For gift wrapping that will work through the winter season and beyond, choose elements that hit on a trend rather than a holiday (like holographic ribbon, terrazzo-inspired paper, or an instant photo as a fun tag).

By Stephanie Sisco with Mary Honkus
Updated November 19, 2018
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Gift wrapping has turned into an art form in today’s world. People spend years (okay, maybe not that long) honing the craft of folding crisp edges with acute precision. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional gift wrapper to create boxed masterpieces.

Gift wrapping isn’t just a seasonal activity—there are occasions that call for the skill year round. For birthdays or a special occasion, think of trendy elements you can add to enhance your gift. Search for fun, contemporary patterned wrapping paper like an oversized banana leaf print, indigo mud cloth inspired paper, or geode patterns. Patterns like these work great year round, not just during the holidays. You can even use black kraft paper and write a special message on the present using chalk or a metallic marker.

There are also a many ways to jazz up a typical bow. For example, try a festive holographic ribbon for a shimmery effect on your present. Ribbons nowadays are being produced from an array of materials, including cork. Place a cork ribbon on top of a botanical wrapping paper to make it feel cohesive and elevated. Fairy lights are an unexpected adornment that can bring any present to life. Wrap battery-operated LED lights around a gift to add a sprinkle of magic that will surely light up your loved one’s face in more ways than one.

Personalization is always a good idea when it comes to gift giving. Customizing the outside of the present can be as simple as choosing paper in the recipient’s favorite color. But to take it one-step further, use an instant-print photo of the recipient (or the two of you together) as a gift tag. Or make the gift tag a bonus present and use a luggage tag.  All of these tactics will help make your gift more personalized and memorable.

Looking for even more style ideas? Browse through this selection of contemporary gift wrapping styles to inspire your next gift wrapping project. Happy wrapping!

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Personalized Present
Credit: Dyad Photography

Best Personalized Gift Wrapping Idea: Chalkboard-Wrapped Gift

  • To buy: Chalkboard wrapping paper, $10 per roll; knotandbow.com.
  • Holographic ½-inch ribbon, $2 for 12 yards; hallmark.com.
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant-film camera, $69; amazon.com.
Wanderlust Wrap
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Best Gift Wrapping Idea for Travelers: Banana-Leaf Gift Wrap

Terrazzo Trimmings
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Best Gift Wrapping Idea with Sparkle: Terrazzo Trimmings

Light It Up
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Best Light Up Gift Wrapping Idea: Tree Fern-Stripe Wrapped Gift

  • To buy: Tree fern stripe wrapping paper in evergreen by Alethea and Ruth, $15 for 5 sheets; minted.com.
  • Twenty-count battery-operated mini LED string lights in warm white, $20 for 3; bedbathandbeyond.com.
  • Golden star sparkler, $8; shopterrain.com.
Boho Blue Christmas
Credit: Dyad Photography

Best Boho Gift Wrapping Idea: Indigo Mud Cloth Wrapped Gift

  • To buy: Indigo mud cloth wrapping paper, $16 per roll; zazzle.com.
  • Natural jute twine by Recollections, $4 for 30 yards; michaels.com.
  • Woven-basket ornament set, $26 for 3; meridianny.com.
Geological Gifting
Credit: Dyad Photography

Best Geological Gift Wrapping Idea: Rainbow Geode-Wrapped Gift

  • To buy: Rainbow geode wrapping paper by Alexzandra Fajardo, $15 for 5 sheets; minted.com.
  • Cream double-faced sat in ribbon, $10 for 50 yards; jamaligarden.com.
  • Mini silver mercury ornaments, $8.50 for 12; jamaligarden.com.