My friend Karen posted a beautiful photo of a gift she wrapped and shared that she learned how to do it at a Wirrwarr Wraps class led by Cassie Kruemcke. It immediately conjured up sweet memories of my early days learning to wrap gifts with my mother.

When I was in elementary school Mother set up a gift wrapping station in our guest bedroom, during the month of December, to prepare the presents for under the tree.  Rolls of beautiful wrapping paper, tissue paper, boxes, bolts of ribbon, gift tags, and other supplies filled the top of the guest bed and she set up several card tables around the room.  My job was very clear: Wrap each gift, no two alike, and I would earn 25 cents per package.  Back then, we didn’t have the “bow and go” method.  Gift bags were not a thing, every gift was wrapped in tissue paper, placed in a box, wrapped with paper, tied with a bow and labeled with a gift tag.

I gladly accepted my assignment and went to work setting up a pretend department store gift wrap boutique and I was its chief wrapper. I placed a check-in desk at the door of the guest room, had make-believe conversations with “customers” taking great care to ask them who the gift was intended for and their preferred style of wrapping.  I’m sure the conversation went something like, “Oh, what a lovely gift for your daughter. How old is she? What’s her favorite color?  Shall we do pink and green toile?”  I wrote invoices for each gift and placed them around the room ready to get to work. Since I was the only child at home (my siblings were grown) pretend play was a big deal.  I learned to be extremely entertaining!

Looking back, I am sure the packages weren’t perfect, but I love the fact that Mother didn’t care.  She was okay to release that part of Christmas, affording me the chance to be creative and boost my self-confidence while giving herself a break. An important lesson for all of us mothers who think we have to do it all so it will be perfect.

When I saw my chance to relive those days of wrapping presents, I quickly signed up for Cassie’s class.  Our workshop was set up with supplies and each attendee received a kit including a cute tote bag for us to keep as our party favor. Fixe provided sips and deviled eggs to nosh while we worked on our packages.  I want you to experience her class first-hand, so I won’t reveal all her secrets, but I will hit the highpoints.

#1 Tissue Paper — Cassie led us through the proper way to place tissue paper in the gift box using a pinch pleat – happily, I already do this so I was feeling good about my skillset. She made a great suggestion that I will try and that is sticking bright-colored labels to close the tissues halves together.

#2 Shirt Boxes — it’s amazing how nice your gift will look when it’s wrapped in a proper box – like a shirt box. Do department stores offer shirt boxes anymore?   Here’s a resource for shirt boxes.  Cassie taught us the proper way to measure your paper so you don’t waste it trying to make it fit your box.

#3 Must have beautiful paper – This convinced me to stock up on a variety of wrapping papers.  I chose a bold animal print, but she also had lovely prints, stripes, polka dots, and solid colors.  The point is mix it up!  Maybe come up with a color scheme that is your signature color and print.  Mine for sure would be animal print with aqua and hot pink.

#4 Go Big with your Bow or Go Home – This is the secret sauce to making your packages rival those of Martha Stewart. I finally know the secret on how to make those bows with all the ribbons.  Cassie set out several bins of ribbon – all sizes and colors, some even faux fur –  and a silver tub full of glass ornaments and walked us through how to first tie the regular bow, then add all the strips we cut of mismatched ribbon. The last step was the jingle bells and I chose a signature ornament – a bucket of bubbly!

#5 The Final Touch – She pulled out packages of scrapbook alphabet stickers for the finishing touch. These were placed at the corner of the box and the initial can represent the recipient.  Since I was wrapping this for myself (of course), I put a big scripted “M” on mine – a nod to my favorite TV character, Mary Tyler Moore.

I left with a beautifully wrapped present, a tote bag of supplies, and a new friend in Cassie.  She is a delight and was as bubbly as the sips we enjoyed during the class.  Follow her on Instagram so you don’t miss her upcoming classes. And, we might just cook something up for Home with a Twist followers!

Happy wrapping, y’all!