I’ve always been enthralled with my mother’s handling of the art of wrapping presents. She’s a master. Getting one of her gifts is quite an impressive thing because she makes magic every time she wraps a box.
For many years she’s used a converted closet under the back stairs to house dozens of styles of paper and ribbons from paper to cloth to satin to silk. There are scissors, there is tape, there are gift tags. There are custom-built (by my father) shelves for boxes and flat wrap and tissue paper. There are silk flowers and little things to decorate every type of package you can imagine. There are vintage stickers and victorian lace and mesh ribbons. If you can imagine it, it’s there. All handy, all within arm’s reach. Every day of the year.
When I’ve found ribbon at Goodwill, or find a great deal on wrapping paper, I buy it and take it to Mom’s house. After all, I feel obliged to replenish the supply since I always go there to wrap my gifts.
It started out innocently enough, I was in the middle of a move and it was someone’s birthday. I had the gift, but not the fancy wrapping. It was packed somewhere in some box. I asked if I could wrap it there and mom said yes. That’s how it all began… many years ago.
This Christmas, I went to Mom’s for the regular party. Although we don’t exchange gifts with adults, I had a gift for my nephew. I asked if I could wrap it there and was told she’d cleaned out the closet and moved all the wrapping stuff to the attic… THREE floors up! My nephew didn’t come to the celebration, so I brought the gift home to wrap it here… Mom’s awesome set up was gone.
I’m glad that she’s cleaning things out and doesn’t feel responsible to provide all things for all people. I’m proud of her. (I just never expected that there would be something I’d come to rely on that would disappear, what with me being all independent and such… Shhhh! Don’t tell!)
So, now it’s time to figure out how to handle my own gift wrapping situation. Currently, I have it all in a Rubbermaid Gift Wrap plastic organizer, designed to slip under a bed. The fact is, I don’t like it. It’s a lousy design. It’s too big and too shallow all at once. I don’t want to have to store it under a bed and I don’t want to have to search for it elsewhere.
I need gift wrap a dozen times a year or so. I think I’m going to go with a gold printed paper that is rich and thick and buttery. Of course, I also like basic postal brown wrap. Whichever I choose, it should be one that will work for any occasion – baby showers, birthdays, weddings, Christmas, etc. I’ll have plain white or gold tissue paper for interior use and occasional exterior wrapping. Then I need to select a beautiful style of gold and/or cream ribbon.
If I do this, I can create a signature wrapping style for all my gifts, they will always match, I won’t have to store rolls and rolls of ribbon and paper, and I can keep my eye out for sales on the “right” style of wrapping paper and ribbon when my stock is getting low. I’ll grab it when it’s on sale after the holidays and use it year round. This will minimize the bulk, maximize the impact, and save money all in one swoop. I love it!
I’m not yet sure where I’ll keep my miniature wrapping center, but I do know I’ll include a pen, scissors, tape and a flat surface nearby… which means it will probably be in the laundry area so I can use the top of the freezer as my surface for wrapping. I may also include storage for greeting cards (maybe a small box on the shelf above the wrapping paper tube?) Gift central needs to be both handy and out of the way when not in use. I’m thinking about a minimalistic wall-mounted storage solution, but I’ll be giving that more thought before I leap.
I might use a fancy curtain rod (the kind with the decorative balls on either end) held in place by hooks (so it’s easy to add a new roll when needed), a covered basket hanging on the wall could hold the bows and two lengths of twine or ribbon could hold the ribbon rolls on either side of the gift wrap. It would be pretty to see, out of the way, and easy to use. If the hooks had a shelf mounted above them, there would be the perfect place for a box with the cards, a mug with the scissors and pen and a place for the roll of tape to live.
Now that I’m not moving around and have finally come home to roost… it’s time to find a permanent location to house this permanent solution.