The process of wrapping a gift can seem daunting at first. It seems like such a simple task, and it's coming from an authentically kind place. Sometimes though, the simple act of gift giving and gift wrapping can take on a life of its own!
The process is ultimately what you make of it. So why not make it fun? It's all about honoring the relationship with the person you're giving this gift to and expressing your creative side in the process!
Different Types of Gifts
The type of gift wrapping required will ultimately depend on what gift you're giving. And if you don't mind putting your gift in a larger box. Also, the decoration on your wrapping can have a huge impact on the whole experience.
We all remember that feeling as a child. Seeing all of the uniquely wrapped presents stacked up in a row for different people. The excitement and anticipation of coming to the moment where you get to unwrap something and see what it is.
So whether you're already a gift wrapping expert, or just dipping your toe in the water, here you'll find some helpful ways to make your gift really shine. First though, it's important to remember the occasion. This might determine how loud you get to be with your creative design elements.
If you're giving a gift at a bridal shower, it may not be the best time to bust out your tie-dye wrapping paper—unless that's the theme of course! Every style has its ideal place and time.
Gaining awareness of these different circumstances will help you determine how to approach your given gift wrapping. It could even be as simple as the fact that there's not very much room during the event for excess paper to go. So a gift bag with tissue paper might be in order.
Gifts Come in Many Shapes and Sizes
It would seem to go without saying, but how the gift appears in a given setting is hugely important. The initial contact/the appearance of the gift is the first impression that your receiver gets of what you've thoughtfully put together for them. It would be sad if they got a sub-par impression off the bat for an otherwise stellar gift!
But how exactly do you decide how to wrap something? Long vertical lamps don't fit into moveable boxes very easily. But it'd also be incredibly complicated to try to wrap a large lamp or a coat rack in something.
Here's a quick tutorial on how to wrap many different shapes of boxes. The folds you'll learn here could also be applied to other gift wrapping ventures as well.
The Evolution of the Perfect Gift
So now you know how to wrap some challenging shapes. Now the question becomes what tools do you use and what materials best fit the gift you're giving. More than that, how is your personal creativity expressed in a way that speaks to how unique and special your relationship to this person is?
Tools of the Trade
First, you'll want to make sure you're fully prepared. A simple trip to the crafts store should help you find what you need. Or if there's no crafts store near you, there's sure to be an 'arts and crafts' section of whatever 'big box' store is nearest to you.
Let's start with the essentials. You'll most likely need some tape, a pair of scissors, wrapping paper (or something else to cover up the gift itself) and any additional accessories you think you'll need. We'll get more into accessories in a minute.
You'll also need a quiet spot with enough space to execute your gift wrapping skills. It's also helpful to have some weights for when you cut the wrapping paper. Because it's wound around a cylindrical spool, weighing down the four corners of what you've cut and let it rest for a bit, will help the paper take on more of a flat shape (which is easier to work with).
Having the Best Gift Wrapping Experience Possible
The experience of gift giving ought to be a joyous one. There's a reason you didn't order this gift pre-wrapped or let the person in the store wrap it for you! You've got to make this your own throughout the process of getting your gift ready so that you can give it away cheerfully.
When gift wrapping, it helps to set the scene for yourself. Put on some music, and pour yourself a beverage. This kind of environment will help especially when you get to the step of writing a special note to go with your gift.
Taking Care to Cover Your Tracks
Is this gift a secret? Does your receiver know it's coming or is the person it's intended for living in the same space as you? You might be surprised to find that it does take some pre-planning to execute your surprises effectively.
Maybe this gift you're wrapping is part of a series of gifts that you're sending. If so could you turn this part of your gift wrapping story into one piece of a larger theme? For example, a dozen roses sent in advance could also show up as the graphic content on your wrapping paper.
In any case, remembering to think outside the box about what you may be putting into a box is important! Even more important is what that box looks like when you take it in. Next, we'll get into some creative accents that will help you really make your gift stand out even further.
Getting Extra Creative, Unique Style Elements
How creative you get in decorating after you've wrapped your gift is entirely up to you. There could be a whole new dimension that comes to life simply by making the surface of your gift extra special. Right down to designing your own wrapping paper.
The Wrapping Paper Itself
There's a reason that they make white wrapping paper. So that you can color in designs yourself! In addition, you can also paint or color over previous wrapping paper that you might think needs a few touch-ups here and there.
If you're not the illustrative type, not to worry. For all of your unique gift wrapping needs, the internet is stocked up with a wide diversity of wrapping paper content. You'll find everything from elephants, to pineapples, to rainbows, to dolphins, and fuzzy cats and everything in between.
Another staple of the crafts shop or garment maker's emporium, attaching unique buttons with glue or tape. Maybe the receiver of your gift is simply as cute as a button. Or maybe they button up really well.
