During the holiday season, many of us leave giftwrapping to the very last minute. When we finally do get around to it we find ourselves staying up late in our Puyallup, WA, apartments, just trying to get everything covered. Whether it be conventional wrapping paper, one of those gift bags that have been circulating through the family for decades, or even worse, newspaper, it doesnt matter in the sleep deprived frenzy of last minute giftwrapping. But it doesnt have to be that way; with a bit of planning, some supplies and a little bit of work, your gifts will be the ones catching everybodys eyes next year.
Shirt and Tie Rules Apply
If wrapping paper can be compared to a dress shirt, I look at the ribbon as a tie. If you have a solid color or simple pattern on the paper, you can be a little bolder with your choice of ribbon. If, however, you chose paper with a dominant pattern, simply counteract this by using an understated ribbon in a solid tone.
The first thing I do when buying wrapping paper is find a roll in a nice, solid color; I have been favoring matte finishes the last few years but glossy papers work just as well. After choosing two or three colors that work well with one another I move on to the ribbon. Because of the solid colors we chose for the paper we have a little more freedom with the ribbon. I like to go with a bold paisley or striped pattern to contrast with the muted tones of the wrapping paper.
Brown Paper Packages
Perhaps you want more of a classic look for your gifts. You can always revert to the timeless look of a package wrapped in brown postal paper tied together with string. Here, you can use traditional twine or mix things up with red or blue strings. The colored accents really stand out against the earthy backdrop of the paper.
Its The Pleats
You can give gifts a little something extra by folding pleats into the paper before wrapping. While this looks extremely complicated, and I see no reason to tell anyone otherwise, it is surprisingly simple. All you do is add a couple of inches to the length of the paper you are wrapping with. Find where you want the pleat to lay and mark the paper at this location at several points across the width of the paper. Measure about 1 up from each point and leave a second mark. Now, you pinch the paper at the second point, initiating the fold, and tuck it down until the pleat covers each of the marks you made. Repeat this process for each pleat you wish to add; I have found that 3 or 4 usually does the trick.
Size and placement of the pleats, like with ribbons, is completely up to you. I like to mix things up so some gifts have thick pleats running horizontally across the center of the box while others have thin, vertical pleats 1/3 of the way in from the left side. Mix and match with different sizes and placements to add variety to the mass of gifts piling up beneath the tree.
Music to Their Eyes?
Do you have a musician on your shopping list this year? Try wrapping some of the smaller gifts in oversized sheet music! You can order sheet music from one of their favorite artists through a number of online retailers. You can get then wrap the gift with the paper as-is, or you can age the paper by painting it with coffee or tea and letting it dry. This will give it a much more rustic look; but beware, the aging process can weaken the paper so it is best to avoid any unnecessary folding (sorry, this means no pleats).
There you have it. Just because giftwrap is inevitably torn to pieces and thrown to the floor in a heap doesnt mean your gifts need to look like they were wrapped by a 4 year old. No; instead the front room of your South Hill, WA, apartment can look like a storefront window! Not only will these stylized wrapping tips give the area beneath the tree a sense of stylistic consistency, but they are sure to make the recipients pause and appreciate the time you took to prepare their gift in such a thoughtful way. And, after all, its the thought that counts, right?