A guide to work-of-art wrapping
17 December 2018
Some people have a knack for wrapping and some don’t. ‘It’s what’s inside that counts’ has never rung more true than when you guiltily hand over a present that is 90 per cent sellotape. It is, however, part and parcel of the Christmas season, and a tradition that goes back further than you would think.
Historians believe wrapping gifts probably began not long after paper was invented (around 100 BC), although wrapping paper as we know it today is a more recent innovation. Originally, gifts were wrapped in simple tissue paper or heavy brown paper. Before that, cloth was often used, such as a handkerchief or napkin. Today, gift wrapping trends have come full circle, in large thanks to environmental awareness, which is increasingly making single use gift wrapping a thing of the past. And after taking the time to get the perfect item for your loved one, going the extra mile with extraordinary gift wrapping ideas is the icing on the cake. Whether you’re a wrapping pro or a sellotape saboteur, take heed of our guide to the top gift wrapping trends of 2018.
Botanicals and Florals
This is by far the biggest wrapping paper trend of 2018, and one that shows no sign of abating as we approach the festive season. Take your pick from exotic blooms, such as Australian waratahs and gum leaves, to the gorgeous greenery of palm leaves and olive branches, right through to the perennial favourites: roses, peonies and hydrangeas. There are many variations on the botanical theme – with neon florals making their presence felt alongside dandelion motifs. Non-traditional colour combinations such as navy, jade and gold are highly effective but, to go the extra mile, try natural elements foraged from outdoors. Tree clippings, pine cones and sprigs of holly serve as stunning gift toppers – fast and free!
Natural Looks and Eco Cred
When it comes to the eco approach, kraft paper – plain and patterned – is still popular, and specialist eco papers, such as elephant paper (made from elephant dung – it’s better than it sounds), are also being sought out. An entirely natural product, each sheet of elephant paper is slightly different and that’s a good thing, but natural papers tend to be a little thicker than regular wrap and thus
a little harder to fold. They’re also economic, but more importantly, they offer a vintage and rustic aesthetic. Team this simple approach with sprigs of rosemary and pepperberry to perk up your kraft paper-wrapped gift. Alternatively, for the ultimate bespoke option, embrace your inner artist and get creative with black kraft paper and white paint markers. Chalk board creativity does away with the need for gift tags, taps in to the monochrome trend, and looks utterly stunning underneath your tree.
Marbling Makes Waves
The marbling effect is having a major moment and comes in many styles – from a subtle natural marble look in dove greys and pastels through to big bold swirls particularly in blues, pinks and purples. The watercolour marble effect gives a contemporary edge to this choice of design, while a handmade option provides a priceless personal touch. Muslin cloth also has a distinctive texture you can take advantage of – just dip it in any coloured dyes of your choice to create a unique design.
The Animal Kingdom
This year, all of God’s creatures abound in the wrapping paper world and you can expect to see animal, insect and bird patterns, from the cutest dogs and cats to bears, meerkats, gorillas and sloths. Swans are on the cusp, flamingos are a bit yesterday and the end to the mythical unicorn fad is nowhere in sight as the ubiquitous motif continues to appeal to the little people gift market. For a little added festive appeal, try mixing woodland creatures with plaid bows, red ribbons and crisp white gift tags. A choice bauble or tree decoration can create a fantastic embellishment that serves as a gift in itself.
Little Bit of Bling
Metallics continue to make their presence felt, with 2017’s breakout colour, graphite, still going strong. Rose gold and copper are still to be found but are not as prominent as in years past. The metallic splash or splatter look is popping up and it dresses up a treat. Metallic touches to a floral pattern also add an element of sophistication. Large oversized bows, glitzy metallic gift tags and even gold leather string can elevate a pleasingly wrapped gift to elegant stand-out status.