Gift Wrapping Guide

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Do you have that odd shaped gift you need to wrap but don’t know how, or do you simply want to step up your wrapping game to impress your in-laws? This year, we decided to tackle these dilemmas head on and share our tips with you to help ease your mounting holiday stress! We will cover everything from what wrapping paper to choose, to making your own gift tags, to adding that little extra something to make the recipient awed. So grab a glass of wine, clear a large working space, put on your creativity hat, and get wrapping!


WHEN TO WRAP VS. GIFT BAG
 

If your gift is in a nice rectangular box, wrapping it with paper is the most obvious and elegant choice; however, not all presents are packaged in neat boxes. Your first thought will be to put it in a gift bag, but you don’t have to! Just because the gift does not come in a box does not mean you can’t put it in a gift box! Gift boxes are readily available at craft and hobby stores during this time of year! They come in every shape, size and color you can think of If you are crafty or have extra time, opt for a plain gift box and decorate it with holiday stamps, stickers, or doodles. And remember, when purchasing the gift, never hesitate to ask if gift boxes are available! They usually are and will save you the trouble of having to purchase an extra one.

When your gift is heavy, slightly too large, cumbersome, or you can’t find a gift box, then it is then appropriate to use a gift bag! Use a festive bag and tissue paper or decorate your own bag (as seen below)!


WHAT KIND OF WRAPPING PAPER SHOULD I USE?

Wrapping paper should always be beautiful, festive, decorative, and fun! Here are seven kinds of paper and wrapping paper alternatives!

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is a form of cardboard that is typically designed for packaging because of its high tear resistance. This paper is great for the crafty gift wrapper who wants to add her own designs! Since it is a blank canvas you can stamp it, draw on it, add stickers or adornments! It is also perfect for those who have to send gifts through the mail. Wrap your presents in kraft paper and place into a shipping box. It is less likely to rip in transit!

Gift Wrapping Paper

Gift wrapping paper is the wrapping paper we all know and love. It comes in millions of colors and designs to cater to the gift recipient. Choose gift wrapping paper if the gift is for kids (because of the bright and bold illustrations), you want a lot of color, you want to make a bold statement, or find a pattern you absolutely love. Make sure to buy at least two gift wrapping paper patterns if wrapping multiple gifts to add dimension under your tree!

Newspaper

For a sentimental look, use newspaper! The black and white colors look classy, and are a great juxtaposition for a bright bow. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly to recycle! Be sure to layer at least two pieces of paper together so you can’t see through to the gift.

Paper Grocery Bags

Paper grocery bags are a budget and environmentally friendly alternative for kraft paper! Use the same way you would kraft paper.

Old Maps

Have a bunch of old maps laying around or shoved into your glove box? Now you have a perfect way to recycle them! It is great for travel related gifts or gifts for your favorite adventurer!

Fabric

If you have some large fabric scraps you don’t know what to do with you now do! Fabric makes a great gift wrap for round presents; you can simply bundle the gift up in the wrap and tie with a ribbon. Or you can traditionally wrap a gift with fabric, it just takes a little finesse.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used as an alternative for any of the paper product wrapping papers, but it should be noted that it is easiest to use on box shaped gifts because it is so stiff. Wallpaper is an amazing wrapping paper option because it has fun textures you won’t find with any of these wrapping paper options!


WHEN TO USE TISSUE PAPER

Tissue paper is like the supporting actress, important for the project as a whole but not the starring role (that’s the wrapping paper or gift bag). It is especially fun to use for the holidays because of the holiday designs printed on it! Tissue paper can be used in two ways:

As Fluff for Gift Bags

A proper gift bag always has a bunch of tissue paper sticking out from the top. This fluff not only helps hide the gift inside, but also adds the supporting flair to the gift wrapping as a whole. A plain colored gift bag can become more intriguing with bright tissue paper flowing from the top! Or, simple colored paper can be used to highlight the amazing gift bag you chose!

