Joys of gift wrapping

It’s the holiday season and with Barbados’ 46th anniversary of Independence being celebrated on Friday and the Christmas period kicking in the day after, it is hard not to be caught up in the warm feeling that comes at this time of the year.

Today we start a new column which will provide you with decorating tips for the period. Over the next four weeks our team of decorators SJ&N Essential Designs with the assistance of sponsors, will show you inexpensive ways to give some rooms in your home a new look without shelling out hundreds of dollars.

We welcome your feedback so feel free to drop us a line. Email me at or Sandra Moore at

Donna : )

Gift wrapping for the Holidays can be stress-free and enjoyable if planned and executed in advance. It is never too early to start planning so your recipients know that much thought was taken to “wow” them. We plan what gifts we give each other. Similarly, we have to decide on presentation, otherwise, the gift looks like a last minute thought. It takes away from that special joy associated with sharing something special with loved ones.

Firstly, decide on approximately the number of gifts you will give away during the season. This will give you an idea of the quantity of paper needed. Remember extra large gift boxes require more paper and there are inevitably the forgotten gifts. So always purchase a few more rolls. Left over paper can be used the following year or for another occasion.

Next choose a colour scheme. You can take cue from your favorite colour or your Christmas tree colour palette. You don’t have to limit your palette to the traditional Christmas colours of red, green, silver and gold. Once the decision is made, it is best to purchase your gift wrapping paper as early as possible as your selection choice will be greater. You will also avoid disappointment.

Interest can be achieved under a tree with gifts wrapped in contemporary, traditional and solid paper selected from your chosen colour palette. Coordinating coloured metallic paper is usually available, to add sparkle.

For the environmentally and budget-conscious individuals, gift wrapping can also be cheap, chic and interesting to achieve by using recycle products such as brown paper, newspaper, other print paper, and left-over fabric from other projects.

Collect boxes in advance that can be used to hold those odd-shaped gift items. They are the most challenging to wrap and easier placed in a rectangle box to gift wrap. Bubble-wrap fragile items before placing them in boxes to avoid breakage. It is most disappointing to receive a gift that is broken. Place garments in tissue-lined garment boxes before wrapping. Garment boxes are readily available in most retail stores. Browse gift wrapping departments to know what is available. There is special packaging for different items.

Don’t forget the home-made treats and hostess gifts! They are equally fun to package and give. At your hardware store you can find a variety of seasonal platters, bowls, baskets, bags, plastic containers and tins with lids. Treat-filled platters, bowls and baskets are then covered in cellophane paper or tied in cellophane bags with an elaborate bow.

Gift wrapping is never complete without ribbons or toppers and gift cards. Store-bought ribbons are available in various widths, colours and patterns. Choose different coordinating ribbons to compliment your paper. Again, purchase more than you estimate. Take into account box sizes.

Twine, rope and raffia are less expensive alternatives, and can be used to create nature-inspired toppers by tying together small branches or thin twigs from your garden.

Ribbons and bows can be customized using strips of inexpensive fabrics such as burlap. Burlap is ideal as it has some weight which is needed to create bows.

Don’t be afraid to exercise some creativity when creating toppers and gift tags. Discarded Christmas ornaments bunched together, parts of artificial floral arrangements, recycled old broaches and other costume jewelry are some of the materials you can use to make a one-of-a-kind gift topper. Gift cards can be made using craft paper, Bristol board and gift wrap paper. The possibilities are endless.

Gift wrapping is an art. It requires lots of planning. However there is no reason to be intimidated. Allocate time for gift wrapping preparation long before Christmas. Be creative and enjoy!


1.Cut a strip of burlap material to the required width and length.

2.Run a thin line of fabric glue along the four edges of the strip. This will ensure that the fabric does not fray.

3.Apply glitter (your colour choice) over the glue before drying.

4.Dust off excess glitter.

5.Using fabric or acrylic paint, hand paint, stencil or stamp a seasonal motif along the length of the strip at desired intervals.

6.Let dry.

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