Chic Country Christmas Wrapping!
Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

In keeping with this week’s theme of ohmygodistillhavesomuchtodohowdidthishappen, I’m going right into today’s post.  There will be no funny.  None.  This here is a bare, bones post with pretty pictures.  And hopefully some inspiration.  And intrigue.  And maybe even a MURDER!

But probably not.

I have a great story about a bag of potato chips, an eye patch and a fainting goat but that’s gonna have to wait until I have more time to do it justice.

Because today is about brown paper packages tied up with string.  And you know what?  They really are one of my favourite things.


Tree & Gifts


A month or so ago, when I realized I’d be using pinecones as bows, I contacted the place that makes my chicken feed.  Homestead Organics makes … as you may have guessed unless you’re really stupid … organic feed.  And their bags are beautiful.  I knew I wanted to use them as my wrapping paper this year, but never in a million years were my chickens going to go through that amount of feed in a month.  So the kind folks at Homestead Organics sent me a box of their unused feed bags to do my wrapping with.

wrapping 1


It’d be a bit much if I wrapped every present in the feed bags, so I rounded things out with a buttery yellow paper and plain brown paper packages  Which of course I had to tie up with string.  Twine if we’re being brutally honest here.  Twine from the Dollar Store.  Brown paper … Dollar Store.

wrapping 4


You probably recognize the Pinecone Bows I made last week.  I added those to the presents along with the twine as ribbon and a long, fresh piece of white pine.

wrapping 5


The tags are thin pieces of wood slices, which I just drilled a hole into and wrote on with pencil.  ‘Cause Laura Ingalls would have used pencil.  It’s all in the detail.   And yes.  I got the slices of wood at the Dollar Store.  It was one of my great finds from last year.  I had no idea what I’d use them for at the time but knew they’d make an appearance in my life at some point.  If you don’t happen to have slices of wood around the house I’ll let you know what else you can use that you can buy just about anywhere.  In a moment.  But first … the obligatory cat shot.

Cleo Final 2


I think it’s really important to match your wrapping to your pets.  Just imagine how hideous this picture would be if I had a plaid cat.  Always match to your animals.

wrapping 6


If you don’t have the time or inclination to track down feed bags, can’t find slices of wood and can’t be bothered to hot glue pine cones together … I’m not sure what the hell you’re doing here.  But I do have another option for you.  Just wrap your presents in brown paper with twine, attach a single pinecone, and use these buff paper price tags.  Beautifulllllllll.  And it matches most breeds of cat and dog.

wrapping 7


And horses.

Tree & Gifts 2


So there you have it.  Just about the cheapest wrapping job you can get and if I do say so myself, probably the prettiest.  To wrap with the feedbags, I literally just stuffed the present inside and wrapped it up with tape, so whoever gets a present in a feed bag, gets to recycle the feedbag themselves as a garbage bag, table runner or pillow sham.  Yay!  Or … maybe I’m the only one who thinks that’s Yay!

So to recap ..

To Get this Look …

Wrap with brown paper (Dollar Store)

Tie up with string (Dollar Store)

Adorn with Pinecone (Dollar Store or the ground)

Tag it with a manilla price tag

Shove in a piece of long greenery (whatever your neighbours happen to have growing on their front lawn)

How’s that for a nice little wrapping job?  I murdered it.  Heh.



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  2. Sue Kopp says:

    Stunning!What a great idea. Cannot wait to try this. It has been years since I did it, but these are adorable!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Sue! I change my wrapping every year but … I might not have the heart to this year. I still love the brown paper wrapping. ~ karen!

  3. celia says:

    Hey you! It’s been awhile since your last posting on dollar store finds…I need inspirations! 8-D


  4. Traci says:

    This is just cracking me up. I had actually already wrapped many of my gifts in Trader Joe’s bags before reading this post! They actually printed holiday gift tags and designs to make garlands out of the bags on them. The simple red and white designs on the brown paper look great and it all goes so well with the one roll of red penguin wrapping paper I had leftover from last year. I especially like the ones in which I flipped the bag over to plain brown and then used the patterned strips as the ribbon.

  5. Erin Hall {i can craft that} says:

    what variety of tree did you select?

    • Karen says:

      Erin – I picked the most perfect tree known to mankind! (For a Christmas tree that is) The Frasier Fir. Nice soft needles, stiff branches, and doesn’t drop it’s needles. The only tree I liked the look of as much was when I bought a Blue Spruce one year which was SPECTACULAR, but also very, VERY sharp and picky. ~ karen!

  6. Bols says:

    the Homestead Organics bags are just lovely and your Christmas tree is beautiful. I was so inspired by an earlier-in-the-year post of yours about buying vintage Christmas ornaments and I proudly purchased about a dozen smaller baubles at a garage sale … for a full $1! (Actually, for a $1.10 – I was walking my dogs and I came upon the garage sale in the neighbourhood. I didn’t want to return home (the dogs would be horribly disappointed) and I all had on me was a dime – so I gave it to the nice lady in charge as a “deposit” so that she knows that I am a very serious buyer. Later I returned with the loonie and I told her to keep the $.10 as an interest.


    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you & the family (this includes the chickens).

