Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


See How They Wrap V

In the 70s my mom wrapped Christmas presents in plain, sturdy kraft paper livened up with various plaid ribbons. The look wasn't a big hit with my grandmother, who favored more glamorous green foil, and I'm sure my great-grandmother, Big Mama, would not have liked it either because she once decorated a tree in a blaze of red lights and ornaments. But I know at least one other stylish mom -- Fifi Laughlin's -- used kraft paper. Several members of the Burnham Design team are also fans of humble paper mixed with opulent ribbon.

This year, kraft paper seems to be on everyone's radar. Grace Bonney plans to stamp her own: "I'm the stamp-queen. I'm going with my favorite method of kraft paper and stamps dipped in metallic inks."

Fifi likes kid-friendly presentations. She has three December birthdays to celebrate -- including her own on Christmas Day -- and says,"I keep a roll of kraft paper and always have an array of markers so that I can just quickly doodle on the paper. I especially love kraft bags paired with bright tissue paper. The right combination of colors is what makes me happy, and it is kind of fun to reach into a bag since you can't tell from the outside what could possibly be in it."

On occasion, she steps out with a few sophisticated twists. "This year, I think I will buy some beautiful ribbon to add to the mix...and I should pull out some of my small glass drops to tie on the ends."

Dick Blick sells bulk rolls of kraft paper (1,000 feet by 24 inches) for about $30. Most art supply stores should stock it, whether in small or large amounts. Apart from the classic brown (really khaki), kraft paper also comes in colors and other neutrals. I experimented with recycling a chocolate-brown paper bag, shown above at the top, and embellished with a scrap of Imperial Trellis. Bags have so much added thickness -- I wouldn't cut one up again.

Crave shine? Take inspiration from Armour and Co.'s Jayme Leffler. She is using silver metallic paper with magenta ribbon. Alternatively, her shop also combines the paper with charcoal and silver ribbon for a more masculine look. "The silver is festive and works no matter what you celebrate!"

For a wide selection of rubber stamps and inks, visit Impress Rubber Stamps or Paper Source. Hand-dyed silk and satin ribbon is available at M & J Trimming. Silver ribbed paper can be found at Kate's.


Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - while I'm loving the wrapping - and am envious of the sources you are tapping - I'm wondering if you've actually done this much shopping! Then I will truly be green with envy.

The "doodle" idea is terrific.

pve design said...

You do know how to "wrap" over here and I really think a book is in order for you to publish all your beautiful ideas for wrapping. I think I would not have the heart to unwrap one of your delightful presents.
Awe inspiring indeed.

Style Court said...

Patricia -- yeah I'm pretty much finished. But I don't have a very long list. Happily many of us have agreed to do donations in lieu of presents so I just buy for 3 kids, very small number of loved ones :)

Style Court said...
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Style Court said...

Patricia VE -- Don't know about awe inspiring! You are too kind. But I'd love to do a book like that.

Style Court said...

Oh but I do think my guest contributors have had stunning ideas :)

Karena said...

Beautiful ideas, and it makes the gift opening so exciting!

Pigtown*Design said...

Courtney... I get the most incredible brown kraft paper from the Dollar Tree. I have several different patterns - a black toile, white lace, brown & pink dots and others I can't remember. Maybe I will post some pix this evening!

Anonymous said...

Courtney, when I was in college, I got a summer job in a printing/office supply store and bought a huge roll of very stiff craft paper for use in protecting my drafting table. We used that paper with red & green plaid bows and ribbons. I haven't thought about it since then, but I think I'm going to steal your idea of craft with brown plaid. That's beautiful.

Style Court said...

Halcyon -- great! I love that these ideas are bringing back memories.

Style Court said...

Meg -- thanks again for the tip.

Karena -- yes, I think it does enhance the gift :)