The Gifted Blog

April 28, 2010

Wrap Story: Petite Packages

This Wrap Story is part of a mini-series, documenting every present I’ve wrapped since the launch of The Gifted Blog. Click here for the whole series!

One of the best parts of traveling through Kyoto was hunting down gifts to take home to friends. We made the ascent up 9(!) escalators to reach Isetan department store's 10th floor: the stationery floor.

I know I'm biased, but I'm going to go ahead and say that the Japanese make the best pens. Japanese pens have accompanied me through many an inductive Bible study, film studies lecture, and countless journal pages. Specifically, we were on the lookout for my college favorite, Hi-Tec C pens, as well as newer favorites, Signo pens. We found them waiting for us in a neat display of rainbow colors.

Back home, I decided to try for a simple wrap. Straightforward gifts call for straightforward gift wrap, otherwise there's too much build up! I tried wrapping the pens in the bag they came in.

However, the slight gloss on the paper showed every crinkle, and the cool blue designs seemed too sparse. I turned to some sheets of newspaper instead.

Much better! The softness of the newsprint was much more forgiving. Bows of yarn and embroidery floss brightened things up. I matched the color of the bows to the pens so I could tell which pen to give whom.

I failed to capture this in the photos, but the ends of the packages are folded perpendicular to each other. When one end lies flat, the other is upright. Just trying to add interest through the details.

And really, isn't it all in the details?


  1. Wow, I've never noticed that Japanese newspaper can have such a cool taste!
    And I like Signo pen, too. They are comfortable, aren't they? :)

  2. Oh, man! Japanese stationery! <3.

    When I was in high school I used to beg my dad to bring me back gel pens and pretty paper every time he went to Asia.

    I love how you've wrapped them, too; cute!

  3. When I saw the photo of the Hi-Tec pens, I was going to say, "Have you heard of Signos?" Then I read your next sentence. :) Signos write a lot more smoothly I think. But of course I still love the Hi-Tec pens of course!

    Are they a lot cheaper in Japan?

  4. A sweet & simple wrapping job that still looks special.

    I am so jealous of all your Japanese pens!

  5. Ha ha! This Wrap Story got all the pen-lovers commenting. : )

    Makiko & Jessica - Yes! Signo pens are really nice. My mom gave us one last year and I love using it. I knew I wanted to find some more (though I'm sure I could find them here in J-Town). Jessica, the pens were definitely cheaper, though I'm blanking out on exactly how much less expensive.

    silverkeys - Ooh. You were lucky to have a personal pen supplier! I see one really lovely set of stationery and passed it up, thinking I could find it elsewhere...I didn't. Probably my only souvenir-buying regret!

    heather - Thanks so much! I actually thought of your handwritten letters and doodles when I did this post. : )

  6. Haha. Yea, I guess my dad was a pretty good sport about it. My mom also used to ask him to carry back lots of Chinese homeopathic medicines, so I can't imagine how much heavier his suitcases must have been coming back.

    By the way, have you seen this post?

    I read her blog semi-regularly and today she and a wrapping post, which I thought you'd enjoy.

  7. The wrapping looks extra special with the Japanese newspaper.

  8. You can get both the Hi-Tec pens and the Signos at Kinokuniya in J-Town! I just bought a black Signo for addressing envelopes. ;)

  9. I LOOOOVE the perpendicular folds at the ends! I am so going to use that!

  10. silverkeys - What an awesome post! Thanks for thinking of me. She has some great ideas; I bet I'll be referencing these in the future.

    DuhBe - Thanks! It's cool how commonplace items can become more special out of their normal context. Have you been back to Mitsuwa for more magazines?

    Jessica - Nice. Hope the Signo makes the addressing a pleasant experience!

    Jantira - Aw, shucks! I was wondering if I was getting too carried away by describing those folds (seeing as they are barely visible in the pictures...oops), but I'm glad I did. If you try it for another sized gift, let me know how it goes! I'm curious to see if it would still work for something bigger.


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