By Lia Picard
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Wrapping a gift can be nerve wracking. The idea of wrapping many gifts for a holiday like Christmas? Even more so! Have no fear. We spoke with Jennifer Hunt, founder of stationery brand Dogwood Hill in Birmingham, Alabama to get the scoop on the best ways to wrap a present this holiday season and beyond. Gift wrapping can be intimidating, she says, but, “you have to jump off that gift-wrapping cliff. And then once you figure out exactly how you like to wrap, it’s almost cathartic.”

Here are some tips on gift wrapping according to Hunt.

Christmas Green and Red Gift Wrap
Credit: Courtesy of Dogwood Hill

Start with good paper.

Wrapping everything in fancy wrapping paper can add up quickly, but for the really special presents it’s worth splurging on paper that’s thicker with a pretty design. For bigger presents, Hunt suggests simple, solid red and green wrapping paper. It creates a festive accent under the tree and doesn’t break the bank.

Measure your paper mindfully.

If you’re using a paper with a pattern, consider how it’s going to look on the front of the box. One of Hunt’s favorite wrapping papers has vignettes from the Nutcracker on it. To make sure it wraps correctly, she places the box on the paper and makes sure it falls in the right spot before she starts to wrap it.

She adds, “Wrap [a rectangular box] on the long side to make sure you have enough. If you need a little extra, cut a little off another sheet and put it on the back. Nobody will be the wiser.”

Precise creases are important.

Before you start to wrap, fold up the edges of your paper to make a crease where it’s going to fold. “This perfect crease makes sure you don't accidentally mess it up as you're taping,” says Hunt. She also suggests taping a little piece of the paper to the box so it doesn’t shift.

Don’t skip the embellishments.

Of course, ribbon and bows are classic, but why not add a little sparkle? Hunt says that anything goes when it comes to embellishing a gift. “I think nutcrackers are so cute. You can get the really beautiful blue and white ginger jar porcelain pieces, and they're not super expensive,” says Hunt. “I typically attach everything through the ribbon,” she adds.

Save your ribbon.

If you have good ribbon, Hunt stresses that you should definitely save it and use it again next year. “If it's satin ribbon, make sure it doesn't go in the trash on Christmas Day. Save it and use your hot iron or your flat iron for your hair to straighten and throw them all in a bag. You don't even have to undo them,” she says. Note: only use your flat iron on satin ribbon!