While most of that wrapping paper will end up crumpled in a ball on the floor after the real goods have been opened, for days and even weeks before the holidays come, those presents can serve as a festive decoration. Follow these tips to have gifts that shine inside and out.
Start with a Strong Foundation
Start with wrapping paper, but use your imagination. You can choose a glossy-finish, one-color paper and add more embellishments later, or use a two-color design. Stay away from overly detailed and printed papers, and stick to repeating patterns in three or fewer colors.
To wrap the gift, find a flat surface and use enough tape to keep the paper taut around corners. Make firm creases in the paper while folding in the edges, and instead of taping rough paper edges, fold edges over and tape them with rolled pieces of tape instead of sticking them down with a flat strip from on top. Alternately, double-stick tape is another good way to form crisp edges and corners.
Tying something onto a package can be a nice touch, and can provide some texture and depth to the presentation. A classic choice is mini glass Christmas ornaments, which can be purchased inexpensively. Christmas ornaments also make a great choice, and especially if they somehow coordinate with the wrapping or the gift.
To give a little hint, try tying something on that goes with the gift completely – like a box with cookie mixes inside and a cookie cutter tied on the top.
Some other ideas for embellishments include a single piece of candy or truffle, a small pack of gum or candy, a bracelet or other small piece of jewelry, batteries (for an electronic gift) or fun, geometric objects that will lend some visual interest to the gift.
Tie the package up with curling ribbon or wire garland, wrapping around the boxes one way and then around, ending up on top. Try setting the tie off center, or anchoring it right in the middle. Add a sticky name label for the recipient and then add some extra ribbon or garland so you can make a generous bow on top.
One word of caution: Be careful when leaving embellished gifts under the tree if there are small children or pets in your home that may get into them, especially if they’re edible or breakable, like glass ornaments.
Now nestle that gift under the tree and wait for gasps of surprise as the recipients of your gifts admire their handsome packages!