Gift Wrap

After you choose that perfect gift, finding an interesting way to package it will show the recipient how much you care.

The way a gift is presented can say as much as the gift itself. Throughout the year, using things related to your loved one's interests or hobbies is a thoughtful way to show how much effort you put into your gift giving.

For example, if you are giving a gift to someone who loves to travel, wrap the gift in a map or a photocopy of a map. For the beach lover, use pale blue paper and top with seashells or sand dollars. The music lover will enjoy opening a package wrapped in sheet music. The seamstress in your life will be touched by a package wrapped in gorgeous fabric and accented with buttons, dotted with small spools of colored thread, or topped with a bow made from a measuring tape.

A home decorating enthusiast will appreciate your creative use of leftover wallpaper, and a cook will be pleased with a package wrapped in tea towels and decorated with a unique kitchen gadget or a new corkscrew. Grandma and Grandpa will love any trinket that comes wrapped in artwork made by their grandchildren. Using children's artwork in this manner is also a great way to shrink the pile of accumulated pieces produced by your favorite little artists.

If you need to give a gift in the office setting, have the company logo blown up onto a large sheet of paper and wrap the gift with it. For a small package, use a sheet of company letterhead, and tie it with coordinating ribbon. Photographs can also be blown up in black and white or in color, to make personalized gift-wrap. An old friend will be delighted to receive a gift wrapped in a photo of the two of you as children.

Using monochromatic or tone on tone colors gives any gift a hint of elegance. Using white or cream-colored wrapping and accents lends a rich look. A package dressed in pink paper, tied in the center with wide pink ribbon, and accented with pink silk roses and faux pearls makes a lovely presentation.

Contrasting colors also add interest. A box wrapped in shiny red paper and tied with black velvet ribbon will stand out from the rest of the gifts. Foil papers make packages look expensive, but aluminum foil is another terrific alternative to create an interesting effect. Top with shiny silver or gold bows and ribbons, or add a splash of color.

Clear or colored cellophane can also make packages pretty. If you don't want the recipient to see what's inside, wrap the gift in tissue paper first. Then, set the gift on a large piece of cellophane, and gather the ends together at the top. Tie with lots of curled ribbon.

Children love to open presents. If you put that extra effort into the packaging of the gift, the child will not only have fun opening it, he or she will undoubtedly be happy with whatever you bought. The parents will appreciate the thought you put into it. For girls, wrap a gift in fuzzy fuchsia fabric, and decorate it with flavored lip-glosses, barrettes, or hair ties. For boys, try the sports pages of your newspaper, and top it with a baseball card or other sports collectors' cards.

Interesting containers such as hatboxes also make gifts more attractive. If you want to give a bottle of wine or liqueur, don't just stick it in a bag; use an ice bucket and cover it with cellophane. For the coffee lover, cover a coffee can with fabric, and fill it with different varieties of flavored coffee.

Use your imagination. Before long, you'll be remembered as the person who gives the best gifts, or at least the best-dressed gifts.

© High Speed Ventures 2011