This is the last Q&A of 2020! It’s hard to believe and I’m so grateful to everyone who shared their expertise with us this year (quick trip down memory lane: Cheese Gal, Minnette Jackson, Charles Hunter III [Salted Table], Pod Save the Queen, Carson Love, and Neat Method Nashville). I’m delighted to be ending on a high note with Kelly Lyden of WH Hostess, a wonderful resource for stationery, paper, and gifts. I’m working with WH Hostess (paid partnership) this season for both tabletop and gift wrap inspiration (remember these fab plaid napkins?) and am delighted that Kelly is here to share her wrapping expertise with us. I love her take on grosgrain, mixing wrapping paper patterns, and the perfect scissors to cut ribbon. Thank you, Kelly, for these helpful tips! Note: the WH Hostess order deadline is 12/11 for guaranteed Christmas delivery (the deadline for anything personalized is 12/6)!! Shipping is taking longer these days so order early!
What’s in the perfect “gift wrap arsenal”? If there are specific things you love – like a great pair of ribbon shears – let us know!
I like coming up with a seasonal “plan” that includes 3-5 different gift wraps, a couple of grosgrain ribbons, and 2-4 gift tags that all coordinate somewhat. For the gift tags, I like to have options – a die cut shape that is non-personalized and can be used for anything. I do one tag from my family, one from me, one from my kids. That typically covers my bases! Sharp scissors are definitely key for getting those sharp edges on the ribbon (I also love these). And speaking of ribbon, as much as I love the sheen of satin, I truly love grosgrain for making bows – it just holds its shape beautifully. I know if I have it sitting around, I will use it and be able to make a gift look fantastic in a moment’s notice.
MSS Note: Grosgrain ribbon and bows also ship really well if you’re sending presents!
What are your top three tips and tricks for wrapping the perfect present?
1. Select your wrap theme based on the recipient’s personality.
2. After I wrap my box, I run my fingers along the edges to “pinch” and crease the paper for a crisp look.
3. Think outside of the box – we love using our cloth tea towels to wrap up a bottle of wine or a box of cookies. (two gifts in one!)
Do you have a favorite wrapping shortcut? That is, a lazy trick to make something look fabulous in 2 minutes (please say you do!).
I don’t really have a shortcut, but I think a big bow makes anything and everything look fabulous!
We’ve all been there: it’s 10 pm on Christmas Eve and you barely have any gifts wrapped. The holidays are always so crazy – what are some ideas for managing the wrapping so it’s actually fun and you have the space to be creative?
Yes! I truly love wrapping, I’m sure that’s no surprise! But it can get stressful at Christmastime, just because of the amount that needs to get wrapped at once. I try to set aside a couple of afternoons/evenings where my husband plays with the kids, and I hole up in our bedroom wrapping. I put on a Christmas movie, and probably indulge in a glass of wine or two, and enjoy the time to myself doing something creative.
How do you beautify hard-to-wrap/weirdly shaped presents?
That can be tricky! I’m not a huge fan of gift bags, but sometimes it’s necessary! Just add a bow and a darling gift tag and it will look great!
I absolutely love your gift wrap. Do you have a favorite pattern from this year’s holiday collection? What’s the best neutral option for people who don’t celebrate Christmas?
Thank you!! Our gift wrap makes me so happy. At Christmastime, I love our traditional Stewart and tartan plaids! We have the prettiest plaids in town, if I do say so myself! Our boxwood lattice + holly combination is probably my favorite of the season. It somehow reads classic Christmas, yet updated all at once! For a more neutral option, I love our gingham checks paired with striped ribbons for some fun #PatternPlay. And our trellis pattern (comes in blue and green) is darling all year long! A fun color combo to try is blue and green for a little twist on the expected (that can also read a little more neutral).
Custom gifts are always special, and I like giving personalized gift tags and calling cards. You have fabulous options! What are some things to keep in mind when selecting personalized presents? Sometimes it’s hard to pick for someone else!
Very true! I think sometimes it’s easy – “oh, Kate LOVES ginger jars” – and you can select a very specific design geared towards her. If you are unsure, I suggest choosing a more neutral option, like a great pattern. One of our most popular options is our garden maze.
We’ve talked a lot about gift wrap but WH Hostess offers a whole range of fabulous items. Tell us a little more about your company.
WH Hostess Social Stationery puts fresh designs on paper. Each product is designed by me, Kelly Lyden, and we offer a variety of both paper products (notecards + notepads), gift wrapping accessories (gift wrap, tags + stickers, ribbon), tabletop accessories, and home accessories like candles, tea towels, and throw pillows. Beautiful products can help create beautiful moments, so we always strive to design products that help you navigate the social graces of life with aplomb.
Have you ever had a funny holiday mishap that can give us all a laugh? The gingerbread house that collapsed immediately or someone accidentally putting salt instead of sugar in the cookies?
I remember coming home from college one year, determined to make the gingerbread mansion that Martha Stewart had made on one of her holiday specials. I planned it down to the detail (I was very into architecture and graphic design at the time). I baked the walls, prepped everything…..and I made the mistake of thinking that royal icing would hold that two story mansion with dormers together. It did not. It quickly became a very big problem and my glue gun came into play, and now permanently makes an appearance while constructing gingerbread houses each year!