How to wrap and style Christmas Presents like a Pro.

Wrapping Christmas presents really is one of my very favorite pre-christmas activities  rituals. I cherish the time each year when I get to lock myself in a room alone with a beverage, some treats, and an ipad to binge watch shows on Netflix while wrapping gifts. I’m big on thoughtful presents and I believe presentation plays a big part in the way people perceive the time and love you put into their gift.

Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up over the years for how to make your gifts look like they were wrapped by a pro – even if you actually just ordered everything online right before the deadline for Amazon Prime 2 day shipping expired.

Pick your theme and color scheme  


Because of my graphic design training I tend to think of my Christmas design scheme as a branding campaign. This year I went for a rustic, traditional, natural style. Classic red and green on a backdrop of earthy brown and other neutrals. 

Pick your  wrapping paper


I love classic brown postal paper and use it every year. It’s a perfect neutral backdrop for whatever trimmings I decide  to use. Solid white, cream, or metallic paper is a great choice and easy to coordinate as well. You can use patterned paper, but stick with something simple – stripes, polka dots or a tone on tone design. 

Buy ribbon and trim 


Pick four types of ribbon in a variety of widths. You’ll want a large (3″-4″), medium (1.5″- 2″) and 2 small (twine, yarn, ribbon or string .5″ or smaller.) Also get some tie-on items to add dimension. You can buy individual picks, chunky gift tags, or greenery at craft stores. I love using these sprigs of pine bough because they are only about a buck each when they go on sale and you can seperate the individual sprigs from the main bough. You end up with about 10 pieces from one pick. 

Wrap your gifts in boxes 

Whenever possible, put your gift in a box before wrapping. It makes it so much easier for you and it looks a hell of a lot nicer than some amorphous blob.
Design a wrapping style for small, medium and large gifts 


Scale is really important in making your trim look great on your gift. I find it’s easiet to pick three wrapping styles – one for small, medium, and large gifts and then stick with that same design for presents of similar sizes. For big gifts I used large ribbon to create a belly band and then layered the medium ribbon on top. Large ribbon would take over the packaging on a small gift so I stuck with thin twine, and a small pick. A good rule of thumb is to have 1/3 of the visual space of the gift ribbons and trim and the remaining 2/3 wrapping paper. 

Try a few wrapping schemes – don’t be afraid to take the ribbon off and try again.  Once you have your design for each size gift figured out your wrapping will go by a lot quicker than coming up with something new for each gift.

Happy wrapping! 


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