Wisor  :  Southern Living  :  Pen ‘n Paper Flowers  :  Original Home

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Photo Finish

Finishing off your gift wrapping with a photo or picture is a great way to personalise your present…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Oh Hello Friend  :  A Well Travelled Woman  :  Creature Comforts  :  Older and Wisor

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Paper Packages

As alternatives to the usual printed wrapping paper, these lovely parcels use paper from books or sheet music…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

SC Johnson  :  Holly Mathis Interiors  :  100 Layer Cake  :  Source not known (via Pinterest)

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Patterned Perfection

And finally, for a change from the understated plain paper look, these patterned papers are striking & stylish…

Christmas gift wrapping

Sources – clockwise from top left:

Original Home  :  House and Home  :  Mondocherry  :  Jones Design Company (includes printable gift tags)

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This is the last post for The Paper Package Blog for 2011… thanks so much for reading, and we’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year!

p.s. Good luck with the gift wrapping and here’s hoping you don’t have to stay up too late wrestling with the sellotape on Christmas Eve! (been there – done that, lol)

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Christmas Planning, Gift Wrapping

 

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D.I.Y. Advent Calendars

Would you like to get your children & family members even more excited about Christmas than ever?? Well an Advent Calendar is definitely the way to go!  But if you’re looking for something different from the standard supermarket version (although it’s hard to knock something that gives you a chocolate a day!), here are some creative and inspiring alternatives for the Christmas Countdown…

[ Click through all images for the original source & more info, instructions, printables etc where available.]

Christmas Advent Garland

A Christmas Advent Garland

Christmas Advent Socks

A Christmas Advent Garland Made of Cute Baby Socks

Santa Sack Advent Calendar

A Santa Sack Advent Calendar

Brown Paper Envelopes Advent Calendar

Beautiful brown paper envelopes with vintage images

Paper Packages

Paper Packages!!

Origami Advent Calendar

Origami Advent Calendar

Book Advent Calendar

Book Advent Calendar

Ornament Advent Calendar

Ornament Advent Calendar

Advent Tree

Advent Tree

Advent Activities

Advent Activities

Advent Activities (bottom image = printable)

Christmas Advent Jar

Christmas Advent Jar

Santa's Beard Advent Calendar

Santa’s Beard Advent Calendar (printable)

Santa's Beard Advent Calendar Version 2 (printable)

Santa’s Beard Advent Calendar Version 2 (also printable)

Wine Bottle Advent Calendar

An Advent Calendar for Mum and Dad??

Happy Christmas Countdown everybody!

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Christmas Planning, Home, Photos, The Paper Package

 

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Fun Christmas Food + Drinks

It’s 25th November today, which means that the next month will be filled with “Christmas Entertaining”. Picnics, cocktails, family bbq’s, get-togethers, work-do’s (arrgh), office parties and more!

So we thought some fun and festive food + drink ideas might be in order…

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Savoury:

Betty Crocker’s Easy Fiesta Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Cheese Board from Cabot Cheese, Vermont

Babybel Cheese Santa from Cute Food for Kids

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Fruity:

Edible fruit tree from Ginger & Garlic (scroll down for instructions)

Strawberry Christmas Tree from taste.com.au

Strawberry Santas!

Corporate Christmas Party Food from Tracey Lau.  No recipes but pictures show Chocolate Dipped Cherries and a Vanilla Bean Bavarois with Raspberry Coulis – gorgeous!

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Gingerbready:

Gingerbread tree – no recipe but I guess you could use any gingerbread biscuit recipe – the idea is lovely:)

Double gingerbread cupcakes from babble.com

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Yummy:

Mini snowman shots – eat em’ fast!

No recipe – this is from a wedding blog – but it is apparently chantilly mousse and raspberry sauce. Doesn’t it look Christmas-sy!

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Cupcakie:

Lovely Mini Christmas Vanilla Cupcakes from Once Upon a Plate

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes from Sweat Peas Kitchen

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Drinkie:

Refreshing Raspberry Mojito from a la carte kitchen

[b.t.w. we have put a yummy ice republic mojito mix in our "It's a Man's Xmas" gift box - so cool for Christmas or Boxing Day bbq's]

Apple, Ginger and Cranberry Cocktails from the fabulous What Katie Ate

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Party:

And if you’re looking for some fun entertainment ideas for young and old I love the “Christmas Minute-to-Win-It” ideas in oncloud8’s Not So Silent Night blog post.

Happy Eating & Drinking & Being Merry !!

♦♦♦

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Christmas Planning, Food, The Paper Package

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Women

In this era of gift cards and downloadable gifts it can be a real thrill to have a proper present to open on Christmas Day.

Gift cards etc, while they might be what people ask for, do lack a lot of the magic of a physical gift. Let’s be honest, you can’t really have the same fun opening an envelope with a plastic card in it that you can with a lovingly wrapped present. With a traditional gift there’s the whole anticipation and experience of unwrapping… picking it up, holding it in your hands, feeling the weight of it, bringing it up to your ear to listen as you shake it a little, and then finally starting to unwrap it. Great fun!!

One of the main reasons people don’t give each other actual gifts so much anymore is that we’re apparently all stressed by not knowing what to buy or worrying whether the recipient will like the gift. But this is a problem we can help you solve! With just a little bit of thought and some inspiration from our gift selections below, you can bring back all the charm and nostalgia of a traditional Christmas present to someone you care about (even if you do want to slip them a little gift card on the side as well!)

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Selection 1: Natural Simplicity

Top row (L to R): Gardener’s Hand Cream : Botanical Cards Boxed Set : “A Day For Me” Gift Package

Middle row (L to R): O-Check Library Notebook : Sweets & Nibbles Gift Box : “Garden Notes” Gift Package

Bottom row (L to R): String, Spool & Scissors : Galison Weekly Organiser : Au Jardin Sticky Notes

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Selection 2: Elegance

Top row (L to R): Holy Night Gift Box : “Keep Your House in Order” Gift Package : Harmony Notebook

Middle row (L to R): Moleskine Book Journal : “Hello” Boxed Card Set : “Family Recipe” Gift Set

Bottom row (L to R): Vintage Album Gift Package : Passionflower Room Fragrance : “For Her This Christmas”

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Selection 3: Traveling with Style

Top row (L to R): “Stylista” Gift Package : French Card Boxed Set : Paris Sticky Notes

Middle row (L to R): Ephemera Stickers : “Notes from Paris” Gift Box : “Vintage Golf” Gift Set

Bottom row (L to R): Vintage Crackle Leather Satchel : “Vintage Travel” Gift Package : Paris Notebook

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Selection 4: Family and Friends

Christmas gifts for women - collage 4

Top row (L to R): Christmas Cookie Care Package : Talking Family : Moleskine Recipe Journal

Middle row (L to R): Butterfly Pocket Journal : Christmas Wishes Gift BoxAssorted Dog Card Set

Bottom row (L to R): Rosehip Organiser : Kitchen Care Gift Pack : Retro Housewarming Gift Box

♥♥♥

 

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Introducing: Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle paper co.

When I recently went into town to buy a birthday card for a friend I have to say I was shocked (SHOCKED!) by the price of a single card. After spending some time browsing I eventually found a nice card for $5.99, but that was after I had put back quite a few in the $7-9 range. Considering the time it had taken me, plus parking costs, the whole exercise was pretty expensive for just one card. And worse still, the next birthday that rolls around I’ll have to do it all over again!

That’s one of the reasons why we’re so pleased to be able to stock these boxed assorted card sets from the Rifle Paper Co. At $35.99 for a set of 8 they are great value as well as gorgeous, and having a box of these on hand will mean that you’re never at a loss for a top quality card to send.

Botanical card set from Rifle Paper Co.

Botanical Cards – Boxed Set of 8

Rifle Paper Co. is a boutique stationery brand and design studio based in Winter Park, Florida. Created by Anna Bond and her husband Nathan, the company’s products feature Anna’s whimsical designs in a lovely nostalgic and timeless style.

Dog Boxed Set of Cards from Rifle Paper Co.

Assorted Dog Cards – Boxed Set

Rifle Paper Co. takes great care in choosing all of their stock and printing methods so that their designs come to life in an elegant, beautiful and durable way.  All the cards are printed in the U.S. using environmentally friendly printing methods and papers, and are then assembled by hand. Apart from the vibrant pretty colours and cheerful compositions, it’s the quality of these products that makes them so special to both give and receive.

French cards Boxed Set from Rifle Paper Co

Assorted French Card Set

Wouldn’t you just love to open the mail and find one of these… from a friend saying hello, or maybe wishing you bon voyage, or congratulating you on another year passing by?  That’s why these types of products make such great gifts.. you get to give something beautiful and original, the recipient gets to receive something beautiful and original, and then they get to send someone else something beautiful and original. It’s a lovely win-win-win all round!

Folk Art Card Set Rifle Paper Co

Folk Art – Boxed Set of 8 Assorted Cards

For a further look at the card sets we have in stock you can visit our website here, or to find out more about Rifle Paper Co. itself you could visit their blog here.

And finally, we wanted to show you these fantastic “Twas the Night Before Xmas” postcard sets. At $29.95 for a set of 10, these postcards will absolutely charm the socks off your friends or family, and make a great change from all those other run-of-the-mill Christmas cards.

