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Christmas gift wrapping for men

 
gardener
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Hi all;
Being a typical man, my gift wrapping ability is, lets say lacking...   Liz call's it something else. I can rebuild an engine ,or run a 300 ton crane , but folding shiny paper seems beyond my skill set...

I went out to our separate office this morning to wrap gifts for her.  Nope my wrapping skills really haven't improved any since the last time...
Of course I always have used scotch tape.. I mean what else is there???  Magic invisible tape .. except its not invisible,  likes to twist up as you try to use it one handed, and it doesn't stick very well to boot!

BUT what I did discover... was nice wide shipping tape!  Liz has a shipping station for her etsy business. Complete with a nice heavy metal shipping tape dispenser! Talk about slick!!!   The tape sticks ! It doesn't want to twist up, It stays right where you put it !  Wow My wrapping skills still suck but my packages do look better.
Her heavy metal dispenser is the ticket!  Those cheap plastic things from the store would work but .... nothing beats a real tool!

 
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We just wrap everything in tie dyed dish towels these days. They live with the xmas stuff and get re-used every year.  
 
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Bahahaha! I love it!
For other wrapping challenged men: think about making a box out of wood, that shape is what you are making paper do... It's not rocket stove science, it's really not :D
They DO SELL 6 inch wide shipping tape, you know!  :D or bags are good. Or wrap it in fabric, no cares if it looks sloppy then :)

 
pollinator
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Yeah.  Fabric and then wire edged ribbon.  Re-usable again and again.

 
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Ruth Meyers wrote:Re-usable again and again.


Speaking of reusable, my great-grandmother used to use straight pins to fasten wrapping paper. She's save it and iron it to use again the following year. My aunt had seven kids, and they would save and use the colored comic section from the Sunday paper.
 
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What? Duct tape is not good enough?
 
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I like gift bags with some paper sticking out the top, for things that aren't so large they won't fit in a bag. I like that my wife and I can reuse bags and the paper each year. And for me, gift bags don't need to be fancy. I like a simple brown paper bag. It's not much, but the whole idea is to conceal what's inside so it's a surprise, just like wrapping a box right?
 
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Not very Permie,  but I am notorious for using aluminum foil .
No tape needed,  very shiny.
Can be recycled.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Mike Barkley wrote:What? Duct tape is not good enough?


Bahahaha  :D
And hey, duct tape comes in all kinds of pretty colors!! Put a bit of thought into it, and I bet your lady wouldn't even sigh when she saw it :D
Because you KNOW we sigh.... :D

:D
 
Pearl Sutton
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William Bronson wrote:Not very Permie,  but I am notorious for using aluminum foil .
No tape needed,  very shiny.
Can be recycled.


Points for that! I like it!
 
pollinator
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Mike Barkley wrote:What? Duct tape is not good enough?



I always have used duct tape!

I do keep a knife handy because some of the ladies can struggle with chipping through all the duct tape it takes to hold down that stupid colored paper.
 
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This year, I bought pretty gift boxes that didn't need to be wrapped.

I really like getting the gifts wrapped in towels.  When I use the towel, I generally think of the person who gave it to me. I don't remember what the gift was or when ... just who gave it to me.
 
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Years ago I sewed up a bunch of fabric sacks in different sizes with drawstring tops and even a flap so no one could peek in the hole. My husband *loves* them. Put the gift in, pull the string, tie a slip knot and maybe (big maybe here) pin a label onto it.
He's notorious for asking me at noon on Boxing Day what I'd like for Christmas. Now he just buys me something I need or want a month early and forget any surprises, but that's better than getting something that just takes up space. (This year it was an Instant Pot - not exciting, but it makes dinner with a little help.)
 
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This year I put together a bunch of Christmas hampers - all identical so there will be no queries/complaints.

The 'wrapping' is functional - flexible plastic tubs that also form part of the present. They have a multitude of uses and will last a long time.

The other presents, like: dried herbs, honey, olive oil, coconut oil, tea towels, fresh garlic, trendy Himalayan salt, Vegemite (an Australian delicacy!), etc, etc, are simply loaded into the tubs and the handles drawn together with natural twine. A ribbon and a name tag added - voila! Easy to load into the car or to carry home too.

Flexible-Tub.jpg
Flexible Tub
Flexible Tub
 
Pearl Sutton
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I was thinking one of you guys needs to do something with big leaves, and maybe bark twine...
 
