10 Christmas Wrap Ideas That Are Great For Shipping

Living in Germany means that I send A TON of packages back home to friends and family in The United States. Gift giving has always been one of my love languages. I love spending time buying and wrapping the perfect gift. For me, the beauty is in the details. Kevin and I have been living abroad for over two years now so, I have had plenty of time to get creative to make sure my gifts still look beautiful when they are opened on the other side of the world. The days of smashed bows and ribbons are all in my past! Just in time for the holidays. I am sharing with you 10 great ways to wrap your gifts! I hope you enjoy. Let's get wrapping!!

1. STAMP YOUR PAPER

This idea can make one roll of kraft paper go a long way! It is a subtle way to jazz up all of your gifts without the need of a single inch of ribbon. I found this stamp in the dollar bin at a local craft store. It has proven to be a dollar well spent!

2. WASHI TAPE

I have a few rolls of washi tape that I use for letters but I figured why not wrap it around my gift to have the finished look of a bow. It is super quick and easy!!

3. CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

Christmas ornaments can be inexpensive and great alternatives to using ribbons and bows. This snowflake is a sparkly little number I picked up at Wal-Mart years ago. I used hot glue to hold it in place and hid the glue with an additional sticker. Now it will lay flat and ship perfectly!

4. MINI CLOTHESPINS

For those of you that know me know that I FREAKING love all things miniature. So when I saw a bag of these mini clothes pins, I had to have them. My intention was to use them for card making, but they make the card a little too bulky for the mail. So, I made little stockings out of scrap paper and hung them on a miniature "clothesline" across the front. You could even do little mittens or hats!!

5. MONOGRAMS

This sparkly red paper is my favorite, but it can be a little plain by itself. This is a super simple way to ditch the ribbon all together. I printed off the letter on 8.5x11" sheet of kraft paper and hot glued it on to the front. 

6. GO WILD WITH GIFT TAGS

I bought these gift tags at an after christmas sale last year. When I got them home I realized that they are a bit small. So, I stamped one letter on each and used them to spell out the recipients name!

7. BUTTONS

We all have buttons laying around from spare shirts or old craft projects. I have had a jar full of them for as long as I can remember. After all these years I finally put them to good use! I strung a few up with some bakers twine and wrapped it several times around my package. So cute!! 

8. WIRE & BEADS

This is a similar idea as #8 but with slightly different materials. I bought this wire pre-strung but you could easily do it on your own as well. String your beads on the wire and wrap as many times as you'd like. Go crazy!!

9. MINI CHALKBOARDS

Here I go again with the miniature stuff. I just can't help it!! I found these little chalkboards on Amazon for super cheap. They are perfect to lay flay on any gift!

10. WAX SEAL

There has been a huge push for the revival of snail mail in the last few years. Along with the rise of snail mail comes the popularity of the ever beloved wax seal. This is a very elegant and simple way to spruce up some bland kraft paper. 

What are some unconventional ways you have decorated your christmas gifts?
I would love you hear your ideas!!
xoxo,
-E

HOW TO MAKE YOUR RENTAL FEEL MORE LIKE HOME

Kevin and I have been married for over five years now – Good grief! Where has the time gone? In those 5 years, we have also moved 5 times. I know, we are crazy people. With school and work we have developed a bit of a nomadic lifestyle. Since our most recent move took us across the world, I feel like I have mastered the art of setting up house. I thought it would be fun to share with you a few tips I use to make a temporary place feel more like a forever place. The photos in this post are from our current townhouse in Germany. I hope you guys enjoy!

1. TRY AN ACCENT WALL

I know not all rental properties allow you to paint the walls. In our case, all of our rental homes didn't mind us painting the walls as long as we painted them white when we moved out. In Germany, most rental properties do not even require you to paint it back when you move out! This wall in our bedroom used to be a horrible lavender color when we moved in. So head out to your local home improvement store and grab a half gallon of a fun new hue!

...And of course, Mr. Jack is front and center working hard for the camera.

2. INVEST IN SOME BIG-ASS CANVAS ART

Can you guess which desk is mine and which is Kevin's?? Canvas art is lightweight, inexpensive and makes a big impact. This huge world map canvas is from IKEA and I love it! It has come in handy for us when we do travel planning. I also love coming home from our trips and placing another pin up on the wall. The best part is, this HUGE canvas only required two tiny nail holes in the wall. Your landlord will be so happy!!

3. PLAY WITH PATTERN

If your landlord is pretty adamant about keeping the walls neutral, you can make things a bit more fun with a playful pattern! The image below is of our current guest bedroom. The room is a bit monochromatic, but the pattern keeps things a little more lively. 

4. ADD A POP OF COLOR

My number one rule for home decorating is to keep your big (and costly) pieces neutral. Then add your pop of color in the little things. This way you can change things out easily. It's much easier to replace a pillow cover than the whole sofa. Fun fact, those billy balls are from my wedding bouquet!! I still keep them in a vase in the house after all of this time. 

5. DON'T HANG YOUR WALL DECOR, LEAN IT!

I have a large mirror that I got from Pottery Barn several years ago and I absolutely love it! The only downside is that it's crazy heavy and the mounting hardware leaves GIANT holes. In cases like these, It is perfectly okay to lean something against the wall. You still get the impact of your cute decor, and you don't have to damage your walls. 

Fun fact: that table is actually a goodwill piece that we have had since college. A couple of years ago I sanded it down and stained it a bit darker. I absolutely love this table now!

6. INCORPORATE SOME UNIQUE PIECES

Truth be told, this is Kevin's least favorite piece of furniture in the whole house. Ha! He still can't believe I paid for a "tree stump." Despite what my husband thinks, this is one of my favorite pieces. I found it from a vendor on Etsy and fell in love. I think it is unique and adds a little more interest to the room. We all know rental properties usually aren't super architecturally interesting, search for furniture with a little bit of personality!

 

10. FRESH FLOWERS AND PLANTS

Just a small vase or tiny plant on a table can make a world of difference to warm up any room. I have been spoiled in Germany because flowers are really inexpensive here. I usually buy a new bouquet every week for around 4 Euros. However, you can buy a potted plant and it will last longer! I have managed to keep the succulents in my living room alive for a year! Even despite all the traveling!!

Fun fact: that coffee table is another gem from goodwill. Kevin has had it since before we got married. A couple of years ago I painted the base black and added some wood to the top. I found a guy on Craigstlist who was giving away floorboards from an old barn in South Carolina. Score! Things don't have to be costly to be cute!

Hope you enjoyed my little home tour. Please note that my house is NEVER this clean and tidy! We had company come over recently (which is pretty much the only time I clean up).  I had to document it!

What is your favorite way to make your house feel like home?

xoxo,
-E