PART OF THE Jolabokaflod ISSUE

‘We live in a world where we are always pushed for time, so it’s lovely to set aside time to do something fun and thoughtful for others.’

‘Tis the season to coorie in, and to coorie in in style, we should all have a look at Gabriella Bennett’s The Art of Coorie. It’s full of fabulous suggestions for making the best out of Scotland’s larder, our natural world, our traditions, our textiles – all the things that give us that warm, fuzzy feeling, despite our infamous weather! Here, especially for the festive season, are The Art of Coorie‘s tips on Christmas wrapping.


Extract taken from The Art of Coorie: How to Live Happy the Scottish Way
By Gabriella Bennett
Published by Black and White Publishing




Jane Adams of Author Interiors


1 We like to repurpose old newspapers found under flooring we have lifted up or in cupboards and drawers in homes we are developing or decorating, especially for our book lover friends. For friends who like something more contemporary, we like offcuts or leftover wallpaper to make an unusual and luxurious gift wrap.

2 You can get quirky with your gift tags – such as a holly leaf with your loved one’s name written on it in metallic felt-tip pen. Use blackboard paint on one side of the cardboard and then write their name in chalk on it.

3 We love to bring the outside in with our Christmas decorating and wrapping, especially as Scotland has so many rich tastes, textures and scents. Posies of holly, ivy berries, and pine cones look stunning tied to presents. Dried fruits like grapefruit or orange look beautiful attached to a ribbon bow.

4 We make homemade marmalade as a Christmas tradition as a nod to the Dundee area where we live. If you have any oranges left over from making marmalade or fruit cake – cut them into slices and stick them in the oven at a low temperature so they dehydrate. For a more contemporary look, do the same with figs as they have a great texture and shape when dehydrated.

5 Try bleaching pine cones for a cool-toned vibe. Wearing gloves, bleach the cones, leaving them for less time if you prefer ashy grey or longer for white. Bleaching leaves to make leaf skeletons is another lovely addition to wrapping. You can also spray paint holly leaves and pine cones in metallic tones.

6 Think about inner wrapping as well – some tissue paper and maybe a few slices of dried blood oranges and grapefruit.

7 Consider how the gift will be received as that will affect how you dress it up. Adding a Christmas biscuit to a parcel is lovely, but not ideal if being sent in the post.

8 It’s about creating scents and feelings of Christmas. Think about the texture of your wrapping, how you want it to look and how you want it to smell.

9 Set aside time for wrapping. It’s all about stimulating an emotional response to Christmas. We live in a world where we are always pushed for time, so it’s lovely to set aside time to do something fun and thoughtful for others. Sit in front of the fire on the floor with all your materials set out. Have a hot toddy and slice of shortbread or tablet waiting at the side as you listen to your favourite Christmas songs.

10 Darker mornings and longer, colder nights draw out from November onwards and there is less inclination to go outside. Make use of the feeling to hibernate and make shared experiences such as the ceremony of gift wrapping as you cosy up inside during these winter months.


The Art of Coorie: How to Live Happy the Scottish Way by Gabriella Bennett is published by Black and White Publishing, priced £14.99

Another Christmas recommendation: The Story of Scottish Design by Philip Long and Joanna Norman, published by Thames & Hudson, priced  £24.95


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