Celebration – Gift Wrap 101

After several trips to a favorite retail store or braving the crowds at the local mall, you’ve made your purchases for family and friends, everyone is checked off the Christmas list and the shopping is finally done!  Now, with some simple materials and a few suggestions and tips the presents can be wonderfully gifted wrapped in some unique ways to make your presents very memorable.

When gift wrapping presents for the holiday season, be creative with style, color and the use of embellishments.  Don’t limit yourself to the rolls of gift wrap paper in the Christmas aisle in your local retail store.  The local craft store or fabric store are a great source for gift wrap supplies, think about using fabric for wrapping, silk or wired ribbons, flowers or feathers for decorations on the presents.  The sewing notion section is an unusual source for gift wrap embellishments such as buttons, tassels, zippers, etc.  The scrapbook section in your local craft store is also a great source for creating gift tags and other decorations for finishing off those holiday gifts.

SAFETY CAUTION: When using small items for gift wrap decorations please be aware if you have small children in the house that can get ahold of the presents.  Store these gifts in a safe place until it is the time to open gifts or keep them out of reach and store in a high place that children cannot get to.  

Listed below are suggestions for several styles of gift wrap choices –

ROMANTIC STYLE

When gift wrapping a present for a mother, wife or sister consider a romantic style.  I would describe a romantic style as classic and feminine.  Use soft jewel tones such as: tiffany blue, fuchsia, sage green and rose or metallic colors such as: silver, gold and bronze.  Think about patterned paper, such as: floral and toile prints or textured wrapping papers, such as: flocked or embossed velvet.  Look to the fashion runway ball gowns for inspiration for wrapping presents in a romantic style.

As an alternative for traditional wrapping paper, check out the local fabric store for elegant fabrics to use in wrapping the presents, such as silks or satins.  The ribbon aisle is a wonderful source for silk and wired ribbons in hundreds of colors and prints to tie up a present.  Silk flowers can add a beautiful finishing touch; just tuck a shortened stem into the knot of a bow.  Check out the costume jewelry department in a local retail store for beautiful sparkling broaches to pin onto a present.

HINT:  Fabrics can be tricky to work with at first when wrapping a gift.  Normal gift wrap tape will not adhere to the fabric so try double sided tape on the fabric surfaces to secure.  (Celebrity stylists use this old Hollywood Red Carpet trick for their client’s clothes and it can work for gift wrapping as well)  Practice folding the fabric in a traditional gift wrapping style or if this proves too tricky simply gather the fabric at the top of the present, secure and tie with a ribbon.

MASCULINE STYLE

For a masculine style be inspired by menswear when wrapping a present for a father, husband or brother. Use darker colors, such as: hunter green, burgundy and navy blue.  Look for wrapping paper in plaids, herringbone and pinstriped patterns.

Check out your local fabric store for masculine fabrics to use, such as: corduroy, flannel, suede or simulated leather.  Be inspired by fabric normally used in menswear, such as: tartan plaids, black and white herringbone and grey or navy pinstripe fabrics.  The ribbon aisle is a great source of different styles of ribbons, such as: suede, leather or menswear patterns.  Once again, check out the sewing notions department in the local craft store for unique buttons to attach to the present.

When gift wrapping presents such as formal tailored shirts use the accessories as gift wrap accents.  Think about using the coordinating tie purchased with the shirt tied with a traditional Windsor knot and secured to the outside of a present or if he uses a bow tie instead consider pinning it on the outside of the present.  One suggestion is use a one or two inch wide solid color ribbon or a leather or suede strip around the present vertically and glue several buttons down the front to simulate a shirt front.  The matching pocket square can also be attached to complete the look.

(Please refer to the hint above when working with fabric for wrapping gifts)

EDGY STYLE

An eddy style of gift wrapping is perfect for the teenager or young adult.  Black will be the obvious color used with accents of metal or leather for a bold look.  Neon colors of hot pink, tangerine orange and lime green could also be used as a trendy alternative. Also look for wrapping paper in bold and geometric patterns for a modern look.  Check the ribbon aisle in the local craft store for ribbons that are appropriate for an edgy style.

Black wrapping paper can be hard to find, so if you can’t find any in the stores use regular black scrapbook paper in a cool “torn” effect over colored or patterned wrapping paper.  Select a strip of black paper long enough to go around the entire present.  Use a straight-edge ruler on top of black paper and gently tear the paper for a rough edge look with tattered edges. Attach the torn black paper around the present.

Check the sewing notion aisle in the craft store for zippers to use as decoration.  Cut up a zipper at the bottom and this will give you two separate pieces to use.  Zippers come in all different lengths so you will be able to find for the present or tie two pieces together if you need a larger length. Coil the zipper and it can become a cool edgy flower!

NATURE-INSPIRED STYLE

For those nature or outdoor loving family or friend’s presents, consider using supplies from nature.  Start by wrapping the present with simple brown craft paper or solid colored paper such as: green for the forest or blue for the sky and ocean.  Use grosgrain and silk ribbons to add texture and color to the presents.  You can gather materials from the forest or seashore but the local craft store is also a good source.  Items to look for as accessories would be – pinecones, artificial pine branches, holly branches or poinsettias for a traditional Christmas look or feathers and seashells for a non-traditional look.

HINT:  When gathering materials from the forest or seashore to use for gift wrapping, please be advised that they could contain bugs or other creatures.

TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS

TIP #1

Shop early for gift wrap supplies – that means shopping the Christmas sales the year before.  If you shop when these items first go on sale there is a better selection.  Find some space in a hall closet or a seldom used room to store these supplies until the next year.  When shopping for supplies look for wrapping paper, ribbon, gift tags and embellishments to create a fabulous wrapped gift.

TIP #2

Instead of purchasing yards of fabric, for smaller presents look in the home furnishing section of the local retail store for fabric dinner napkins.  Napkins are usually available in an assortment of colors, fabrics and even holiday prints.

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