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13 December 2006

I am drunk and have been wrapping Xmas presents while drinking Guinness and listening to the Jesus & Mary Chain. (I needed a break from the holiday music.)

Which brings me to my question: are you a wrapping paper miser (i.e., you save small sections of leftover paper to wrap small presents, you plan your cuts, etc) or are you a devil-may-care, landfill-be-damned paper waster?
I've evolved from a miser to a waster... I used to be so careful; now I just plop the present in the middle of the paper, wrap it up, and trim off all the excess around the edges. It's just too damn tedious, and anyway, my family got tired of getting presents in paper that was ten years old and smelled thoroughly like "attic."

Also, the cat gets an early Xmas while she runs up and down the hall with the long curls of wrapping paper gripped in her teeth.

posted by BoringPostcards 13 December | 21:21
I so hate to admit it, but I'm a miser. I am my family's designated present-wrapper for all occasions and it never ceases to amaze me that the last available piece of paper is always 1" too short to completely wrap the last present. This phenomenon is 100% scientifically validated by me over years and years of present-wrapping hundreds and hundreds of items. Thus I became the miser, saving any scrap of wrapping paper larger than 6" square to wrap the small things, in the hope that my frugality will pay off later on down the present wrapping line. But it never does.
posted by contessa 13 December | 21:34
I'm somewhere in the middle. I try to cut reasonable amounts of paper in order not to waste it, but I don't conserve the scraps.

My father is a bad present wrapper, and always makes me (or my brother) wrap his gifts for him. This year I'm hosting Christmas, so everyone's having their gifts shipped here. My brother reports the following conversation with my father:

Brother: Gift wrapping is so great! You order stuff online, they wrap it for you, you're done.

Dad: Yeah, I'm just having your sister do it for me. It's just as easy.
posted by occhiblu 13 December | 21:43
I'm a mixture of both. I start out being very careful and paying attention to what cut scraps can be used later and then when I get sick of wrapping stuff I just start picking up rolls of paper and cutting wildly.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 13 December | 21:45
I'm with occhiblu somewhere in the middle.

I used to save the Sunday comics pages for wrapping kids presents.
posted by arse_hat 13 December | 21:51
I'm a wrapping paper afficionado, which I probably just spelled wrong but am too lazy to look up. I collect pretty or interesting gift wrap. Every year I have "a look" - this year all of my presents are being wrapped in either a red and white toile print, or a pale blue and white retro-ish fawn print, and I made all of the tags that go on the presents. They're nothing special, but I do like making them. I'll take a picture after I type this - this year I'm just doing plain initial tags. I also collect fantabulous ribbons to use to wrap the presents. I abhor those premade fug bows that you buy at the store and slap on, so I use my own ribbon to pretty up the packages.

A couple of times I've made my own wrapping paper by starting with either pulp or craft paper, and free-handing designs on it with gold or silver or copper metallic paint. But people were so dumbfounded by it that I stopped doing it because I felt like I was showing off.

Wallpaper also makes kick ass gift wrap and you can find some gorgeous damasks and funky mod prints. So do foreign newspapers, and my favorite - blueprints. If you have a friend in the architecture or construction field you should beg for their old blueprints. didn't answer your question, which is...I'm sort of in between. I try to save nice chunks for scraps for crafty stuff though.

I had no idea I had so much to say about wrapping paper until right now.
posted by iconomy 13 December | 22:10
I am both inspired and exhausted by iconomy's post.
posted by occhiblu 13 December | 22:12
I am both inspired and informed by iconomy's post... if my relatives want presents that don't look like they were wrapped by a tipsy 13 year old, they need to adopt iconomy.
posted by BoringPostcards 13 December | 22:16
Here's the template I made - I just printed out however many of each letter I wanted, on cardstock, and then painted them with glue and glitter and punchd a hole in them.

≡ Click to see image ≡

Two blurry photos I just took. My camera takes horrible night shots. I just stuck ornament hangers in these and hung them from a bough so you could see them. You could make banners or signs with them and spell stuff. Yes, I am insane, thanks. I'm also a glitter and tinsel whore. If it's shiny, I want it, but only at Christmas.

≡ Click to see image ≡

≡ Click to see image ≡
See the pretty glitter!!

So needless to say, if your name is BoringPostcards, I would hang a B from your gift. Or a B and a P.

You know, I'm not always this anal. I swear. Only in December.
posted by iconomy 13 December | 22:42
Hee, iconomy, that looks like so much fun. I actually wish I could do the whole awesomely wrapped gifts thing -- at one point I really wanted to open a giftwrap store -- but truthfully, I feel the people to whom I give gifts would so underappreciate the effort that it would make me resentful, and that's not very merry at all.
posted by occhiblu 13 December | 22:47
occhi did you know that one of the rooms in the Spelling mansion is a gift wrapping room? Its sole purpose is housing wrapping paper and ribbon, and providing a place to wrap gifts. Maybe we can tour it some day ;)

You'd be surprised how many people love pretty presents. The best reaction is from men, usually.
posted by iconomy 13 December | 22:57
Woo, wrapping roadtrip! :)

The best reaction is from men, usually.

