Christmas time brings lots of unique festive tasks (or chores depending on your view), from preparing for guests to decorating your home. There are none quite as divisive as the great gift wrap, people either love it or loathe it, but nearly everyone wishes they were better at the art of gift wrapping. Kirsten Westlake founder of Wrapsody, a bespoke gift wrapping service that makes gifts beautiful, shares her top ten gift wrapping tips with The LuxPad below…
1) Furoshiki – the hottest trend in wrapping right now is 400 years old and comes from Japan. Using cloth rather than wrapping paper, Furoshiki uses a series or folds, twists and knots to wrap presents. There are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube to follow and with no cutting or sticking necessary, Furoshiki is perfect if festive wrapping usually gets you in a flap. Choose beautiful material and the effect is simply stunning!
2) Gift balls – if you are wrapping small gifts like advent calendar presents, wrap them in wool, glittery yarn or tinsel to create a cocoon around the present about 1cm thick. This disguises the shape of the present, means it can be hung on a tree and turns the unwrapping into a game which children in particular love (if they don’t explode with excitement first!).
3) Pick a theme – it is easier to create impact with your presents if you have created a theme. Restrict yourself to buying paper, ribbon and embellishments that all reflect it. My favourite theme this year is ‘Winter Wonderland’ which means I’ll be wrapping my presents in ice tones of blues, silvers and white. Alternatively you can color code. If, like me, you dislike gift tags, assign each family member a different colored paper, and that way, you won’t even need them.
4) Don’t throw away used wrapping paper and ribbon. Instead, run it through a shredder and use it to create a unique multi-colored soft lining for gift boxes or bags.
5) Personalise – instead of using generic wrapping paper, think about the passions of the recipient – try using sheet music for an opera lover, maps for a travel junkie or recipes for a foodie.
6) Deconstruct old Christmas decorations in the months leading up to Christmas and collect baubles, bells, pine cones, twigs and nuts which can be used as embellishments tied onto ribbons and gift tags.
7) Most people come unstuck using too much paper – which causes bulky, messy folds. The secret is to measure before you cut and use just enough paper. If you are wrapping a box, the long edges of the paper should overlap by only a centimetre and when folded over the sides, the paper should extend just over halfway.
8) Always cut ribbon at an 45 degree angle – this prevents it from fraying.
9)If you are wrapping a box, run your fingers in a pincer shape over the edges to give them a sharper crisper look.
10) Get the right toolkit: invest in a pair of sharp fabric scissors which you reserve only to cut ribbon – never wrapping paper which will blunt them! Ditch Sellotape and Scotch tape in favour of every wrapologist’s secret weapon: double sided sticky tape. It’s stronger and invisible. Buy a rotary cutter, craft mat and meter ruler to help cut wrapping paper in long straight lines quickly and cleanly.
This Christmas, Wrapsody has opened a gift-wrapping pop-up shop in Primrose Hill, London. If you hate wrapping, have too much to do or need your presents to dazzle, their wrapologists can work magic, find out more here.