In many societies, how you wrap a present is almost – if not just as – important as the gift itself. In Japan, for example, handkerchiefs are traditional gifts. They are small and inexpensive, but the beauty of the gift is really in the present-wrapping. It seems a pity that so many of us put so little thought into wrapping our gifts.

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Getting creative

Whether you are gifting a book or a lap tray personalised with the recipient’s name, showing you took the time to find the perfect present is much of the appeal; however, the effort you put into making the gift look appealing is also important. ‘Organic and homemade’ is in vogue this year, which is great because it means you can get creative with things you already have at home.

Craft paper with string twine or ribbon is just the start. You can also begin to get the organic look by printing your paper with potatoes stamps or dip-dying paper with food dyes such as beetroot. For a really homemade feel, used household paper can be recycled into new, home-pressed sheets.

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Reusable options

Once you have selected your laptop tray from a supplier such as, one way of really showing off your green credentials is with a reusable, homemade bag. Pinterest and Instagram are awash with examples of printed canvas bags that can be used to wrap gifts, and even wooden boxes.


This year will also see a huge jump in non-traditional patterns and colours, taking their inspiration from ethnic prints. Christmas has been stuck in the Victorian age of sledge rides and tartan for many years, but all this looks set to change. Think lush oranges and reds, with purple, black and brown. All rich colours are perfect for the holiday season.

Layer it up

Something that will be on trend for the next few seasons, which comes from the Japanese art of present-wrapping, is layered wrapping. To get this look right, start with several layers of light tissue paper in white or different colours, then wrap in plain paper before adding coloured or patterned sheets. Get the look perfect by not covering the entire present with the last two sheets. The effect, which is referred to as ‘kimono’, is breathtaking and sure to impress.