When I posted our Christmas tree last week, some people asked me to share how I make my presents look pretty. So today I’m divulging all my my secrets for making presents look appealing on 5 sides because who really cares what the bottom looks like?
Deep down, I really like gift wrapping. But I like to cheat, mostly with the bows and ribbon, because I’m cheap.
The key to having pretty presents under your tree is to coordinate your gift wrap and ribbons. The safest thing to do is to go with the same color scheme. This year I did white and silver to go with my mostly white Christmas tree. I also have some hints of gray.
I used four different styles of gift wrap:
• white with silver polka dots
• silver faux bois
• gray with silver polka dots
• silver plaid
And I used a few different types of ribbon:
• white with silver polka dots, wired
• light gray satin
• gray satin
• white satin
I should add that I buy all of my ribbon when it’s either on sale or when I have coupons. I never pay full price for ribbon. I also rarely pay full price for Christmas gift wrap. I get it at Black Friday or after Christmas sales. Again, because I’m cheap.
I’m not going to cover the actual wrapping of gifts because I feel like that’s kind of basic.
Let’s talk about these bows first. I made them by printing this template out on card stock, cutting out the shapes, tracing the shapes onto the backside of the wrapping paper, cutting out the three pieces, and putting them together with double-sided tape.
Cute, right? These are best for smaller presents.
This one below is the simplest.
I take two pieces of ribbon criss-cross them across the top of the package, leaving about an inch or so to wrap around the to bottom of the package. Then I tape the ribbon down (see photo after the one below).
Why do I do this? Because I don’t want to waste ribbon wrapping it all around the box and then tying a bow on top. That’s A LOT of ribbon. And ribbon and money don’t grow on trees.
I finish it up with a pre-made bow– you know, the those big bags of bows you buy at after-Christmas sales.
Here’s what the bottom looks like. I could’ve made it a little prettier but it’s for Owen and he won’t care.
However, I once had someone turn over a gift I had wrapped like this and given to them and say, “Ahhh, I see what you did there.” I replied, “What? I could’ve wrapped it in newspaper.”
Don’t let anyone judge your wrapping cheats.
For this guy, I used the same ribbon criss-cross method. But I made a separate bow. This is too hard to photograph by myself, but I use this method to make the bow– it’s super easy once you get the hang of it.
Then I hot glue the bow to the middle of the criss-crossing ribbon.
For this one, I do the criss-cross ribbon method, and then I hot glue a bow on top.
And here’s how I make the bow:
Take a piece of ribbon. The length will depend on how big your box is.
Fold each end into the middle, overlapping each end by about 1 inch. Staple it (I do 3 staples).
Take a separate piece of ribbon that’s smaller in length, and fold the sides in.
Add a long piece of ribbon to the mix.
Take your first ribbon and pinch it in the middle.
Add the long, third ribbon under the first ribbon. Make sure the third ribbon is centered.
Take the smallest, second ribbon and wrap it around the two other ribbons. Staple.
Trim the excess ribbon.
Adjust everything. Fluff the bow ears. Trim the tails of the ribbon.
Voila! A pretty bow!
For my gift tags this year, I used this Fiskars tag maker and card stock.
You punch out the tag shape first in the bottom slot. And then you take the tag and insert it into the little slot and push down to make the hole.
Then, you drop in the eyelet and press down on the handle again.
I used a silver Sharpie to write on the tags and double-sided tape to secure the tags to the packages.
Now, if you want to be really cheap. Grab those ribbons and bows before they make their way to the trash and save them for next year.
I certainly won’t judge you.
So there you go, that’s how I cheat at making gifts look pretty.