As Protective Cushioning or an Extra Layer:

Tissue paper is also important for protecting fragile gifts. Wrap easily broken presents in a layer or two of tissue to ensure it is safe from chipping or cracking. Wrapping non fragile gifts in tissue paper can act as a barrier against any unknown elements, plus it is an extra fun unwrapping layer for the recipient! Also, use tissue paper to keep items from shifting around in a gift box!


HOW TO WRAP A GIFT OR FILL A GIFT BAG

Before you begin your wrapping adventure make sure to gather all supplies (paper, bag, tissue, tape, & scissors), clear a large working space, and allow yourself enough time to get it done! Once your gifts are wrapped you can begin working on the tags, ribbon, and any other decorations (we will explain how to decorate your wrapped gifts following this section). Note, if decorating a gift bag, decorate it before wrapping the gifts in it.

Wrapping with Paper or Paper Alternative

  1. Cut out a piece of paper large enough to wrap the entire gift and place design side down.
  2. Place gift, front side down, in the center of the cut out paper.
  3. Pull the two longest ends over the gift and tape down
  4. Working on an open end, push the sides of the paper inward to create 45° angle flaps and crease.
  5. Fold down the top flap, then fold up the bottom flap and tape. Repeat with the other end. Make sure you do not have too much excess paper during this step or else your flaps will not match up.

Filling a Gift Bag

  1. Place a layer of tissue paper on the bottom of the bag to keep gifts from shifting inside.
  2. Gently put gift(s) into the bag. If desired wrap gifts in tissue paper first.
  3. Take two layers of completely opened tissue paper, design side up, (here you can be creative and use two different patterns or colors) and pinch the center.
  4. Swiftly lift your hand up so the paper forms a cone shape. Repeat one to four more times depending on how large the gift bag is.
  5. Place the tissue paper into the sides or corners of the bag, pinch side on the bottom, so the gift inside is no longer visible.
  6. Gently fluff the paper to get a voluminous effect.

HOW TO CREATE GIFT NAME TAGS

Name tags are a must-have design aspect for your gift wrapping. This year, try to make your own, or buy a pretty tag to string onto your gift. To make your own you will need card stock, scissors, a hole punch, and markers. Just cut out a gift tag shape in the card stock, decorate with a festive design, and sign the recipients name to it! Punch a hole on the end so you can string ribbon or twine through! You can also decorate your tag with stamps, stickers, adornment, or whatever else your heart desires! If you do not have time or a creative bone in your body there are plenty of beautiful tags already made- you just have to add the name. Or print gorgeous free tags from Gather & Feast!


THAT EXTRA SOMETHING SPECIAL

Now that your gifts are wrapped they need some pizazz! We’ve created a list of ways to add a little extra to your gift, whether it is wrapped with paper or in a bag:

Ribbon or Twine

Ribbon or twine is a must for your gift. Wrap around your paper wrapped gift or tie the handles together on your gift bag. If using ribbon, make the length longer than needed so you can curl the extra on top. String the ribbon or twine through the gift name tag to secure it on the gift!

Bow

Create your own bow with ribbon or buy a big one from the store. Place in the center of where the ribbon is knotted or in the corner of your gift box/bag.

Adornments & Stickers

You can buy adornments and stickers at any craft shop or online. Tape or glue adornments, or place stickers, on to your gift to add texture, a pattern, or just that extra spark of design. Adornments and stickers are a great way to showcase the hard work and thought you put into wrapping the gift!

Stamps

If using kraft paper or a cardboard gift bag, stamps are the perfect way to create your own design. Keep it simple with black ink and one stamp, or go crazy and do multiple colors with multiple different stamps! Whatever you do it will be beautiful. This is also a way to get your kids involved with the wrapping process. Let them stamp a design onto the paper to give to your family!

Festive Items

Festive items such as holly, jingle bells, pine cones, candy canes, tree sprigs, etc. can be added to your gift! String them through the ribbon or twine or tape in place. It will definitely show your thought and consideration! Plus, it looks professional and stunning!


