I guess it’s no secret that I’m really not much of a farmhouse kind of gal. I mean, I do LOVE farmhouse decor, but other than a few touches of the farmhouse look here and there, my house is pretty much a traditional on its way to super casual.
With this, WHY on earth would I be going all farmhouse when it comes to gift wrapping?
Well, this week, I saw a Christmas tree decorated by Joanna Gaines. It was, as you can imagine, the usual brand of Joanna Gaines perfection. But it was more than just perfect. It was soft and gentle, and totally neutral. But even with all of the neutrals, the tree and the packages under it had such a powerful presence.
And so I decided to dissect the Joanna brand of gift wrapping magic and recreate some of that “presence” in my own home.
Here’s what I learned.
Farmhouse Style Holiday Gift Wrap: A Lesson from Joanna
Brown Paper Packages
First, all of the packages were wrapped in brown paper. Yes —every single one. She did not mix in companion papers. It was all paper bag brown. To create this look, I got a roll of this paper from HomeGoods and from the Dollar Tree, but for heavier and/or oversized packages, I used the thick brown paper found in the paint section of the home improvement store. It measures 35-inches wide with unlimited length and is tough as nails.
Tied Up With Strings
And, from what I could tell, Joanna mainly used brown twine with a hint of red on all of her packages. She may have had some ribbon on packages underneath or in the back, but there wasn’t any that I could appreciate in the photo. It looked like all of the packages were wrapped exactly the same –in brown paper with the same colored twine and name tags. The only thing that was different was the size of the box.
But, honestly, as lovely as that is, I really didn’t want to just use brown-on-brown or light-red-on-brown under my tree. So I respectfully opted to put a simple twist on Joanna’s beautiful idea and make it my own.
My Favorite Things
To make this happen, I gathered stiff, two-sided, red and black plaid ribbons, different twines, and solid-colored textural ribbons that co-ordinate with each other. And I love that the red and black plaid also works with black chalkboard name tags.
Then, although I’m not sure why, I got a red and black buffalo checked wrapping paper. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because I thought I just couldn’t live without it. ~~~Shaking my head~~~I’m like that, you know. 🙂
Actually, I’m not sure if I will end up using the buffalo checked paper under the tree, but since I wanted a cohesive look with lots of red, I wanted it at the ready —just in case.
Plaid Ribbon with Twine
My hat tip to Joanna’s packages begins by slipping a simple plaid ribbon between the twine and paper. And if a long piece of twine is used, it can be threaded through the name tag, wrapped around the box, and then taped together on the backside.
By doing this, it gives the illusion of being tied around the box —just like Joanna would do.
“Burlap” With a Twist
For a visual change, a wide ribbon that looks like a loosely woven burlap provides texture and color in one. And it looks great stretched across the paper, don’t ya think? The only problem is that it’s not very stiff, so it’s best to confine this ribbon to smaller bows.
Plaid Over Burlap
For burlap ribbon that is so wide it is difficult to tie a bow, consider layering it for great neutral texture. As long as the impact color (red) is in the ribbon that goes on or near the top, the burlap will provide a great background. I opted to tie one plaid ribbon on top of this package…
The Triple Decker
And then added another textural ribbon between the burlap ribbon and plaid ribbon on the next.
The key, I think, to capturing Joanna’s look-with-a-twist is really pretty simple. It seems to take on a life of its own when packages are wrapped in brown paper and then made unique by adding a different combination of coordinating ribbons.
Presence ~~Not Presents
When I came to the end of my gift wrapping session, I was thrilled with the stack of pretty Joanna-inspired presents. But as they were being arranged under the tree, my mind wandered back to what really caught my eye with Joanna’s Facebook photo and comment. And it was her “presence,” not her “presents.”
I’ll add the link to her Facebook photo below, but what she said was that she planned to give the gift of herself to all of her loved ones and home decor fans. She planned to put away the phone and minimize other distractions so she could look people in the eye, smile at them, and love them in an old-fashioned way.
And just like that, Joanna had, once again, found the secret.
So here’s to tackling December ~~and Christmas ~~the Joanna Gaines way.
More presence and less presents.
Because it truly is a “present” to take the time to love others in that old-fashioned, Joanna Gaines kind of way.
As for the red and buffalo checked paper. Remember that? Well, it ended up —along with some of Joanna’s twine– in an entirely different post. You can click here to see the Cozy Christmas Out By the Fire post on this blog.
And use this handy graphic to pin these ideas for later…
But for now, let’s check out more fun and festive wraps from my uber-talented bloggy friends..
Special thanks to Nancy from Slightly Coastal for organizing this hop!