Remember the paper from the bookcases?

It’s back.

In all it’s glory….as faux wood wrapping paper.

I’m sharing a gift wrap idea with a group of bloggers today…..

…..and I was going to go all fancy.


I was planning on creating a box out of sugar cookie dough and decorating it to look like a present.

Then the gift wrap would actually be the gift.

I thought it was brilliant.

And then I remembered the gingerbread men…..

…..and the story of our first Christmas.

If you missed it the first time….here’s an encore…..

….just in case you were still thinking the sugar cookie dough box was in your future.


I can remember when all I had to decorate with was a box of shiny red ornaments and a little ribbon.

We were newly married and living in an old farmhouse that had seen better days.

All we had to our name….was 8 place settings of wedding china and a few pieces of furniture that our family had given us.

Living on love without anything left over for Christmas decorations.


So we went to a neighbor’s farm and cut down a tree.

It was kind of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree….there were big branches missing and it kind of leaned.

And looked like at any moment…..without the slightest bit of provocation….

…..it would topple over.

But I didn’t care.

I loved it.

It was my first Christmas tree and I cut ribbon bows and tucked pine cones in it and hung those shiny red ornaments on every branch.


And then….for the finishing touch….for the icing on my Charlie Brown tree….

….I baked dozens of gingerbread men.

They weren’t very fancy.  They looked more like ginger blobs then men….but I decorated them with great gusto and Christmas cheer and hung them everywhere.

I hung them on the tree with ribbons.

I hung them in the windows and doors and from the back of chairs and cupboards.

Until every inch of that old farmhouse was covered with grinning….bright-eyed…..bow-tie wearing….gingerbread men.


An entire farmhouse decorated from almost nothing.

I was so proud.

So all about myself and my budget Christmas decorations.

Gingerbread men?  Who knew?


It wasn’t until later that my husband called me into the kitchen.

“Why did you make the gingerbread men with only one leg?” he asked in a puzzled voice.

We both turned to the smiling bedazzled gingerbread man hanging in the window.

I just shrugged.

It must have broken when I hung him up there,” I said with a grin.  ”But at least he’s cute.”

Then we smiled at each other and our little one-legged gingerbread man in our little farmhouse festooned with homemade Christmas decorations.

Decorated with love.


I was so busy over the next week….wrapping and drinking hot chocolate and window shopping and watching “Prancer” on television….

….that I forgot all about the gingerbread man with the missing leg.


Until I saw another one on the tree…..

…..missing part of his head.

And another one….missing part of his arm.

And then…..I heard one as it dropped to the ground…..

….completely chewed to pieces.



And jumped on a chair.

Wildly hopping around and hands waving and yelling for my husband to immediately get every gingerbread man out of our farmhouse….as far away as possible.

Because those half-eaten gingerbread men were no accident.

It seems we had plenty of friends.

Of the furry four-legged whiskered variety that were enjoying Christmas at the farmhouse, too.

I don’t think I really ever recovered.

As a matter of fact….I’m sure.

Because when I unpacked our 37 boxes of Christmas decorations in the attic…..full of ornaments and garland and trees and mistletoe…..I double checked one more time…..just to be sure…..

…..that there was not a gingerbread man in sight. :)


Here’s the paper I used.  I bought it at Hobby Lobby in the hobby section (not the gift wrap).

Then I hot glued a greenery pick to the front and used a branch from outside as the stump.

And added a tag.

The roll is only $8.99 (and you can used your 40% off coupon).

Happy gingerbreadless wrapping to you. 🙂


And now get ready for a little more gift wrap inspiration from some of my favorite bloggers!

Click on the links below for each project!


  1. Image for andrea andrea

    I am actually glad that I missed the story the first time because I am hysterical right now!!! I didn't see that coming : ) LOL!!!! I would stay away from gingerbread lol! I love this beauty and I think I will use your idea on some of my packages...I have teenie weenie little candle cups that would hold a teenie weenie tree branch!!!! I thank you as always for the incredible inspiration!!!! You rock my friend! hugs...

  2. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    Oh Karianne, they only ate a little portion and left some for you. I am not sure I should tell this....... children do NOT read this. I stayed in a awful motel just on the edge of the line, just before Kennesaw, GA and I awoke to a dead mouse under me........ poor little fellow. But I was a bit horrified as well...... but would not have wanted to kill the little one. I immediately left.

