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

♦♦♦

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

♦♦♦

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

♦♦♦

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

♦♦♦

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

♦♦♦

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)

♦♦♦

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)

♦♦♦

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)

Advertisements

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!

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…

♦♦♦

Savoury:

Betty Crocker’s Easy Fiesta Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Cheese Board from Cabot Cheese, Vermont

Babybel Cheese Santa from Cute Food for Kids

♦♦♦

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!

♦♦♦

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

♦♦♦

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!

♦♦♦

Cupcakie:

Lovely Mini Christmas Vanilla Cupcakes from Once Upon a Plate

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes from Sweat Peas Kitchen

♦♦♦

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

♦♦♦

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 !!

♦♦♦

Christmas Gift Ideas – For Neighbours, Colleagues & Acquaintances

We are starting our series of Christmas gift guides with this one for “neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances”. It is probably fair to say that these are people who you need/want to give Christmas presents to, while at the same time you don’t want to spend TOO much money on.

We’re thinking here of gifts for people like your neighbours (especially if they’re collecting your mail or feeding your cat over the holidays), your boss or co-workers, your customers or business acquaintances, and your children’s’ teachers, doctor or nurse etc. etc…

Some general gift buying tips:

  • Because these are people that you may not know very well personally, it is probably best to choose gifts that are fairly generic and non-personal (a good rule of thumb is that the less personal the relationship you have with somebody, the more generic the gift should be)
  • A good price range for these types of gifts would be around the $5.00 – $30.00 mark
  • You really want to avoid anything that has religious overtones, is tasteless or trashy or, worst of all, comes within the “humorous rude” category (especially for gifts that people have to open in front of others!)
  • And, as with all gifts (but especially inexpensive gifts), presentation is everything.

 

So, on with the gift suggestions. Firstly we will feature some suitable gifts we have available at The Paper Package, then we’ll go on to some other great gift ideas that you can put together yourself.

Gifts from The Paper Package:

We have a number of products available in the gifts under $30.00 price range that we particularly like as Christmas presents for your neighbours, colleagues or acquaintances.

1. Little Bottle of Gift Tags – Nature ($16.95 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A cute little bottle of woodland/nature themed gift tags – perfect for Christmas-time gift giving.

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Little Bottle of Gift Tags

2. Banks & Co. Body Bar ($24.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A lovely, luxurious gift for women, prettily wrapped up for Christmas…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Banks & Co. Body Bar

3. Gardener’s Hand Cream ($29.90 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A very popular hand cream for men and women, gardeners and anybody working outdoors…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Scully's Gardener's Hand Cream

4. Italian Leather Notebook ($29.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

Handmade in Florence, this is a high quality, stylish gift for under $30.00

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Ciak Lined Pocket Notebook

5. Butterfly Notebook ($29.90 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

This is just the most adorable Christmas gift… a gorgeous purse sized notebook from Cavallini & Co.

Christmas Gift guide 2011 - Butterfly notebook

and last but not least, a gift that will probably suit everybody…

6. Merry Christmas Paper Package ($29.00 including GST, delivery & gift wrapping)

A cheery little gift box of Christmas treats!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Merry Xmas Paper Package

There are plenty more Christmas gift boxes and gifts under $30.00 to check out on our website, but for now we’ll move on to some fabulous, inexpensive gifts that you could put together yourself…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Vintage Xmas Postcard

Food items make an ideal little gift for Christmas, especially when they’re presented creatively…

Homemade Biscuit Dough Roll

This is a great idea for an inexpensive Christmas gift from Southern Living… your favourite biscuit dough in a roll, wrapped in a printout of the recipe/baking instructions (note: this does have to be kept in the fridge – but wouldn’t it be a great Christmas gift for your neighbours?!)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Cookie Dough Roll

Cupcakes

Cupcakes might be so last year, but how could you not love these!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Frog Prince Paperie

And how cute are these…

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - North Pole Cupcakes

North Pole Cupcakes from Kara’s Party Ideas

Or, moving on from cupcakes, what about a plate of these fun melting snowman biscuits from Crazy Domestic? Love them!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Melting Snowman Cookies

No-Cook Food Gifts

But if home baking is not your thing, there’s this idea for a hot chocolate mix in a jar (I know these ideas aren’t the most seasonally appropriate for a summer Christmas… but they all look so great!)

