TEXT BY VIRGINIA M. WRIGHT
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARK FLEMING
Looking to spiff up this year’s gifts? We asked master wrapper Samantha Finigan, co-founder of Portland’s Gus & Ruby Letterpress, to share her top gift wrapping tips.
Pick a Theme
Select a unifying palette or wrapping technique, such as the kraft paper decorations pictured here. (Find the bow how-to on Pinterest.) Another example: One year, Finigan wrapped all her holiday presents in solid-color papers and “tied” them with washi tape, a decorative Japanese masking tape. For children, she has used plush, easy-to-unravel yarn. “A cohesive look makes the wrapping part of the gift,” she says.
Use Gift Toppers
Fasten Christmas tree sprigs to ribbon for flair (and a piney fragrance). Or sweeten your offering, literally, by slipping a fancy chocolate bar under the ribbon, or figuratively, by attaching a trinket, such as a pretty bottle stopper on a wrapped bottle of wine.
Wrapping paper waste piles up fast. Reduce your environmental impact by choosing recycled papers, like the ones shown here, or a fabric wrapping, such as a flour sack towel. Adorn boxes with reusable twine or cloth ribbon and recyclable kraft paper and washi tape. And don’t use more paper than you need. “Set it down and fold before you cut,” Finigan advises. “You’ll have less waste, and your package will have nice, crisp corners.”
Save time and paper by packing presents in handsome containers, such as wooden recipe boxes or lidded baskets. “The box becomes part of the gift, and it can be reused,” Finigan says. “This is especially nice if you have items like candles, which are notoriously hard to wrap.”
Throw a Party
Invite your friends, put on holiday music, pour some wine or coffee, and spend a couple hours wrapping together. “Gift wrapping becomes part of the celebration,” Finigan says, “instead of a chore.”