Christmas Postcards - Rifle Paper Co

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” Postcard Set

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Grandparents & Extended Family

Continuing our series of Christmas gift guides, today we’re focusing on reasonably-priced gift ideas for grandparents and extended family.

It would be interesting to know how many of us still buy or give Christmas presents to our extended family?  A lot of people seem to have agreements to just give gifts to their immediate family members or they run things like ballots or secret santa’s within the family to keep the costs and stress levels down. But, not-to-fear, if your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. are still on your gift list, here are some great ideas…

Firstly, from The Paper Package:

1. Lavender Gift Box  $56.00 including delivery

This lovely gift box features high quality, NZ-made lavender products and old-fashioned sweets. It makes the perfect Christmas present for a grandmother or older aunt…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Lavender Gift Box

2. Talking Family $52.00 including delivery

This is a fantastic gift idea for your grandparents, or as a combined gift for your whole extended family. It’s a set of Table Topics conversation starters focused on family history and stories.Ideal for when you’re planning to spend some time with the whole family, this game can be great fun and who knows, you might even discover some hidden family secrets!

Christmas Gift Ideas - Family Gathering

3. Merry & Bright Sugar-Free Gift Box $58.00 including delivery

Thinking of older family members again, many of them may be diabetic or pre-diabetic. We have designed this Christmas gift box to be as sugar-free as possible, so it makes a great choice for anyone who needs to regulate their sugar intake…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Merry & Bright Sugar Free Gift Box

4. Jolly Sweet Gift Box $49.50 including delivery

For the younger family members, this gift box of tuck-shop treats would be perfect to send to nephews or nieces this Christmas. Packed with old-fashioned sweets like sherbert fizzies, fruit jellies, candy rock and gingerbread and wrapped in a gorgeous, nostalgic style with a handmade “jolly snowman” gift tag…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Jolly Sweet Gift Box

Christmas Gift Ideas

5. Ciak Golf Notebook $38.00 including delivery

The Ciak Golf notebook is handmade in Florence from soft leather. It makes a high quality gift for under $40.00 and is perfect for the golf enthusiasts in your family (women or men)…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Ciak Golf Notebook

6. Winterthur Flowers Flip Top Notecards $29.00 including delivery

These fabulous note card sets make a great Christmas gift for your nana, aunty or sister-in-law. Made by Galison, New York, this lovely set contains 12 gorgeous note cards and matching envelopes in a keepsake magnetic-closure box. The beautiful “Winterthur” flowers vintage design comes from a 19th Century book of watercolours, originally produced for the porcelain work of Thomas Dimmock & Company in Hanley, England.

Christmas Gift Ideas - Winterthur flowers notecard set

So that’s our top selection of Christmas gifts for grandparents and extended family… but of course there are plenty more gift ideas on our website that you might find suitable for Christmas this year, including some from our ranges of  gifts for men, gifts for women or Christmas gift boxes.

Now on to some other great gift ideas that you could make at home…

DIY Photo Coasters from Lee La La

Christmas Gift Ideas - Homemade Photo Coasters

These would make a fantastic gift idea for grandparents!

(note: in NZ Mod Podge is available online from http://www.artsupplies.co.nz)

Map Coasters from Martha Stewart

A similar idea that could be great for a grandfather (especially if you were able to use maps of places you had visited together or that were close to his heart…)

Christmas Gift Ideas - Map Coasters

Felt Christmas Decorations from Bugs and Fishes

These are very cute ideas for giving to extended family or friends (popped inside a Christmas Card maybe?)

Christmas Gift Ideas - Homemade Felt Decorations

If you have children at home it would be a great project to do together (especially if they don’t turn out looking this good – then you could blame it on the kids lol :))

Personalised Guess Who? Game from obSUESSed

This is a really fun idea for the whole extended family. Use an old “Guess Who” game to make a personalised version for your own family members…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Personalised Guess Who Game

Imagine the fun you could have asking “Does he look prematurely bald?” or “Does she have a silly expression on her face?” Could get the Christmas Day get-together off to a great start!!

Grandpa Photo Collage from Women Living Well

We first came across this idea when looking for Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas, but it works equally well for a Christmas present…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Grandpa photo collage

(of course you ‘d have to have the right number of grandkids in the family for the name you use!!)

Candy Cane Mice Decorations from Martha Stewart

Another great little gift idea from Martha Stewart. These look fairly easy for children to make with just a little bit of help, and would also make great little gifts for their friends…

Christmas Gift Ideas - Christmas mice decorations

And finally…

This last gift idea we found COULD be fun to give to your grandparents (but only if they have a nice and dark sense of humour!)

All My Friends Are Dead $14.12 from Fishpond

Christmas Gift Ideas

 

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Christmas Gift Planning

Christmas Gift Guide 2011

As part of our Christmas Guide for 2011, today we want to share with you some hints and tips on Christmas Gift Planning.

