Holiday Wrapping Paper: Found, Made, Bought

One of our favorite times in the holidays is wrapping gifts, usually done last-minute before flying out to a party, with whatever is on hand. We have some closet space dedicated to found papers, ribbons, fat hunks of rope and interesting colored twines, a vast variety of colored tapes, salvaged boxes as well as Dollar Store shopping bags. We find ourselves going into a sort of reverie when we wrap, letting the materials tell us what to do, Anni Albers style. Over the years we’ve come up with some pretty out-there wrappings (check out these favorites).

Recently, we found some new alternatives to wrapping paper we hadn’t thought of before.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

To wrap a copy of the I Ching, the centuries old Chinese book of divination and wisdom, we printed out some artful musical scores composer John Cage had written based on his I Ching throws, above. We layered on pages of them, held secure but different colored twine to make the giftee open the present slowly. It’s super easy to print out images on a black and white or color printer to make wrapping paper.

Last spring, we found a trove of page proofs from an art book stacked on top of a small dumpster in the Flatiron district, which is full of design firms…

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

….there were some really beautiful images. We even like the notations on them. We rolled a few up and brought them home.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

When desperate, we find just about any paper takes well to being fringed with a scissors…

Ellen Silverman

Ellen Silverman

When Parade Magazine asked us to devise some holiday noisemakers, we stumbled on a 100-sheet pack of 10″x10″x Origami Paper  in a crafts store. Their bold colors can be overlapped to make even larger sheets which make for a vivid, geometric wrap.  We LOVE having them on hand.

origami paper multi colored

We created a rather loud, firecracker-ish gift wrap for a young child we know by fringing the end of a paper and using colored tape for stripes:

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Two sheets of origami paper inspired the instant, ultra-minimalist wrapping for The Improvisational Cook, at top.

For more wrapping information, check out the what turns up if your type “gift wrap” into the SEARCH box. 

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