Holidays & Entertaining

Wrap your Gifts with Personal Flair

When it comes to the perfect holiday gift, it’s not necessarily what’s on the inside that counts. The magic of giving is due in large part to the colourful paper, breathtaking bows and other giftwrap accessories that create a festive sense of occasion.

Statistics indicate that although gift wrap has grown to become a multi-billion-dollar industry, the way we give gifts is changing.  The growing popularity of gift cards and “virtual” presents, like charitable donations, means fewer boxes to wrap, and many environmentally-conscious Canadians are looking for alternatives to traditional gift wrapping.

According to Shelli Gardner, cofounder and CEO of crafting company Stampin’ Up!, there are countless creative ways to keep up with the changing times. “Gift wrap creates the sense of excitement and anticipation that is such an important part of gift-giving,” she says. “Even the smallest gift deserves to be presented with a bit of flair. From unique packaging ideas for gift cards to eco-friendly wrapping that can be re-used time and time again, there are some exciting new trends to watch in 2012.”

Gift cards with style

Canadians spend over $6 billion on gift cards every year, so odds are, most people will have them on their holiday shopping list.

However, this well-intentioned gift can often fall flat if presented in a store-branded envelope, or via email. To give a gift card with style, Gardner suggests taking a small paper envelope and adding a festive stamp in a seasonal shade such as Cherry Cobbler or Gumball Green. The Stampin’ Up! Make a Mitten and Snowflake Soiree Stamp Sets include a variety of holiday-themed shapes; visit to learn more. For an added touch, punch a hole at one end of the envelope and tie on some seasonally-inspired grosgrain ribbon. You can add it to your tree as an ornament until the time comes to open gifts.

A taste of holiday cheer

For a gift presentation that is both decorative and practical, one of Gardner’s favourite packaging trends for 2012 involves dressing up re-useable containers most commonly found in the kitchen, such as clear glass cookie jars.

Start by adding a personalized gift tag with a festive twist: cut an oval shape using either a punch or die-cut tool like Stampin’ Up’s Big Shot, and add cool cuteness with the Snow Flurry Bigz Die shapes. Attach scalloped tulle and sprinkle on some Glass Glitter, which adds a bit of sparkle. For the finishing touch, stamp the tag with a festive sentiment like “Joy” or “Noel” using a themed stamp set, such as Stampin’ Up!’s Joyous Celebrations collection. Tie the tag to the top of the jar with some red and green ribbon, and voila: a gift container that will keep on giving. Details on these ideas and products are available online at


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