My Gift Closet Must Haves.

By: Jen Shoop

Above: Rifle Paper gift wrap; Erin Wallace tags.

I feel as though every other week, I’m wrapping a gift for a child’s birthday party, a hostess, a Baptism, etc, and while I’m not particularly adept at actually folding the paper to wrap the gift (I’m passable at best), I’ve learned a thing or two about presentation over the years, mainly from my mother-in-law, a magical, creative person who makes everything special. She’s taught me that you can make even the smallest token exciting through thoughtful, artful wrapping. One shortcut: great ribbon. Specifically, I keep a full stock of all different widths of white satin ribbon from the brand Offray on hand at all times, and I do not skimp when using it. It’s almost fool-proof: who doesn’t love an enormous white satin bow?! I remember that I wrapped up a baby shower gift with a heavy hand of 2.5″ white satin ribbon, and one of my aunts scrambled to grab it off the floor afterward: “Oh no no, this can’t go to waste. We save this.” Two other habits I’ve cultivated over the years, which I’m sure nearly all of us do: I hang onto good-quality boxes to repurpose (Shopbop has a really great gift box — super durable and great sizes; so much better than the flimsy “shirtboxes” I find myself panic ordering during holiday season) and I also keep all of those little shredded crinkle papers that come with shipments in big baggies in my gift closet. The latter are great for partly filling cello bags or gift baskets, or filling out a gift box with multiple smaller gifts tucked inside.

Above: Offray 2.25″ satin ribbon; Sugar Paper for Target gift wrap.

Other items I always keep on hand:

1 // A big roll of cello wrap as well as multiple sizes of cello bags, including the wine size, which can also be great for gifts like these round puzzles (a great family / host gift!). These 6x10s are good for small items, like luxe beauty products that you want to present a little more dramatically (better than gift wrapping a tiny mascara/lip gloss).

2 // Lots of ribbon in different textures and patterns. My favorite are the velvets — this brand is a particularly good quality, and I love the dusty colors — and always, always lots of widths of double-faced white satin from the brand Offray. Offray was long used (maybe still is?) as the ribbon for Olympic medals — the quality is excellent. If you are local to the D.C. area, there is an Offray Ribbon Outlet out in Hagerstown, MD, and you can get loads of great quality ribbon for cheap. My MIL will sometimes drive out there and stock up for both of us.

3 // Scotch gift wrap tape (more transparent than your typical Scotch tape, so you’re less likely to notice it on gift wrap), ELF gift wrap cutter, and good scissors (I love my 8″ Fiskars).

4 // Gift tags. I have a weakness for beautiful paper products and have amassed quite the collection, but a few of my favorites are these chinoiserie patterned ones from Mary B Paperie, these from Erin Wallace, and these stickers (!) from Joy Creative Shop. The sticker ones from Joy Creative were a revelation — so easy to line up on a bottom corner versus worry about taping beneath the ribbon. I also have a few specifically for my children, including these and these. (I always put both of my children’s names on them so I can use for either / both.)

5 // Gift wrap. My favorite brand for grift wrap remains Rifle Paper. They run a Black Friday promo and I usually stock up then, and specifically on their rolls of gift wrap. (I prefer rolls to sheets – so much more versatile/practical, especially during this phase of life, when we are often wrapping bulky/bigger toys for children.) The quality and motifs are incredible relative to price — I’ve seen other place charge much, much more for less. It’s not cheap, but you do notice a huge difference; it does not rip as easily and is never semi-sheer. I always have a few rolls of their “Party Animal” pattern for kids, and I love this floral, which works well for adult birthdays, bridal showers, and even baby showers. I am hoping to buy this set of three rolls for holiday over Black Friday!

I also love the Sugar Paper x Target line. They just released a bunch of new items — these are similar in quality to Rifle but about half the price. Their designs aren’t quite as whimsical, but these are GREAT for holiday, when you’re going through a lot of paper — much less expensive. I ordered this blue set for year round gifting (also would work for Hanukkah / general “winter” gifting), but this set of six rolls will probably be making it my way for holidays. I also love their scalloped tissue, sturdy gift boxes, and beautiful gift bags. I just added a bunch of their items to my cart for my next Target order while they’re still in stock.

I recently ordered a few rolls of paper from Joy Creative Shop, too — I like the punchy colors and graphic design. I feel like these designs are perfect for children / tweens / teens.

For specialty gifts, I have some small sheets of gift wrap from St. Frank that are spectacular.