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I'm wondering how much is just lack of training? Maybe a lot of girls were taught how to wrap presents, and boys were not? My father does a really nice job of wrapping presents. His folds are all accurate. From an early age, he'd leave the decorating to me (I LOVE all the ribbons and bows!), but the physical act of wrapping he did well. My brother also wraps well. He always wrapped his presents, and I'm sure my mom/dad showed him how to measure out the paper (unroll some paper. Stick present on paper. "Roll" the present over four times to find out how long to make it. You want the width to be the width of your package plus about 1.5 times the height of the package).

But, no one in my husband's family knew how to wrap. They just shoved the present in the paper and wrapped it higgly piggly and put a bunch of tape to hold it on. And, he didn't learn to wrap in school, either (I remember learning in 3rd grade). So, I had to teach him--which just is kind of weird, because generally the only presents he had to wrap were the ones for me, so I was pretty much showing him how to wrap my presents. Awkward!

I think most guys can fold at least one--if not many--styles of paper airplanes. Folding wrapping paper on a box is much easier!

OH! If you have an odd-shaped present, don't try to wrap it that way. Find a box that it'll fit into and then wrap that! It'll wrap a lot easier and look nicer. We have running gags about presents in cereal boxes ("Oh! I'm getting cereal, Yay!") and other such funny boxes. And we all have collections of different shaped boxes for wrapping in.

Gift bags are really handy, too. Save all the ones people give you and use them again! We pass gift bags back and forth around the family, and I'm kind of bummed when I give a present outside of the family, because it means it's a resource that won't renew, LOL! We reuse tissue paper, too. Just fold it after you use it/receive it, and then put it in the next present. It's going to get crumpled anyway, so why worry!
 
pollinator
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I'm actually awesome at wrapping presents.  I also excel at making gift boxes and baskets as well as cheese, fruit, veggie and meat trays.  You sure wouldn't know it to look at me, though.

For wrapping, the quality of the paper can make a huge difference and the heavy tape dispensers are also nice, but I usually just rip off 10 or so pieces of tape at a time and stick them on the edge of the table for easy grabbing.  Most square or rectangular gifts only need 3 pieces of tape.

I had to go back to Ontario 2 months ago to move my daughter to a new city.  I had bought her a good thermos for Christmas, so I wrapped it up so she'd have something to open for Christmas.  I told her that I had her Christmas present for her but, when I got the last load to her new place, she'd opened it already.  After she opened it, she realised that there was a tag from Santa and that the paper was Christmas themed.  The kid cracks me up.

To thank me for helping them move, she gave me her Xbox to take back with me to New Brunswick and her boyfriend bought me three games.  I live in a trailer with no water, electricity, or a TV.  I guess when you both have graduated from Video Game Design you want to share your passion with the world...  I wouldn't trade her for anything.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Bahahaha! I love it!
For other wrapping challenged men: think about making a box out of wood, that shape is what you are making paper do... It's not rocket stove science, it's really not :D
They DO SELL 6 inch wide shipping tape, you know!  :D or bags are good. Or wrap it in fabric, no cares if it looks sloppy then :)


This!
Orrrr.... why not make that wooden box? Make it a really nice one, and reuse it, every year, just as you would the fabric?
 
Carla Burke
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Eh... my hubs' handiwork...
Photo0044.jpg
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Hubs' amazing wrapping, with shiny paper & gorilla tape.
 
Travis Johnson
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I am really good at guessing Christmas gifts. It is getting harder now because the girls are getting bigger, but I used to get them to reveal it pretty easy...

"Okay, so you went shopping with Mom, and she said she had to buy something for Daddy, and then...YOU STOPPED...what did she look at? Did she put it in the cart? I bet she did, didn't she", and then they would gleefully say yes or no. Oh it was so easy...

Now I have to wait until they go to bed, and then dig out the needles and poke the presents through the box to see if they are hard, or soft, or if they cringle with bubble packaging. Sometimes they just crinkle with bubble wrap, so then you know it is breakable. That kind of stuff can tell you a lot about what you are getting.

Oh yeah...I am sneaky!
 
pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:I am really good at guessing Christmas gifts. It is getting harder now because the girls are getting bigger, but I used to get them to reveal it pretty easy...

"Okay, so you went shopping with Mom, and she said she had to buy something for Daddy, and then...YOU STOPPED...what did she look at? Did she put it in the cart? I bet she did, didn't she", and then they would gleefully say yes or no. Oh it was so easy...

