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It's a wrap: Tips for making gifts look great all year long

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Updated: 12/07/2012 10:56 am

(BPT) - - A beautifully wrapped gift truly enhances the gift giving experience. If you're wrapping that birthday or anniversary gift in drab paper or (worse yet) the Sunday comics, it's time to rethink your wrapping techniques. With a few simple tips, it's easy to create great-looking, personal gift wrapping that is as much fun to open as it is to receive.

Add flair with unexpected wrapping materials

Ribbons don't actually have to be made of ribbon. Go above and beyond traditional wrapping paper and bows by using non-traditional materials to wrap your gift. Delight the fashionistas in your life by using fun, colorful belts to keep boxes secure (and sneak them an extra accessory too). When giving cookware, wrap the package in new kitchen towels. For a going away party, wrap the gift in maps or images of the recipient's destination. Attending a high school graduation party? Stick the gift box shut with a fun bumper sticker from the grad's soon-to-be college or university. Make bows out of raffia, use leftover wallpaper instead of wrapping paper, or tie a scarf around the handles of a gift bag to add something extra special to your present.

Choose an alternative to clear tape

Amp up the style of your gift with printed packaging tape. A fun substitute for traditional clear tape, EZ Start packaging tape from Duck brand is available in nine decorative, trendy patterns - everything from a wild pink and black zebra print to a sophisticated black and white paisley - that are perfect for keeping wrapping paper in place while also adding an unexpected touch to gifts. Delight any birthday girl by adding the lime green and pink print over solid wrapping paper, or gear your gift for guys with a cool pattern featuring graffiti-style skulls.

Create a one-of-a-kind container

Forego wrapping paper entirely and decorate the box itself. Create a unique design using stickers, stencil a monogram or pattern on the top, or decoupage it with images that remind you of the recipient. Printed packaging tape can also help makeover your gift package - completely cover the box in tape, or use it to create stripes, chevron, checks or other patterns. To make the gift extra special, choose an unexpected item or shape to hold your present. Buckets, hat boxes, or (new) take-out containers can make for interesting packages. And, once it's been personalized, the container itself serves as an added element of the gift.

Look to the occasion for inspiration

Theme your gift wrapping around the special occasion or holiday that you're celebrating. Bridal shower? Use wedding traditions to inspire your wrapping - make sure it includes something borrowed (perhaps a beautiful pin to tie the ribbon), something blue (tissue paper), something old (include a photo of you and the bride on the box) and something new (the gift). On birthdays, be inspired by the recipient's age - on a twelfth birthday, divide the gift into twelve small items, or wrap the present in an item that represents that number, like pages from a calendar. At graduations, wrap the package in the colors of the grad's new college or university.

Make shipped items special

Even when loved ones are far away, it's simple to make the outside of their package special and personal. Besides helping to glamorize gift wrapping or boxes, you can also use EZ Start packaging tape to ship items to loved ones away from home. Use the camo pattern to send a gift to a friend or family member away in the military, or inspire some relaxation in stressed-out college students with a care package wrapped with one of the other colorful patterns. It will make the package stand out and keep items safely secured.

Whether you're a gift-wrapping pro or just learning to tie a ribbon, these easy tips will help you to give stylishly wrapped gifts for all of your special occasions. Pick up a few materials and let your imagination go - the present and the wrapping are sure to doubly delight your next gift recipient.

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