Monday 20 December 2010

I could have been someone, but so could anyone.

How is it less than a week until Christmas? This year has gone so fast! I love the festive season though and am busy preparing for it (and am also hard at work at the day job all week too!). In celebration, I'm going to bring you a week of festive-themed posts... hope you like.

I have a confession to make. I am absolutely rubbish at wrapping gifts. Really bad. I can't cut a straight line to save my life, my corners are always shabby and my sellotape normally has fingerprints all over it so it has that grey, grubby look.

BUT. Talk to my family and friends and they will tell you that my gift-wrapping capabilities are second to none. Well, maybe to people who giftwrap, like, for a living, but seriously. Every year, they comment on how beautiful my gifts look under the tree, and how they put all other gifts to shame. Here is an example of my gifts, this year.

My gifts look pretty impressive, right? Check out the ribbon! And the metallic paper? Oooooh. But! Look closer.

Shabby corners! Crumpled edges! Baggy bits! RUBBISH.

No one notices that though because I am ACE at pretending to be amazing. So, if your gift-wrapping makes you and those who love you sad, I will teach you how to fake it. Like me.

The Paper

Firstly, plain metallic paper is your best friend for two reasons.

1 - It looks classy, because it is shiny. Liking shiny things is a primeval impulse of all humans.
2 - You can use the leftover paper ALL YEAR ROUND and no one knows you are being a cheapskate.

Also, it's totally as cheap as the printed stuff and it tends to not sell out in five minutes like all the vaguely classy printed paper.


Secondly, spend a little bit extra on ribbon. And I mean a little bit extra. A pack of ribbons and rosettes will set you back £2, tops, and unless you have an ungodly amount of friends and family, that pack will probably last you for all your gifts. And buy it in January!

And buy leftover tags too! Check out my cute star tags. Aw. And SPARKLY. You can also get away with using them for the rest of the year, too! (Some say cheap. I say practical.)


Try and keep it vaguely tight. If you can get away with it, taping the paper to the present really helps - obviously, only if the present won't be ruined by this - so if it's in a cardboard box, or has a cellophane part, or something - it just means that when you wrap the paper around the gift, it will stay taut, and won't go all loose and crumply.

Fold ragged edges under and they will magically look straight.

Tie ribbon in the classic way - forming a cross on the top and the bottom, tying it at the top. Make sure the bottom is where all your joins are, too. Using ribbon means that people have no choice but to keep the nice bit as the top! Genius.

A helpful finger of a friend or small child helps to keep the ribbon tight, but if you have no spare fingers, um... a toe works? Hey, I've done it before. Or you can kind of do it yourself, it's not too difficult. You just use some fingers to pull it tight and the others to wrap it round. And you can kind of keep the knot loose, and pull it taut with the fingers next to your little fingers, while pulling it tight with your thumb and... forefinger? Whatever, the finger next to your thumb, I don't know what that's called.

Attach the gift tag to the ribbon - I try and tie it around the knot that the ribbon makes, so it stays central. Slightly OCD.

Quilling (AKA That Thing What Makes Ribbon Curly)

If you can't quill (i.e. make ribbon go all curly) then cut the ends short and plonk a rosette on the knot. Done.

But! Quilling is super easy and looks all FANCY. I like sticking a rosette on the knot anyway, and then quilling the ends of the ribbon so the rosette is sitting on a nest of curlyness. So pretty and luxe. If you attach the ends of the quilled ribbon to the sticky bit of the rosette, that gets the best result.

To quill, you basically just get some scissors - don't open them - and rest them on the finger next to your thumb, holding the ribbon onto the other side with your thumb. The matte side of the ribbon should be the side next to the scissors. Also, all closed scissors have a slightly sharper edge - that's the edge to use. Start at the knot and then, holding your thumb to the ribbon as tight as possible, pull the scissors up the ribbon then let go.

If it's not curly enough the first time, try again. Sometimes crinkled ribbon won't really work, and on some ribbon (such as the non-shiny kind) it's not clear which is the matte side, but just try both - one side will always work.

And you're done! Make all your family feel jealous this Christmas with your mad skillz and feel proud of your newfound talents. Plus! It impresses everyone and is minimal effort. Honestly? I love wrapping presents now, and everyone else I know hates it, and I figure that is down to RESULTS.



