Take gift wrap to the next level

  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Wednesday, November 28, 2007 3:31pm
  • Life

When a thoughtfully chosen gift is wrapped with equal thought and care, it feels all the more special to the person who receives it. Here are some innovative ways to package items big and small for everyone on your gift list.

Bows all over

When it comes to these dainty decorations, more is more. Instead of embellishing packages with a lone bow, tie on several and experiment with different styles. Seam binding, which is both attractive and inexpensive, is perfect for the task — buy it by the roll at notions stores. Establish a palette for bows and paper, and the bundles will look even more tied together.

Doily decorations

The lacy patterns on paper doilies conjure images of snowflakes, making these decorations a natural choice for sprucing up holiday gifts. You can also snip around the doily’s edges to create realistic, pointed patterns. Thread the paper with ribbon, and then tie one or several doilies to wrapped boxes.

Kitchenware tins

Homemade confections are twice as nice when offered in pudding molds, loaf pans and other culinary containers. You can find a variety of types and sizes at kitchen supply stores. Long after the delicious contents have been devoured, the equipment will still prove useful in the kitchen.

Revitalized ribbon

With a few snips of your scissors, you can transform basic self-adhesive bows into sumptuous blooms. For each “flower,” cut the loops of one small bow and one large bow at an angle. Then affix the smaller bow to the empty center of the large bow. Coil a short length of matching ribbon; place coil in the center of the small bow and secure with double-sided tape. Showcase a single bloom, or pair with more matching ribbon.

Jingle bells

What could be more appropriate for decorating a Christmas parcel than a bell that recalls the sound of Santa’s sleigh? Purchase the bells at crafts stores and use lengths of thin ribbon or cord to secure to packages.

Tasteful tags

Gift tags are even sweeter when they happen to be crisp cookies. To make them, cut gingerbread dough into shapes or letters, punch with a small hole for threading with cord and bake. The cookies can be eaten while the unwrapping takes place or hung on a tree as ornaments.

Quick jar covers

Top jars of homemade chutney, fruit sauce or preserves with cupcake liners, available in many colors and patterns at grocery and party stores. The paper liners resemble old-fashioned fabric jar covers. Invert a liner (or two, for stronger color), and secure around jar with a rubber band. Tie with ribbon, then remove the rubber band.

Vintage linens

Wrap goods in vintage napkins, handkerchiefs or other linens graced with cheerful patterns, and the packaging itself will serve as an added gift. Look for linens at flea markets or online. Fabrics are particularly helpful when wrapping items whose shapes don’t lend themselves to paper. The rest is a cinch: Gather fabric around the item and tie with a ribbon.

Photo gift toppers

Any gift will feel more inviting when it’s decorated with a familiar face (or many of them). You can use the photos to identify the giver or the getter or attach one favorite photo to all your presents. Print or copy the photo onto heavyweight paper. Then wrap the package with paper and a wide band of ribbon. Using double-sided tape, secure the photo to the ribbon.

Decorated gift bags

Spruce up inexpensive paper sacks with small trinkets such as buttons, sprigs of holly or candy canes. Start by folding down the top of the bag twice. Thread two buttons with waxed twine. After gluing one to the folded portion of the bag, and the other several inches below it, wrap excess thread around buttons to secure. Or punch two holes side by side through the folded portion; thread with a rubber band from the back and use ends to secure decorative items.

Bottle cover

A tissue-paper pompom is a suitably festive topper for a bottle of champagne or other holiday wine. Lay a bottle on one side of five sheets of tissue paper, leaving about five inches of space at top and two inches at bottom (trim bottom if necessary). Secure tissue to middle of bottle with double-sided tape; roll the bottle to cover and secure with tape. Cut a few notches in the tissue at the bottom to create flaps and tape flat to bottom of bottle. Tie a cord at the bottle’s neck. Cut paper into strips above cord to form a pompom. Tie a ribbon with a tag around the neck.

Questions should be addressed to Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 11 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036. E-mail to mslletters@marthastewart.com.

&Copy; 2007 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

Talk to us

More in Life

The Pacific Ice rink under construction at Port of Everett on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett unveils seasonal ice rink on the waterfront

The outdoor rink will be open through the end of January. The port plans for it to return annually.

Kindergartener Robert, 5, imitates a turkeys actions as he answers questions about Thanksgiving outside Mt. Pilchuck Elementary on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Revisionist turkey talk: Kindergartners explain Thanksgiving

These Lake Stevens kids have holiday wisdom to impart, including what they’re grateful for — friends, family and paper swords.

Lady Gaga in "House of Gucci." (Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc./TNS)
A stone-cold Lady Gaga brings down the ‘House of Gucci’

Ridley Scott’s movie dives into a luxury brand and a family laid low by greed and infighting.

This image released by Disney shows Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, in a scene from the animated film "Encanto." (Disney via AP)
‘Encanto’ completes Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2021 musical hat trick

The absence of a hissable villain keeps it from being a great animated film, but it’s still a good one.

PHOTO (Photo credit to Kenny Randall):Additional photos available if requested.

 

Snowman_down.jpg: The hapless cast (l-r: Ingrid Buron, Dorothy Pierce, Jonathan Olson, Megan Bell, Britta Grass) of  "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol," running November 26-December 19 at the Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.
Arts and entertainment calendar: Music, theater and more

“The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol” opens Nov. 26 in Marysville.

Shannon Session's high school photo decorates a signal box at Alderwood Mall.     (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Lynnwood blue’ eyeshadow, ’80s glam shots adorn new landmark

A signal box by Alderwood mall is a throwback to an era of big hair, lampooned on local sketch show “Almost Live.”

Open-faced turkey sandwich.
Hot turkey sandwich may be the ultimate comfort food classic

Make this open-face sandwich with your Thanksgiving leftovers, or follow the instructions to make it any time of year.

How to make your own IKEA-inspired Swedish meatballs

You need not risk getting lost at the giant store to enjoy this iconic fall favorite.

Black body cladding and a radiator grille give the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain a look similar to an SUV. (Manufacturer photo)
Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain has a nostalgic third row

Modern features of the new wagon include a hybridized powertrain and the latest version of MBUX.

Get the china ready! Your holiday meal might come with a side of drama. (Jennifer Bardsley)
If Thanksgiving stresses us out then we’re doing it wrong

If Thanksgiving stresses us out then we’re doing it wrong

Ameé Quiriconi, Snohomish author, podcaster and entrepreneur.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Snohomish author’s handbook charts a course for female entrepreneurs

She’s invented sustainable concrete, run award-winning wedding venues and worked in business… Continue reading

Dylan Blaney, 3, talks with Santa about what she wants for Christmas at the Santa Magic experience at Alderwood Mall on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vaxxed and sanitized, Santa is no longer behind plexiglass

Local malls say he’s ready for a normal holiday, with kids on his knee. Want to stay ho-ho-home? Long-distance options remain.