DIY Home

Gift-Wrapping Inspiration from the People Who Do It Best: Our Makers

December  9, 2015

It's easy to feel like one needs to reinvent the gift-wrapping wheel every holiday season, but when the clock is approaching midnight this will likely be the last thing on your mind. Instead, make a plan now for efficient and pretty wrapping—and take inspiration from our Shop's many makers, who "gift wrap" every item they make, every single day. Here are some wrapping strategies that we borrowed from their packaging:

Choose simple supplies and stick with them:

Celina Mancurti's blue linen tablecloth comes folded and tied with a woven tan ribbon. Photo by James Ransom

Go for something dead-easy. This editor's method of choice: Streamline the wrapping process by choosing one solid-colored wrapping paper (I like kraft) and one or two kinds of ribbon (like yarn or twine, which are inexpensive but make a bigger impact than curling ribbon). Then wrap everything this way. It's what our makers have to do—it's a real marketing decision. Choose something that's easy to assemble and is scalable or adaptable based on what the gift is.

Our buyer Kristina Wasserman loves Celina Mancurti's pieces for this reason: Her linens are bundled carefully with a simple ribbon, tied to which is a discreet gift tag (and they look so nice they barely need additional wrapping). She "makes things feel very personal," says Kristina. "Each order feels like a handmade gift from her."

More gifts with streamlined packaging:

Above: Sfoglini and Liddabit Sweets make brown paper look good—and customized—with colorful stickers and tags that identify what's inside. The solid brass ice cream scoop and modern dinner bells both come inside clean-looking linen bags.

Take a hands-off—but colorful—approach:

All this handmade biscuit cutter needs is a festive ribbon. Photo by James Ransom

Use supplies with big colors, big patterns, or big bows, but sparingly. There's a reason Circle Creek Home and Nathan Miller Chocolate package their bars of soap and chocolate, respectively, in such beautiful, bright papers. They're eye-catching! And spiffy! And they do the work of wrapping for you; just tie on a bow (or don't).

Or, choose a gift that is so beautiful on its own that it needs almost no adornment, like this hand-carved biscuit cutter, a pair of statement scissors, or a particularly stunning wooden spoon. Or, get a baker's dozen of hand-carved wooden spoons, tie a ribbon onto each, and slip them into the stockings of everyone you know.

More gifts that only need a bow:

Above: Chocolate so pretty we'll save the paper. Heavy brass scissors and a hand-carved walnut coffee scoop that need only a ribbon (if that). Our buyer Kristina also loves the letterpress packaging of this shaving set.

Add something unexpected:

Olympia Provisions' Salami of the Month Club Photo by Bobbi Lin

A simply wrapped package perks up with a shot of something unusual—and there are a few good places to start looking for that unusual thing: the thrift store, the dollar store, and your own backyard (or neighborhood park). Use playing cards or old photographs as gift tags (part of the charm of Olympia Provisions' salamis is the colorful cards that go with them). Or borrow some greens—small fir springs or a branch of holly—from your yard's evergreens. At our Holiday Market, we're wrapping gifts simply with kraft paper and twine, and finishing the job with a magnolia leaf tucked under the bow.

Our Shop's director Jojo Feld loves Hawkins New York's logo. While you may not have a personal gift-wrapping logo, a homemade stamp (carve one from an apple, or an eraser!) can act as a "logo" or motif (think: snowflakes, stars, dots) and add a personal touch to a wrapped package.

Gifts that go the extra mile:

Above: A Hawkins NY wool blend throw, with its logo stitched on. A stamp to use after all the holiday gift-giving. A cheese board kit for your host—or anyone who loves cheese; slip the include cheese knife under the ribbon of the package. Tie one of these walnut ornaments onto the ribbon of a package.

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
View Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

View Maker

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.