  1. Haha brilliant post! I suck at the actual wrapping part too, but like you I just tie a bit of cheeky ribbon on and my presents look spiffing ;D

  2. Love the Pogues blog title :) Your wrapping does look impressive! I love wrapping presents, but I just use decent quality paper (hate the thin stuff!) x

  3. I LOVE wrapping presents ahh! Quilling is so satisfying too(when it goes right!).

    Also you have lovely wallpaper.

  4. I've had all my pressies wrapped for about two months, but now Im desperate to put ribbon on them haha! I've gone with metallic pink this year. Its lovely!

  5. I love this post! I really enjoy wrapping presents and when I have time I like to make my own paper. Gimme some brown parcel paper, spray paint and a stencil and I'm good to go!

  6. I enjoyed this post - so cute! And I love the vintage feel to your photos.

  7. I can't cut in a straight line either. I pay my Mum to wrap all my presents!

  8. You and I so come from the same wrapping present school! And I can't believe you are giving away our secrets!!

  9. Ahh this is so great :D Your presents do look fantastic. And no one ever notices the imperfections because the only time anyone gets that close is when they are ripping it open! :D


  10. great post! i'm okay at wrapping cd's and books and dvd's, but this year i had to wrap a jewellery tree, so i had to call for my mom! xx

  11. haha, they look great hun! Love all the different colour wrapping! I literally suck at wrapping!
    I wish I didn't, but I just can't do it. & then my bows fall off, so what's the EFin point of putting them on, raghhhhh! You can see I'm a bit sensitive on this subject- I think I need wrapping lessons HA

  12. Ahhh I'm just about the wrap my presents, this has been handy! I know I have some ribbon somewhere so I must dig that out. :) I always have grand plans of wrapping my presents so nicely then it just ends up a total fail! xo

  13. This is the best christmas post ever! Seriously, I am sitting in a pile of wrapping paper as we speak covered in sellotape!

    Your presents look gorgeous, I must buy ribbon immediately!

  14. Haha, wow I am exactly the same! I'm quite proud of how my presents look this year, but if you look closely mine are so crumpled and a bit messy! Yours looks fab though, and great tips! :) xoxo

  15. I use the toe method in holding down the edges too! I'm shockingly bad at wrapping presents so I have got down the route of adding rosettes and nice tags this year. It makes it that bit nicer. If anyone does criticise my wrapping I just say they are wrapped with enthusiasm and love!

  16. woohoo my gifts are going to look much better this year - thanks for that :D

  17. Haha, great tips!! I'm horrible at wrapping presents. These faking it tips will work wonders. Also, I actually love Quilling. It's so much fun to do, hehe.

  18. Ha, I do the exact same thing with non-seasonal shiny paper. I don't like waste! You gifts look lovely, I like to incorporate props too - gingerbread, candy canes... :o)

    Penny x

  19. I think quilling ability is in my DNA - my mum is the absolute QUEEN of curly ribbon so it would shameful if I couldn't do it.

    I just tend to get stressy when wrapping. I'm alright at it but I need a massive amount of space otherwise I end up sticking the sellotape to my face by accident and knocking everything over and generally going "ARGH!" a lot.

  20. I HATE wrapping presents. And I'm particularly bad at it (although, I guess that's probably why I don't like it)

    Annoyingly, my Mum & my sister are present-wrapping-master geniuses (geniui..?!) & that really annoys me. My presents look crap, however much effort goes into them. So now I figure people should just appreciate that I've tried my best & be grateful that they've got a present at all!

    We're so disorganised in my house this year that we haven't even got our tree/decorations up yet.. Let alone done any wrapping :/ In fact, I haven't even finished buying yet - argh!

  21. They do look brilliant - I used to use all these tricks but in the last few years I have turned into such a lazy bum. Good tip on the metallic paper, I might stock up after Christmas.

  22. I love this post! My present wrapping is shocking so i'm going to take your advice and get some metallic paper in the christmas sales :) x

  23. I'm exactly the same. My presents are total Monets. Gorgeous from afar, just don't look at the sellotaped edges!


Comments make my day. :) I love you.

© Essbeevee | Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, St Albans, Tring food, lifestyle, & parenting blog. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig