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Easy to Made Muslin and Burlap Gift Bags

gift wrapping bags made of burlap and muslin by maya made

How you wrapped your gifts makes a statement. People are exploring new ways than the predictable paper gift bags. For small items, I really like what Maya Made did with her rustic gift bags. Maya Donenfeld likes to recycle materials for gift wrapping, whenever it is possible. Her gift bags take literally 2 minutes to make with a sewing machine. She continued with the natural look by printing her own gift tags on kraft paper. Get the instructions on Maya Made. Lovely!

+ photo: Maya Made
+ via Julie_adore on Twitter


Gift Wrapping Ideas from Martha

typewritten gift tags and photo gift toppers as seen on martha stewart

This is a great idea if you do not have a beautiful handwriting. Start with one of the small address label templates available on Microsoft Word to create your own custom-made typewritten gift tags. Mixing font sizes and styles produces a chic tag. But make sure to select a serif font if you wish to write in capital letters. You can also find a print your typed gift tag template on Martha Stewart.

Another idea is to affix a festive photo of the giver instead of putting the typical bow or gift ornaments. You write on the bottom of the gift the recipient on a stock card that is narrower than the ribbon.

+ Typewritten Gift Tags on Martha Stewart
+ Photo Gift Toppers on Martha Stewart


Washi Tapes for Gift Wrapping and Crafting

tinted mint washi tapes and wooden tape dispenser for 2 tapes

One of the things on my list to bring back from my trip to Japan (it’s next Spring) will be an assortment of washi paper masking tapes. I bet that the collection down there is even more impressive than what is available at a handful of stores in the US. Stores that I know carry washi paper adhesive tapes are Happy Tape, Tinted Mint, a few sellers on etsy and a small selection at MoMA.

happy tape how to decorate with washi masking tapes

Washi masking tapes are great to enhance a simple box or bag for party favors, can be used instead of ribbons on gifts, enable you to add your personal touch to basic tags. Others used them to tie a bag, for scrapbooking or for decorating cards.

If you have a collection of washi paper tapes, you will soon see the need for tape dispensers. They go from keeping a single tape, or 2 small tapes up to the multi-roll tape dispensers exclusive to Happy Tape. The multi-roll dispensers are available in 2 sizes: the 8-inch can hold 10 tapes while the 12-inch dispenser can hold 16 washi tapes. I think the multi-roll are the most practical. They are hand-made in the United States with poplar. To match your decor, you can select between 15 colors for the wood.

wooden tape dispenser for washi masking tapes

The tartan tapes are very fashionable. You can get a green and an orange  set or a blue and black pair.

+ Wooden Tape Dispenser Beech$35 USD
+ Wooden Tape Dispenser Walnut$35 USD
+ Washi Tapes at Tinted Mint $3.25 to $19.75 for a pack of 5
8inch multi-roll tape dispenser $29 USD at Happy Tape
12inch multi-roll tape dispenser $42 USD at Happy Tape
+ Washi Tapes at Happy Tapes $2.25 (on sale) to $36. 50 for a 20-pak
+ via Oh Joy!


Reusable Crackers and Gift Bags by Pi’lo | Etsy Finds

reusable felt ornaments by pi\'lo

We have to admit that gift wrapping during the Holiday quickly filled the trash can. It makes sense to explore ways to be more ecologically conscious. And when the packages are as great as these, being eco-friendly feels like an indulgence.

The founder of Pi’lo is Heather Shaw, a Torontonian mother of 2 young boys. She hand makes functional items for the home. I like her minimalist, comfy style. Like Heather said on her site, her creations can be passed around like a family heirloom.

My Favorite Items from Pi’lo

Her reusable crackers are made with recycled pop bottles that are transformed to look and fill like felt. I interested by her concept since I decide to make my own crackers this year. Her eco felt cracker comes with a lining, ribbon closure and a tag that can be used as a place card or a gift tag. I would personalize the crackers by putting more festive ribbons and maybe adding a tiny gift ornament on one end.

reusable gift wrap :: crackers and felt bags by pi\'lo

Another good idea is to replace the standard paper gift bag with one of her felt bags. Intended for loots at at kids parties or baking bags, small gifts would fit nicely inside her felt bags. Add a few holiday decorative touches and voilà!

photo pocket ornament by pi\'lo on etsy

Some people exchange tree ornaments during the holiday. Her lovely photo pocket ornament would be appreciated. Insert a family photo and give then to grandparents, your best friends and close family members.

+ Reusable Crackers $10 USD
+ Felt Bag $12 USD
Photo Pocket Ornament $18 USD


Enhance Your Holiday Packages with Festive Tapes

bird of peace decorative packing tape by tapeswell

A simple way to enhance mailing boxes or solid color bags during the Holiday is by adding a decorative tape. Envelop wrap around labels could be used as gift tags or to send your Holiday cards.

