Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DIY Anthropologie (From Me, the World's Worst Present Wrapper)

I have a real problem when it comes to wrapping presents.

It's disconcerting, to say the least, because I like to think of myself as pretty crafty. I love to scrapbook; I create handmade greeting cards; I made the table centerpieces for my wedding; I even have spruced up a few boring purses with flowers and feathers.

But whenever a holiday rolls around, I grab the wrapping paper, tape, and scissors----and deftly hand them to my husband. He's the wrapper in the family. And not just because I'm wrapping-illiterate. But because he's a spectacular wrapper. His presents get compliments consistently. He prides himself on only using one piece of tape on each side of the box. His lines are always even, and sometimes he even matches up the pattern so the seam is, well, seamless.

But at least I can say that I come by my wrapping habits honestly, because if I'm the world's worst wrapper, then my dad is the second worst! He'll never live down the time he gave a present in a plastic grocery bag---the handles tied in a knot, of course! Unfortunately (for me, that is), he's actually stepped up his game in the last few years, whereas I continue to get worse and worse.

I think I am a bad present-wrapper for the same reason that I'm a bad cook. If it's simple, then I get bored, and I cut corners, and I use a lot of tape and too much paper, and who really cares anymore. But I don't have the skills (or the not-cheap wrapping paper) to make a complicated design look professional.

Despite my bad track record, I thought it would be nice to "creatively" wrap some of our Christmas presents this year. I saw some really awesome-looking pictures on Anthropologie with some materials way out of my price range. But hey, I figured I could try to use things I already had at home. These are the results:


Vintage Stamps, $6.00 for 50
Spin Me a Yarn Skein, $4.00 for 14.2 yards
Lacy Wrapping Paper, $10 for 3 sheets (30 x 20.5 inches each)
Merry Menagerie Gift Tags, $10 for 10
TOTAL COST: $30.00

I loved the postage stamps because they add a fun pop of color. And the lace texture of the wrapping paper makes the entire thing seem lavish and expensive. The different shades of green in the yarn add visual interest, plus the handmade/crafty feel that I always love.

I only had one color of yarn: purple. But I think I might run by Michael's so I can add another color because I really think it will add some dimension. For wrapping paper, I used the white side of patterned Christmas paper. It's a little see-through so to do it again, I would probably splurge and buy a light-color pattern paper. I used some really old stamps from my sticker box that I think I got for free a long time ago from organizations soliciting donations. (The animal stamps say 1992 or something! What can I say, I keep everything...)


Snowy Anisoptera Tie-On (dragonfly), $6.00
Dress it Up Ribbon, $12 for 7.5 yards
Printed Stripes Wrapping Paper, $10 for 3 sheets (27.5 x 19.75 inches each)
TOTAL COST: $28.00

Pattern mixing in wrapping paper!? Yes, please! These blue colors are amazing together, and I love the randomness of the thickly textured ribbon knots. Much more modern than the traditional "big bow in the middle" concept.
Considering I just used random wrapping paper scraps that I had left in a box, I thought they look pretty cute together. Of course, for a more sophisticated look, I would go to the store and buy paper in more complementary colors. But this is for my 10-year-old nephew, and I hope he likes it the way it is! I didn't really have any good, thick ribbon, but these green and red ribbons still look cute knotted. They were kind of difficult to knot and make them tight enough. Taping the knots didn't really help and looked horrible. Because I used paper scraps (and because I was lazy), the dividing lines are not exactly even. On a second attempt, I would be sure to make things a little straighter.

These wrapping jobs both took me a while to complete, but I was able to use things I already had around the house, which was nice. Clearly, if you went out and bought specific materials, you could make some gorgeous presents for Christmas or any other special occasion! And if I (the world's worst wrapper) was able to churn out these semi-acceptable packages, just imagine what you could do! :)

To see more of Anthropologie's awesome wrapping ideas, click here.


  1. I love both of these ideas, but the wrapping paper scraps is definitely the idea that I am stealing!

  2. Ha you could be a good wrapper if you just tried! I really like the second one too.

    And too funny but this weekend at Liz's shower, I used an Anthro bow that I had gotten for free to tie the two boxes together. People seriously went insane over how cute it was!