After hitting the stores hard all month, gifts are bought and there’s just one more step left before they make their way under the tree awaiting the big reveal. Whether you’re the type that likes to coordinate a stylish shroud or you prefer taking on the role of ripping through the paper, get creative this year and show that you put as much thought into the presentation as the purchase. We’ve got all sorts of ideas to get your crafty juices flowing, so read on for inspiration for all skill levels, because you don’t have to be a master origami artist to put some love into your wrapping.

Paper Play— Make your gifts stand out from afar by stepping up your paper game. Kraft paper is an inexpensive option that can be found at any craft store. Starting with a blank slate allows for a variety of enhancements. You can use paint to create a polka dot pattern or a thumbprint Christmas light strand, or use stamps to add a design to the paper. Consider giving the paper texture by gluing buttons, pom poms or paper snowflakes onto it. For the young or young at heart, a package can be turned into a cute reindeer with the addition of antlers and a red nose. If you really want to be different, you can cut out two large star shapes and glue the edges, enveloping the gift inside with some bag filler or confetti.

Come Out on Top— Take the phrase ‘all tied up with a bow’ to a new level by attaching 3D objects and adding interest to the top of the box. Ornaments, candy canes, light bulbs, bells, greenery and pinecones are all popular embellishments that can really make a gift festive. Don’t stop there though, you can also use trinkets that reflect the interests of the recipient or that hint at the gift inside. If you’re really thinking outside the box, you can wrap yarn around the gift and pinch one side together to create a tree shape. The options are endless and a small addition to the wrap can really make a gift pop.

Tag! You're It —You may have the most beautiful wrapping job of all but if you don’t have a tag with the receiver’s name, things can get confusing. There are numerous unique ways to label presents to fit the style you’re going for, from prominent possibilities to a more incognito approach. If you like the idea of displaying the recipient loud and proud, try out the photo method and affix printed photos of the person to the package. Another fun idea is to create a slotted tag that you can weave the ribbon on the gift through. You can also fold the gift wrap to create a nice little pocket that you can slip a card or tag into. Alphabet beads or scrabble tiles work well to spell out a moniker. Then there’s always the option of painting the names on the packages or one of my favorite standbys sure to get some wows: attaching a wooden monogram. No matter what you choose, putting effort into the tag will not go unnoticed.

Now that you’re feeling inspired, it’s time to put on some Christmas tunes, make hot cocoa, grab the scissors and get busy wrapping!

Emily Orcuttchoctaw