Now I have to wait until they go to bed, and then dig out the needles and poke the presents through the box to see if they are hard, or soft, or if they cringle with bubble packaging. Sometimes they just crinkle with bubble wrap, so then you know it is breakable. That kind of stuff can tell you a lot about what you are getting.

Oh yeah...I am sneaky!



To this day, even after everything, you still hold the childlike wonder of Christmas - this made me smile :)  
 
James Freyr
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Here is my gift bag in all its glory receiving final inspection containing my wifes christmas gift. She wrapped a couple gifts using paper grocery bags also. Those bows we purchased ten years ago when we had our first christmas together in our first home. We have a whole bag of them and they've held up well being reused so many times.
grocery-sack-wrapping-paper.jpg
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grocery sack wrapping paper
gift-bag.jpg
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gift bag
 
Leigh Tate
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James Freyr wrote:Here is my gift bag in all its glory receiving final inspection. . .


Where would we be without our snoopervisors!
 
Leigh Tate
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William Bronson wrote:Not very Permie,  but I am notorious for using aluminum foil .
No tape needed,  very shiny.
Can be recycled.


I bought some "heavy duty" aluminum foil the other day that is so thin it's like paper! It tears easily and is useless for its usual purposes. My initial reaction was the feeling that I'd wasted my money. Then I remembered this post and knew exactly what to do with it! It's now in the gift wrap box with all the other wrapping paper. Thanks William!
 
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Girls sometimes buy things from stores and it arrives in a fancy bag. People leave those bags behind in the houses I tear down or move, along with the gifts that people get. You might get a stapler, scissors, baking pan or booster cables. It really depends on what people left in the kitchen and the tool shed.

One year, I hung a big ribbon on the gift shelf which was just a shelf in the hallway that the people had to pass on their way into the building. People got to choose things off of the shelf. This year I might put a bow on a laundry basket, since I'm going to my brother's place and everything would blow off of the shelf as it rides on the roof of my car.

I sometimes secretly place the item being given, if it's a household decor item. Then eventually the item is discovered. This doesn't work with men. I could change half of the things in my brother's place while he's away and unless it's the TV and I put in a much bigger or smaller one , he will not notice.
 
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I think i did "ok". Started with a vase/bucket I found in the garage
20191224_125754-756x1008.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20191224_125754-756x1008.jpg]
 
pollinator
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I'm not a typical man then, I see it as an art form.
 
Pearl Sutton
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The reason I am finding this thread SO entertaining is that Permies men are the smartest, most creative batch of guys I have ever met. Ask them to tear down a tractor transmission and change the gear ratio so it will pull uphill easily when it's running on methane brewed in the back yard "Simple! Give me two days!" Build a rocket stove that will heat a house on 1/10 of the wood the stove took "not a problem!" wrap a Christmas gift "ACK!!"  
Y'all amuse me :D
Have an excellent Christmas guys, hope your ladies appreciate you :)

:D
 
Nicole Alderman
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Huxley Harter wrote:I'm not a typical man then, I see it as an art form.



I don't think any of us are typical anything! I love that we don't fit the mold. Sure on a bellcurve of wrapping ability, men might fall slightly more on not-interested/not-able to gift wrap, and women a bit more on the other side, but we're all spread out all over, and I think that's great!

I also view wrapping as an art form and a way for me to show thought and love for the person I'm giving the gift to. For me, nice wrapping is a gift just like the present is. Sure, sometimes I don't have time to spend wrapping something, and just reuse a gift bag. But, I'm always a bit sad when I do. I love being able to personalize the gift for them and make it beautiful.
 
Travis Johnson
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Pearl Sutton wrote:The reason I am finding this thread SO entertaining is that Permies men are the smartest, most creative batch of guys I have ever met. Ask them to tear down a tractor transmission and change the gear ratio so it will pull uphill easily when it's running on methane brewed in the back yard "Simple! Give me two days!" Build a rocket stove that will heat a house on 1/10 of the wood the stove took "not a problem!" wrap a Christmas gift "ACK!!"  
Y'all amuse me :D
Have an excellent Christmas guys, hope your ladies appreciate you :)

:D



I am laughing because this is kind of true....well not the smartest part, or the most creative part, but two days ago I literally rebuilt the front of my tractor because ice had got into the oil and froze the left front tire completely up. But I also needed to get Katie a present so I went all artistic and had a Copy Center print a 2 foot by three foot photo of us at a railroad station with us dressed up as 1940 people. It is one of Katie's favorite photos. Then I framed it using barn boards from our old sawmill...like REAL barnboards!

So yeas, in the morning I am elbow deep in gear oil rebuilding a tractor front end, and in the afternoon I am sawing barnboards and putting up an artistic picture and frame to hang on our wall.

I'll post two photos. The first is of her present as it hangs on the wall, and then just the photo that I framed.

The amazing part is, this picture was taken with a point-and-shoot camera sitting on a tripod using the self-timer. Our clothing came from Goodwill Stores, even her fake pearl jewelry! And the photo came out good too, like the edge of the building is perfectly plumb with the photo, and even the umbrella is lined up with the 45 degree boards behind her hand. Even the woman who printed off the copy of the photo said she thought it was of my Grandmother, but it is just Katie and I.

DSCN0821.JPG
Photo and Barnwood Frame
Photo and Barnwood Frame
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The Framed Photo
The Framed Photo
 
Dale Hodgins
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My unwrapped Christmas presents went over pretty well. We were doing it at the home of my brother Jeff. Only one other brother was coming because the others are all living at quite a distance.

I got to Jeff's place on time. My older brother got there quite late. At some point I dumped the bag out and got Jeff to try on both pairs of jeans and 3 shirts. They all fit. He was on time , being that he lives there so there was only one possible recipient at that point.

My younger brother has recently moved here and actually needed clothing , while the older one has plenty. But still, when he got there I informed brother number two that he had missed out on these items because I had to wait to eat my turkey. I gave his wife some nice kitchen stuff.

My niece is a procrastinator, so when I picked her up, she had all of her presents and 3 rolls of wrapping paper with her. The plan was to find a private spot and wrap them at my brother's house. Every surface was covered with food and knick-knacks. So after seeing that my very attractive gift bag was now empty, Tara put all of her stuff in nice bags and later dispensed gifts from them.

I got a few nice things that I will never use, so I will be re-gifting them tonight. I'm invited to a friend's house for Christmas number two. Then tomorrow night I go somewhere different, for Christmas number 3.

I was at Starbucks yesterday, and someone mentioned that they had gotten a piece of coal for the other. And this reminded me of my landlady Weng, in the Philippines. Last year, she had some fish and chicken that needed to be grilled on a charcoal burner that I had built from cob. So, we got her the thing that was at the top of her Christmas wish list. A bag of charcoal. Almost everyone in that country would welcome a bag of charcoal for Christmas. It's great for roasting pigs and cooking fish and doing other things that don't work well on the little electric hot plates that many people have.
 
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It is not just men who may have lower skill set when it comes to wrapping. I do too. My solution is to go to the dollar store [especially right after Christmas, when they want to move their inventory!] and buy these very nice bags with handles. I get about a dozen in different sizes and also some silk paper to stuff the tops with. No peeking! No fighting with scissors, paper cuts or tape. And I can do the whole family in a couple of hours.
My family realizes that wrapping paper is expensive and flimsy, so they have started doing it too. After the party, we collect our bags preciously and keep them for next year. We cull those that are torn or don't look fresh anymore and go get a few bags for next year. The gifts look much better that I could make them look with the conventional wrapping paper.
Let's face it: we want a nice presentation but we don't want to spend more on wrapping than on the gifts. Over the years, it is cheaper when you can reuse these pretty little bags.
Occasionally, I will have something that is too bulky and odd shaped. For that one, when I go to Fleet Farm or another  big box store, I kindly ask for a big bag. They have never refused. Fleet Farm I like because they have really huge green plastic sacs that you cannot see through.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:This year, I bought pretty gift boxes that didn't need to be wrapped.

I really like getting the gifts wrapped in towels.  When I use the towel, I generally think of the person who gave it to me. I don't remember what the gift was or when ... just who gave it to me.



My wife knits, crochet's,?? something with pointy needles....  on the ends of towels and that is a major part of Christmas gifts for us.  Everyone on our gift list looks forward to getting them.  Many mention a few weeks before Christmas that their towels are getting old.  hint, hint.

Wrapping not a problem with towels, just a ribbon tied around them.

My part is finding the best pocket knife I can afford, then buying a bunch of them.  All of our kids, boys and girls, get them. (The youngest of the kids is in her 30's but still wants that pocket knife.)  My favorite and most used tool around the homestead.
 
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