Simple Papers & Found Embellishments

Summer Watkins over at Grey Likes Weddings via Style Me Pretty

This photo inspires me.  It’s about layers and textures and it. is. wonderful.  Who needs fancy paper when you can shop the house and scrounge up scraps of beautiful, add some glitter and bits of string and the cuff of your old sweater with a hole in it and a button or a broken brooch and mercy, you can create something beautiful.  This is creative Christmas wrap at its finest.

Be inspired by these ideas…

Painted flower wrap via Tokketok

dipping confetti via Tokketok

How about book page typography, leave it to a man to make the name cover both form and function via Man Made.

Have you ever noticed Trader Joe’s holiday bags?

Leslie from Creative Mint saw those bags and used them as wrapping paper, she has lots of inspiring photos.


Craft Paper with Vintage Photo “vintagification” via Marianne from Songbird. She looks for a winter image and scans it so she’s not using the real photo, SMART!

 In Haus Press

Paper Crave

One of the tricks I’ve played on myself to get me to not dread wrapping gifts, is to allow myself to have papers  and embellishments that I love.  It costs the same amount of money (cheaper actually because craft paper is a steal at office supply stores). And I actually look forward to gift wrapping because it becomes an art form.  I get to embellish and use pretty things.  It doesn’t mean my gift have to look fancy or not fun, they are very fun and kid enticing, but I do it in a way that everyone can tell that gift was wrapped by me.

Here’s my little stand in my office full of bits and pieces.  It actually looks really pretty but it’s not just for looks.  That’s the stuff I use to wrap gifts.

And my paper is all stacked in my big trencher under my desk.  (Did you notice the big desk is back?  I’ll tell you that fiasco later).  Here’s the thing, if you are thinking, “yeah, but I can’t put my paper out on display because my paper is ugly”.  Then stop right there and think about what you just thought.  If you think your paper is ugly then why are you using it?  Shouldn’t your paper look like something you like and picked out?  It probably would even look like stuff in your home because news flash, you picked out that stuff too and usually we like what we like.

Now you have an assignment, find a large container of some sort and start collecting your Christmas wrappings.  Think outside the store-bought bow.  Find a smaller container and start collecting things from around the house that can embellish a gift. There’s no wrong, if something looks silly, you are wrapping in the privacy of your own home and no one needs to know. Trust me, once you do this you’ll start seeing things EVERYWHERE that you can use for wrapping and embellishing gifts.  Kind of like when I made that Pom Pom wreath and now I still see poms all over, I’m telling you, poms are taking over the world.

Once you are on the look out, just like Jerry Seinfeld and his moving boxes, all you will see are embellishments.

And for fun, Jerry’s standup bit from “The Boyfriend 2”

When you’re moving your whole world becomes boxes. That’s all you think about is boxes. Boxes, where are there boxes? You just wander down the street going in and out of stores. Are there boxes here? Have you seen any boxes? I mean it’s all you think about. You can’t even talk to people because you can’t concentrate. Shut up I’m looking for boxes. Just after a while you become like really into it you can smell them. You walk into a store. There’s boxes here. Don’t tell me you don’t have boxes. I can SMELL them. I’m like I’m obsessed. I love the smell of cardboard in the morning. You could be at a funeral. Everyone’s mourning crying around, and you’re looking at the casket. That’s a nice box Does anyone know where that guy got that box? When he’s done with it do you think I could get that? it’s got some nice handles on it. And that’s what death is really. It’s the last big move of your life. The hearse is like the van. The pallbearers are your close friends the only ones you could ask to help you with a big move like that. and the casket is that great perfect box you’ve been waiting for your whole life The only problem is, once you find it you’re in it.

Don’t forget to get your Christmas Craft ready for Friday’s Linkup party!

Looking for even more gifting inspiration?  I’ve got 124 ideas and counting at the Gifting pin board on Pinterest.



  1. I’m using craft paper this year. I love the simplicity of it with our red and green decorations.

  2. I loooove this post! So much great stuff.
    And let me tell you. I want your office so badly. I love the idea of the paper displayed in the trencher. My gift area is always chaos ;)

  3. when buying wapping paper, i choose patterns i can use all year long like embellished gold or white paper. works for birthdays and holidays.

  4. Thank you for featuring my vintagified brown paper packages. You sure put them in a great line up. I am honored. And I ditto the commenter from above your office is beautiful. And I am sitting on the edge of my seat to find out the story behind the big table fiasco. Your husband and sons must be so happy with you when you have them hauling tables up and down all over the house :-)

  5. Great post! I’ve used Trader Joe’s paper sacks for wrapping too…..and not just the holiday sacks.

  6. I love to wrap a pretty present and wrapping papers and ribbons are kind of an obsession of mine. If you read my blog you have probably noticed. On todays post I made a fun gift tag. I still can’t believe I made it since I don’t do DIY’s very often, they are soooo easy and fun to make!! I have always used my ribbon and paper as part of my Christmas decor. I put my wrapping paper in a French Market basket by the tree and my ribbons are stacked in a basket too. I totally agree with YOU!! Make them pretty!! Happy Wednesday,

  7. Lovely post and some very simple and elegant ideas!! Thanks.

  8. Now I want to wrap gifts while watching Seinfeld reruns. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  9. Lynn Bauer, from Virginia says

    Nester, Thanks so much for the inspiration. I have 40 teacher gifts to wrap and it was a daunting task since I think purchased gift wrap is such a waste of trees…. Shouldn’t we be more thoughtful and meaningful? I know time is our greatest miracle but we work with children and what fantastic ideas they have for just about everything…. ok everything. Now I’m excited and motivated to BE CREATIVE…. watch out world. After all, this is more to life than ordinary…

  10. So you know I’m going to ask you this, but where, oh where, did you get the animal footed stand in your office?!! So quirky and cool, just like you!

  11. Beautiful packages! I loved this ideas and just looking at the pictures. It is making me excited to wrap, which is not something I’m usually excited about.

  12. I have had a Trader Joe’s bag sitting in my foyer for 2 days and I have been too lazy to throw it away. Now I don’t have to! Brilliant!

  13. I can’t believe it -you have actually inspired me to attempt wrapping beautiful packages this year. I’m usually the slap-it-together queen, but I love the brown paper idea. I’m going to give it a go -thanks!!

  14. I usually HATE wrapping… but now I am looking forward to it! Thank you, Nester!!!

  15. Love that packaging!

  16. Pretty packaging is one of my weaknesses, I’m a sucker for presentation (second to that I’m also a sucker for green & clutter-free gifts)! Thanks for the new & adorable ideas and your kind words!

  17. Yes, I drool every time I see your office. So pretty all the time. Even when it is messy and real life! You had me searching for dough bowls for at least a half an hour seeing you use it for wrapping paper. Because why is there not something for wrapping paper storage that is not big bulky and ugly? Lovely inspiration but you are leaving me hanging! I want to see how you put all the beautiful stuff to use!!!

  18. Love all your ideas, as always. But let me say, posting a Jerry quote, now that made me smile!

  19. Wrapping can be done by anyone but the creative wrapping like above is really an art.

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