Wrap This Way

By now, you’ve probably gotten all kinds of great Black Friday deals, and hopefully finished off your Christmas shopping at the same time.  We’re here to help with some extra-special ways to wrap those presents.

You know how we keep buying those wacky vintage craft pamphlets?  Well, there are often some other pamphlets mixed in that aren’t strictly crafts.  Kathy got this super groovy pamphlet just a couple of months ago, and you haven’t seen colors this bright in 50 years!

Hallmark wraps it up

I don’t even need the hairstyle to know when this baby was published.  Of course, these styles overlap the decades and you would certainly be able to find these wrapping papers in the ’70s.  In fact, we occasionally see them at estate sales even now, still virulently colorful.

As if the pictures on the pamphlet cover weren’t funny enough, the introduction is a hoot:

Carry on

When you wrap a gift, you express yourself as uniquely as when you sign your name.  Your taste, your creativity–even your sense of humor–combine to make each gift a personal creation.

Wow, what does it say about me?  When I have a bazillion Christmas presents to get done, it looks like a five-year-old helped me.  I need to channel my inner ’60s housewife so I can express my creativity and personality properly, while wrapping presents–who needs sleep?

The introduction ends with a quote from Swiss philosopher, John Lavater, “The manner of giving shows the character of the giver, more than the gift itself.”  Thanks, John, as if Christmas doesn’t have enough built-in pressure already!

You know, in a goofy kind of way, these presents are pretty fun:

Wrap it up

Although some of them look like a lot of work!  Honestly, most kids would play more with the truck box (bottom center) than the actual present inside; unless of course the present is a truck!

Looking at the above picture, you can see this pamphlet really emphasizes the bow.  If you have a yen for a crazy bow, here’s how you do it:

Tie one onI should confess that I’m hopeless at making bows.  I took a whole semester of flower arranging (mostly so I could learn to tie those corsage bows) and never really made much progress in the bow-tying department.  So these easy-to-follow kinds of directions fill me with dread.  An hour later, all I’ll have to show for my effort is a wrinkled, slightly mashed and askew bow.  Thank goodness for after Christmas sales; I get all my bows 75% off.

So if you’re not a groovy kind of person and would like to express yourself in a late ’50s, early ’60s hipster sort of style, I have the booklet for you:

The art of gift wrapping

But if you think you’re off the hook for wrapping packages creatively, guess again!  As we’re told by Hallmark:

If gifts are the language of thoughtfulness, surely gift wrappings are the punctuation marks; and the way you use them is an important part of the story you want to tell . . . the story of your thoughtfulness.

Well, darn!

Besides the middle and bottom rows on the cover, which show acceptable levels of wrapping, the pamphlet has this page devoted to Christmas; sadly, the facing page was ripped out:

Christmas wrappingNothing really egregious here; in fact, I love the doggy paper in the upper center.

If you’re all about the bow, here are some fun and frightening versions:

Bows!Since my schedule is a bit more open these days, it’s time to pull up my big girl pants and attempt the poinsettia bow for a special package (be afraid, Kathy).

Finally, I wanted to say a word for recycling your package decorations.  Every year, my present from Kathy comes with a lovely vintage name tag, and every year, Kathy reclaims the tag to use next Christmas.  I’ve heard of families who save the bows, ribbon, and extras from their Christmas presents.  They reuse them next year, much enhanced with new ribbon, beads, glitter, dried flowers–you name it–and decorate packages meant for the original giver.  This appeals to the recycling, quasi-crafty, cheapskate that resides in me.  As an illustration, let me present the gift bag that Kathy and I pass back and forth for our birthdays:

The bag that keeps on givingIt makes us laugh every time we get it.  The back side just has a few flower stickers on it, but obviously, it’s time to start working on the other side!

Hope this post helps all of you who have tons of wrapping to do; maybe more helpful is our advice to allow your inner five-year-old to do all of your present wrapping, if that’s what it takes to keep your sanity!

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8 Responses to Wrap This Way

  1. Judy Rae Jackson says:

    Tissue paper & a gift bag. I am the worst wrapper EVER (and I used to do gift wrapping for Mervyns). Frightening.

    • kathy & deb says:

      Smart! I do a lot of gift bags too, since you can find new ones at thrift stores–must be Target discards, but it works for me! I think being a gift wrapper sounds like a dirty job if I’ve ever heard of one–not just the wrapping, but dealing with the public too!

  2. Urban Overalls says:

    While looking at the variety of bows, it brought back memories. Yes, I remember many of these ‘creations’. Mom bought most of hers and made a few attempts at others. Myself… did an internship at a flower shop and spent my first week tying bows for the holidays. 8 hours. Every day. Bows. I think I can tie bows in my sleep.

  3. I wish I was this talented with wrapping! I am a giftbag girl myself, but it sure looks pretty!

    • kathy & deb says:

      If I attempted some of these wrapping projects, it would look like a two-year-old did it. Kathy, on the other hand, has clever fingers that can do anything–sigh. The good news is that if I ask nicely, she does things for me!

  4. Love the bag you and Kathy pass back and forth for birthdays – what a ripper idea! And the 60’s – goodness me! Did women really have that much time on their hands? Or was it designed to make them feel bad if they weren’t taking the time to wrap their presents this way? Call me greedy, but I barely notice wrapping paper as I’m ripping frantically to get at my present – and I kind of thought others might be the same – so recycled brown paper wrapped like a five-year-old has helped me is about the extent of it here!! I really need some lessons from those women in the sixties – on hairstyles, too! Fabulously entertaining post! x

    • kathy & deb says:

      The ’50s and ’60s in America seemed to be all about expectations other people put on you and keeping up with the Jones. I’ve seen tons of advertisements that show two neighbor women gossiping about a third, “her clothes are so dingy!” Then they generously let her in on the miracle product that will cure all of her laundry woes. Honestly!! I’m with you, I can barely restrain myself when opening presents, so it’s hardly worth it to fuss for hours. Glad you enjoyed the post and a peek into the past!

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