I get super excited when late October rolls around every year because it means that Gift Wrap Wonderland (GWW) is coming to The Container Store (TCS). I’ve spoken lovingly about GWW for years. It’s one of my favorite holiday kick off traditions. You can imagine my excitement, then, when the lovely people at my local TCS (Northbrook, Illinois) invited me for a private tour of this year’s collection. I am happy to be able to share the wonder that is GWW in photos and video footage with you.
Every year The Container Store transforms the center of their store into the most expansive collection of holiday wrap and accessories I have ever seen in one place. Not only does it include an incredibly large variety of festive wrap, but also every kind of gift packaging accessory you can think of from coordinating gift bags and tissue to ribbons, cards, and package embellishments. The hardworking elves at TCS work on the collection all year round, pulling together past favorites and fresh new picks into gorgeous collections that cover a wide range of styles. There’s truly something for everyone! Quality is certainly not sacrificed for quantity at GWW, where I’ve personally purchased some of the most beautiful paper I’ve ever seen. Each collection is carefully thought out and provides customers with everything they need to create the most simple package to the most elaborate. Half the fun of getting a gift is anticipating what’s in the package. The Container Store makes is super easy to find everything you need for your holiday packaging needs.
I took a lot of pictures (can you tell I was excited?), which I did my best to condense into collages to give you a sense of the space.
There are six long walls of wrap in GWW, which are grouped by collection. This makes it easy to find paper that coordinates well together according to your personal style. The paper rolls are organized vertically in bins below a wall of coordinating gift wrap accessories such as gift bags, tissue paper, labels, cards, and embellishments. Above these is a line of sample packages so you can see what each paper looks like on a box.
In addition to the long walls of wrap, there are ten or so (I didn’t photograph them all) smaller collection displays set up on the ends of the GWW aisles. TCS makes use of every available space in their setup for a total immersion experience. These collections include some of the funkier prints, many of which are not necessarily holiday specific and can be used year round. I especially love the silver and gold options as well as the new Handsome Holidays collection geared towards men. I bought a couple of rolls to have on hand for birthdays and father’s days for the special guys in my life.
One of the first things you see as you enter GWW is a large tree shaped shelving unit with gorgeous and festive presents wrapped to give inspiration on how to use the beautiful collections. One of these flanks the front and the back end of GWW. There are mesh bins with the coordinating wrap below so you can easily find what you get inspired by on the shelves.
It must be so fun to help create these sample packages. They really are gorgeously wrapped and give you great ideas for what you can create with all that GWW offers.
If looking at all of those professional quality samples makes you feel a bit self conscious about your own wrapping skills, fear not, because TCS has that covered! Every Saturday and Sunday between now and the end of December, TCS holds three Gift Wrap and Bow Demonstrations in store. These are free and a great way to pick up some basic tips to get you well on your way to creating gorgeously wrapped gifts. If you don’t live near a store, you can find help online with tips on wrapping and making your gifts really shine.
If all this talk about gift wrapping and bows seems like a lot of fuss to you, there is a great selection of gift bags and pouches for quick and easy gift packaging that’s still fun and festive. I especially love the drawstring pouches that come in a variety of shapes and sizes for wrapping awkwardly sized presents.
I also love shopping GWW because they offer the best selection of gift boxes. They have all of your gift box needs covered with an unparalleled selection of shapes and sizes. They have both white and printed collapsible boxes in all different sizes as well as a nice collection of white, gold, and silver jewelry boxes. Their premium boxes are nice enough to use year round as beautiful storage bins and the Gilded Gems print is so pretty all you need is a festive bow or ribbon and voila, beautiful gift, easily wrapped.
There are a few smaller stands in the center of GWW with even more boxes and items to customize your packages such as stickers. One stand includes useful gift wrapping tools, including all kinds of tape and dispensers, a paper cutter/folder, and even Neat Roll Fasteners to keep your wrapping paper securely on the roll.
One of my personal favorite sections is dedicated to food storage. As an avid holiday baker, I always pop over to GWW to pick up festive tins and waxed tissue paper to package up holiday treats for my loved ones. They also have a great selection of jars, baskets, treat bags, and more. TCS has been expanding their entertaining line in recent years to include paper napkins and trays for holiday parties. I am particularly intrigued by the Cotton Cocktail Napkin Rolls, which just tear off and can be washed and reused up to six times.
While the bulk of GWW is located in the heart of the store, you can find holiday items sprinkled throughout the store with more food storage and gift wrap accessories. There’s also a nice selection of gift card holders. They even have both festive and functional shipping accessories to help you package up gifts for loved ones who live far away.
TCS has also been expanding their holiday decor offerings in recent years. This includes functional items such as surge protectors, garland ties, hooks, clips, and dinnerware storage cases. They also carry festive holders to display holiday cards and wreaths as well as gorgeous stockings. I was told that the decorative wood cutout trees and coordinating accessories were so popular last year that they expanded that line this year.
Of course, it wouldn’t be The Container Store without containers for storing and organizing all of your holiday wrap and decor. The entire back end of GWW is dedicated to storage bins, boxes, and bags to keep everything neat and tidy year after year.
The center of GWW is Stocking Stuffers land. I can’t tell you how many awesome stocking stuffers I have found at GWW over the years. The elves at TCS are great about finding new and unique offerings every year while still carrying some of the tried and true customer favorites.
You can find a nice variety of items here ranging from fun and silly to seriously useful. Some of my favorites at first glance this year include the Citrus Zinger water bottle, The Laundress Clothing Care Travel Set, the Crumb Catcher Vacuum, and the Inflatable Crown.
I thought I would share some of my top GWW picks with you while we’re on the subject:
1. Kraft Gift Card Holder Totes | 2. Small Winter Forest Cotton Sacks | 3. Signature Snowflake Tiles 2-Piece Gift Boxes | 4. Holiday Sparkle Tissue | 5. Scotch Pop=up Tape Deskgrip Dispenser | 6. Handsome Santa Gift Labels | 7. Snowman Money Holders | 8. Chevron Holiday Wrap & Tote Organizer | 9. Red Polka Dot Waxed Tissue | 10. Red Door Window Tin | 11. 1/2 lb. Plaid Coffee Bag | 12. Tree Storage Box with Wheels
I love that TCS carries gorgeous new wrap each year in addition to bringing back some customer favorites. I usually do a big wrap stock-up run every other year. Over the years I keep repurchasing prints I like so much that they have become signature wrap for me in my family. A few of my favorites include Working Santa, Peppermint Stripe, Tartan Plaid, and Christmas Berries. You can definitely get a sense of my holiday wrap style from these selections. The great thing about GWW is that there really is something to suit everyone’s personal tastes.
I share a closer look at the GWW as well as my haul from this year in this video:
I thought it would be fun to run a giveaway so some of you could pick up some holiday wrap goodies. The Container Store GWW Giveaway will run until Friday, November 21, 2014 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open to US entrants only. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. Four People will win a $100 gift card to The Container Store. You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways). I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!
Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve been raving about all these years! I have wanted to share the joy that is GWW with you for a long time. Many thanks to The Container Store for helping make this dream of mine a reality. I’d also like to thank the lovely folks at the Northbrook store who opened their doors to me early with a warm welcome and a lovely tour. I highly recommend checking out GWW in person if you have the chance or perusing the website for great packaging ideas. Happy Holiday Prep!
* Post contains referral and affiliate links. Giveaway prizes are provided by me. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *