Wrap It Up!

I watched my mom wrap gifts for years—she made it look effortless. But the first gift I ever wrapped was a complete disaster. The corners were a hot mess. I’m sure 3M made a mint on me since it took almost an entire role of scotch tape to keep the paper from falling off the box.

My favorite part of the whole experience, however, was curling up the little streamer ribbons. There was nothing like dragging the scissors down the streamer and watching it curl up tighter than a pig’s tail. Well…some of them—I could never get all of them the same length.

But after some practice, I got better. And after some experience, I made it simpler. I’m all grown up now and no longer using big fat bows and curly streamers. I prefer things that are different, unique, but above all—simple. So what tips do I have to take the stress out of gift wrapping?

  • Color theme.

Pick a color theme and stick to it. This is like choosing a “capsule wardrobe” for your gift wrapping. It just makes everything easier. This means you can buy your paper or gift bags in bulk—saving time and money. I love the look of a brown gift bag and white tissue paper. If you prefer wrapping your boxes with paper, then stick to one color—like a simple brown or plain white. By keeping it simple, any additional elements that you add to your wrapping to “accessorize” or personalize it stands out.

The other thing I like about keeping the wrapping one color is it adds a simple elegance to your gift. No matter what color you decide to choose–brown, white, gray, black, blue, pink, or purple, keeping it monochromatic keeps it classy.

Here are a few things I have done to personalize my gifts:

  • Scarves

Use a scarf instead of a ribbon to tie around your gift. This creates a very unique look, and it makes the gift feel fancier because your friends are untying something wrapped in silk (or polyester). And frankly, nothing gives me more pleasure than watching my friends walk around wrapped up like little babushkas afterwards.

  • Neckties

For your favorite guy, you can nix the scarf and use a necktie or suspenders. This element is manly, yet whimsical. The great thing about scarves, ties, and suspenders is they do not need to be expensive. Just go to a thrift store and stock up. It’s meant to be fun and different, so feel free to go wild when you have the opportunity.

  • Fresh flowers

Accent your gift with fresh flowers. Tape them to your box or bag, and then tie your ribbon, scarf, or necktie around them. You can also use dried flowers—they add another dimension of elegance.

You could also use:

  • Strips of sheet music
  • Calendars (circle the date)
  • Maps
  • Rope/twine
  • Lace
  • Yarn
  • Cute ponytail holder (for children’s gifts)
  • Candy
  • Costume Jewelry
  • Feathers
  • Luggage tags

Really, the possibilities are limitless. Wrapping your gifts this way will add more joy to the giving experience—for you and for your loved ones—especially if you keep it simple and fun. By choosing a color theme for your gifts, you are choosing a gift wrapping “capsule wardrobe”–one more way to de-stress your life.

However, don’t be afraid to think outside of the gift box and try something new. By using the above ideas to “accessorize” and personalize your gifts, you will not only enjoy packaging and wrapping tokens of your love and appreciation, but you will turn your wrapping disasters into wrapping triumphs.

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