Holiday Prep Supplies

This is a great week to gather holiday supplies. I start by assessing my ribbon and wrapping and gift box stash, and filling in any gaps. (I stock up now for the whole year because prices are best this time of year.)

As for decor, we’ve been gathering it over 25 years of marriage, so in general, we have plenty. But I do notice that every year when we unpack the storage boxes, there’s an item or two that’s beyond repair or looking too shabby and needs to be replaced. So I like window shopping the holiday decor displays so that I know what’s out there, in case I need to pick something up.

Here are some of my very favorite sources for holiday prep:

Grosgrain Ribbon, 100 yards for $5
This is one of my very favorite products — it’s a bargain and it comes in so many options that you can order exactly what you want. It comes in 67 colors, 7 different widths, it’s double-sided, and it’s available in 100 yards or 50 yards. Every few years, I order a variety of sizes and colors and use them in a million ways. The 1.5″ version is especially good for hanging in the garden or making banners.

Double-Faced Satin Ribbon, 50 yards for $5.50
Another favorite ribbon is the double-sided satin ribbon. It comes in even more colors than the grosgrain ribbon. I have a roll of the 7/8″ ribbon in Old Willow and it makes every gift seem luxe. (Remember: choose the double-faced, not the single faced).

Slope Ribbon, 50 yards for $4.75
This is such a bargain and will last you for ages. It comes in tons of different colors, but I especially love it in red because it feels like a candy cane. It reminds me of the baker’s twine that was so popular, but it’s a little bit wider, has a satin-finish, and I find it much easier to work with.

Basic White Gift Boxes, $3
I like to have a stash of these plain white boxes on hand because wrapping is so much easier when everything has an appropriate box. I like to stock up during the holidays in Target’s holiday department. They offer sets in different sizes: robe, shirt, blouse, slipper, gift — or a mixed set (don’t let the clothing labels distress you — you can use the boxes for whatever you like). These collapse and store and we reuse them through the year for birthdays.

Wrapping Tissue, $3
I stock up on the basic white to use all year, but they have so many pretty colorful/print options too!

Solid Color Gift Boxes, .20 cents each
If you’d prefer to skip the wrapping, you can also use solid colored boxes and then add ribbon. Pick a color that works with your decor — these you have to buy in bulk (25 at a time, so you may want to share an order with friends or siblings). There are tuck-top boxes in different sizes, two-piece boxes where you can choose different colors for bases and lids, or explore all the gift box options to find what works for you.

Holiday Wrapping Paper, 100 feet for $32
I like to buy one bulk roll like this that I can use over a couple of holidays, and then buy smaller rolls that complement it from other sources (like Target or Crate & Barrel — for comparison, smaller rolls usually come in 10 feet). There are tons of different designs — basics like polka dots and stripes, and more elaborate patterns too. This year, I’m eyeing the plaid options.

Tape, $5 for 600 feet
When you’re ordering paper, boxes, and tissue, don’t forget the tape! You don’t want to run out late at night on Christmas Eve (been there, done that).

Advent Calendars at World Market, prices vary
This is not a wrapping supply, but they are so fun I wanted to make sure you know about them. World Market has over 40(!) advent calendar options this year. Something for every interest — tiny preserves, puzzles, wine, organic tea, chocolate, and on and on.

Your turn. What are your favorite sources for holiday supplies? Do you have a particular holiday style or color scheme you favor? Metallics? Rustic? Traditional? I’d love to hear.

P.S. — More shopping guides and gift guides.

15 thoughts on “Holiday Prep Supplies”

  1. Thanks for the tips! Any ideas for great ribbons that can be shipped in/to Europe? The ones you mention seem to be US and Canada only.

    1. No idea on ribbon sources for Europe — it took me many years to figure out my U.S. sources and I suppose it will take many years if I want to figure out Euro sources too. : ) [ And hey, if you’re reading and you’re a European local, and have good ribbon sources, feel free to share. ]

      Alternatively, if you aren’t based in the U.S., but there are U.S. items you’re interested in ordering, there are good services for that. I’ve used, and there are tons of competitors. Basically, you sign up and they give you a U.S. shipping address. You order from whatever U.S. stores you like and have the shipments sent to the U.S. shipping address you were assigned. Then once the service receives your shipments, they’ll rebox everything and consolidate the packaging and then ship it on to you. You’ll pay the shipping, and any customs charges as well.

      1. Thanks for the reply. When living in Paris, I had my addresses where I used to go for ribbon in the 2nd arrondissement (Sajou, La Droguerie, Lil Weasel) but I don’t live there anymore (and also covid) so I plan to order online this year.

  2. some days when I visit your site, I feel like I want to live in the beautiful images. :) Thank you for sharing creative, easy ways to create a lovely holiday feel.

  3. Thank you so much for the ribbon source! Hi, my name is PC and I am addicted to spool ribbon. (I am legally required to proclaim that! lol) Soooo, um ya, that was bookmarked!

    Also, I wanted to pop in and say that usually, Trader Joe’s has fresh wreaths, and garlands for extremely reasonable prices. I am, not sure about this year but the prices are normally so inexpensive that I grab garlands for all the windows, mantles, and even the bar in the kitchen, plus wreaths as hostess or other gifts. They are plain, no decorations, but with that ribbon source you gave us that shouldn’t be a problem!

  4. I am terrible at making pretty bows. Could you do a tutorial post or point me to one? I love making presents pretty but I stopped using ribbon because I am just so bad at bows!

  5. Oh how I loved everything about this post! You seem to think of everything and I really enjoy that it fits within a budget! Often you see fabulous suggestions that just are so ridiculous for the average citizen but you absolutely “nailed it”!! Thank you for simplifying my holiday and allowing me to truly enjoy the spirit of this season more fully!💕

  6. Thanks for the tip on the World Market advent calendars. My 13-year old is obsessed with those little Bonne Maman jams – my mother-in-law bought him a whole flat of them for Christmas last year. He is going to be so excited about this advent calendar.

  7. Thank you! I hemmed and hawed and finally ordered ribbon from papermart today. Sometimes I stress about whether to go to stores to buy basics locally, but just decided to go ahead & order the ribbon-in the dimensions you noted-online. I love making gifts look pretty-it brings me just as much joy as giving the item! I am trying to buy as much as possible locally-supporting our local toy store, book store, sweet shop & stationery store. I also ordered the Target boxes you recommended. I don’t feel organized enough yet to know what size I need, so I ordered the mix of sizes and hopefully that will work well! Thanks again for saving me from an internet rabbit hole! My daughters & I are excited to try your bow tutorials this year.

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