5 Tricks for Great Gift Wrapping

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There’s nothing I love more than getting creative with ribbons and bows, especially at this time of year. And nothing that gets me more riled up than a poorly wrapped gift. I know people that spend so much time looking for the right gift for someone, and then just wrap it as an afterthought. Even if the gift is perfect, the way it’s delivered often just says “I don’t really care.”

This year, let’s all try to make the wrapping the most special part of gift giving. We’ll challenge ourselves to start early, get our supplies ready and organized, and to commit to making our presentations as important as the presents.

Let’s take a pledge, shall we?

Let’s… Stop giving gifts in ugly, thin paper from Walgreen’s.

Let’s… Stop using (and heaven help us, reusing) ready-made bows.

Let’s… Stop shoving presents into paper bags with some tissue paper and calling them “wrapped.”

Let’s… Stop stressing about holiday wrapping. Just a little bit of planning can make it easy and stylish.

And here’s how we’re going to do that.

Holly & Vines design wrapping paper from Minted.

Merry Ink Brush design wrapping paper from Minted.

1. Get some great paper.

My favorites lately are from Minted. I love the elegant cheeriness of this Holly & Vines design, and the bold black-and-white of this Merry Ink Brush paper. That second one, in particular, is incredibly versatile, which will come in handy in steps 2 – 5.

2. Keep it simple.

Sticking with one color paper, or a couple of patterns that go together, will help you sane as you’re wrapping. A nice glossy white, for example, will go with anything you’re wrapping inside it, and if you’re wrapping a whole tree’s worth, you just need a couple more patterns to make it all match.

There are all sorts of things — from the tried-and-true berries to tree ornaments — that can dress up a gift beyond the bow.

3. Add ribbons.

The advantage of sticking to coordinating patterns and colors in your paper means that you can do the same with your ribbons. Rather than buy massive spools of every color ribbon, you can just buy a few nice ones that go well together. Grab a red and green plaid ribbon for manly gifts, a dark emerald green for sophisticated gifts, and white and red satin for just about everything else.

4. Accessorize.

Don’t stop at ribbons! There are all sorts of things — from the tried-and-true berries, to dried flowers, to tree ornaments — that can dress up a gift beyond the bow. Craft and hobby stores are full of fun and unexpected ways to jazz up your giftwrap game.

Gift wrapping is all about showing that you thought as much about the outside of the box as you did about the inside.

5. Personalize.

If you have an artist in your life, decorate with brushes or pencils. Tie on a packet of seeds for a gardener, cinnamon sticks for a baker, or a tiny stuffed animal for a child. It’s all about showing that you thought as much about the outside of the box as you did about the inside.

What are your favorite gift-wrapping tricks? Tell us about them in the comments?


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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