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Organizing Wrapping Supplies

Martha Stewart Living

The holidays are certainly the perfect time to get organized, and when all of your supplies are in order, wrapping is fun, not a chore. Most important is that your wrapping supplies all be kept together, close to the place where you like to do your gift wrapping, whether that's the kitchen table, family-room floor, or a spacious workshop.

Martha's favorite containers for everything except the paper are shoebox-size stackable plastic or metal bins; they are ideal for scissors and pinking shears, tape, hole punches, labels, cards, rubber stamps, embossers, pens, and cellophane bags. Divide the supplies into categories and label the bins accordingly. If you prefer, you can devote a small chest of drawers to your supplies, or, if you don't have a lot of items, use a sturdy tool chest with dividers or drawers -- this has the advantage of being portable.

Wrapping paper is a bit more of a challenge. In Martha's crafts room, flat files -- huge, shallow drawers made just to store papers that can't be folded, such as drawing paper, architectural blueprints, and other documents -- keep most of her wrapping paper. One could stack the file cabinets so they reach waist-height, making the top a wonderful work surface. You'll find flat files at art-supply stores, and beautiful vintage wooden ones from old offices turn up at flea markets and antiques shops.

Rolls of paper can be kept in a drawer if you have one wide enough; otherwise, stand them up in a narrow box or high-sided wastebasket, and stash them in a closet.

After the holidays this year, don't forget to take advantage of the sales on wrapping supplies -- stock up on exquisite papers and ribbons.

Comments (23)

  • Bella60 12 Dec, 2011

    i used to work at a supermarket that had fresh flowers. The long boxes the flowers came in are perfect for storing wrapping paper in. I have several for different occasions. Birthdays, weddings, Christmas ect.

  • katz52 2 Dec, 2010

    The stores sell plastic containers that hold rolls of paper with a top pull out tray that hold scissors - tape - ribbon etc. Its all that most people need. Fits nicely in your closet. I have several for xmas - showers and birthdays. And a 4 drawer container for extra ribbons and bows. Watch for sales after the season or holiday. Markdowns are great and you save a lot. And your always ready. After xmas red - green and gold bows can be used on most paper. The colors are in a lot of prints.

  • cam1503 14 Dec, 2008

    What GREAT Ideas shared! The garment bag, changing dresser, wrap center w/dowels...I will definitely repurpose some items soon. An additional idea I like is one with a clear rolled tube that you can store paper in and TEAR off with the edge as you unroll. Looking for product...great if your hands are stiff too.

  • Tarcher 14 Dec, 2008

    I use garment bags for storing wrapping paper and gift bags and hang them at the end of a closet for storage. The clear plastic garment bags are easy to see thru, hold short and tall rolls of paper, and the rolls donn n n t get damaged. I store my gift bags in a separate garment bag and sort them largest at the back and smallest at the front, again easy to see and access. With tissue paper in the very front of this bag I can grab a gift bag and tissue paper and have a gift wrapped in a flash.

  • um_rebel 13 Dec, 2008

    I would love to see the wrapping center, too. Thanks!

  • kimmiets 13 Dec, 2008

    To PDConroy, YES! Can you send a pic of the wrapping center you made? Thanks

  • kashigirl 13 Dec, 2008

    To PDConroy: Would you be able to email a picture of the wrapping center you made. I think it sounds fantastic!

  • PDConroy 13 Dec, 2008

    I made my own wrapping center, using two 2x2 scrap pieces of wood attached to the wall, inserting cup hooks evenly down both sides, then using dowel rods that sit in the cup hooks. I have five dowels in mine - three I use for rolls of paper, and the other two hold my big rolls of curling ribbon in assorted colors. I love just pulling off the paper and ribbon I need. This whole project cost me less than 10 dollars!

  • nblack 12 Dec, 2008

    I still have the Ikea changing table that we bought for our daughter (now 21!) and I found that it is nice and high and wide--great for wrapping gifts and doing sewing projects. I keep bows, tape, scissors, etc in the drawers.

  • cathrynmb 12 Dec, 2008

    Did anyone ever see that episode of Frasier when they were at Niles' place, the dad was lost in a room and it was Niles' "wrapping room"? LOL!

  • hugmehugs 12 Dec, 2008

    I don't think the desk looks wide enough to be wrapping packages.
    Maybe the table across the room is wider.
    Yes, I love the cat too!

  • gloriakritter 12 Dec, 2008

    I use my ironing board when wrapping gifts (Christmas or other), because I can adjust the height of the working surface.

  • MissMarple 12 Dec, 2008

    I just have to say that the best thing in this great picture is the cat on the desk! Every sewing room/craft room/studio should have at least one cat! ;-) Thanks, Martha!

  • harmonyqn 12 Dec, 2008

    I also have a meager fixed income (14,400. yr). It doesn't stop me from using the ideas I find on Martha's site. So I need to downscale the ideas a bit ! Whether it be organizing my crafts or wrapping supplies, they're still excellent HELPFULL ideas. It doesn't matter if it's 2 boxes, tins, baskets, etc. of goodies, or 2 dozen - the ideas are still good. My box if half full, not half empty ! You get creative when you are in the right mind set. - another Susan

  • birdangel 12 Dec, 2008

    Container Store truly excels in storage boxes and wrap solutions. I love their hanging wrap storage thingie--hangs on a closet hanger. Their shoe boxes and sweater boxes have easy lids, stack and are clear and durable. Love them. But really, I LOVE Martha's worshop, above. I'm inspired.

  • cardeia 12 Dec, 2008

    My dream, which a friend has, is several spindles set on the wall which hold the roll of paper. Then all you do is roll out onto your craft desk and cut! Broom handles with holes in side supports on either side would work, I think. If you do a lot of present wrapping (as my friend does), this would be ideal!

  • hdelauro 12 Dec, 2008

    I have the Rubbermaid gift wrap container as well, and do not like the lid either. It's too difficult to get off and the top section that opens is too shallow to put much of anything in it. I would be nice to have something that was wider and had different sections for rolls, gift bags, or whatever else you need to separate. I do love keeping spools of ribbon on horizontal dowels, so easy to use and keep organized. Happy Holidays!

  • freelightdaisy 12 Dec, 2008

    I have the rubbermaid container for wrapping paper and I do not like it. I hate the lid and if I have short rolls they get lost

  • TracyDoran 5 Dec, 2008

    Rubbermaid also make a large container like the one you can put in a pickup truck for tools. I use this to store all my wrapping paper, which is a lot. It is long and deep.

  • PattyCourtice 4 Dec, 2008

    I fear that Martha will bump her head on that sloping wall when she stands up from her chair. The desk looks so organized and compact. Not for tall people however.

  • grammababy 4 Dec, 2008

    Rubbermaid makes a tall plastic container which holds 15-20 extra long rolls of wrapping paper. Another mfger (found at Target) makes a caddy with handle in top of deep section, which threads ribbons through it. There are 2 latch on/off sections for scissors, "to-fron's" and other necessary things. We'd all love to have Martha's set up. Let's face it; we won't. But, this works great. Pick up 2 things and off to a table; very slick. Grammababy

  • SOMERSIZING 20 Aug, 2008


  • gail5851 10 Aug, 2008

    I use an empty tall box like the ones for toilet paper that I get from the supermarket for the rolls of and can easily hold all the rolls of gift wrap.