I somehow discovered kraft paper at Home Depot when we repainted our first house.  I was inspired to use it as gift wrap and was pleasantly surprised that I liked the way it looked with some fancy red ribbon I purchased through my nieces’ school gift wrap sale.  Years later I am still using Kraft paper, but every once in a while I come up with a different idea for decorating the plain packages.  There are multiple places to purchase kraft paper, but I find the best bargain is to purchase it from a big box hardware store, such as Home Depot or Lowes.  I buy one massive roll.  On the downside, it takes up a lot of space in the house, but the plus is that you can use it as a drop cloth of sorts when painting or doing other projects, so it is useful in many ways.

Before we get to the decor, there are a few things to note about wrapping with kraft paper.  First, it has a different texture and thickness than wrapping paper and traditional wrapping techniques do not work as well with it.  I have found that you do not need to – nor should you – fold the paper over before taping it down.  It looks better if you cut it as straight as possible and simply tape it down.  Second, regular Scotch Magic Tape will not work.  I have found that the transparent tape or specific satin-finish gift wrapping tape work much better and keep the paper from bursting open.  Third, cutting and folding the paper takes some practice for a nice finish.  Long ago I stopped trying for a super tight finish on the paper and instead embraced the structure of the paper.

Below are three  ways we wrapped gifts this year.

I love the idea of bringing nature indoors and kraft paper lends itself to this look.  I had some extra string and some pine cones from a previous project, so I went into our yard and found some greenery that would fit.  I purchased some unfinished tags from a local craft store and used some stamps that I purchased many many years ago to create a nature motif.  This is a great way to decorate if you are low on funds as you can use any greenery you find.

This is my classic gift wrap theme and it’s likely that if you are a part of my family, you have seen this gift wrap on a few Christmas mornings.  I use red ribbon and some red berry stems from a local craft store. I also managed to snag some stamps on super sale over the weekend and used some red ink to create personalized tags.  I should mention here that I have awful handwriting, so I try to use stamps or the printer whenever I have the opportunity.  If you have lovely handwriting, skip the stamps and decorate the tags yourself. Ribbon can get pricey, and I have recently found that Costco sells large rolls of red and white wide ribbon.  I try to reuse ribbon whenever I can, but the Costco ribbon is the best option if you are looking for a nice shade of red ribbon in a large quantity at a low price.

Simple white ribbon can gift kraft paper a classy feel – as a bonus, this look can be used for many occasions.  We dressed it up a bit with some stainless snowflake gift toppers we purchased years ago at Target (I wish they still sold them now).  We also stamped the gift tags to personalize them.  This white ribbon can be purchased at Costco and will last a long time. You can dress these up with any number of items – including the red berries used with the red ribbon.

The wonderful thing about kraft paper is that it is a completely blank canvas that you can decorate however you wish. Consider using stamps with white or black ink. If you have a set of letters, stamp the recipient’s name on the top of the gift. Get creative and enjoy personalizing your packages.

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