7 Tips To Make Holiday Gift Wrapping Stress-Free
Toronto-based gift stylist Corinna vanGerwen knows a thing or two about pretty paper: the former magazine editor regularly posts clever ideas on
Corinna Wraps, her wrapping-focused blog, and runs Gift Horse & Co., a gift wrap subscription service. So when we asked her for tips on picking the right paper, keeping the process stress-free and pitfalls to avoid, she definitely delivered. Here’s her best advice.
1. Keep things in perspective.
“Wrapping is just a fun extra, so do what you need to do to make it enjoyable for you. If that means going the super-simple route, do that. If it’s going nuts with embellishments, that’s fine too. There are enough stresses over the holidays — gift wrapping does not need to be one of them.”
2. Make cheapie finds feel high-end.
“The trick to buying inexpensive things that still look good is to go with the most simple designs. So if you’re in the dollar store — and I shop at the dollar store all the time — don’t choose the ribbon with the holiday motif on it, just go with the plain red ribbon. And instead of the Santa Claus paper, choose the red and white striped paper.”
3. Pick a palette.
One way to keep wrapping stress-free is to pick one paper and one ribbon, and use them for everything. I typically avoid a traditional red and green palette, but that’s not to say that you can’t get a classy look with those colors. Kraft paper is another great basic because you can glam it up or keep it rustic and simple. It also comes in colors; right now black is my favorite. It’s not a bah humbug type thing, I’ve just long been a fan of black paper for Christmas.”
4. Embrace tissue paper.
“One easy way to wrap a gift quickly is to use tissue paper. I call this technique bundling: take three or four sheets of tissue paper, lay them flat, then plop your gift closer to the top right-hand corner. Then just roll it up, like you’d roll a burrito: fold the top right-hand corner over, then give it a roll. Fold the bottom corner over, roll it. Fold the left corner over, roll it. Fold the top corner over, finish rolling it. You don’t even need to tape anything; you can just tie a ribbon around it. It’s really easy, works with awkwardly-shaped gifts and tissue paper is super forgiving so you don’t have to be precise.”
5. Shop smart.
“You can get kraft paper at a specialty paper store, but you can also buy it at the post office. Or if you want to save money on ribbon, buy inexpensive acrylic yarn — it’s still a beautiful look, and it’ll give your gifts a really cozy, wintry feel. You can buy a ball of yarn for $4 and use it for all your gifts, whereas a $4 roll of ribbon might wrap one, maybe two gifts.”
6. Buy good tape.
“You can find inexpensive materials for sure, but don’t cheap out. I like using double-sided tape, because when the tape is hidden you get a cleaner look. But the cheap stuff doesn’t stick! So it’s worth spending more on good tape, just to save yourself the headache. You have to watch out for cheap wrapping papers, too, because if they’re too thin, they’ll tear at the corners.”
7. Don’t go overboard.
“You don’t need much to make a beautiful gift: paper, ribbon, a tag and maybe an embellishment, and sometimes you don’t even need that. It’s like what they say about accessorizing an outfit: put everything you want on, then take off one item. So, if you have three different ribbons, maybe just use two or even one for that particular package.”