I looked at the pile of gifts under the tree, frowning. With five different patterns of gift wrap, everything looked … wrong. Where was the festive mood I’d prepared for that Norman Rockwell backdrop? Something definitely didn’t ring right for that long-planned-for moment. It was the wrapping. Yawn!

Special moments need special preparation. With some time and inspiration, something as small as gift wrapping techniques can make a big difference.

When wrapping presents, simple can be elegant. Wrapping packages in plain brown shipping paper and topping with something extraordinary can be creatively beautiful. Try a small pine branch and pine cone, a touch of gold leaf, or red berries. No ribbon or bow needed – tie it off with a length of raffia.

White paper with metallic is also timeless. Paper may be left plain or sparingly leafed with gold, silver or bronze to match ribbons.

You can also dress up a package up as Santa Claus or Rudolph. For either character, wrap a rectangular or square package in plain, red wrapping paper.

For Rudolph, cut a triangle and teardrop-shaped ears from brown Kraft paper. The triangle should be large enough to reach top-to-bottom of the box. Using glue stick or double-sided tape, attach the triangle and ears to the front of the box. Decorate Rudy’s face with large googly-eyes, a mouth and, of course, his bright red pom-pom nose. Curl some chenille stems to make antlers.

For Santa’s suit, glue white faux fur trim around the top and bottom of the box, and straight down the middle. Glue 3-5 large, black buttons to one side of the trim.

Oatmeal boxes make great snowmen gift boxes for small presents. Spray paint white (don’t forget the inside!) and allow to dry. Glue on googly-eyes. For a snowman, texture-paint a carrot-nose and coal mouth. Glue buttons down his front and tie a scarf around his neck. Then pack your present inside!

Gift wrapping techniques are only limited by your imagination! Use clip-art, garage sale china and boxes, and paper punches to your advantage. Have fun!
-Deborah Dyess