Q. When I’m faced with a last-minute package to wrap, I never seem to have what I need on hand—nice paper, the right bow, a box. What can I do?
A. The sky’s pretty much the limit! Once you start looking around the house, you’ll see how many things can do the job and add a gorgeous personal touch (I’ve even used a fake pear from my fruit bowl!). First, remember this: Suiting the recipient’s personality is much more important than using the perfect paper and bow.
Now, what’s in your sewing kit? Buttons, cords, yarn—all of these items make fantastic trimmings; just knot the ends for a finished look. How about your scrapbooking stuff? Stamps, scrapping papers and photo corners—they’re all great ways to personalize gifts, not just albums. And leftover bits of holly, or snippets cut right from your Christmas tree, can be tied onto a ribbon. Speaking of Christmas trees, well, pretty much anything you use to decorate one is fair game. Just imagine how happy your little niece would be to receive a gift topped with a candy cane tied on with a feather boa! Inspired yet?
— Andy Newcom, Hallmark photo stylist
Inspired? Create and share with #hallmark.
No tags? No gift wrap? No problem! Try one of Andy’s creative tricks and easy ideas to dress up any holiday package.
Stylist’s trick: For small gifts, dress up a brown lunch bag. Fold the top over, punch two holes and thread a ribbon through. To embellish, tape a piece of paper under the flap, and tie a snip of holly in the bow. Letter stickers make a unique gift bag.
More ideas: Decorate a plain brown grocery bag (for big gifts) or small manila envelope (for a gift certificate).
Stylist’s trick: Mixing looks great! The key is to start with one or two pieces that are bigger than the others. Use them to cover as much of the box as possible. Then fill in gaps with your remnants, overlapping seams for a neat finish.
More ideas: Use a mix of magazine pages, maps or scrapbooking papers.
Stylist’s trick: I used a plain manila tag from an office-supply store, but you could also cut a piece of cardboard in a similar shape. Cover with red paper, fabric or glitter and add stickers.
More ideas: Attach photo corners to the gift and insert a shot of the recipient; use gel pen to write who it’s from.
Stylist’s trick: Use different-sized buttons, and stack and glue them to make a tiered decoration on top of your package. Thread a cord through the holes and tie a bow.
More ideas: Thread a jingle bell onto twine, or an ornament onto cord; knot the ends to finish.
Stylist’s trick: Go with the ugly tape, then cover it using this trick: Cut a wide piece of paper and fold it in accordion-style pleats, then wrap it around the gift and secure at the bottom with a piece of rolled tape. Tuck holly or a candy cane into the pleats.
More ideas: Wrap a piece of felt or fabric around the gift the same way.
Stylist’s trick: Wrap the gift with pages cut from a songbook. Embellish with silver bells or some small ornaments tied on with a ribbon or cord.
More ideas: Use magazine pages, a map, an old scarf or strips of fabric.