I generally splurge on one deluxe roll of wrapping paper and then supplement the rest of my wrapping with plain paper, tissue paper and gift bags.
This year I went with gold and white as my theme. I was inspired by beautiful gold toile wrapping paper I found at Hallmark. The gold is warm and traditional, while the white is modern and cool. I liked the mix.
Knowing I had a stash of gold and white gift bags at home from Christmases past, I decided on the theme. I then used plain white wrapping paper that I had purchased earlier in the year at a discount price to wrap the rest. To make the plain white paper more festive, I used some gold twine as ribbon and labeled the gifts with Martha Stewart Crafts label stickers.
Inexpensive gold twine found at a craft store dresses up the plain white wrapping. I also bought a small gold gift bag in the same toile pattern as the wrapping paper.
European chocolate bars for stocking stuffers are wrapped in plain gold tissue paper and then embellished with scrabook paper. The names of the recipients will be written in gold ink on the brown sections.
My stationery this year was also gold and white (in red envelopes.) This beautiful partridge/pear tree letterpress design was found on Etsy.com.
Andrew's Wrapping Paper Tips:
1. Shop early for the most unique patterns on wrappings; they go the fastest. I got my gold toile wrapping in early November. I also bought a roll of lovely blue and silver snowflake-patterned wrapping paper for next year.
2. Wait until a week before Christmas to buy wrapping paper in bulk. It invariably goes on sale by December 15th.
3. Stock up for next year by buying the leftover holiday wrapping paper in January, when it's the cheapest you'll ever find it. (I once bought three deluxe rolls for just one dollar each.)
4. Look for wrapping paper in unusual places: Dollar Stores and many grocery stores have bins of discounted wrapping paper. While the quality is not the best, it's ideal if you're wrapping lots of gifts for children who couldn't care less about the pattern or quality of the wrapping paper. (Although, I did. But I was weird.)
5. Use plain paper or craft paper for smaller gifts, like books or perfume. If you've got a stash of scrapbook paper, a roll or two of butcher paper or large sheets of plain newsprint, use it for wrapping. Just embellish the gifts with holiday ribbon for a clean, modern look.
6. I'm not a fan of regifting, but I do reuse some of the wrapping paper that covers the gifts I open on Christmas day. I have a small bin of wrapping paper scraps that comes in handy for making homemade cards and even in scrapbooking.
7. Keep wine bags that you're given, as well as gift bags, and reuse them next year.
8. Think about how you want your wrapping to look before you buy it. Do you want it to be traditional or more modern? What are your favourite colours? Are you into plaid this year? Ask yourself what you are most attracted to.
9. Instead of buying oodles of ribbon, use twine, yarn or scraps of cut wrapping paper to embellish the wrapped gifts.
10. Recycle the ripped up wrapping on Christmas night!