When the holiday season really kicks into high gear around the studio, we sometimes joke that we’re gathering the elves. And it’s true — each year, we pull our team together for some major ’round-the-clock magic-making. In just weeks, we create enough gifts to rival Santa’s workshop. Part of what makes it work is having the right tools at the ready to gift wrap — the pretty ones and the practical.
Read on for our favorite holiday gift-wrapping must-haves, from beautiful twines to the sheers we can’t live without.
Scissors and Shears
The main rule of thumb for scissors of any kind is to not mix your materials — doing so will blunt the edges and shorten their life span. And though having a whole slew of scissors may feel a touch excessive, some of these are so pretty that we like to display them. If your craft supplies bring you joy, that’s a win-win in our book.
- Japanese Iron Ikebana Scissors. Great for creating gift toppers, anything with floral foliage, twigs, etc.
- Lightweight Wire Clipper. A must-have for clipping flowers, twigs, etc.
- Brass Dress Maker Scissors. For something that just looks damn good.
- Gingher Fabric Scissors. These are expensive, but they’re the best of the best. Do not use these for paper — honor the blade or else it will dull!
- Household scissors. Great for cutting paper.
- Fiskars RazorEdge. The best all-purpose scissors.
Adhesive and Tapes
Don’t even think about getting knee-deep in holiday-gift-wrap land without your trusty glue gun and adhesive tapes. They quite literally hold it all together.
- Scotch Double Sided Tape, for neat wrapping jobs.
- Glue guns, a necessity for adhering decorating elements and stand-alone ribbons, etc. Have one for glue and another for wax seals, which you can custom design. Get a few versatile images like a leaf, a heart, a snowflake, etc., and make some seals! Your packages will thank you.
- Washi tapes. These pretty Japanese tapes are great for super-quick decorative details.
Wrapping and Tissue Papers
As with any well-balanced wardrobe, it’s good to have both basics and statement pieces when it comes to wrapping papers. I like to stock some fun, seasonal, and unexpected prints as well as neutral bases. You can layer to really make an impact, keep things simple, or mix patterns for graphic pop!
- Solid-color wrapping paper. We love gravel, kraft, and ivory tones as backdrop canvases to build and layer upon.
- Seasonal printed papers. Rifle Paper Co., Darling Clementine, and Midori make some beautiful prints that add festive touch in an instant.
- Tissue paper in various staple colors and tones. Metallics, a champagne or neutral, kraft, and black should cover you. Always select double-sided tissue papers when possible!
Ribbons, Toppers, and Foliage
As with papers, it’s important to have a mix when it comes to ribbons, toppers, and foliage. For ribbons, we like to keep an assortment of classic neutrals, options that feel masculine, a bit more romantic and others that feels on-trend and personal to your taste. We think of these as accessories, the final touch! For toppers, we really think of these as an additional part of the gift — a keepsake that the recipient can hold onto along with whatever the contents of your gift may be. We love foraging in our neighborhood for bits of plants and flowers to make our toppers, but Save on Crafts stocks plenty of pretty seasonal bits too, should you be less of a neighborhood forager.
- Natural neutrals, like a wide linen ribbon, a large twine roll and thinner hemp cord, which is great for tags and works really well with wax seals.
- Masculine options, like a black or graphite cotton twill ribbon.
- Rayon grosgrain. Note: Rayon feels more luxurious than polyester.
- An on-trend ribbon or anything that feels personal to your POV (we love plaids, florals, geometric), for accent.
Storage and Bins
Storage and organization is highly personal. We recommend doing whatever works for you, but I personally like to use bigger vessels and then stay organized within those. We love African baskets and canvas bins and boxes and even use our collection of ceramics to hold our favorite scissors.
- Baskets. Our favorites are jute, sea grass, and African Bolga baskets originating from Ghana.
- Lidded canvas bins and cardboard archive boxes, perfect for neatly tucking messes into.
- Wire mesh craft drawers, great for organizing cards, tags, pens and more.
One of our favorite parts of the gifts we create is thinking about the details of the packaging. After all, a beautiful gift deserves a gorgeous exterior! No matter what, unpack whatever box your gift might have arrived in and give it a new home.
- Kraft boxes with lids, which are good for ceramics, etc.
- Muslin bags in multiple sizes for small objects and treasures like jewelry.
- Kraft gift bags in a few different sizes to carry your gifts in.
We love to print our own tags from card stock, and of course we go the extra mile with metallic foils and embossing, but in a pinch, a simple tag with the recipient’s name written in pretty cursive adds a thoughtful, handmade touch. Again, having all of the basics, plus maybe a fun festive color or foil-stamped tag makes gifting the whole crew — and not mixing up your gifts, while you’re at it — a little simpler.
- Basics: Kraft, black, and ivory tags.
- A fun festive color.
- Foil-stamped gift tags for when your gift needs a little umph.
We definitely (not-so) secretly geek out over pens around here. We love fine-point paint pens and ones that will hold on all surfaces is important!
- Rapidograph pens. These technical pens have really fine nibs, which give you the best, super-clean, super-saturated line.
- Rollerball pen. You can use these pens on papers that are not porous, and the ink will still hold.
- Sharpie fine points. A go-to.
- Uchida Extra Fine Paint pens. Great for tags.
Last, but certainly not least … the sentiment. Having lots of festive yet versatile blank cards on hand means you’ll never find yourself cruising the supermarket aisles desperately trying to pick something that feels right from a sea of impersonal cards. A handwritten note is really the only right way to finish a thoughtful gift. We love Rifle Paper Co. for its beautiful, go-anywhere designs, Hamish Robertson’s modern take on holiday greetings, and Sugar Paper Co.’s festive sets.