It’s a wrap! Tips from gift-wrap gu­rus

For presents you’ll be proud to give, take some top tips from our gift-wrap gu­rus

Woman & Home - - In This Issue... -

Noth­ing says Christ­mas bet­ter than a pile of pretty pack­ages un­der the tree. So whether you’re sort­ing presents for five or 50, here's how to get gift wrap­ping right ev­ery time…

✢ Less is more when it comes to the pa­per. “Gifts wrapped in un­der­stated pa­per, and sealed with dou­ble-sided sticky tape look far more pro­fes­sional than busy pa­per with sticky tape all over it,” says gift wrap­ping ex­pert Jane Means. For a neatly wrapped par­cel, don’t use too much pa­per around the sides. You only need a lit­tle bit of over­lap to seal.

✢ Wrap sim­ple ob­long shapes with­out tape – sim­ply se­cure with a tied rib­bon. It means you can re­use the pa­per too.

✢ per­son­alise the gift wrap for a re­ally thought­ful touch. “De­signer Abi­gail Warner cre­ates be­spoke pa­per, printed with re­cip­i­ent’s name or a spe­cial mes­sage,” says eleanor Gre­gory, a Christ­mas and gift­ing buyer at Sel­fridges. “You can print yours in store at the Sel­fridges Christ­mas Shop this year.”

✢ Make gift wrap from your mem­o­ries. Sim­ply up­load your favourite pho­to­graphs to the web­site wrap.me and it will cre­ate a sheet us­ing your pic­tures. ✢ “pa­per craft is re­ally pop­u­lar this year,” says Jane. keep an eye out for re­versible pa­pers, for presents that are beau­ti­ful in­side and out. ✢ Choose trim­mings that add a per­sonal touch. “The small­est dec­o­ra­tion im­me­di­ately adds a touch of lux­ury,” says Jane. Use em­bel­lish­ments to per­son­alise each gift. Try ty­ing a candy cane or a bauble onto the gift with rib­bon. Or at­tach a bun­dle of fresh fo­liage, a cin­na­mon stick or a slice of dried cle­men­tine. Wire, wooden or porce­lain ini­tial gift tags make nice keep­sakes for the re­ceivers.

✢ Play with dif­fer­ent tex­tured rib­bons to add class to a gift. A vel­vet or silky rib­bon – which can be reused – or some colour­ful raf­fia will bring sim­ple brown pa­per alive and cre­ate a vin­tage feel. ✢ Wrap­ping for the men in your life? Try a mono­chrome theme for a clas­sic mas­cu­line look. If you’re choos­ing a print, go for a bold pat­tern or stripes.

✢ Mas­ter­ing the art of wrap­ping at speed lies in the prepa­ra­tion. Clear your ta­ble and set out your ma­te­ri­als. Mea­sure your wrap­ping pa­per and rib­bon against each item be­fore you be­gin wrap­ping – it means you’ll avoid ex­cess pa­per, which makes the gift bulky and un­man­age­able. ✢ In­vest in a per­son­alised stamp to cut down on tag-writ­ing time. Or find some taste­ful self-ad­he­sive la­bels that you can stick straight on.

✢ Go for a gift box if you’re re­ally against the clock, as they re­quire min­i­mal ef­fort with­out sac­ri­fic­ing style. “There’s some­thing quite spe­cial about open­ing a box,” says Caro­line Gard­ner, a lead­ing sta­tionery and gift­ware de­signer. “You can use it to store other keep­sakes.” ✢ Tackle tricky shapes by be­ing re­source­ful and cre­at­ing flat sur­faces wher­ever pos­si­ble – with pa­per and old ce­real boxes. “Dis­guis­ing gifts with old boxes and pack­ag­ing pro­vides end­less amuse­ment in my house­hold around Christ­mas,” says Caro­line. It’s es­pe­cially good for Se­cret Santa presents. ✢ Cel­lo­phane and tis­sue can res­cue even the most awk­ward shapes. Sim­ply pop the item in the cen­tre and gather cel­lo­phane/tis­sue around it.

✢ Use a pa­per table­cloth to wrap re­ally large gifts. They’re in­ex­pen­sive and read­ily avail­able in su­per­mar­kets. If the gift is in sev­eral parts, wrap them in­di­vid­u­ally and place into a bas­ket with a rib­bon tied onto the han­dle.

✢ Be savvy when de­liv­er­ing your gifts. If you’re trav­el­ling abroad for Christ­mas, wrap presents on ar­rival, as air­lines may ask you to open wrapped gifts for se­cu­rity rea­sons. ✢ Con­sider buy­ing from a re­tailer that of­fers taste­ful gift wrap­ping as part of the ser­vice. Cath kid­ston, Sel­fridges, An­thro­polo­gie and Ama­zon, among oth­ers, of­fer a gift-wrap ser­vice with a per­son­alised mes­sage for on­line or­ders.

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