The countdown to the big day is well underway, and this year we’re feeling pretty organised with our present buying. There’s still one hurdle to overcome, though; all our lovely presents still need wrapping. We’ve been looking at techniques, ribbons and wrapping paper to give our gifts the presentation they deserve.
We think there are three main ways to go this Christmas with the wrapping – gorgeous, individual quirky paper and a plain ribbon (or no ribbon at all, just a tag), plain paper and some special ribbon, or the foolproof gift bag or box. Here’s our pick of perfect present packaging:
This festive wordsearch wrapping paper almost counts as an extra present, and might have a chance of keeping junior members of the party occupied until the Queen’s Speech. Available from The Letteroom, priced at £2.50.
This candy stripe paper is so versatile – accessorise it with a plain fabric ribbon for a sophisticated gift, or go over the top with sprigs of real holly or sparkly tinsel string. Available from Berry Red, priced at £1.50.
Real fabric ribbon always looks more stylish than plastic parcel ties, and The Contemporary Home have some beautiful designs this year, all £4 for three metres. We love this printed ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon - use it with plain wrapping paper or even brown paper for an understated effect.
Alternatively, how about this retro Nordic-inspired paper ‘ribbon’, just £1.99 for 10 metres from My Gift Tree? With the judicious application of a bit of sticky tape, you could also use it to make old-fashioned paper chains.
We love this beautiful robin tag from Sophie Allport, £3 for six – the cheeky robin on it looks like he’s got something on his mind!
Alternatively, these traditional-style tags by East of India are simple and charming. £3.99 for six from Mollie and Fred.
Gift bags and boxes
If you really can’t face wrapping your presents or have simply run out of time, gift bags and boxes are always a useful standby. It’s worth having a few on hand anyway, to deal with any oddly-shaped or fragile presents on the list.
These cute house-shaped gift boxes are perfect for small pressies such as soap or homemade biscuits, and also make great table place markers. They’re also small and light enough to be hung on the tree, tied with a ribbon loop and filled with chocolates. £2.75 each, from Hunkydory Home.
These little knitted gift bags are a bit unusual, and would be perfect for small delicate items such as jewellery, or as table favours. £3.75 each, from My Gift Tree.
To get a professional-looking finish on your parcels, use as little wrapping paper as possible, as chunky folded-over edges look bulky and untidy. Overlap the paper by no more than an inch or so, and trim off any excess. Use as little sticky tape as you can get away with, and for a really neat finish use double-sided sticky tape inside the paper itself.
Use a length of ribbon to cover the long seam of the paper, and tie it in a knot on top of the parcel. If you’re using an extra decoration such as a dried flower or sprig of fresh holly, lay it across the ribbon knot and tie a bow to secure it in place. Add a gift tag or name label to finish.