#GivingTuesday

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global movement on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday focused on giving charitable donations, your time, or gifts to your community. #GivingTuesday is an amazing way to kick-off the season of giving and get involved in something greater. To help you find the right foundation to give back to, we’ve devised a list of amazing organizations which could use your love!  And be sure to share the #GivingTuesday movement on your social media to raise awareness!

Be sure to check out #GivingTuesday's official website  to find organizations in need local to you! Small organizations are often overlooked and can always use the extra help!


ANIMAL ORGANIZATIONS


Wildlife Conservation Network

WCN’s mission is to protect endangered species and preserve their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

The Humane Society of the United States

HSUS is the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. They combat large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade through education and training of local organizations globally.

World Wildlife Foundation

WWF aims to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity and ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable.

Ahisma House

Ahimsa House is dedicated to addressing the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. We offer services and assistance to victims of domestic violence with pets and work to raise awareness of this connection in communities throughout the state.

ASPCA

The ASPCA provides effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.


ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURE ORGANIZATONS


The Nature Conservancy

TNC conserves the lands and waters on which all life depends. Their vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.

350

350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects; take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet; and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.

National Audubon Society

The NAS mission is to conserve of birds, other wildlife and healthy ecosystems by use of science, education and grassroots advocacy to advance conservation.

Ecotrust

Ecotrust inspires fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Their goal is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance’s mission is to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.


HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS


Public Health Institute

PHI generates and promotes research, leadership and partnerships to build capacity for strong public health policy, programs, systems and practices.

Mental Health America

MHA promotes mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions, and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

FNIH forges public-private partnerships and alliances to advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries that can change and improve the quality of people’s lives. Established by Congress to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH raises funds, provides scientific expertise and administers research programs for a wide range of health challenges.

MAP International

MAP provides immediate humanitarian assistance and relief aid including medicines and health supplies to people left homeless and without access to basic services and serves all people, regardless of religion, gender, race, nationality or ethnic background.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization which carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.


HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS


Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign created to raise awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria and deliver nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions like diagnostics, treatment, and training of healthcare workers.

American Red Cross

The ARC provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

International Rescue Committee

IRC responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

American Refugee Committee

The ARC provides opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people, and host communities. It’s committed to the delivery of programs that ensure measurable quality and lasting impact for the people they serve.


SPORTS & PLAY ORGANIZATIONS


Special Olympics

The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

US Soccer Foundation

By supporting the development of places to play, places to grow, and places to learn, USSF's goal is to ensure that children in underserved communities have easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.

Women's Sport Foundation

The WSF is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports.

Stride Adaptive Sports

SAS’s mission is to educate and empower individuals with special needs in life-changing sport and recreation programs to sustain healthy, active and fun lifestyles.

Peaceful Playgrounds Foundation

PPF’s mission is to help foundations and corporations who desired to donate physical activity programs to schools, churches, and other organizations across the country by providing supplies, support, training, and activity kits to organizations after natural disasters.


ART ORGANIZATIONS


Fractured Atlas

FA empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.

Americans for the Arts

AA’s mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

Art in Action

Art in Action provides a high quality, comprehensive K–8 visual arts curriculum. Students learn about works of art from cultures around the world, how to look at art using art vocabulary and concepts, and how to express themselves by creating their own unique masterpiece.

ART WORKS Projects

AWP mission is to use design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights issues, and provides visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels.

Music for Relief

Music for Relief’s mission is to respond to natural disasters as they occur to help survivors recover and rebuild, and to mitigate damage caused by natural disasters by reducing greenhouse gases and educating the public about climate change.


