How to Embellish a Gift

Posted by on July 16, 2012

One of my stress-free tips for gift giving is to create a signature wrap: chose a simple style of gift wrapping paper in which to wrap all of the gifts you give throughout the year. Classic choices are plain glossy white paper, a white or cream embossed paper, brown kraft paper, or this ivory satin stripe paper ($3.95 at Hallmark stores). Having just one paper on hand reduces storage and organizing issues while ensuring you always have the right paper for any occasion.

A good starting point

A simple paper also is a great background for a variety of embellishments that may be customized to suit the occasion. Below, I’ve taken the same crisply-wrapped box (learn to wrap it here) and decorated it in different ways to show what can be created with a few simple supplies. Please note, there are no pre-made bows used here!!

Look 1: Simple & Elegant

Good for: Weddings, Anniversaries, Men’s birthdays

Wrap the box with black grosgrain ribbon (about $3 at craft stores) and tie in a simple bow. I like the 7/8 inch width and keep a spool on hand because it’s so versatile.

I used this look and added a silk red rose for a wedding gift recently. I knew that the bride’s bouquet would be of red roses, so I was able to coordinate my gift wrap to the wedding color. This is a great tip and shows you’ve paid attention to the details of the bride’s special day. Take your color cue from the wedding invitation, as the invitation usually hints at the bride’s color choice.

Look 2: Whimsical
Good for: Baby showers, Bridal showers, Weddings 

I love the look that tulle adds to a gift instead of an ordinary ribbon. For a baby shower, wrap the gift in 7-inch wide tulle (available at craft stores) in pink and/or blue. Just before tying the bow, add a rattle or other small gift item. It adds a bit more charm to your presentation. For a bridal shower, use a tie-on such as a small whisk or a set of measuring spoons.

Look 3: Bright & Fun
Good for: Kids’ birthdays 

Curling ribbon is so easy to use and it comes in a rainbow of colors. Mix a few bright colors for interest. Simply wrap the package and tie the ends in a knot on the top of the box. Add as many additional strands of ribbon to the top of the box to give more fullness to the cascade of curls. Here I added just a couple strands of the orange to the top of the package before curling the ends and fluffing the curls to give them more volume.

Look 4: Pretty & Natural
Good for: Women’s birthdays, Bridal showers

Raffia is a long, natural fiber from the leaves of an African palm. It is widely available at craft stores and is inexpensive. Wrap the box with several strands of raffia (note I only wrapped the box in one direction) and add a small bundle of dried flowers before tying a knot with the raffia. Trim any excess or errant strands for a neat look.

So there you have it! One box, one paper and four looks. Read how to organize your gift wrapping supplies here.