TapeSwell proposes 27 decorative packing tapes, including 7 Holiday patterns. The red and blue Pod Envelop Wrap Around tape harmoniously fit with the Bird of Peace packing tape. Also look at the Partridge of Joy Decorative Packing Tape.

blue and red pod envelop wrap around tape used as address labels

With a few tape patterns and a nice selection of ribbons, you will be able to transform kraft paper or solid gift wrapping paper you already have into fabulously wrapped Christmas gifts.

+ Holiday tapes $7 USD at TapeSwell
+ Pod Envelop Wrap Around Tape $13 USD, add $3 if you want it in a reusable canister


Wrapping Ideas for Your Holiday Baked Goods

peacan bourbon cookies in white and blue chinatown bowls

Every year, my husband and I baked our batches of holiday cookies. They become our signature hostess gifts during the Holidays. I make sure to select a beautiful reusable container. It is part of the gift. Naturally, I am always on the lookout for new ways to wrap my baked goods.

It became a tradition. I look forward for the inspiring cookies recipes presented in cute containers every November on Canadian House and Home. This year, three ideas stand above the rest. First, the white and blue Asian bowls. Similar bowls are easy to find at your local Chinatown.

white chocolate macadamia bark in wooden wine bottle box

Another practical idea is the wooden wine bottle box. I have a head start since I collected these boxes. You simply flip the lid over to hide the wine label.

earl grey marshmallows in a glass jar

What is noteworthy about the third idea is the recipe. Earl Grey marshmallows sound divine. I never make marshmallows but this recipe is a good reason to start. Apparently, the gentle Earl Grey tea pairs well with hot chocolate. I know that I want to try those.

If you are looking for cookie recipes, they are plenty of choices in their best cookies recipes. If you are looking for more ideas, check out what were the best cookie wrapping ideas in 2007.

+ Canadian House and Home, November 2009: photography by Angus Fergusson, food stylish by Eshun Mott


Ribbons and Gift Wrapping Techniques

ribbons on gifts

Forgot the typical Christmas ribbons and bows that you buy at the drugstore. This year make an impression with an array of ribbons. Mix widths, colors and textures to dress up your gifts.

Buying in Bulk To Save Money

I save on gift-wrapping paper by buying them in bulk. Even if I only got one pattern, my gifts do not look the same under the Christmas tree because I decorate them differently. Imagine the little black dress; no two women wear it the same. My collection of fabric ribbons and gift ornaments becomes my accessories.

How To Tie Ribbons on Gifts including the Classic Double Bow

how to tie the classic double bow

The Canadian House and Home November 2008 edition featured several ribbon tying techniques from Alison Dawson of Mokuba, a fabulous ribbon shop in Toronto.

If you still have questions on how to make the classic double bow, watch the Holiday Gift Wrapping video on Canadian House and Home.

+ Photography by Tracy Shumate for H&H November 2008 – rights reserved


Gift Wrapping Collections

whimsy press :: heidi gift wrap paper colle

Making a good first impression always counts. Nicely wrapping a gift takes a little more time than inserting your gift in a bag topped with tissue paper. But recipients notice this gesture. So it is worth the effort.

In certain cultures, gifts are open in private. Therefore, your gift is publicly judged by the way it is wrapped. People who worked in Japan told me that they received more than once a gift where the wrapping costs more than what was inside.

I like to keep a small assortment of wrapping papers along with ribbons and gift tags. Simplify your life with patterns suitable for several occasions.

Whimsy Press

Blue Bird from the Green with Envy line by Whimsy Press can be used for weddings, showers, and birthdays.

Give Whimsy proposes several collections around a theme. Each collection contains 2 sheets of each design (a total of 8 sheets), plus stickers for each! Oh So Current collection is gender neutral. Havana is my favorite pattern from that set.


From the latest collection by Heidi, Livia and Ariel are perfect for any occasion from a birthday to a baby shower gift. Luxy, Dehaven and Nouvella are perfect for any occasion from a bridal shower to a housewarming gift.

Heidi’s set includes 2 wrap sheets, 1 10-inch ribbon and a box of 8 cards with envelops.

+ Green with Envy by Whimsy Press – price: $4.50 USD per sheet
+ Give Whimsy – starts at $36 USD
+ Everyday wrap collections by Heidi – price: $21.99 USD per set


Flickr watch | Vintage wrapping papers

Nicely wrapped gifts look more impressive. A friend told me that in the Japanese culture, the gift appearance is quite important because you are not supposed to open the gifts in front of everyone in their culture. I think they missing out, this is part of the fun. With small gifts, people may put more efforts and money on the gift wrapping than the actual gifts.

I came across this group on Flickr that posted vintage papers. Unfortunately, people do not always specify the paper origin. I selected a few for weddings and birthdays.

A fabulous birthday tabletop by ilovecoffee

flickr brithday paper by ilovecoffee

A wedding paper by blempgorf

wedding paper by blempgorf on flickr

Again by blempgorf. Check her because she displays a pretty collection of vintage aprons and textiles. The colors on this paper are striking.


An adorable pattern by One Good Bumblebee


A cute vintage birthday paper for a little girl that likes to play mommy by fun old new