CHILDREN'S ORGANIZATIONS


St. Jude Chldren’s Research Hospital

SJCRH advances cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

No Kid Hungry

NKH connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

The NEA Foundation

NEAF advances student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare each of America's children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Unicef

Unicef’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential


HUNGER ORGANIZATIONS


Heifer International

HI links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

Feeding America

FA’s mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Hunger Project

THP’s mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies, and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.

Rise Against Hunger

RAH’s mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Action Against Hunger

AAH is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. They save the lives of malnourished children; ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care; and enable entire communities to be free from hunger.


CLEAN WATER ORGANIZATIONS


Love Water

LW’s mission is to provide access to clean water in order to restore health and create opportunity in global communities.

Water Aid

WA’s mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Citizens for Clean Water

CCW’s mission is to bring awareness about the importance of clean water to the world and advocate for change and educate the community on what we can all do to have clean water.

Clean Water for the World

CWW’s mission is to provide simple, adaptable water purification systems, at no charge to communities without access to potable water.

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water

BUSFBSCW promotes safe, clean and responsible boating and to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keeps boating a safe and enjoyable pastime.


EQUALITY ORGANIZATIONS


Invisible Girl Project

IGP raises global awareness concerning the loss of female lives in India, pursues justice for the lives lost, and assists Indian organizations in the rescue of and care for Indian girls.

Equal Justice Initiative

EJI provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial.

Planned Parenthood

PP’s mission is to empower individuals to make independent, informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives. They provide information and health care, and promote public policies that make those services available to all.

Human Rights Campaign

HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

National Center for Equality & Innovation

NCEI offers unique crisis prevention and intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and questioning youth (LGBT+). They help those who may become or are currently homeless, as well as those experiencing life-threatening issues.They are committed to positive development through action, education, intervention, and creating safer and healthier living environments.


HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY ORGANIZATIONS


The Covenant House

TCH’s mission is to serve youth with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help suffering homeless kids, and to protect and safeguard all children in need.

Care

Care’s mission is to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice around the globe, especially for women and girls.

Habitat for Humanity

HH brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

NAEH’s mission is to end homelessness in the United States. They use research and data to find solutions to homelessness, work with federal and local partners to create a solid base of policy and resources that support those solutions, and then help communities implement them.

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

NLCHP is dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness.  It works to expand access to affordable housing, meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk, and strengthen the social safety-net through policy advocacy, public education, impact litigation, and advocacy training and support.


MILITARY & VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS


American Legion

AL is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

Fisher House Foundation

FHF’s mission is to improve quality of life for members of the military, retirees, veterans, and their families, and builds comfort homes at military and VA medical centers and gifts them to the government.

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

IFHF’s mission is to support our military community, now specifically those who are suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

Wounded Warrior Project

WWP’s mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Their vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history.

Operation Help a Hero

OHH supports military units and families as they prepare for separation, while they endure the challenges of deployment, and as they transition back to the US.  Their projects uplift our military heroes and send a clear message of support to their entire family. Operation Help A Hero connects communities with service members and provides real opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those who serve our country.


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Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday rush is upon us! We know, we can’t believe it either! Are you stressing over finding the perfect gift for that special someone? Here is our 2015 Holiday Guide. From parents to kids to your better half, you don’t have to worry, we've got you covered.

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  1. West Elm Throw Blankets

  2. Raw Spice Bar Monthly

  3. Imprint Collaborative Gifts

  4. Uncommon Goods Whiskey Barrel Bow Tie

  5. Just Wanderlust Moleskin Cover Organizer

  6. Crosley Portable Turntable

  7. Rosie Revere, Engineer

  8. Pirasta Giant Coloring Poster

  9. Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland

  10. Fig & Yarrow Pink Love Salts

  11. Emerald Duv Letter Bracelet

  12. Minted Watercolor Prints

  13. Elucx Le Gentleman Beard Serum

  14. Beer of the Month Club

  15. Flight 001 "It's Only Money" Money Clip

  16. Kringle Candle Peony Candle

  17. Rifle Paper Co. Journal

  18. Birch Box Monthly Beauty Kits