Peppermint Stick Cocoa from myrecipes.com

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Peppermint Stick Cocoa

And a couple of other non-cook food related gift ideas that we’ve come across:

  • a pretty old teacup & saucer from a second-hand shop filled with an assortment of herbal teas
  • custom spice blends or bbq rubs in jars with recipes to accompany

Gifts in Jars

Talking about jars… turns out just about everything can look better in a jar!

Like mini marshmallows (from delia creates – a lovely blog that has some great ideas for neighbourly Christmas gifts)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Snowman Jar

Or bath salts

Christmas Guide 2011 - Bath Salts

[Click through the image to the recipe for these homemade bath salts, or there is another great tutorial here]

Or some gorgeous-looking homemade vanilla extract

Christmas Gift Guide - Vanilla

This beautiful DIY project from Style Me Pretty involves vodka, vanilla pods and 2 months infusing… so just a heads-up that if you’re interested in making it for Christmas gifts you will need to start it within the next couple of weeks 🙂

Other things that look good in jars…

Gift Cards!! (when they look like snow globes that is!)

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Snowglobe gift cards

Such a clever idea to make gift cards more fun from One Charming Party

And moving on from jars… a lovely fresh herb plant also makes a festive & inexpensive Christmas gift

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Christmas Herb Plants

And finally, here’s one to appeal to the guys… reindeer beer! An inspired idea from Life of a Modern Mom

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 - Reindeer Beer

So that’s about it for our Christmas gift guide for neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances. Hopefully you’ve found something to inspire your Christmas giving… and remember to keep checking The Paper Package website for other great gift ideas (we’re busy adding new products all the time) ♥

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 ♥

A Christmas Guide for 2011

I know, I know!!  It is ridiculous to be talking about Christmas this early in the year. I am sure you will NOT want to be hearing about xmas gift buying etc. just at the moment. But because we want to be able to bring you so many great resources and guides for Christmas this year… well I’m afraid we are starting early!

Christmas Gift Guide 2011

There are now 89 days left until Christmas… and over the next couple of months we are planning a series of posts that we hope could help make some of our Christmas gift buying and organising a little bit easier.

First off, we want to start with general tips on Christmas Gift Planning, like making up a master gift list, setting your budget etc.

Then we are thinking of doing a series of Christmas Gift Guides:

  • for neighbours, co-workers and friends
  • for aunts/uncles and other miscellaneous relations
  • for grandparents
  • for children
  • for women
  • for men
  • for different interests & personalities (gardeners, creative types, pet lovers etc.)

These guides will feature gifts from The Paper Package (after all, they are the only ones we know much about!) but also homemade & handmade gift ideas and (where we can find the information) lists of the “most popular” gifts for each category.

We also want to share with you some other Christmas-sy stuff like:

  • xmas decorating
  • xmas food + drink
  • teacher gift ideas (for the end of the school year)
  • secret santa gift ideas
  • free printable gift tags and cards
  • creative xmas gift wrapping
  • last minute gift ideas

and anything else that comes up in the meantime!

So, apologies for scaring anybody with the Christmas talk, but the earlier we start planning the more relaxed our Christmas will be (or that’s the theory anyway :))

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 "Clear the way for Christmas"

A post on Christmas Gift Planning will be up on Friday… until then we’d love you to check out the first of our Christmas Gift Boxes for 2011 to be added to the website (there’s only 3 finished so far). And we’d be really interested in your thoughts & ideas on what you think makes a great Christmas gift basket or hamper…