One of my favorite activities during the Christmas season (yes, there's another one) is wrapping gifts. Since I have a little crafty streak, this is a great opportunity to put it to use. Some people say the way the present is wrapped is just as important as the gift itself. I don't know if I agree with this idea, but I can't deny that getting a gift that's beautifully presented doesn't make it feel more special. If anything, it shows that the person put in extra time and effort.
I love creative gift wrapping. Unfortunately I'm not always able to devote that much time to it, especially around the holidays. Yesterday as I was wrapping the last batch of presents, I thought I'd share some tips on how to make the process quicker, and get great results at the same time.
I'm not talking about some fancy paper that's sold by the sheet at some frou frou boutique and costs more than your gift itself. All you need is a paper that's thick enough to resist tearing and fold nicely. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing your paper rip and wrinkle before you've finished. Good quality paper doesn't have to cost a lot. My favorite place to stock up on gift wrap is Home Goods. Most of their rolls are only 3 to 4 dollars, and are excellent quality. Even Target can't beat that.
2. Use different patterned paper within a similar color scheme.
Whenever I wrap gifts for my own family or give multiple gifts to others, I like them to be color coordinated. I find it's more appealing to the eye when the gifts are packaged differently yet compliment each other. This is not important if you're giving single gifts to different households.
3. Put a bow on it!
I'm sure you've heard many times before, those cheap shiny self adhesive bows are a no-no. Perhaps the easiest way to make a gift look more luxurious is to use satin ribbon. Michael's carries a wide selection of colored ribbon. I usually buy them in 2 widths - wider for the larger gifts, and narrow for the small ones. When wrapping large gifts you can go through the spool pretty fast. To be more efficient you can wrap the ribbon in only one direction, around the width of the package. I also save every bow or ribbon from gifts that I receive or products I buy. You can always reuse them for smaller gifts. If satin ribbon is beyond your budget you can also use baker's twine or knitting yarn.
4. Add a tag.
I use a variety of extras to adorn my gifts, from ornaments to feathers to bits of flora, but more often I add little paper tags. You can buy them in bulk at almost any craft store. I've had mine for a few years and still haven't used them all up. You can attach them to the ribbon before tying a bow or use them as the only accent by gluing one in the center of the gift. To make it 3 dimensional I like to use adhesive foam dots on the back of the tag.
5. Give it a stamp of approval.
If you have nice handwriting you're lucky. By all means go ahead and write your To's and From's by hand. But if you're like me, who hates her own handwriting, you may want to use rubber stamps. Before working with the gift you may want to test the stamp on a scrap of paper. You don't want your letters to be upside down, backwards or crooked. You can spell out the whole name or just use initials. Stamps work well directly on the wrapping paper or on a tag.