Whatever the reason, buttons can be a fun addition as they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. And it's fun to see them outside of their usual context, which is on clothing!
First of all the term 'Googly Eyes' is just fun to say. Secondly, you can never put too many of them into a crafts project like gift wrapping. Perhaps it's a going away gift for a college-bound son or daughter.
Can you say 'even though you're leaving the nest... I'll be watching you!' I sure can. It's accents like these that tie the whole theme of a gift together.
Colored Fabric Balls
So if you're going for something a little less creepy than googly eyes, but like things that are round (maybe you liked ball pits back in the day), you might consider colored fabric balls to dot your gift with. They go especially well with gift wrapping paper that's already got a decent amount of geometric design going on.
Fabric as Wrapping Paper
Who said gift wrapping had to only use wrapping paper? If there's an abundance of colored thread or yarn or unique fabrics that you don't mind measuring out, cutting, and taping together, feel free to go this route. It's incredible seeing a gift wrapped in nothing but rows of brightly colored yarn.
Ribbons as Wrapping Paper
In order to achieve a slightly repetitive yet uniform design, try simply substituting ribbons for wrapping paper. It may take a little longer, but the effect it will have may be worth it.
Painted Plastic Wrap as Wrapping Paper
It makes sense. The whole point of wrapping a gift is so that a person passing by does not know what it is. But if your gift wrapping involves only partially obscuring what's inside, that could work too.
In the process of wrapping your gift with plastic wrap, note that it takes a special kind of paint that will work on plastic of any kind. So consider this if you go this route, or consider using plastic wrap as just a goofy or gag component to the opening of the gift. Sometimes it's funny to get people's reactions to something they don't expect in the process of opening something.
Comics as Wrapping Paper
If you're looking for a cheaper way to get across a loud wrapping paper design, try reaching for the Sunday Funnies. There are plenty of strips that'll add humor and color to your gift wrapping. And hey, it may give your receivers something to do/read if they're having to look at the gift for a long time before the gifts get opened.
The Bow or Ribbon on Top
Just like the cherry on top of a sundae. The bow or ribbon can complete a beautiful session of gift wrapping. They come in many different styles and degrees of flashiness, so you have options to be able to pick the perfect one.
They're not just for kids art projects. When used effectively and painted to your liking, popsicle sticks can add the flair you need. Especially if they've got jokes written on them!
Maybe your person loves the beach. If so than now would be the perfect time to attach some seashells to your blossoming piece of gift wrapping. It's a sensibility that the beachiest of people understand: attaching shells to everything.
Glitter, Confetti, Glue, Glitter Glue
These are all tools to give your gift a little more pizzaz. They don't all have to be used at once to be effective. They can be employed individually or in tandem. Whatever works best for your gift wrapping situation.
There are sticker people, and then there are Sticker people. If you're gift wrapping for a Sticker person, be sure to remember to include a healthy dose of stickers on their present. They'll thank you for it.
Painted or Plain Clothespins
These can also be used to attach your unique note, and we'll get to that. But for now, remember how much fun it can be to paint clothespins. You can then add as many as you wish to your present.
Nailing the Note
A great rule of thumb to remember when gift wrapping is that personality matters, and it's the little things that count. The more personal you can make your gift, the more your receiver will appreciate it. Including a touching note is usually a great way to do this.
The Perfect Note for the Occasion
What kind of gift are you giving? What is your relationship to this person? How much history do you have together?
Answering these questions will help you determine what kind of note to write and then attach to your ultimate gift. Make sure that the note also fits into the larger design you're making. Style points matter in this aspect.
Where to Put Your Note
Maybe it's as simple as a few kind words on a sticker tag. Maybe it's how you write a separate card and then have them open that separately first. Maybe your note is written on the wrapping paper itself!
The Content of the Note
Many people simply go for a few kind words. But depending on who you are and how you relate to the person you're doing the gift wrapping for, your note could be poetic, humorous, or it could even sing. Yes, they do make singing cards now. Hopefully, you've been fortunate enough to open one at some point.
Gift Wrapping Dos and Don'ts
As with any unpredictable situation, it's helpful to know what to do and what not to do when gift wrapping.
The room you set up earlier to partake in your gift wrapping? Invite some friends over. Have a gift wrapping party! It's all up to you.
Overdo the Design Elements and Accents
It's important to have fun creating the gift. But if your gift goes overboard or may look inappropriate for the setting it's in; it may be time to dial it back. Think of other ways you can creatively express, like in your note.
Keep Neat Lines
Gift wrapping effectively means carrying off straight lines in the wrap itself. Not only does it look better; it also looks like you put in some real time and attention. A hastily constructed piece of gift wrapping screams 'I don't have time to make what I'm giving you look good.'
