Don’t you just hate it when it’s Christmas time or a birthday and you’re hunting down the wrapping basics?
Scissors aren’t in their drawer, sticky tape hasn’t been seen in weeks and who even knows if you have any wrapping paper leftover!
That is where a portable wrapping station comes in to play!
What is a portable wrapping station?
A portable wrapping station is simply an organised box in which all of your gifts wrapping and decorating supplies live.
Before I decide to create a wrapping station, my supplies were scattered!
Scissors were in the kitchen drawer, the sticky tape was wherever someone put it last, the ribbon was tangled in a box and wrapping paper was crammed into cupboards.
It was less than ideal!
Is a portable wrapping station better than having your supplies in a cupboard?
When your wrapping supplies are portable, it can make it significantly easier to keep track of your supplies.
Not only does it make it easier to keep track of your supplies – it is so much easier to take the whole box out to wrap a gift, rather than running backwards and forwards to a cupboard.
I hate it when I sit down to wrap a gift and I’ve forgotten the sticky tape!
It used to happen all the time.
Plus, while I was bringing all of my supplies together, I found even more supplies that I had completely forgotten existed, such as some unused Christmas cards – perfect for some more DIY Gift Tags!
So now, rather than forgetting about supplies I already own, I will have everything in one place constantly.
How to create a portable wrapping station
When I set out to create my wrapping station I endeavoured to reuse things that were lying around my house.
I had considered going out to buy some pretty tubs and trays – but then I realised that there are so many boxes that go to waste that I may as well reuse them!
So I head off to my local supermarket and gathered some boxes to use (don’t worry, I don’t buy wine by the carton!)
You can do this, or you can use anything you find around the home.
Even cut open cereal boxes would be fantastic – anything that saves money and helps the environment.
Supplies you will need
You ultimately only need two supplies for this project.
However, if you choose to decorate then that list expands a little bit.
A long, low container
These are the best for wrapping stations.
Not only do they hold a vast amount of supplies, but they are long enough to store wrapping paper rolls and low enough to fit somewhere like on top of a wardrobe or under a bed!
I am using one that I had lying around the house, but if you don’t have one then this is my recommendation!
Unused trays, cardboard boxes and leftover wrapping paper
For this project, it is best to use cardboard boxes or unused containers around the home.
This not only saves money, but it also helps get you into the flow of recycling and repurposing items that would previously get thrown away.
This is the collection of boxes I have gathered for this wrapping station.
They are all different sizes and shapes and contain both cardboard boxes and old gift boxes.
Other items you could repurpose:
- Old lunch boxes
- Tupperware containers that lost their lids long ago
- Ice cream containers
- Empty jars
Situational & Optional Supplies
Depending on what you are using, whether it be recycled boxes or leftover storage – you may need some additional supplies.
- Scissors / Box Cutter
These are to cut down any oversized boxes
- Wrapping Paper
To decorate less-than-ideal looking boxes. This is also a great use for unwanted/unused scrap wrapping paper!
- Sticky Tape
To add the wrapping paper (You could also use glue)
- A pen
To mark lines for any oversized boxes
How to make your personal wrapping station
Now that you have all of your supplies, let’s get to work!
Find a nice flat surface, ideally away from little hands – or while they aren’t home.
I used the floor so that I had enough space – but again, wherever you feel comfortable.
1. Gather all of your boxes or potential boxes that you will be using.
You just saw the boxes that I gathered, but here it is again!
2. Try out different organisational layouts, get a feel of what works best for you.
Don’t worry yet about any boxes that may be too tall.
There is no point cutting them down to size until you are sure they are what you will be using.
Make sure that you leave a long line of space for your wrapping paper rolls when testing potential layouts.
Here are some trial layouts I did.
3. After you’ve decided on a layout and the boxes you want
Make sure that you remove any extra tabs that aren’t necessary.
If your boxes are too high then line them up next to a box that is the right height.
This allows you to not only cut the box down to size but also remain uniform throughout your wrapping station.
Then, using a pen, mark the line where you will be cutting.
Once it is marked out, you can cut your box to the correct size.
I used a box cutter for this, but the choice is entirely yours.
If you are planning on wrapping them, it doesn’t need to be perfect – just as straight as possible.
4. Once you have all of your boxes ready, we can pretty them up!
If you are wanting to decorate your boxes then this is the point where you wrap them with wrapping paper.
Tip: You don’t have to use wrapping paper!
You can do anything you want to cover them. Such as using contact paper or even painting them.
It is up to you to decide how deep into the box you want to go, and whether or not you want to cover the inside base as well.
I opt not to since it is usually covered up with supplies anyway – but you do you!
I’ve done the depth of different sizes here to give you a rough idea.
If you are using leftover storage boxes, gift boxes or trays then they won’t need wrapping. Simply head to the next step.
Another great tip is that if you want to limit any potential movement, you can always tape the boxes together. (This is what I did) You can also add wrapping paper over the connection to increase a more uniformed look.
5. Once you have got your boxes looking how you want them
You can now add them into your container!
If you are happy with how it all looks then simply add your supplies and you’re done!
Here is how I have mine arranged
Storage Section One contains
- Box Cutter
- Sticky Tape
- My gift-related stamps; and
- A small jar holding gift-related washi tape
Storage Section Two contains
- Ribbon and string that I use for gift wrapping
Storage Section Three contains
- Folded wrapping paper
- Gift bags – both paper and fabric; and
- The long section holds all of the rolls of wrapping paper.
Safe to say I absolutely love this thing, and I have no idea why I didn’t make one years ago!!
The best thing about this project…
… is that projects like this are incredibly versatile!
You can use them to suit just about any need!
Here are some ideas to get you started!
- Sewing supplies
- General Craft supplies
- Baking supplies
- Children’s crafts
- Christmas decorations
- To organise your bills/mail that needs saving
- Add one to the boot of your car to fill with essential items
Seriously – there are absolutely no limitations to what you could do with this simple project!
Let me know how you go
If you try this wrapping station out (which I hope you do!) then don’t forget to share your hard work with us on Instagram.
@mindful.galaxy.insta so that we can see your amazing work.