Gift wrapping ideas by Pick Up Sticks Vintage

“Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things.”  Even though I whole-heartedly agree with the amazing Maria there are lots of different handmade ways to personalize your gifts this Christmas. But firstly some background.

Wrapping gifts was invented by the Chinese as early as 2nd Century BC where the Chinese court distributed money to government officials in paper envelopes called chih pao

By Victorian England, wrapping presents was common practice among the upper classes, using elaborately decorated paper, ribbons and lace to wrap gifts for under the Christmas tree. At the same time, the gift wrapping practice began to be used by shops where customers’ purchases were wrapped in sturdy brown paper and string.

But the breakthrough came in the run up to Christmas 1917. The Halls brothers (soon to be the Hallmark empire) started selling fancy French decorative paper (originally used to line envelopes) to wrap gifts. By 1919, the brothers began producing and selling their own decorative printed paper for the sole purpose of wrapping. 

The 1930s saw further changes in wrapping innovations with the introduction of adhesive tape, rolls of ribbon and gift tags. The style of wrapping paper changed too, away from ornate Victorian patterned designs towards the more realistic images we associate with Christmas today like snowflakes, candles and Christmas trees.

Gift wrapping ideas:

A little lacey 

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

Think like the Victorians and use vintage ribbons or lace to tie your gifts with. There are lots of different colours available by the metre at Flock but here I have used cream and white to compliment the plain and textured wallpaper I have wrapped with.

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

Vintage postcards and old black and white photos also make interesting and unique gift tags.


Inspired by the Orient

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

This Japanese style printed Washi paper is used for making beautiful origami figures and is so easy to wrap with! Available by the roll it comes in many beautifully detailed colours and patterns.

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

And why not add some texture to a plain package with a little sprig of holy attached with Washi tape.


Pom Pom Pop

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

These colourful wool pom poms are handmade by Hilltribe ladies in Thailand and make the perfect alternative to bows on your gifts. Here I have tied them with wool and have used neon stars as gift tags.

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

A Christmas Carol

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

I love using old paper to wrap with. Here I have used vintage musical song sheets, but you could use old newspapers or maps.

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

Tie with garden twine and accessories with some colourful vintage feathers and a little rose bud… But be careful of those thorns as they are very sharp!


Recycle and reuse

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

If like me you have bags of fabric scraps that you cant quite throw away put them to use by wrapping thin strips around your packages. Here I have tied them with colourful trim and used luggage tags as gift tags.

Gift wrapping ideas - Flock Brighton

This lovely metallic trim comes from Vietnam and is available by the roll at Flock and makes the perfect alternative to dull boring ribbons this Christmas.


Has that inspired you to up your wrapping game this festive season?


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