Sometimes, however, the design gods hand you an idea so simple and quick that you wonder what the heck took you so long to figure it out.
After years of fretting over gift wrap, I've hit upon a minimalist philosophy so simple and so perfect that I'm sure I can't be the first to hit upon it.
The philosophy can best be summed up by the equation T + R + WP = FABULOUS, where T is a simple, colorful tag, R is coordinating ribbon, and WP is white paper.
|Papertrey Mendhi Medallion, Hero Arts sentiment|
The first sample is a tag I made months ago and shared already, but I combined it with a red ribbon edged in gold...one I bought to use years ago and never did.
|Papertrey Holiday Treats|
This tag shows how those nugget label stamps can be used as borders on small tags. For this tag, I'll write the name of the recipient on the front, rather than the back. In brown ink to match the gingerbread man!
Rick-rack or other interesting trim can add interest to a super-simple tag.
|Papertrey Holly Jolly|
For someone special, add bling to the tag. Yes, it will end up in the trash, but seriously, it's Christmas. That green satin ribbon is so soft and rich-feeling, it just demanded a blinged-up tag.
|Papertrey Sign Language|
Tags can be any shape or size you want. Here, I took left-over strips of cardstock and turned them into long, narrow tags using simple images and bling. The white ribbon with its red stitching was the perfect accompaniment!
What are the advantages of this philosophy? Well, let's count them.
1. You only ever need to buy white wrapping paper, although if you want some variety, kraft wrapping paper will work well, too.
2. You can express your creativity through the tag, getting as fancy or as personalized as you want. Plus, you can use odd scraps of cardstock for your tags.
3. Christmas tags can double as ornaments, too!
4. You can use up that massive stash of ribbon you have sitting there, being hoarded. Or you can buy spools of ribbon when they are discounted and let the ribbon inspire your tags.
5. No more searching for baby wrapping paper or kid birthday wrap or Mother's Day wrap or graduation wrap at the last minute. All you have to do is make sure you have stamps for every occasion, which, let's face it, is HUGELY more fun.
6. If you keep a stash of white gift bags in assorted sizes and tissue paper (either white or assorted color packs as you prefer), the ribbons and tags work equally well for awkwardly-sized or hard-to-wrap gifts.
7. This style of gift wrap lends itself to additional embellishment if time and inclination allow. Adding pine-cones, jingle bells, sprigs of holly or picks of artificial fruit, foliage, berries, etc., to Christmas packages, party favors to birthday gifts, and such work well. But only if you want to embellish.
What are the disadvantages of this philosophy? Well, there's only one I can think of, and that's finding good white wrapping paper that is opaque enough. Perhaps one of you has a suggestion, but the the white at HL and M's can be seen through, so when necessary, I've started wrapping a strip of it around the gift box first, then wrapping the gift.
But I'd much rather have truly opaque white paper to wrap gifts.
What do you think of this Clean and Simple Gift-Wrap Philosophy?