Really? Huh. My male family members are very much the stick-on bow type; I guess I've pretty much just always assumed they wouldn't go for pretty wrapping. Though I *love* the blueprint idea, and can see how that would go over big.
posted by occhiblu 13 December | 23:03
Miser. Even with newspaper.
posted by klangklangston 13 December | 23:12
I'm drunk and making Christmas cookies with a merlot.... that's gotta count for something.
posted by Doohickie 13 December | 23:20
OMG, I love those tags, ico!

That's what you should have hung on that branch for the pic... OMG

(Seriously, they sound like gorgeous presents.)
posted by BoringPostcards 13 December | 23:28
*ships all her stuff to iconomy to wrap*

I'm a miser, but I'm not crazy about it. I throw away the little scraps.
posted by deborah 13 December | 23:39
Gift bags. Swoop the present in. Stuff some tissue paper and you're done.
posted by typewriter 13 December | 23:56
I am iconomy!

I saw this thread and thought "I will certainly be the most obsessive person about wrapping paper." But no. Thank goodness. I am not a miser because every year I have a new and carefully chosen array of papers.

Yes, I pick a look every year. Yes, I've made my own paper (my fave: brown kraft paper, upon which I laid sprigs of white pine and juniper, then spray-painted with gold spray-paint to create shadowy images of the plant forms. To go with this I did tags of homemade paper and gold paint pen). Yes, I make tage (this year's are photo-images of taxicabs, statues of liberty, and other New Yorky stuff that I found on clearance in the scrapbooking aisle).

This is where it gets really sick. Every year, I put such thought and effort into my wrapping paper choice that it ends up encapsulating my entire Christmas experience. For that reason, it has often ocurred to me that I should somehow preserve the wrapping choices for each year - save them in a book, say, along with the Christmas cards received and my shopping lists, etc. I have thought of doing this for several years, but haven't followed through -- in part because it usually ends up seeming like just one more Christmastime task that doesn't get done, and in part because even I can't stand how OCD/Martha that thought is.

My main wrapping paper fetish is the thick, heavy brocaded-foil wrap from the 1940s. That stuff is amazing.
posted by Miko 14 December | 00:01
I absolutely suck hardocore to the max at wrapping. Bags with tissue paper are the "shiznit" if I do say so myself. However, if you are going to be wrapping someing, drunk is the way to do it. (It's like sex or murder that way)
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice 14 December | 04:23
Miko, I save some of it too...heehee. A kindred spirit!! Another thing I do is (wow I sound insane) hide all of my new wrapping paper until after everyone's opened their presents, so no one sees it beforehand. Right now I have the fawns and the toiles hidden behind my porch sofa. Then after Christmas, I add them to the communal pile so everyone can use it. I retire it, so to speak ;P
posted by iconomy 14 December | 06:40
I'm a drunken waster. That's no surprise.
posted by rainbaby 14 December | 08:32
I just bought a roll of My Little Pony wrapping paper. I'm gonna hoard that stuff for as long as I can.
posted by muddgirl 14 December | 08:41
Is it Christmas My Little Pony? Oh man.
posted by iconomy 14 December | 08:54
*is so impressed and yet overawed by iconomy & miko that she can only faintly gasp*

I have made my own wrapping paper, but only because it was either a)a desperation art project with kids or b) said kids needed birthday party present wrapped that minute and all we had was 3 year old torn stuff with reindeer on it.

I'm kind of in between, to answer BPs original. I start out all neat & hoard-y and then by midnight Christmas Eve, which is when I'm actually usually wrapping the vast bulk of my presents, I start throwing that stuff around. That's also when I run out of scotch tape and lose the scissors and so at that point I'm using an old Exacto knife and duct tape and Irish whiskey. And by stuff I mean whatever wrapping paper I can get for as little as possible that's either vaguely attractive or so over the top that it cracks me up. Then I stick on a bunch of bows so that the dog has something to tear off overnight and then I take a sharpie and write everyone's name on their packages.
posted by mygothlaundry 14 December | 09:24
When I think of wrapping paper, I think of my late, beloved Lab. We adopted her around Xmas of '95 or so and we were sitting a friend's dog at the time. During the holidays, one of those round tins showed up in the mail, full of homemade cookies in little red and green cupcake uh, cups. Someone left the tin on an easy chair, and when we got home that night, there was an open tin and tiny little flakes of cupcake paper all over place - obviously, the two of them had gotten into it, try as they might to look like angels upon our return.

That night I went to walk her, and sure enough, there was red and green confetti in her poop - probably the most festive holiday dog turd I've ever seen. Whether that counts as paper recycling or paper waste is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by trondant 14 December | 09:24
Iconomy, that's most excellent I may need to borrow the concept. Many years, I do funky giftwrap. This year, I saw a bunch of family at Thanksgiving and will not see them at Xmas, so I handed out gifts in person.

I've done recycled grocery bags with potato printed stars. LLBean used to use a particular color of paper bags, and their signature printing - I hoarded enough bags to do a theme once. Whenever I shipped a big box-o-gifts to my family, I wrapped all my gifts the same, so they'd be identifiable.

Trondant, the reason I don't put tinsel on the tree is that it appears in the cat litter - sometimes connecting several units of poop.

My brother always uses gitfwrap inside out, so you don't see the paper until you unwrap the gift.

posted by theora55 15 December | 16:28
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