Ask any fashion expert and they’ll tell you the secret to the perfect outfit is equally fabulous accessories. Likewise, the key to wowing everyone with your style-savvy gifts is to serve them in the appropriate chic packaging.
The good news: while having the endless décor budget of a Kardashian-Jenner certainly helps in the designer tree department, there’s plenty you can do to make your budget wrapping look a million dollars.
GRAZIA spoke to gift wrapping expert Vivienne Anthon, founder of The Daily Wrap, who believes gift packaging is a creative art form. Anthon is working with megastore TK Maxx to conjure clever gift accessorising ideas over the festive season. Chances are you’ll be as surprised as we were to hear the outsides of the perfect stylish gift is inspired by runway fashion trends.
It’s a fun fact that the former lawyer and CEO turned wrapping professional Anthon would know. She waits for paper releases as GRAZIA’s fashion team would count down to new season cruise collection drop.
“I was always fascinated by gift wrapping and the person in the family who really cared about the gifts being coordinated and having matching ribbon,” she says. “I’d wait for the paper companies to release their new Christmas designs so I’d be the one with the latest.”
To move it past the hobby stage, she put best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell’s famous concept of ‘10,000 hours of practice to become an expert’ into practice. “I wrapped everything I could find for 10,000 hours, which drove my husband spare,” she says. Now, she teaches wrapping techniques and consults in stores like TK Maxx. Here are her best tips for winning wrap game this Christmas. (GRAZIA’s favourite? The velvet detailing, of course.)
Credit: TK Maxx
STARTER tips for pro-like gift wrap results
“I know this sounds super basic but get the tools right and you have a better chance of getting it perfect downstream. It all starts with beautiful paper that’s cut to size – most people use too much paper. Next, good scissors and good quality sticky tape. I love festive tapes, but they rarely have enough tack to hold paper, so save that for decorating.”
“You know how cooking shows always have the ingredients lined up and ready prepared? It’s kind of the same with perfect gift wrapping. Most people love to sit on the bed to wrap or the floor in front of the television, but those are soft surfaces and will make the paper crinkle. It makes the most sense to stand at a table or better still kitchen bench, which is the ideal height.”
“Use a box if you can. I have stood accused in the past of buying things in the past just because they’re in the ideal shaped box. Save them throughout the year if you can. Rectangular prisms are the easiest shape to wrap – and the most photo-worthy.”
“Cardboard is your friend. You can’t wrap into a void. A lot of homewares and toys aren’t in a solid box – they have a cut-out section at the front for display. The easiest thing to do is just put a piece of cardboard over that so you’re making a flat surface underneath the paper and stop them from guessing by feeling what it is.”
what are this year’s biggest wrapping paper trends?
“Gift wrapping is like fashion – some traditional looks are timeless, but there are different trends of the moment, which it draws inspiration from fashion and homewares. Greens and reds are always your stylish basics, but what’s huge this year from a trend perspective is paper with botanicals prints – anything with leaves or natural green.”
“Metallic papers are really big, especially rose gold, which is so classy and works well with most coloured ribbons. Any gift wrapped in beautiful paper that has hints of rose gold or a rose gold ribbon is ideal. For a very luxe look, you could for monochromatic rose gold paper and rose gold ribbon. If you’re handing someone a special gift, it would be very hard to beat that.”
“Rose gold paper, looks absolutely beautiful with velvet [one of the biggest fabric trends of 2016 and 2017]. I found a dusty navy velvet ribbon in TK Maxx which looks beautiful. So does red or even black velvet ribbon.”
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Other luxe tips that will make your gifts stand out
“It’s fun to play with sound – put things inside it to make it rattle. You can even play with scent – put some cinnamon sticks or a fragrance sample inside. It’s just playing with the sensory experience the person is expecting.”
“Another beautiful idea is to tie another small gift into your ribbon as a gift topper. I found some lovely copper-coloured cookie cutters in a bottle at TK Maxx, which I’ve opened and tied one by one onto my presents with rose gold ribbon.”
“Disguising gifts in most cases is no more difficult that wrapping it as you would normally. In some cases, you’re making it easier. My number one tip is to play with proportion and size. So if I had small jewellery, I would put it inside something else, like a new water bottle or homeware. For very large items, I would take a photo of it, hide the gift, then wrap the photo in something smaller.”
“Chances are other people have gone to the trouble of placing presents under your tree and the papers and colour palettes are going to [clash]. In that case, group them by colour and separate them by a pot plant or [something neutral].”