Wouldn’t it make Christmas so much easier and less stressful if we could have all our gift buying planned and organised in plenty of time?

Well we’ve discovered that by following 4 important steps you can successfully plan your gift purchases in advance, leading to happier, worry-free Christmas giving.

Here are the steps:

1. Start Early and Be Prepared

Those boy scouts had it right! (or was that the Mounties?) Anyway, it will make your life a lot easier and less stressful if you start your Christmas planning early. As of today, there are 86 days to go until Xmas and it is not too early to start thinking about your gift buying now.

2. Make a Master Gift List

We will go into more depth about this important step very soon, suffice to say that using a list like this can take you from procrastination and panic to calm, cool and collected. We promise.

3. Prepare a Budget

Did that make you shiver a little? Preparing a budget isn’t the most fun part of Christmas planning, but if you want to look forward to a relaxed, happy, guilt-free and worry-free holiday time, then this step is essential.

4. Research Online

You are now able to find information and pricing on just about any gift you may want online (even handmade goods), so this makes the research step of gift planning very simple.

With your master gift list and budget close by, you should spend time researching prices and options for gifts online. Then once you have finalised your choices you can either buy directly from the websites or go directly to the physical retail store with your list in hand. No more stumbling from store to store in a daze of Christmas panic… just in and out with your list and that’s it!

Vintage Christmas Card Image

OK, so those are the four steps, but how actually do you go about making a Master Gift List and Christmas Gift Budget? Here are some tips…

PREPARING THE MASTER GIFT LIST

Start by listing all the names of people you will have to buy gifts for. Make sure you include:

  • Immediate Family – children, wife/husband/partner, parents
  • Extended Family – grandparents, aunties/uncles, nephews/nieces etc
  • Friends & Neighbours – for looking after the cat etc.
  • Colleagues/Co-workers/Customers – including secret santa gifts etc.
  • Professionals – teachers, doctor etc

Once you’ve got everybody listed then next to that note down any gift ideas you might have for that person (or leave a space if you are drawing a blank). This doesn’t need to be too specific eg. dvd, novel, jewellery, homemade sweets, children’s school calendar etc.

Next to that you will want to note down your budget and/or cost for the gift(s).

And next to that, an indication of whether the gift will be delivered in person or if it needs to be mailed (and if so, by what date).

You can make this list up on your computer or there is this very handy printable…

Master Christmas Gift List

(click through for link to pdf. document)

… but I’d probably prefer a good old notebook or journal. Then it’s easy to pop in your handbag or in the car for when you’re out and about (in case you need to jot something down), plus you can keep it from year to year which could come in handy.

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS GIFT LISTS

If you are the parent of children who are still at home, especially young children, you might want to keep a separate gift list just for them.

With children you often want to spend the same amount of money on each child, and you might even want to make sure that they have around the same number of gifts to open. A master gift list is a great way to keep things like this organised (just make sure to hide it from prying little eyes!)

Overall, the idea of making a Master Gift List seems pretty straightforward and useful. Definitely worth a try this year.

Santa's List

PREPARING A CHRISTMAS BUDGET

Having a general budget for your Christmas spending is also essential. By doing a budget you will be able to prioritise and record your goals for Christmas in financial terms and that is GOOD.

It can be hard to remember sometimes, but Christmas is only ever as “commercialised” as people want it to be, and it can be a happy and joyful time on any budget. It’s therefore up to each family to decide for themselves what’s most important to them at Christmas, and prepare a budget that reflects this.

For example, for one family the annual Christmas holiday may be more important than Christmas gifts or social events, and so their budget should be focused on this. For another family it might be most important to give to a charity at Christmas, and so this is where they should put most of their resources.

Doing a Christmas budget will mean that you’re more likely to end up having the kind of Christmas you really want as well as avoiding the stress, upset and guilt of over-spending.

Father Christmas

CHRISTMAS GIFT BUDGETING

In terms of specific gift budgeting for Christmas, here are a few things worth noting:

  • You can either start with your master gift list, estimating an amount that you want to spend on each person, or you can start with your budget and divide this up amongst the names on the gift list. Either way you might have to keep adjusting things to ensure that you end up with both a total amount that is affordable and reasonable, and a gift list that you are comfortable with.
  • The value of a gift is not the price you pay for it – it is the thought and feeling and preparation you put into it. Beautiful or creative presentation also adds to the perceived value of a gift.
  • Remember to include the cost of gift wrapping supplies (cards, gift tags, paper, sellotape etc.) and postage costs in your gift budget.

A Joyful Christmas

So that’s some words of wisdom we have discovered about Christmas gift planning… if you have any tips or tricks on how you manage your Christmas gift buying we’d love to hear them as well ♥

 

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