6 // Organization. I keep all my gift tags in clear bins like these, arranged so the cards are facing forwards so you can sort of thumb through them to find the right design easily. (I also keep birthday cards / occasion cards in this card keeper.) I keep scissors, wrap cutter, and tape in another clear bin. Ribbon goes in bigger snap-tight bins (currently BOGO — we use these for everything in our basement). I’ve tried to get on board with gift wrap organizers but honestly just prefer to keep the rolls upright and easy to grab in a bin like this. (I actually use an old Simply Human trashbin we no longer need upstairs.)

Above: St. Frank gift wrap; velvet ribbon.

Above: Joy Creative Shop gift wrap and stickers.

A visual board of some of my most-needed items:


A couple of my current go-to gifts:

Above: Biblical affirmation cards, Pehr footie, Jellycat owl, All the World book.

+Housewarming: Matouk Auberge towels.

+Wedding gift: Staub Cocotte.

+Baptism: Biblical affirmation cards, personalized cross, framed prayer.

+Baby shower: Footie from Kissy Kissy, Pehr, or Kyte; Love to Dream Swaddle; a few of my favorite children’s bedtime books. (The theme being: sleep!)

+Newborn: Jellycat, bedtime books, sweet baby clothes from Jacadi, La Coqueta, or Ralph Lauren.

+Bridal shower: personalized XL LL Bean bag with married name (if she’s taking it!), WS Cake Dome / Punch Bowl.

+Baby’s First Christmas: Personalized ornament.

+Birthday gift: Lake Pajamas, fancy beauty product (like GoopGlow),

+House Guest Hostess: family game and/or puzzle, Proper Table coasters, Linnea candle, Chappywrap blanket, Jeni’s ice cream.

+Party Hostess: I often wrap up something like Red Clay’s Hot Honey, Caspari napkins, or Luxardo cherries with fancy crackers/herbed nuts in cellophane with a bow.

+First Communion: Prayer Bowl, cross bracelet.

+For young children: a guide here!

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12 thoughts on “My Gift Closet Must Haves.

  1. This post seriously speaks to my heart! My mom loves and values beautiful gift-wrapping so much that she asked my grandfather, a contractor, to design her a special gift wrap mini-closet in the addition of our family home that was completed in the late 80s! Although I am following in giant footsteps, my mom absolutely passed on her love of gift-wrapping to me. We have a lot in common here — from storing wrapping paper upright (so easy to find what I’m looking for!), to the superiority of Fiskars, to sourcing special ribbon. I am usually in Germany once or twice a year and there’s an art supply store I love to visit — they have the BEST ribbon & twine and it’s so inexpensive compared to similar types I can find in the US. I’m bookmarking some of the ones you listed here, too — and am thinking I may have to make a trip to the Offray outlet next time I’m in Maryland visiting my brother!!

    Also, I completely agree with you and Mia re: the value of Sugar Paper for Target (compared to the inexpensive price point!) and, like a few of the other people who commented here, I have a huge soft spot for traditional brown Kraft paper paired with red velvet ribbon or red & white grosgrain ribbon. For Christmas, I tend to keep to a palette of brown, red, and white for wrapping and then just zhuzh things up with different ribbon textures — keeps things simple (which I always crave at the hectic end of the year!)


    1. Love the idea of coming up with simpler / streamlined gift wrap options. I also did the Kraft paper option one year and it made my life so much easier!


  2. The Offray outlet in Hagerstown! I didn’t know anyone else knew about that place. It is a gem. I’ve been going there since I was a Baltimore prep schooler looking for deals on team ribbons for my lacrosse team.

  3. Hi Jen! Love your wrapping supplies and these gift suggestions. Any suggestions for a Maid of Honor gift? I actually have 3 MOHs (2 sisters and a best friend!), so don’t want to spend more than $100-120/each, but want to give them something sweet on my wedding day to thank them for being by my side.

    1. Hi! Congratulations! Have you seen Dorsey’s single-stone Clemence bracelets? They are so lovely and go with everything and so many different “styles” of women —


      I feel like this is a special, wear-forever kind of piece. I’ll keep thinking on this, but that’s the first that comes to mind.


  4. These are such great gift ideas, Jen! Gifting and gift wrapping is one of my love languages. (Second to food, haha!)

    Lately I’ve been into Japanese patterns for wrapping. Their prints are so beautiful. Many years ago I was at a shop in Tokyo and they wrapped a present in such a special way, and they only used ONE small piece of tape at the end! My skills are no way near that level, but I appreciated the attention to detail. I also have started using Japanese cloths (furoshiki) which I’ve found in Japanese stationery stores or on Etsy. While more expensive, they are probably infinitely reusable. I use them for those special people/presents.