  7. Catherine says:

    Can I just say, I don’t subscribe to many crafty blogs but you just crack me up. Love your writing. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Catherine – That’s my goal. If you don’t like the crafty I should at least provide you a good spit take. ~ karen

  8. Laura says:

    I haven’t glued a pinecone to a present since about 1992 when I had a lot of free time on my hands.(There was also brown paper & plaid ribbon involved) I am going to find the time this year. Thanks for the reminder about how nice simple stuff can be, Merry Christmas! p.s. I have 2 1/2 black cats, they match everything! :)

  9. Gayla T says:

    I just love what you are doing for the economy! Since we are all spending our gift wrap money on gas and milk at double what they cost a year ago, it’s now cool to use brown paper and string. However, since I now have to run out and buy a small chain saw to cut my wood tags and have chicken feed sacks overnighted from Canada by Federal Express, this might not be the saving I first thought. This close to Christmas I throw cost to the wind every year due to my stress level, I’ll be using your idea, cost be damned! Have I told you lately that I love you? Hank Williams sang it long ago so I’ll just have to say it. Too late to have it professionally recorded to send to you as per earlier comment, cost be damned.

    • Karen says:

      Gayla T – Thank you! I love you too. Well … we don’t actually know each other. So i’m probably more fond of you than anything. Feel free send the song in the New Year when things calm down. ~ karen

  10. kelliblue says:

    LURVE! simple really is best, innit? and your packages prove that…they’re beeyootiful.

    but your kitty cat made me go ‘awwwwwwwww’ right out loud–those EYES! i have a gray cat, and you’d better believe 3/4 of everything i own is gray: sweaters, pants, linens, towels…i might have an inch of gray fur everywhere but hey, if i can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right? :)

  11. Aimee says:

    Happily, it also matches pretty much everything rodenty – chinchillas, guinea pigs, rats, bunnies. You’ve got ’em covered. Not that there are any rodents in MY house, but if I had them, I’d be relieved to have matching gift wrap for them.

  12. Angela in Spokane says:

    Beautiful, Karen! :) I just love all the upcycling you do.

  13. Melanie says:

    What the hell am I doing here?…I am living vicariously through you, of course! Like I’d think to wrap my presents in feed bags and use pine cones and wood slices as tags…yeah, about as much as I’d think to grow my own wheat, harvest it, mill it, and make my own bread. Let’s just say – umm – that you are quite a bit more talented and creative than I am.

    My wrapping will consist of finding the appropriate sized gift bags and stuffing the present in there with some tissue paper.

    I think if I ever received a gift wrapped as cool as yours, I wouldn’t even want to open it. I’d just sit and stare at it for a long time.

    Cheers & Blessings,

  14. Nancy says:

    Well Karen..I hate to tell a sad story among all this fun..but you brought up the subject of matching your decor to your cat and I just have to tell you this sad story..when ever I pass the nearest SPCA animal shelter..I often stop to visit the animals and give them some love and attention..I was talking with a staff member one day about a certain beautiful Siamese that was there..she told me that the owners brought her there because they had remolded..changed the decor of their home to country style and she no longer matched..unbelievable huh..that kitty got some extra hugs that day..Your kitty is so lucky to have you..

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – It doesn’t surprise me. People are idiots and a lot of people get pets for … well, I have no idea why. They certainly aren’t pet people. Or they buy dogs that clearly don’t fit their lifestyle and then end up getting rid of them because the dog is “bad”. The dog isn’t bad, the dog just wasn’t right for them and they didn’t do their research. ~ karen!

    • Angela in Spokane says:

      Cats are people too!! :(

  15. DianneT says:

    Yah! to this post. I just found your blog recently and have been reading lots of the older posts as well. You absolutely crack me up! And Karen, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, LOVE LOVE your foyer!!! Can’t see enough of it in your posts.

  16. Meg says:

    Fail, Karen, fail. You were totally amusing, if not funny, in that post. I want my money back!

    Or something…

  17. Brie says:

    I take brown paper from my dollar store and stamp it with a snowflake stamp and white ink. I wrap it up with twine or a nice fabric ribbon. Seriously Karen, your pinecone bows took it to a whole new level this year! I will totally give you credit when everyone ooh’s and ahh’s while unwrapping. Thanks!

  18. Cheryl K says:

    Karen, You. Are. Awesome! And I know Awesome. My sister is Awesome. I’m Awesome in training. Love the tree, the presents, the cat, the picture, the tree skirt…and the chickens. Yes, I know there isn’t a chicken in this post, but without the chickens there wouldn’t be feed…no feed, no feed bags. No bags, no gift wrap… And as we say in my family…you just ain’t right, not even close. (that’s a compliment, BTW.)

  19. Rurh says:

    haha! not funny. not at all. :) I close my eyes and pretend I’m on your porch with the chicken and then by your tree. Perfectly Christmas!

  20. Sue says:

    Karen, how do you keep your feline out of the tree?

    • Karen says:

      Sue – The only time this particular cat ever showed any interest in climbing up the tree was when she was a kitten. Now she’s more interested in sleeping under it. ~ karen

  21. Sherri says:

    Just so you know…I’m waiting for that “great story about a bag of potato chips, an eye patch and a fainting goat.” And I will bug you mercilessly until you deliver. Do not make empty promises to your readers because they never forget. Bwa-ha-ha!

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