Gifting doesn’t have to break the bank. If you’re a true believer in “it’s the thought that counts,” then HOW you present a gift is just as meaningful as the goody tucked tenderly inside.
Sure, we like pretty paper, perhaps ribbon and a bow just as much as the next gifter. These elements elevate the presentation of a present. Though, according to a 2019 article from theconversation.com, a sloppily-wrapped gift actually lowers the recipients’ expectation of what’s inside. While no doubt an interesting read, gift wrap is about more than just appearances (and, by the way, we aim to totally blow away our recipients)!
Instead, think of gift wrapping as a performance. How do you prepare for and curate an experience? With purpose, with intention - that’s how! The goal? To create maximum joy for the recipient (and also yourself, the gifter). Why not want to make the gift-giving experience last longer, be more delightful, and show the recipient how thoughtful and creative you really are? Happy feels all around.
Now, (metaphorically) throw conventional wrapping paper out the window and take a deep dive into the gift wrapping world. A universe you never knew is ripe for discovery.
Furoshiki, which translates to “bath spread,” is a Japanese method of wrapping fabric to transport goods. The original purpose, which dates back to the early 1600s, was to avoid clothing mix-ups of bathers at public baths. Hundreds of years later, this decorative and minimalistic wrap method is still going strong.
You can use any type of fabric: scarves, handkerchiefs, even hand towels. Simply lay your material on a flat surface, place the gift in the center, then roll or fold up the cloth and tie in a knot. FYI, this ritual is a Marie Kondo fave. If you’re more of a visual learner, check out her step-by-step instructions.
If you want an alternative to paper or plastic in general, beeswax wraps are growing in popularity. Though marketed toward food storage and preservation, they are an excellent choice for wrapping your (smaller) gifts.
Made from bee’s wax (you guessed it!), plus jojoba or coconut oil, tree resin, and organic cotton, beeswax wrap is washable, reusable (up to a certain length of time), and biodegradable. There are a variety of sellers on Amazon, though we’re digging the pieces from Lilybee Wrap. They come in a variety of sizes and feature super cute designs: tropical flowers with flamingos, polka dots, pineapples, tribal shapes, and more!
Gifts are worth flaunting. Skip the coverup entirely and use a basket, mason jar or simply tie some twine around the present and hand over with beaming pride. Sidenote: this method is best for bundles of like-gifts or more crafty-thoughtful gifts. Let us explain.
If you’re using a basket, make sure it’s filled and doesn’t look empty. This option is ideal for a grouping of multiple smaller gifts that ideally go together. Think, baby shower, bachelorette, or back to school. In addition to the goodies placed inside, add crinkle paper or a less cliche alternative like dried flowers, feathers, or Lego’s!
Mason jars are perfect for presenting edible gifts but also miniature things and tall/skinny things. Think, nail polish + nail file + toe spreader. Think, a new set of double-ended colored brush pens.
You can also tie twine, ribbons, even shoelaces, around a set of journals, a candle, or a potted plant. For the eco-conscious types, this method satisfies the earth and says, “yes, I put a little effort in.”
Oh, you thought you were done? That’s sweet.
There’s always the extra mile to be traveled when it comes to thoughtful gift wrapping. Add a traditional greeting card or write a short ‘n sweet note on the back of a photograph. Tape on a lollipop or a flower, if sweet or fresh, is more your vibe. Ever thought of spraying perfume on a gift? (Keep your audience in mind for that last suggestion). Whatever you decide to do, the final touch will upgrade your wrapped gift from “wow!” to “WOW!”
IN A PINCH?
No wrapping paper, no box, no card? This is a literal nightmare for gift-givers of all varieties. Whether you ran out of time or just totally forgot (it happens to the best of us!), there are a few ways to crawl out of this conundrum.
Grab some printer paper, then draw or write your card directly on it! Be as creative as you want. Write a poem, play tic-tac-toe, or draw a maze that requires completion before gift opening is allowed. Sky’s the limit.
You can repurpose a newspaper, bubble wrap, brown paper bag, old glasses case, purse dust bag, tin can, matchbox, shoebox, and on and on and...you get it! Glance around your home and see what could make a unique and temporary gift-holding vessel.
There are countless ways to wrap a gift. As with all gift-giving endeavors, our recommendation is...bring all of yourself to it. Be crafty, be sustainable, break free of tradition - be you! The receiver is guaranteed to love it, or at least appreciate the effort.