    I have also been using this beautiful light blue marble print gift wrap that I found from good ol’ Hallmark, paired with a light blue satin or grosgrain ribbon. Totally agree on using lots of ribbon! And like your aunt I save and reuse good ribbon, always 🙂

    For kids’ gifts, I like using “curling ribbon”.

    I love Target Sugar Paper products too – agree on the quality for the price!

    P.S. I still have a soft spot for that All The World book too — my daughter is nearly 6 now and it remains one of my favorites.

    1. Hi Mia! I love the Japanese inspo you’ve shared. I’ve seen some of those mesmerizing videos of people who wrap using almost origami-like technique with one piece of tape (or sometimes none at all) and it is true art! I’m sadly very far from the mark. But I love your ideas for incorporating elements of that into the gift wrap closet!

      LOVE the All the World book. It still soothes me deeply!

      Thank you for writing in!


  5. I just restocked my kid gifts! I keep half size rolls of kraft paper with tiny patterns (green gingham, red stars, blue shells, white block printing) and wrap with colorful velvet ribbon. If you search “destash” on etsy you can find bundles of a yard or two of ribbon. I also have a very luxe 2” teal green printed with “Merry Christmas” in gold foil that I save for really special gifts. If I need a gift bag, I have sturdy white kraft bags that I’ll write a message on dramatically with Sharpie, or I’ll more often let my toddler scribble all over it. If I need to really impress someone, I have a stash of imported Italian papers that I use for crafting, and I can wrap a small gift in one sheet.

    Kids’ gifts; Petit Boum Sensory Bottles, especially the Rabbit, the Toucan, or anything glittery. They have spheres or glitter floating in water or natural materials and charms to I Spy, and they’re the perfect gift for anyone in the 1-3 range, especially paired with a child’s magnifying glass. I just bought a 6 pack for Prime deals and I’ll wrap individually. I keep a few favorite books (One of French schoolyard songs is a favorite, since we’re on the Riviera). My favorite to gift is Time For A Hug. Lovely wooden race cars go over well, and I’ll pair with a book about racing. Color Wonder sets with markers are always a hit with the little littles, or bubbles or play doh. Anything from Fat Brain Toys is a winner, and I love gifting their suction cup toy or their “sensory roller” balls, which are weighty and have good jingle bells. A glow in the dark soccer ball is always a hit, especially here where kids play after dark. Innobaby teethers or Oli & Carol rattles are my favorite whimsical option for our littlest friends, there’s one that looks like an artichoke that’s particularly charming.

    For adults: I keep fragrance diffusers from our local Fragonard as a hostess gift, though my signature move is to show up with a half dozen beautiful patisserie from our local favorite and a bag of good coffee beans. Or Paine’s Balsam Tree incense with the burner that looks like a little cabin is a classic Christmas gift. Since we’re some of the only Americans in our friend group, sometimes we’ll bring an “imported delicacy” from our homelands…like Snyder’s buffalo pretzels, or Samoas, or Pizza Goldfish, or a big bag of mixed Halloween candy, just to keep things interesting.

    My gift cupboard is actually the top of our stacked washing machine…we’re in a small space!

    1. Kelly!! This is a goldmine of information. I just saved about half of your recommended gifts to my private Pinterest board, where I keep random things to revisit as gifts, post ideas, etc! THANK YOU! These are so thoughtful and unique.

      I also wanted to mention re: the incense burner. Last year, I bought Mr. Magpie one of these beautiful, retro-inspired incense burners from Schoolhouse and it was SO fun to burn throughout the season. They are so cleverly designed — the incense comes out of the skiier’s mouth, etc, and it smells heavenly. Another idea for your cabinet:



  6. LOVE this handy list of go-to gifts! Need to make my own for sure. I so admire a beautifully wrapped gift but that is not one of my strengths! I feel like my energy all goes into choosing the gift and card – then I just stuff it all into a (used) gift bag. Luckily my husband is a very gifted (if unimaginative haha) present wrapper so I usually leave the wrapping up to him, especially at Christmas. Which works out well since I do 99% of the shopping! I think it was Mackenzie of Design Darling who suggested brown butcher paper with special ribbon instead of various different wrapping paper and I’m tempted to go that route for the holidays this year.

    1. Ooh yes, I’ve also done the butcher paper approach. It looks so good with velvet and/or grosgrain ribbon. Simplifies things considerably!


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