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Six Steps to Mastering the Art of Gift Wrapping

Erin Lepperd

I LOVE everything about the first wrapping session of the season but by time gift #3 rolls around, I'm a mess of tape and rumpled paper and 10 seconds away from throwing in the towel and just buying a gift bag. Before you call it quits, take a few helpful hints from Jen Leslie Events. She is breaking down the anatomy of the perfect wrap job plus there just might be some freebie gift tags by Anchored Paper & Co. Get inspired to go for the gold this holiday season with these pretty packages all captured by Katie Parra. Each year, as the holidays approach, I spend some time thinking about how I will wrap my holiday presents. You see my love for wrapping started years ago when I was a little girl. My Mom is extremely crafty and always spent hours wrapping each gift that went under our tree. I used to sit on the floor in her bedroom watching her wrap, and as I grew older helping her. It was a fun activity we enjoyed together and it meant I got to spend time with her as we wrapped, watched holiday movies or listened to festive music and drank eggnog. Now with a family of my own, I take pride wrapping my gifts and challenging my creativity each year to come up with something new.This year I decided to create two designs- one a little more feminine with a color palette of blush, gold, cream and white, and the second, paying homage to my Pacific Northwest surroundings and the mountain men in my life, has a color palette of hunter green, chocolate brown, taupe, and cream. My designs tend to start with a neutral base with textured accessories layered in the various color palette.

How to Master the Art of Wrapping

Pick 3 primary colors for each of your designsA great design starts with three colors that you can add various shades of each into the mix. For the more feminine design I started with pink, gold and white. Select your base colors, wrapping paper in this case, and keep them neutral. I felt that the gold and white were the best neutrals for this design. Then I used various shades of pink for my pops of color and even added in other white and gold textures. For the more woodsy design I started with green, brown and white. I used kraft paper and white wrapping paper with brown watercolor antlers painted on it from minted. Com, as my neutral base. I then added various brown, green and white ribbons and embellishments. Incorporating the variation is the fun part, so trust your gut and go for it!It starts with great paperI can’t stress this enough. How many times have you been wrapping a precarious package and the wrapping paper ripped because it wasn’t high quality and couldn’t bend under pressure? To me, it’s worth the investment in high quality and beautiful wrapping paper. Not only are my presents easier to wrap, but they look crisp and the box underneath is hidden completely. Paper Source is one of my favorite sources for wrapping paper. For this year’s gifts I even experimented with their fine paper for the first time and loved them!You can never have too much ribbon! – My growing ribbon collection is one of my favorite things. In my opinion you can never have too much and there are endless widths, textures, colors and types to choose from. As you begin to create your wrapping paper design and pull your elements together, be sure you have a variety of ribbon to work with. My favorites include raw silk, satin, velvet and cotton ribbon. Blush twine and a new chocolate brown suede ribbon were fun additions to my collection this year.You don’t always have to tie a bowWhile a simple bow can sometimes be the default, challenge yourself to try something new! Maybe that’s simply tying ribbon flat around the package (I like to use double sided tape on the back to hide my mechanics), and adding embellishments. Or perhaps you like the geometric look. For this one I used one continuous piece of twine and tied it around and around the package in various patterns and directions. Sometimes it’s helpful to adhere a little tape on the back in a few places to keep things intact, but the final look is stunning. Even if you default to a bow, try centering it off to one side so it appears in an unexpected spot.Add fresh foliage – Being a floral designer (as well as an event planner and designer), I can’t resist the opportunity to add fresh foliage to my packages. Here in the Northwest the winter still offers an abundance of foliage from fir, to pine, winterberry, holly, and more. Simply head outside to see what you can forage and slip onto the top of your presents. You don’t need much and you’d be surprised how glamorous it can make your gifts.Gift tags in various sizes/shapesIt’s crucial to have a gift tag on each of your presents, so we’ve made it easy for you by sharing the exact gift tags we used from Anchored Paper and Co! Click here for the woodland themed tags and here for the gold tags.  I love Carolyn’s designs because each one is a different size, which is so helpful for the various size packages you will be wrapping. Plus they all include a “to” and “from” area so I can write a special note, and best of all she’s outlined where to hole punch so I can attach it to the gift (no lopsided tags!). A gift tag in your design color palette will make your look complete and adds such a special touch.I hope you enjoy wrapping your holiday presents this year now that you have inspiration for two different color palettes and designs, 6 tips to get your started plus adorable gift tags! Pour yourself a glass of eggnog, put on your favorite holiday movie and get to wrapping. Happy Holidays! 

Photography: Katie Parra Photography | Design: Jen Leslie Events | Paper Goods: Anchored Paper Co