November at ‘Simply Christmas’

Welcome everyone to week 5 and a new month of ‘Simply Christmas’.

I know we have lots of new people joining in with our Christmas planning, so if you have recently added my Christmas button to your side-bar, please let me know so I can add your link to the ‘Simply Christmas’ participants page. We all want to be able to visit your blog to check out what homemade and home baked delights are being prepared in your home this Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed and have been inspired by the gift making tutorials over the past month. While we must continue on with our individual gift making, I’m going to move onto a new theme for November – this is the month to prepare our December home decor, baking and gift giving. blog1

This month at ‘Simply Christmas’ we’ll be continuing with: weekly guest posts from amazing artisans and crafters; fun tutorials several times a week and of course, in the spirit of Christmas giving, lovely giveaways for my followers and commenter’s.

 Don’t forget that you can join the Christmas E-course at any time, where you can make your own Christmas Planner. The course is designed for you to work through at your own pace and includes video and photo step-by-step lessons on painting the covers, making gorgeous dividers, plus all the insert pages are provided for you to print off.



This week we’ll focus on gift wrapping and finishing touches. I’m very excited about some fun gift tag and gift embellishments tutorials later in the week, but today it is all about wrapping gifts.

Everyone has gifts to wrap at Christmas, but which category do you fit in to; are you the wrap it all at the last minute and hope you have everything person, or do you wrap gifts as you go? Personally, I like to start wrapping my gifts late in November and then place them under my tree until I give them out. When beautifully wrapped, the gifts become part of your Christmas decor and by using your Christmas list planner you’ll know at a glance exactly where you are at with wrapping and gift buying/making. To further enhance the anticipation at Christmas your gift wrapping should be as wonderful as the gift inside. Why not spend a few hours making beautiful gift tags and wrap to boost the ‘WOW’ factor of your gifts.

Gift Wrapping Centre

Many years ago when I was a visual merchandiser, I worked for a high end department store that had a Gift Wrapping Station at Christmas, where customers could bring their purchases for professional wrapping. I always enjoyed my stint in that department - for a creative person, spending my days wrapping and embellishing gifts was a whole lot of fun.

So at Christmas, I like to set myself up with a wrapping centre, so I have all my wrapping requirements in one place. Gift wrapping centres can be either state-of-the-art like these examples...

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Country Living, Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn.

...can be purchased from storage solution shops

Gift-Wrap-Cart      Gift-Wrap-Organizer

...or if you don’t have room in your home for a dedicated wrapping centre, it can be as simple as a large free standing bag in the corner of your room.

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good housekeeping

Having the right supplies is a necessity for wrapping a gift. Basic supplies include scissors, clear tape, wrapping paper, plus decorations such as bows, ribbons, tags and pretty embellishments. Designate a table then clear off the surface, so you have ample room to spread out. Use tools that help you work efficiently, like a weighted tape dispenser for grabbing pieces of tape one-handed and sharp scissors.

Tip: I like to use a paper towel holder to store my ribbon spools on.

country living 2 Good Housekeeping

Before you begin wrapping a gift, decide if the gift is suitable for wrapping “as is,” or if it needs to be put into a box. Many gifts come already packaged in boxes and are ready to wrap, but if you have something like an article of clothing or several items for the one recipient, a box may be needed. If you do not use a box for an irregularly-sized object, the paper will often tear after wrapping; using a box gives the wrapped gift a more professional appearance.

Here’s a quick how-to on wrapping a gift box:

To begin wrapping, gather your supplies, and put the gift in a box if necessary; remember to take off the price tag. Roll out the paper on a flat surface, and place the box on the paper. Loosely wrap the paper around the box so you can see how much paper you need for wrapping, and add about 5 cm for an overlap at the seams; mark that spot on the paper with a pencil. If you have a large box, make sure there is enough paper to cover the ends of the box; when pulled up, the paper should reach to at least half the height of the box end.


Cut the paper at the marked spot, making sure you maintain a straight edge (no-one likes tatty edges). If the paper at the ends of the box is too long, trim some of it away. Put the box in the centre of the paper you’ve cut, top side down. Bring the paper up to the centre of the box and tape it there. Bring the other end of the paper up to overlap the taped edge, and tape this edge down too. I like to fold under a 1 cm seam on this outer edge for a more professional look.

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Turn the box so that the ends are facing you. Take the right and left sides of the paper and fold them in to form V-shaped flaps. Tighten the flaps so they are taut and there is no slack in the paper, but be careful not to pull too tightly and tear the paper. After taping the edges to the box, bring the upper flap down, creasing it at its folds, and tape it to the box. Bring the lower flap up, creasing and taping it also. Follow the same instructions for the other end of the box.

After wrapping the gift, the ribbons, bows, embellishments and tags can be added. With a little practice, wrapping gifts will become an easy and enjoyable task, which can take ordinary gifts and make them extraordinary. For really difficult to wrap items, you may want to consider using a gift bag.

If you’d like to really get creative, try some of these ideas:


For wrapping smaller gifts, use your computer to produce a page of beautiful festive writing or photocopy Christmas music.

kids artwork

I love this one – for those of you with younger children consider using some of their Christmas artwork as gift wrap. Wouldn’t a grandparent really love this!

tea towel gift warp

Wrap a bottle of wine or specialty sauce in a Christmas tea towel and you have 2 gifts in one.


Try different colour schemes – it doesn’t always have to be traditional

Well, I hope I have jump started your gift wrapping process with today’s offerings. I’d love to see some of your ideas, so don’t be shy. Later in the week I’ll be guiding you through the next stage of wrapping – the finishing touches.


For this week’s Friday Giveaway I have something really lovely to enhance your gift wrapping, but I don’t want to spoil Friday’s tutorial, so it will be another Mystery Giveaway. I know, that’s such a tease, but all will be revealed on Friday!!

In the meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think of Simply Christmas so far and about your own Christmas preparations.

Hugs ~ Kerryanne