You spend hours choosing the perfect present for each person on your list—and then five minutes taping up your finds in whatever paper is stashed in the closet. It’s time your holiday gifts look as thoughtful as they are: Up your wrapping game with these five expert tips. Your presents will be (almost) too pretty to open.

Add Something Extra

A lollipop tied to the outside of a present for your grandkid. A spoon to accompany your homemade jam. Pens attached to a journal. Thoughtful touches like these make your gift feel extra special. “Make it playful,” says Robin Lohre, owner of boutique Talulah Jones. “Half of the pleasure of getting a gift is the anticipation.”

Pick A Palette

Every year, Lohre chooses a single theme for her gifts. “One year it was ‘woodland,’ so I had brown paper with turquoise ribbon, and then I tied sticks in with it,” she says. “I’ve also done foil wrap in orange with pink ribbon. It makes it very noticeable which stack is from you”—and makes the wrapping assembly-line easy.

Pay Attention to the Details

Double-sided tape is a gift-wrapper’s best friend. It hides seams and creates a polished look. DIYers are also currently obsessed with washi tape—a patterned, masking-tap-like product made from natural fibers. “Washi gives an additional crafty styling to the look,” says Julie Sandusky, co-owner of Idea Chic. If you’re including a bow, Lizzie Greco, owner of Craftbelly, suggests giving it a “snake tongue” effect by laying the two ends out and cutting a small triangle in each. “It’s the easiest thing to do,” she says, “and people think it looks really fancy.”

Keep It Simple

The holiday season is a prime time for gifting bikes, golf clubs, tennis rackets, snowboards, and other awkwardly shaped items—which are a pain to wrap. Instead of wasting time (and tape), first try to fit the object in a box (call local stores to see if they have oversize extras in their recycling piles) or a gift bag. If it’s just too big, tape on a large custom bow (try the Paper Lady on South Gaylord or Cherry Creek North’s Paper Source) or one made from felt or velvet ribbon.

Be Mindful

Most gift wrap isn’t recyclable, and when you’re giving a lot of gifts, the waste adds up. Look for recyclable options (it’ll be noted on the packaging), or take a cue from Mia Semingson, co-owner of Boulder’s Two Hands Paperie: Buy a large roll of brown kraft paper, and then use rubber stamps, colorful baker’s twine, stickers, or wax seals (ask the kids to help!) to personalize gifts after they’re wrapped. Semingson also likes to place a band of fancier gift wrap as an accent around the package.

Where To Buy

Our top recs for local shops to fulfill all of your gift-wrapping needs.


Idea Chíc, 4340 E. Kentucky Ave., Suite 121, Glendale, 303-484-1771

The Paper Lady, 1018 S. Gaylord St., 303-722-6877

Paper Source, 201 Fillmore St., 303-586-2050

Talulah Jones, 1122 E. 17th Ave., 303-832-1230

Two Hands Paperie, 803 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-444-0124

This article was originally published in 5280 Home Winter 2015.
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at