last minute wrapping à la fraulein maria

December 24, 2011
I'd originally written this post for another site, but since it didn't make it up I couldn't bear to wait until next year to share. So, in the off chance you've waited until the very last hour and 15 minutes until Christmas to wrap your presents, here are some quick wrapping ideas inspired by Julie Andrews’ character, Fraulein Maria, in The Sound of Music. These ideas are simple, sustainable and easy to put together with typical household items.

wrapping with household items

Using old grocery paper bags, gently rip the bag open along the seams to get one flat piece of wrapping paper. Measure the amount of paper you need for your present and cut the appropriate amount.

wrap with old grocery bags

Presents wrapped? Great! Here’s where Maria comes in. Throughout the movie, Maria made things more beautiful and creative using these three steps:

1. Get back to the basics: When the Von Trapp children told Maria they didn’t know how to sing, she started them off with “Do Re Mi.” If your gift consists of multiple presents, try “1 2 3.” Wrap them individually and number them in the order they should be opened.

wrapping by number

2. Sing about it: Write the lyrics to your favorite song on your wrapping paper and use that to wrap your present. “Brown paper packages tied up with strings” have never been more fitting.

recycled wrapping

3. Use what you have: We kind of already did this using our paper bags, but don’t limit your resourcefulness to that! When Maria wanted the children to have play clothes she used her bedroom drapes. Me? I just snipped off a piece of my sister’s Christmas tree and used baker’s twine.

Happy last minute wrapping! (But really, you could use this "wrapping paper" year round.)

Wishing you the merriest, love-filled holiday season to date.

merry christmas


  1. love this! And especially love the Sound of Music reference ;) Merry Christmas!

  2. that's great!!! merry christmas to you, too!

  3. love this, very pretty wrapping! merry christmas!

  4. Pretty! Love this inspiration
    Happy Christmas

  5. if you thought i would love this post from the title alone, then you were right.

  6. I LOVE that last photo!!! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Great wrapping paper :]

  7. Neat ideas! I like how you related it to the Sound of Music :)

  8. I recently ordered a package that was wrapped by hand, and they also used the Trader Joes bags. I love the idea. So cute and environmentally friendly!