Leave Gift Exposed
As before, unless part of the novelty is that your receiver can see some or most of the gift, make sure you cover the whole thing. Doing otherwise is perceived as sloppy. And an otherwise fantastic looking gift can appear 'under-cooked' if you don't pay attention to this element.
Take Your Time
In addition to potentially messing up the lines of the fold, hastily running through the gift wrapping process can lead to a rushed result. It's much better to be deliberate in your crafting. Give each decision you make a reason, that way when your gift receiver talks to you about your inspiration later, you don't have to say 'oh yeah, I just kind of threw this together.'
If it's a kid's birthday party you're attending, for instance, make sure you're not showing up with lewd symbols on the wrapping paper. There are other parties for that. Having inappropriate designs on your gift can be embarrassing, and can be avoided.
Bring Your Unique Self
Ultimately this gift-giving process is about the expression of your unique personality elements merging with this gift and making a positive impact on the person you're giving it to. In these cases, you must not be afraid to show your true self. Reveal what you like and what you think your receiver will like through your unique expression.
Make Your Design Too Much About You
It's an important balance to walk. Remembering how your receiver likes to take in gifts is important. Because ultimately it's a gift for him/her not for yourself.
Consider How Fragile
Considering how fragile your gift item is hugely important and can affect how you wrap your gift. Does it have ends that stick out? Will you be putting a piece of the item at risk if you set it on its side or what if someone sets it upside down, will it still be ok?
Use Too Much Tape
There's nothing worse than an over-tapped piece of gift wrapping. Too much tape again signals sloppiness. You don't want to be known in your gift giving for being wasteful and sloppy.
Quick Fixes, Sometimes You Don't Have Time
As much fun as gift wrapping yourself can be, it's important to note that in some cases it's best to leave the gift wrapping to the professional in the room. This could be the person at the checkout register. Or maybe it's the person down the street next to the flower shop that specializes not only in gift wrapping but also in edible arrangements and interior decorating.
The Gift Bag
Everyone's concerned with the perfect bag these days. Whether it's one of the big box stores wanting you to rep their brand while you're shopping elsewhere, to nailing exactly the right kind of colors for the winter holidays, getting the most bang for your bag can really pay off. It's a quick fix, yes, but if you do it right, it can be perfect.
The gift bag also falls into the realm of gift wrapping that's great for edible surprises. People are used to digging into bags for their favorite treats anyway. Why not put a larger bag around what's already certain to be a bag emptying experience as it is.
Clothing also works well in bags. And for that matter, bags work great in bags. If you've gotten a gift for someone, and it's a nice bag or purse, packaging it in another gift bag will be more than funny, it will also be hilarious.
Gift cards are also a great example of when to use a bag. Hey, some people are just simply impossible to shop for, and a gift card is in order. However, if you don't have time to decorate a box to put the gift card in, then perhaps it's time to suit up that gift card with a proper bag.
Final Thoughts, Giving More
In this day and age, it's more important than ever to emphasize gift-giving in our everyday lives. There's so much this world has to offer and yet so many people don't know the beauty that is receiving a gift. The more we can creatively emphasize the process of gift giving (through gift wrapping and otherwise) the more goodwill we can bring into the world, the more goodwill that can encourage others to give more.
Think back to the best gift you ever received. Think about everything that happened as a result of that gift. Remember how appreciative you were?
The old adage goes, 'the more you give, the more you get,' and it couldn't be more true. There's a rush you'll experience when you give your well-crafted gift, no matter what it is. Maybe it'll be the smile on their face or even their warm embrace.
It's important to point out that even when you have no specific thing to give someone, you can always give the gift of yourself, of your presence. Or in the case of gift wrapping, you can write out something that you'd like to do for your receiver, creating a 'certificate' if you will, putting it in a box and wrapping that. This gives you the opportunity to be creative, while also being true to what it is you're able or not able to do for someone based on the circumstances of your life, and there's no shame in that.
Making it a Show or a Special Secret
How you ultimately give your gift matters. Youtube is full of countless marriage proposal videos where an incredible amount time and effort went into how the person gave the gift of asking their partner to marry them. In a similar way, you can choose to make the giving of your gift a huge public display or a secret that your intended receiver finds without you even being there.
In any case, it can be easy to get lost in trying to make it perfect. Remember there's no such thing as perfection both in gift wrapping and in gift giving. Ultimately it's true that it's the thought that counts and the fact that you've gone to great lengths to make your receiver feel special is more than enough reason for them to beam with joy no matter how you present your gift to them.
So get out there and put these tips/ideas to good use. Chances are if you really think outside the box when deciding how to decorate a box, you'll end up being more than merely impressive in your display.
Ultimately you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you've made a difference in someone's life, someone that can now take this positive experience and continue the train of gifting on to another person, and that person to the next and so on and so forth. All it takes is one person to start a chain reaction of good will.