How to Wrap Holiday Gifts

It takes creativity and practice to gift wrap a beautiful present. Consider the size and shape of the gift, as well as the style of the recipient when choosing the outer wrappings. Some presents lend themselves well to a theme to make gift wrap choices easy. Others take some planning. By considering the gift receiver, wrappers can craft appropriate packaging. For example, children typically prefer brightly colored gift-wrap to tear open, whereas an environmentally-conscious friend may prefer a recycled and re-used gift bag.

Gift Wrapping Choices

There are many options for gift-wrap beyond gift bags and decorated purchased paper wrap. Try brown paper bags, which can be stamped for colorful decoration. Dish towels, old calendars, newspaper, maps and old wallpaper are creative choices in gift-wrapping. Make the wrapping part of the gift by using a beach towel, scarf or baby blanket to hide the present inside.

For example, roll a bottle of wine or expensive olive oil in a pretty dishtowel. Secure a ribbon around the neck of the bottle. A gift for the fitness conscious might have a jump rope or an exercise band tied around it as a ribbon. A baby gift could be wrapped in a soft baby blanket. Use an old map to wrap up that new GPS. Use purchased stampers, or try potato stamping, to turn plain brown paper bags into decorated gift-wrap.

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Options

For an easy way to cut down on waste during the holidays, turn to environmentally friendly choices for gift wrapping needs. Recycled aluminum foil wrapped around a present and topped off with colorful raffia or leftover yarn, makes a shiny and elegant gift wrap. Place a compact fluorescent bulb atop a gift in place of a bow to remind the recipient to use this environmentally friendly light bulb. Real Goods makes a biodegradable seed wrap. The wrapping paper is embedded with wildflowers. It just needs to be planted outside in the garden after the gift is unwrapped. The receiver gets two gifts in one as months later the wildflowers begin to bloom in the garden.

Ribbons and Gift Tags

Get creative when it comes to topping the present. Ribbons need not simply be a store-bought bow secured to the top of a present with a tape donut. A fresh flower, such as a Gerber daisy makes a lovely crown atop a gift. A pretty barrette or decorative pony tail holder is a thoughtful top on a present for a young girl. Pretty ribbon, lace, metallic cording and inexpensive costume jewelry necklaces all make an elegant statement atop a gift. Jingle bells, wrapped candies, small plastic toys, evergreen twigs, holly berries or small pinecones perch prettily above a gift. A balloon can also double as a bow.

Use old greeting cards for gift tags. Simply cut out a scene from an old card. Punch a hole in the corner and run a ribbon through the hole. Use the back for the “to/from” part of the tag. Plain construction paper can be adorned with jingle bells, springs of holly, or fragrant herb stems for an eye-catching gift tag.

Instead of pulling out the same rolls of wrapping paper this year, try something new. A creatively wrapped gift shows effort and care. It adds sparkle and mystery to the present underneath, and may even take on a notoriety all its own.