  3. Image for Lisa Shultz Lisa Shultz

    Love your stories KariAnne, I could read them all day long. You paint a vivid picture before our eyes. So funny!!!! Happy Holidays to you and your lovely family.

  4. Image for Angela Angela

    Love those type of stories that you will be able to tell for years to come and it never gets old! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!~~Angela

  5. Image for Deb Deb

    Love the wrapping paper and your ideas. It will go perfect with one of the trees I'm doing this year. I guess it's off to Hobby Lobby today! Thanks, and I love, love, love the story. We also once lived in an old farmhouse, with a few furry friends, but they only shared a bit of a warm pie I had left out to cool! AHHHHH.....that was enough for me. You handled your gingerbread event much better than I did my small one. LOL

  6. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, Too funny!!! I have many mouse tales living in this old house. Mr. Kitterz is never bored. Oh they still make me scream! Kitterz, leaves them at our front and back door all the time. Long ago I heard them in our wall ugh! Thanks for the laugh.

  7. Image for Alice Alice

    KariAnne, This reminds me of my gingerbread man adventure. I kept finding gingerbread men that had been "pulled" from the Christmas tree. I was so upset because the dog had been pulling them off, so I thought. I screamed at and yelled at and berated that poor little fur ball for days. Well.....one day soon I SAW a gingerbread man FALL from the tree. It had rained and the moisture had caused them to soften and pull themselves from their ribbons. I felt so bad that I apologized to the poor little fur ball and gave her a special treat....but she never forgave me. Now I am always sure I seal anything, that I bake, to be used for ornaments.

  8. Image for melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    Sounds a lot like our Charlie Brown tree from the Christmas of 2002. A $4 find at a yard sale. I filled it with cookie cutters and gumdrops stuck to the end of branches I had gathered from the yard. I began noticing sticky spots all over my kitchen floor. And, then I noticed that around the bottom of the tree, those gumdrops were no longer sugar coated, but sort of shiny? And, then one afternoon I followed my 1 year old into the kitchen and watched her toddle up to the tree and find a sugar coated gumdrop and proceed to suck all of the sugar right off...drooling the whole time...leaving a giant sticky spot on my kitchen floor! Such sweet memories! Luckily, the mice didn't find it! Life to the full! Melissa

  9. Image for gina gina

    love the paper since I first saw it on the bookshelves. happy to say we are finally getting a hobby lobby! on grand opening day, I will find this paper and think of you!

  10. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    LOL, what a priceless story. When I started reading it, I had a feeling something like this was coming up. I just had that feeling it was going in this direction. I would have run for the hills screaming and I am not kidding. Cynthia

  11. Image for Tania @ Run To Radiance Tania @ Run To Radiance

    Oh nooooo!!!!! Ohmigosh what a sweet and terrifying story all at once!!!!!! This is going to be our first year with a real tree and I am so scared there will be a rat/owl/snake/any animal/bug in it that will colonize in our home and take over!!! Super love the paper :)

  12. Image for Sue Sue

    You are hilarious....but back to the gift wrap and a very dumb question. Is the little birch trunk part of the gift wrap?

  13. Image for lyne lyne

    Looked on the Hobby isle and everywhere in between and could NOT find the faux wood paper. Could you please give us the name/brand so we can ask a Manager about ordering it if indeed they do not carry it? I have been looking everywhere for such to wrap tealights for a Rustic wedding. With all the woodland creatures for Christmas this year I thought I could find it easily. Not the case! Thank you , Lyne

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Lyne, Someone else just found it online: http://www.mardel.com/fadeless-paper-weathered-wood-48x12.aspx Hope this helps! I'm going to add the link to the post! Thanks! karianne

  14. Image for Miss Charming Miss Charming

    I'm sure they were Christmas Mice, helping to celebrate the holiday! I did a whole gingerbread themed tree one year and started noticing missing limbs and broken pieces, etc. After a while, I realized that the gingerbread softens over time and that pieces would fall to the floor where an accommodating pup or tiny tot would quickly eat the evidence. Consequently, I now only bake gingerbread men to eat!

  15. Image for Lauren @ The Thinking Closet Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Oh my gosh, what a story! I actually thought that maybe it was your hubby playing a prank on you...but no, this is much scarier. Still, I love that you decorated that tree with gingerbread men...it's pretty ingenious - - except for the appeal it holds to critters. Maybe salt dough gingerbread men that you paint brown? :-) It's a great story anyhow! And thanks for the tip on the faux wood wrapping paper! Right up my rustic Christmas alley. ;-)

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