DIY Brown Paper Gift Wrapping

DIY Christmas Gift Wrapping - Brown Paper Shabby Chic

What you’ll need:

Kraft paper
• Ribbon
• Twine
• Stamp
• Ink pad
• Marker (optional)
• Scissors
• Tape

There are a few reasons why I’m in love with this DIY Christmas wrapping. The biggest reasons I’m in love are: 1) it’s simplistic and classic and 2) it’s thrifty and reusable.

This year’s Christmas gift wrapping was actually inspired by my high school teachers. In high school we were always required to cover our textbooks – either with the soft, stretchy textbook covers from the store or with a brown paper bag. Obviously, the brown paper bag option was the cheapest; it was free! And although I didn’t think so at the time, the brown paper bag look is actually so cute. So why not wrap some presents in it?
Brown paper bags are a great alternative to just using Kraft paper for your gift wrapping, because they’re typically free of charge at your local grocery store and in order to use them, you only need to nicely unpeel the bottom part of the bag and get wrapping (putting the logo on the front of the bag on the inside of your wrapping if there is one)! Of course, this has it’s limits. Your present would have to be smaller than a grocery bag. For the larger items, there is still Kraft paper!

In keeping with the inexpensive, college-girl-on-a-budget theme, I picked up my plaid ribbon, twine, ink pad and stamp from the dollar section of Target. Otherwise, I usually get my ribbon from Michael’s but anywhere and any ribbon you like will do! I personally think the plaid and brown paper together give these presents a perfect shabby chic look, though.

My favorite (and what I would consider the most personal) touch to this gift wrapping idea is the initial stamped “gift tag”. For this gift, I actually initially (no pun intended) thought I had messed up, not evenly applying the ink to my stamp, but it turns out that I actually prefer the homey, rustic look that the unclean stamp gives this gift in comparison to the others that turned out with clean lines. If your stamp turns out looking a little too rustic, though, don’t fear! You can take any matching colored marker (in this case black was easy to find) and just lightly fill in some of the blank spaces that you missed.

This gift tag overhaul may not seem like an inexpensive fix, because you have to buy one stamp for every person you buy a gift for, and that could be a lot of people, but most people buy for the same people year after year. For example, I could spend $4 on a stamp for my mom, brother, dad and Tyler, but I get to reuse these stamps for as long as I please. I mean, a stamp never really goes bad, you know?

DIY Christmas Gift Wrapping - Brown Paper Shabby Chic

Throw a simple bow over your stamped brown paper wrapping before tying a piece of twine in the center of your bow and then you’re done! It will only take you a few minutes (and dollars) to do, and you’ll have a traditional, simplistic gift wrapping that will never go out of style.

What do you think of this shabby chic DIY Christmas gift wrapping? Do you have a wrapping paper theme every year? I want to hear about it in the comments below.

Gifts that Keep on Giving

Gifts that keep on giving

Haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet? No worries, you still have plenty of time left to finish! And you still have plenty of time to do it in a big way. This year you have the power to give gifts to more people than the ones that are just on your ‘to shop for’ list. This Christmas you can give gifts that keep on giving and help women, children and men all over the world… I’ve compiled a list of companies that give back not only during the holiday season but year round. With these companies, you can give a gift AND give back. They’re the gifts that keep on giving. So, this Christmas shop at:

Gift Guide for Him

Gift Guide for Him

Orient ‘Blue Mako’ Automatic Dive Watch // Cedar iPhone Case // Tommy Hilfiger Buffalo Tartan Tie (Also available as a bow tie) // Banana Republic Reindeer Sock // Ralph Lauren Polo Blue Eau de Toilette // Ruichy Electric Balance Scooter // High Plains Sweater // Coach Money Clip Card Case // Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II (Pearl) // Sperry Original Boat Shoe // Patagonia Fleece Pullover

It’s only November 16th, and I’m ready to put up my Christmas tree. Is it acceptable to put up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving? I’m not sure, but the holiday spirit has hit me early this year, and I’m ready to be in full swing, baking Christmas cookies, decorating gingerbread houses and belting Christmas carols. At least I can start putting together my gift guides! For everyone thinking it’s too early for even gift guides, I’ll beg to differ on that one! I love posting my gift guides before Thanksgiving for all of my deal hunters out there looking to do their Christmas shopping on Black Friday, so be sure to check back in the coming weeks for more gift guides!

As I mentioned in last Wednesday’s post The Photographer is My Boyfriend, this post is a collaboration with Tyler, who diligently helped me search the web for the best gifts for your boyfriend, husband, brother, cousin, etc. I loved having him on the team for this one, because let’s be honest, I can pretend that I know what a guy would want, but who ever really knows what’s going on in their heads?

So, these gifts were hand picked by Tyler. Some things he has, some I have gifted him and some are on his wish list this year!

What is your favorite gift for him?

A Love Letter to Myself on Valentine’s Day

Love Letter to Myself

Dear Ali,

Valentine’s Day may be stereotypically about your significant other and showing your love and appreciation for them, but throughout the years, your friends and family have shown you that it’s about a lot more than that. Valentine’s Day is about showing your love for everyone in your life – new friends, old friends, family… All of those people that you love in lots of different ways.

This year, I want you to make Valentine’s Day about all of those people, but I also want you to make Valentine’s Day about loving yourself and your life.

Loving yourself/ taking care of yourself doesn’t make you a selfish person. It makes you healthy and happy; remember that. You’ve been working hard lately, and I’m so proud of your dedication and focus. You have matured and grown so much in such a short amount of time. The “this year” you and the “last year” you don’t even compare. You have proven to yourself and all of those people around you that you’re going places, and you haven’t lost sight of what’s important.

You haven’t really had a chance to take a break. Okay, except for Thursday when all you did was watch Melissa and Joey for hours. So watch sappy romance movies with your boyfriend. Call your loved ones, and let them know how much you appreciate them; you have been blessed to have them in your life. And indulge in that chocolate heart. You deserve it, girl.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rigors of everyday life, so today, take some time to love yourself and enjoy the small things in life.


Your happy, content, grateful self