Even though it's done every year without fail, gift wrapping may just be one of the most overlooked design choices of the entire holiday season. And though it's destined to be discarded at some point, the wrapping we use to decorate our gifts—just like the decoration we put on the tree, the table, and the mantel—is a sign of the care we take in every aspect of the giving process. So here are 14 modern ways to show the people you love how much you care before they even open the gift.
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Updated Stripe Wrappings
The great thing about stripes is that they're versatile, universal, and they never really go out of style. They just require a little update from time to time. With that in mind, this survey of modern gift wrappings takes a slightly different angle on the usual stripes pattern. The simple combination of thick stripes with a diagonal angle and the color palette of black and gold gives this wrapping paper from The Ace Hotel a sophisticated, upscale look that will have anyone you present it to eager to find out what's inside.
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Modern Geometric Wrapping
Geometrics have been steadily gaining in popularity, appearing in many of our favorite home textile patterns. So it's not surprising to see them making a splash around holiday time, giving some intriguing possibilities for gift wrapping. For these presents, a few geometric designs are all it takes to bring instant visual interest to what would otherwise be a plain brown wrapping paper with thin stripes. Instead, the patterns make a beautiful statement without being too busy.
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Simple Wrapping With a Pine Sprig
This strikingly understated wrap forgoes the typical bright colors and dazzling patterns for something a little more complex, using plain brown paper and thick, black ribbon as the perfect backdrop for a sprig of pine for the ultimate note of holiday spirit. The time and care that it takes to go through all of the steps that wrapping this present requires is a wonderful way to show that the gift you're giving is from the heart.
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Stylish Wrapping Paper in Matte Black
There's just something so stylish about keeping it simple. Sometimes the lack of ostentation can say so much more than things that shine brighter or try harder. The perfect gift-giving example comes in the form of this super-chic matte black wrapping paper. And if you enjoyed the sprig approach, the flat black backdrop that this paper provides is the perfect showcase for a sprig of mistletoe with white berries.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Mixed Pattern Wrapping Paper
From designing runway fashions to decorating rooms, skillfully mixing patterns is an advanced design ability. That idea applies to wrapping Christmas presents as well, and this beautifully modern approach gets it just right. With just a little patterned tape, you can turn a plain brown paper wrapper into the first gift they'll want to open.
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Modern Chevron Wrapping Paper
To give chevron a more contemporary flavor, this paper plays with scale using small, disconnected bars to create a chevron effect. At the same time, the small, intentional imperfections in the pattern give the paper a slightly handmade, global feel. Combined with a stylish black ribbon and a faux sprig tag, this is one gift wrapping approach with layers upon layers of things to love.
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Black Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
If you're looking for a versatile, customizable wrapping paper that will also let you engage your creative side, then chalkboard paper might be just the thing for you this holiday season. This paper is perfect for artists, DIY enthusiasts, or anyone who has the skills to turn their holiday gift wrapping into a canvas for showing people just how much they care.
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Modern Polka Dot Gift Wrapping
The polka dot motif has been around for a long time. One of the things that keeps polka dots perpetually at the top of the design list—particularly in relation to holiday gift wrapping—is the ease with which this pattern can be updated and tweaked. In this case, replacing the traditional dots with stars keeps the appeal of the basic pattern while giving a longstanding idea a brand new look and feel.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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Cookie Cutter Polka Dots
Here's an even more interesting take on polka dots for holiday gift wrapping. This one takes the traditional design to new places by replacing the dots with cookie cutter-style line drawings of iconic holiday elements such as trees, stars, and gingerbread men. The mix of different shapes and sizes gives the design a slightly asymmetrical look which takes it even further away from the structured look of traditional polka dots. All in all, this is a fun new way to do dots, one that will undoubtedly lead to more variations on in the years to come.
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Classic Polka Dot Wrapping Paper
Of course, if there's one thing to be learned from stripes and chevrons, it's that a classic never really goes out of style. While there are tons of ways to update polka dots, there are still plenty of reasons to love the original. And this super-modern black and gold color palette creates a sleek, contemporary look.
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Patterned Fabric Wrapping Paper
One of the coolest trends in holiday wrapping is to cover your gifts in actual fabric. The beauty of this idea is that it not only gives your gifts an instant jolt of color and pattern, it also gives them a unique texture that's sure to make them stand out under the tree. And because it won't get shredded during the opening process in the way that traditional wrapping paper will, fabric wrappings can be saved as keepsakes, framed as art, or even used in a future DIY project.
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Paper Bag Gift Wrapping
Of course, not every gift gets wrapped for the holidays. Gift bags have long been a stylish alternative to wrapping presents. But even if the gift bag is your preferred way to package your holiday offerings, there's still a variety of ways to bring a creative spark to your gift that your friends and family will remember (perhaps even longer than the gift itself). Here, an ordinary lunch bag finds a higher calling as gift wrapping. Complemented by simple twine and paired with a sprig of pine, this understated, rustic gift wrap is the ideal way to give gifts to anyone in your life who appreciates the simpler things.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Copper Metallic Wrapping Paper
Metallics are one of the classic staples of decorating for the winter holidays. They appear on trees, mantles, and holiday dinner tables all over the world, and they're no stranger to wrapping gifts either. The modern approach to wrapping with metallics keeps things low key. The silvers and golds aren't too bright, the patterns aren't too busy, and the soft shimmer of copper paper is allowed to speak for itself without too much additional help. With the assistance of basic polka dot patterns, simple ribbon ties, and even a faux pine sprig, this paper has a straightforward and uncomplicated appeal that makes it feel very grown-up.
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Modern Christmas Tree Gift Wrapping
There's no reason not to embrace the full joy of the season by decorating your gifts with some of the iconic images of the season. This updated polka dot pattern features small trees in place of dots for a little extra yuletide fun. Add a bit of a real tree to complement your illustrated ones and tie it all up with a bit of twine. What more could you need for a very merry Christmas?