Giving Good Gifts: Wrapping Well
written by Sarai Pendleton for Heirloom Art Co.
As part of our Giving Good Gifts series (read our three previous installments here: Perfect Pairings, Great Cards, Simple and Meaningful) we are eager to share another of our favorite parts of giving a good gift: wrapping. While we focus a bit more on the "how" of gift giving, the "why" is our real motivation behind this series. We give gifts to express love and friendship, to say goodbye or welcome home, to celebrate with those around us, and to simply let someone know we are thinking of them. The real question is whether those who do the giving or receiving are the real benefactors.
Thinking of gifts and giving them I am reminded of the song “My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. My mind always goes to the line “brown paper packages tied up with strings' ' as she adds it to her list of favorite things that are remembered to keep bad thoughts at bay. The best part about gifts is opening them―not knowing what is inside and thinking about all the things they could be before they are yet opened.
Stacked presents at parties and weddings, all with different bows and patterned papers, neatly wrapped, just waiting to be torn up send a tremor of excitement and mystery deep into the soul. Then we watch as the receiver shreds the present open and unravels the knots in the ribbon, leaving shells around them as they hold their prize, big or small, in their hands.
Brown paper packages really do a lot to ward off gloom just as little packages and presents do much to brighten up days. I have a good friend who is an amazing and thoughtful gift giver. She often leaves little notes or gifts for me to find. I love discovering these little surprises tied in ribbons on my bed or in my drawer, often serving as small reminders of our friendship and just make me feel appreciated. Her attention to detail and creativity always surprises me.
I remember in school opening my school lunch to find sweet notes from my mom tied to my favorite candy or snack with some string or ribbon. I would open them at the lunch table a little sheepishly but I eventually came to treasure the notes and still have many of them. I think it’s because of these sweet gifts that I always have ribbon and yarn on hand to quickly turn anything into a gift for a forgotten birthday or a last minute surprise for a neighbor or friend who is having a hard day. I aspire to be the gift giver that my mother has been for many and still is today.
It’s all in the presentation of the present.
Gifts help to lighten and uplift, but they also serve to mark milestones in our lives. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and the gifts that accompany them, help us to make these moments special. Below are a few tips that will ensure that your gifts are not only beautiful and enjoyable to open, but the makers of memorable moments. That’s what it’s really all about.
Save yourself some grief by finding a box that will fit the gift inside, if your gift doesn't come with one already. If you are wanting to make things interesting, finding an oversized box can add to the suspense of opening the gift. First, choose wisely your wrapping paper, ribbon and tape. Starting off with quality wrapping paper that is not only fitting for the occasion but feels special. Just as an overall rule with wrapping paper, the thicker the better, avoiding tears but also giving the wrapping substance. These wrap sheets, or posters, serve as unique and sturdy paper for gifts, especially when you have a theme in mind. We also brought in these sets of decorative wrapping papers, made from the bark of the daphne plant. It gives such a wonderful texture to all the gifts. We find that these decorative washi tapes also pair beautifully and work best with these textured papers.
Make sure to have a sharp pair of scissors to ensure clean lines. A great way to make your wrapping stand out is to layer different parts of different paper or posters, you simply cut a band of accent paper and place it on top of some simple brown paper. This adds texture and accents the design of the paper. Keep your edges folded in and crisp corners to make your gift look just right.
If you have harder to wrap objects a great way to avoid bunched wrapping paper is actually to do a cloth wrap. These bun warmers are just the right thing for elegantly wrapping something round like a loaf of fresh bread of a tin of cookies to brighten someone's day. Or use this embroidered heart handkerchief to wrap something smaller. You can make almost any awkwardly shaped gift elegant by creating a simple tie or knot with the cloth and sliding a flower or some greenery underneath the tie, leaving the gift with a very homey, classy feel.
Now that you’ve got the basics it’s time to accessorize and add some fling. Pair a classic ribbon or twine, both of which pair nicely with wildflowers, to tie a favorite treat or card to the outside. You can also punch a hole in one of our linocuts and tie it to the outside. Washi tape is also a fun way to create designs on the outside of the box. It can be used to write names, make birthday candles, and can also just replace ribbon if you aren’t into the tying and knotting. Pom Poms can also be used to give your present an air of whimsy and can replace large decorative bows. For an extra surprise you can sneak a magic butterfly into a card or box. It flies when opened! You can watch for reactions from grandkids, friends, and sweethearts.
Use gifts to show the people you love how you feel about them the more intentional the better! Get creative and have fun and remember that it’s all about creating a moment and showing that you care.
Shop our Gift Wrapping collection.
written by Sarai Pendleton for Heirloom Art Co.