I thought that I’d show you the fruits of my present-wrapping labours (and also see if I can whip my family up into a fever pitch of present-related excitement, if only for the perverse thrill of witnessing their crushing disappointment on Christmas Day when they open their presents and realise that, in some cases, the gift wrapping is far more stylish than the actual gifts).

I started off with a plan that involved:

a) brown paper (because it’s sturdy and cheap, and looks good with fabric ribbons);

b) teal-coloured grosgrain ribbon; and

c) pieces of paua, which I had left over from the Christmas cards I made this year (which were plain white cards with a star punched out and a piece of paua stuck in the middle).

I also used ample quantities of blu-tak (to hold down ribbons), sellotape and superglue.

The first two presents I wrapped looked exactly like I’d pictured them.  This one is for my older sister Pip and her husband, Alister:

And this one is for Nigel, my oldest niece Katie’s main squeeze:

I really liked them both – very simple and quite stylish, I thought.  However, I ran into problems with my parents’ present – it had an awkward shape, so I tied a bow instead of gluing the ribbon down, and then used the paua on the ends of the ribbons.  I like the outcome:

Next, I tried to wrap a present for my younger sister Vickie and discovered that grosgrain didn’t look as good when tied around something soft.  I turned to my large stash of pre-used ribbon (yes, I’m like your Nanna and squirrel away ribbons when people have finished opening their presents) and found some soft, white stuff.  I finished it off with a couple of purple glass beads, which I strung onto some really annoying silver embroidery cotton that frayed like a mofo whenever I tried to thread my needle.  This was the finished article:

Bouyed by this success, I employed similar tactics with the present for Auntie Jen and her partner, Denise, although I used soft pink ribbon and got a bit more fancy with the purple glass beads:

For Pat and Richard, my in-laws, I went all traditional with glossy red ribbons.  This was partially because I was running out of the teal grosgrain, and partially because I ODed on the sellotape at the ends of the parcel and wanted to use a lot of ribbon, to disguise it.  Behold:

For Vickie’s boyfriend Andrew (who I call my ‘common law brother-in-law’), I changed the ribbon and decorated with a navy button, because the paua didn’t match this ribbon very well:

And who knows? One day Andrew might find himself short of a big navy button and remember that he’s got this one stashed away.

For Liam, my one and only nephew, I used royal blue satin ribbon and decorated with an Action Man pin that I bought a couple of years ago (I think it was sold as part of a Help for Heroes fundraiser).  Check it out:

For four of my six nieces’ presents I went with variations of pink grosgrain and stick-on paper flowers.  The two exceptions were Jaime’s present, on which I used some really cool silvery/gold ribbon and decorated with a fab pink button, and Olivia’s present, on which I used my all-time favourite ribbon – a lovely faded red, white and blue grosgrain – and decorated with a little glass heart.  You can see them all here:

Finally, I kept it simple for T Rex’s present (yes, T Rex – after a long consultation process on Facebook last night I’ve decided that I should try out different nicknames for Tristan and see what sticks); different black ribbons and one black bow:

And FINALLY I’m done!  I don’t think I’ve ever spend so much time on wrapping presents, but that’s probably because I’ve usually had to do it late one night, after getting home from work.  God bless unemployment!

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2 thoughts on “Christmas presents

  1. They look fantastic! I’m very intrgued as to their contents! Mine are wrapped in a mismatch selection of paper with novelty Santas and Christmas trees. Most of them had to be shipped so I figure by the time Australia Post gives them a good start and NZ Post and Bristish Post finish them off they’ll be lucky to still be wrapped in anything when they arrive. The thing I like most about this is that despite having moved countries this year you’ve still held on to the ribbon collection and found a use for a random Action Man pin. Or maybe it wasn’t random, perhaps you did hold on to it all this time with the absolute confidence that you had the perfect gift for that to adorn…. Merry Christmas, have a lovely family celebration 🙂

    1. Jacque, you’re so good! I never sent Christmas presents home when I was abroad – I just couldn’t face the shopping, and trying to get stuff out before the cut-off dates.

      You would be horrified by some of the random stuff that has made its way from the UK – the ribbon collection is just the tip of the iceberg! And the Action Man pin was a bit of a lucky find when I was cleaning out a jewellery box today (as a distraction from finishing my wrapping) – I’m fairly sure that I didn’t actually get round to wearing it myself…

      Have a fantastic Christmas as well! xxx

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