Graphic Paper + Whimsical Cards from Lagom Design


Wrapping Paper by Lagom Design Just right. That's what Lagom, a Swedish word, describes. And it's exactly how one would describe Lagom Designs' line of gift wrap and greeting cards. The U.K.–based company delivers an handsome array of paper goods featuring illustrations and designs by talented folks from around the world. Some of the more recent additions to the collection are no different.

The three graphic wrapping papers above are by Lagom Designs founder, Kelly Hyatt. Left to right: Michiko, Kita and Asa gift wrap, £1.50 per sheet.

Naomi Wilkinson illustrated greeting cards from Lagom Design

Illustrator Naomi Wilkinson's greeting cards feature delightful, colourful scenes. Left to right: Carousel, The Dancers and Fishing cards, £1.90 each.

Zoo Portraits cards from Lagom Design

Spanish designer and photographer Yago Partal's Zoo Portraits are amusingly quirky. Clockwise from top left: Ostrich, Lemur, Great Grey Owl and Bull greeting cards, £1.90 each.

+ Photography courtesy Lagom Design

Dinosaur Ribbon Just Right for a Child's Gift


Dinosaur ribbon gift Many times when buying ribbons and papers (some of which you can see in My Wrap Stash posts), I don’t have a specific purpose for them. I purchase what I like when I see it, and hoard it away until a time when it’s just the right thing for a specific present.

That’s what happened in the case of this graphic dinosaur ribbon. I bought a few yards of it about a year ago, not knowing whose gift it would adorn, but knowing that I just had to have it. When it came time to wrap a present for a friend’s child, I finally had a reason to pull out the dinosaurs.

This is how I wrap many of my gifts: start with one element and build the look around that. With the dinosaur ribbon as my jumping off point, the next task was to find paper and embellishments to match.

I try to use up the materials I have in my studio as much as possible (with my buying habits, I have to!). This can limit my choices, but it's often how one ends up with a more interesting end result, as it forces you to be creative and try combinations you may not have considered otherwise.

I started by trying to find a paper from my piles to coordinate with the ribbon, but I wasn’t having any luck, so moved on to my boxes of stickers and labels. In them was one of a collection of Angela Adams–designed labels, with a psychedelic orange and blue pattern that worked with the ribbon. After adding a gold monogram sticker (the first letter of the child’s name), the only thing left was to find paper to complete the look. In the end, I settled on plain kraft paper. It works well, but looking back I wonder if a glossy white or another tone of blue might have popped more.

Regardless, I think the final result was suitably kid appropriate without being tacky. I know the father loved it!

Sources*: Dinosaur ribbon, Sussman’s (Toronto). Angela Adams label, Chronicle Books. Gold monogram sticker (part of complete alphabet set), Staples.

+ Gift wrapping and photography by Corinna vanGerwen
* Items might not currently be available.

Packaged Goods: Paper Bunny Parcel


Paper Bunny Parcel PUTTING IT TOGETHER This wrap combination is like vintage post office meets Parisian child, and every element is a treasure on its own. The Parcel Post label and Special Delivery ribbon — your "post office" elements — are both vintage, as is the spirograph-patterned gift wrap (remember making spirographs as a kid?). The red and navy cotton-linen ribbons are from France, and would look lovely wound around the box several times, along with the Special Delivery ribbon. The paper rabbit puppet — a whimsical gift topper — is by designer Furze Chan of Hong Kong. The colour palette: so French, oui?

THE GOODS (1) Vintage Dennison Parcel Post Label, $5.95 US per 14 labels (comes with 40 Air Mail labels and 3 Special Delivery labels), Swan and Shears. (2) Assemble-yourself paper rabbit puppet, $10 US, Ferse Verse. (3) Vintage Spiro Wrap from Berlin, £2.75 per sheet, Present & Correct. (4) Red and navy 3/8" cotton/linen tapes, Renaissance Ribbons, contact for retailers. (5) Special Delivery twill ribbon, $9.99 US for 10 yards, Swan and Shears.

+ Collage by Corinna vanGerwen. Images property of their respective owners

Japanese Koi Wrapping

Japanese Koi Wrapping You know those papers that you hold on to forever? You love them so much, you're hesitant to use them because then that would be it, you wouldn't have them anymore. That's how I feel about this koi paper from Cavallini. In fact, I think I may have bought it when I lived in Vancouver, which is almost 10 years ago. That's a long time to hold on to a piece of wrapping paper.

What you see on this gift is just one panel of a grid of various koi that make up the pattern of the paper. (I had cut off a strip of the sheet so I could fit it on display in my house.) It seemed only natural to pair the single panel with some Japanese paper from The Japanese Paper Place; the fibres and dark green-blue are reminiscent of water I think. I stayed with the Japanese inspiration by keeping the design minimal — the panel is attached to the top with double-sided tape with no additional decoration. Very Zen.

Find of the Day: Retro Valentine's Cards Wrapping Paper


Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the Friday Find goes daily, with a love-themed wrapping treat every day until the 14th. Retro Valentine's Cards gift wrap from Cavallini

This wrapping paper features a collage of retro Valentine's cards, some of which I'm pretty sure I handed out in grade school. From Cavallini & Co.

Find of the Day: Valentine's Animals Gift Wrap


Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the Friday Find goes daily, with a love-themed wrapping treat every day until the 14th. Valentine's Animals Gift Wrap from Paper Source

This adorable, retro-style paper is the sweetest wrapping for wee little loved ones. Each animal is partly made up of a heart. Valentine's Animals gift wrap, $2.50 US per sheet, Paper Source.

Shopping: My Fabric House


I swooned when I first stumbled upon UK-based My Fabric House. Catering primarily to sewers, the fabric supplier and haberdashery (don't you just love that word?) carries a delectable selection of ribbons, trims and details that would also make for luxurious gift wrapping.

My favourite are the fine laces and embroidered trims, which have amazingly delicate detail work and patterns. Tied in a bow around even the plainest of papers, they would still create a show-stopper of a gift.

Other items that caught my eye: Jewel-like buttons, which would make dazzling toppers. Pleated French frills in every colour – for fab, flouncy bows. And winsome measuring-tape ribbon, bunny buttons and a menagerie of wooden charms.

TOP, clockwise from left: Giant handmade faux pearl button, £ 5.99. Shell Grey Mesh Pleating Edging Lace, £ 1.99 per metre. Purple Pleated French Frill, £ 3.49 per metre.

MIDDLE, clockwise from left: Golden Knitted Trim, £ 1.99 per metre. Chutney Brown Fine Floral Embroidery Trim, £ 7.99 per metre. Luxury Giant Button with Jewel & Diamante, £ 4.99.

BOTTOM, clockwise from left: Hand Printed 'Jumping Teddy' Wood Charm, £ 1.29. Jumping Bunny in Rusty Rose Handmade Fabric Buttons, £ 2.99 per pack of 6.

Friday Find: Mini Animal Note Cards


Australian shop and props-rental house Emerald + Ella sells some lovely packaging supplies, including this chatty bunch of note cards. Singing Songbirds, Dreaming Dodo and Rhapsodic Rabbit note cards with envelopes (9x5cm) go for $6.95 AUD per package of five. (While you're on the site, also be sure to check out the selection of vintage props for rent and goods for sale – there are plenty of treasures.)

Images from Emerald + Ella.