Gift-wrap­ping this sea­son trends jazzy but sus­tain­able

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Last Minute Gifts - By KATHER­INE ROTH

The trend in gift wrap­ping this hol­i­day sea­son is to­ward jazzy yet sus­tain­able op­tions. Con­sider beau­ti­fully folded fab­rics or un­der­stated, brown or green mask­ing pa­per topped with col­or­ful washi tape or sprigs of green in­stead of easily crushed store-bought bows.

“There’s a lot of fun stuff go­ing on in gift wrap th­ese days,” says Amy Panos, home ed­i­tor at Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens.

“Peo­ple still like pa­per, of course, but there’s a lot of in­ter­est in wrap­ping gifts in fab­ric,” she says. There’s the Ja­panese tech­nique of furoshiki, in which the wrap­ping cloth be­comes part of the gift. ``Or you can use a scarf or pretty tea towel, then fold it like origami,” Panos says.

Tenugui cloth, sim­i­lar to furoshiki but rec­tan­gu­lar in­stead of square, can also be used as an al­ter­na­tive to tra­di­tional gift wrap­ping.

As with origami, there are books show­ing how to wrap gifts in cloth, a gift-wrap­ping solution in Ja­pan for cen­turies. Furoshiki come in var­i­ous sizes, fab­rics and pat­terns.

For un­usu­ally large gifts — and an eas­ier wrap­ping job — dec­o­ra­tive pil­low­cases are a good op­tion, says Panos.

“Over­all, the trend is def­i­nitely away from throw­away op­tions and to­ward a more eco-minded ap­proach,” says Tanya Graff, style ed­i­tor at Martha Ste­wart Liv­ing.

Pretty boxes are an­other great and re­us­able way to pre­sent a gift, says Graff.

“You could try dec­o­rat­ing a box with de­coupage, so that the box is a part of the gift it­self. Or cover a stack of hat­boxes in mar­bleized pa­per. You can put gifts in­side,” she says. “Boxes can also be em­bel­lished with stick-on rhine­stones.”

As much thought should go into the gift wrap­ping as into the gift it­self, she ex­plains. “That way, the wrap­ping can be a part of the gift or can be reused,” she says.

Many peo­ple still pre­fer pa­per of course, but Panos and Graff say the aes­thetic is chang­ing.

“One thing we’re see­ing is a very Scan­di­na­vian look, with lots of browns and reds and naturals,” says Graff.

Panos agrees. “Brown Kraft pa­per, like the kind of pa­per gro­cery bags are made of, is fan­tas­tic. It’s mul­ti­pur­pose, in­ex­pen­sive, and looks great with any kind of rib­bon or bow. It’s also easy to dress up with col­or­ful rib­bon or sprigs of green­ery,” she says.

Hol­i­day or­na­ments are also a great gift top­per, she says. Or if you’re trav­el­ing and want a gift that packs flat, as op­posed to some­thing with a bow, try mak­ing a sort of “belly band” of some in­ter­est­ing left­over wall­pa­per or wrap­ping pa­per for a pretty and less­bulky gift-wrap­ping solution.

Dec­o­ra­tive washi tape, which comes in a wide range of pat­terns and colors, is an­other trendy al­ter­na­tive to rib­bon.

Mask­ing pa­per, which is typ­i­cally green, is an­other good al­ter­na­tive to wrap­ping pa­per. “It’s what painters typ­i­cally spread across the floor be­fore they start paint­ing,” ex­plains Panos. You can buy rolls of it at a hard­ware store, and ``it looks amaz­ing with a bright red rib­bon around it.”

To save on gift tags, Panos sug­gests us­ing pretty scraps of left­over pa­per, or writ­ing di­rectly on the pack­age. She rec­om­mends that gift re­cip­i­ents save what­ever rib­bons or wrap­ping pa­per can be sal­vaged so they can be re­pur­posed in­stead of end­ing up in a land­fill.

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