Easy gift wrapping tips

Be a gift wrapping pro—use these ideas to give each present its own unique look.

Don't pay for a professional gift wrapping. Anyone can wrap a gift like a pro with a little patience and our creative gift wrapping tips:

  • Make it transparent. Wrap odd-shaped items, like a teddy bear, in pretty tulle.
  • Go letter-perfect. Cover a large initial (in the scrapbook aisle of craft stores) in glitter and attach to package.
  • Opt for bands, not bows. Cut a band of color paper, wrap around box and tape. Cut a second, more narrow band in a contrasting hue, center it on first band, wrap around box and tape.
  • Try a brooch. Choose a ribbon about the same width or wider than brooch, wrap it around box and tape. Pin brooch in place. Or top package with an unbreakable ornament.
  • Add whimsy. Tie a decorative accessory, like a brass key, to the bow.

If you're wrapping a gift card, try the following:

  • Bundle it with a real-world counterpart. Find products to wrap up with your gift certificate―nail polish with a manicure certificate, the current issue of a magazine with a subscription confirmation, a gift basket of cleaning supplies with the maid service.
  • Make a Cracker Jack surprise. Place the gift certificate in a plastic bag, then gently open the bottom of a Cracker Jack box and place the bag inside. Reseal the bottom with clear tape and gift-wrap the box.
  • Create a "nesting-doll" box. Place the gift certificate inside a small box. Wrap it up and place that box inside a larger one, and so on.
  • Present it as a bookmark. Fold up the certificate inside a book―a sexy bodice ripper for a lingerie store, or a DIY book for a home-repair store. (You may have to hint that the recipient take a closer look.)
  • Add holiday ornaments. Put a couple of pretty ornaments in a decorative bag along with the certificate to make the present seasonal.
  • Slip a rolled certificate into a deflated balloon. Inflate the balloon and attach some pretty holiday ribbon to the end; the certificate will be visible inside.