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Gift Wrap Can Reflect The Perceived Value of a Relationship

How do you wrap your gifts?

Do you find the most affordable wrapping paper at the store?

Do you buy a gift bag and some tissue paper because it’s easy?

Do you throw the gift in a plastic bag because you’ve run out of time and you’re late to the event?

Or, if you’re like me, do spend a great deal of time and money on wrapping the gift in a way that combines paper, ribbon, and décor accents to create a beautiful pièce de résistance?

The truth is, not many people fall into the last category. But what many don’t know is that how a gift is wrapped can actually affect the perception of the relationship between the gift giver and the gift receiver.

Victoria University PhD student, Elizabeth Porublev, found that “a naked gift can indicate the low worth of relationship or that the giver has an unwillingness to personally invest in the gift.'' In an industry which Hallmark has valued at $2.9 billion per year, Ms Porublev notes that, ''just as we remove price tags to remove all commercial aspects of the gifts, so wrapping extends that process of turning a commodity into something sacred.”

So how can you create something sacred without taking up too much of your time and money? The answer is much simpler than you think. I’ve put together a list of 5 simple things you can start doing today to show people you care through gift wrap.

1. Colours

When wrapping a gift, you need to consider the colours associated with the occasion, colours that the person likes and if you’re using more than one colour, consider how these colours work together. If the gift is for a baby shower, then pastel colours will be welcomed. If you’re giving a gift to let’s say a young girl who’s a tomboy, like I was, then don’t buy pink wrapping paper.

When pairing colours together consider colour psychology in terms of complimentary, split complementary, analogous, and monochromatic colour schemes.

2. Patterns

Too many patterns can make a gift completely overwhelming to look at and can actually lower the perceived value of a gift. Think about how Tiffany & Co. wraps their jewellery. They have a simple blue box wrapped with a white ribbon. The look is timeless and very luxurious. But that’s not to say that you can’t use patterns, you just have to use them mindfully.

If you have a patterned wrapping paper, then consider using a single-toned, pattern-less ribbon. But if you have patterned ribbon, then use a simple pattern-less wrapping paper.

Another important consideration is the size of the pattern. The scale of the pattern should be proportional to the size of the gift. So, if you bought someone a stroller for their baby shower, don’t pick small polka dot wrapping paper. The scale will not work considering the size of the gift.

3. Textures

Textured wrapping paper and ribbon can add a lot of character to gifts. Texture can be especially useful when choosing a natural gift wrapping look. A simple trick can be to use clippings from your Christmas tree to tie in between the ribbon. This adds a nice pop of colour, it smells great and adds a natural element that everyone can relate to.

4. Layers

I recently came across a post on Instagram from Sarah Baeumler that highlighted the importance of layering in elevating the style of an existing space in your home. Well the same concepts hold true for gift wrapping.

When you’re wrapping a gift consider layering wrapping paper, ribbon, décor accents, and gift tags to create a truly elegant style for your gift. Do so in combination with the previous tips, being mindful of colours, patterns and textures to create something that all your friends will want to Instagram.

5. Lines

Creating strong visual lines or hiding strong visual lines can be very important when wrapping a gift. When wrapping gifts, do you tape the paper at the middle on the backhand side? I did this for years, until I discovered a better way to hide the seam.

Consider pulling the wrapping paper to the side of the box, then fold the edge so you have a perfectly straight line and tape it there. This leads me to another point, invest in using double sided tape that you can hide underneath the paper so you don’t have large pieces of tape exposed on the outside. A few others tips for creating or hiding strong lines are to hide your wrap seem with ribbon and to put all your gifts in boxes to create smooth edges.

Using only one of these tips or a combination of them will help improve your gift wrapping immediately. Remember that a gift can be reflection of who you are and how you value the relationship with the gift receiver. With that mind, spend a few extra minutes planning your wrap design and be the hit of your next event.

I know there are a lot of great gift wrapping tips out there, so post some of the tips you swear by in the comments section.

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