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Top Trends For Pretty Packaging

This article was written by Victoria Hittner and was featured in our December issue of Home By Design magazine. To visit the original Home By Design article, click here.


From social media to your favorite holiday flicks, no seasonal present is plainly wrapped. The perfect presentation can seem overwhelming and out of reach—but it doesn’t have to be! Transfer some of that glamour from the screen to your gifts this season, with a few of these attainable trends.

Photography provided by Yummy pic/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Embrace Nostalgia.

Classic themes never go out of style. Keep things modern by mixing vintage prints with unexpected textures and hues. Give a nod to current fashion and design trends with bold colors reminiscent of the late ’90s and early aughts. Try a traditional botanical print with a caramel-brown or sunset-orange ribbon, threaded through a pine cone or dried orange slice.

Get Kraft-y.

Kraft paper has been making a comeback and this holiday season is no exception. Keep it simple and wrap plain kraft paper in twine or burlap. Or use the paper as a blank canvas and let your creativity loose. Kraft paper provides the perfect background for stamps, hand-drawn lettering, or heartfelt additions from young helpers. Interested but need somewhere to start? Trace a bowl and add simple leaves around the circle for a minimalistic wreath to frame a holiday greeting. For a more classic look, alternate holiday-themed stamps in a repetitive pattern across the entire package.

Rethink Your Ribbons.

Wired-edge ribbon will always have a place on packages for its durability and shape. But this season, more natural, fluid materials are having a moment—think cheesecloth, twine, or velvet. Use them on their own or in layers for a cozier, more collected look. For the more adventurous, plain cotton or wool in place of ribbon creates its own kind of homespun warmth.

Spruce It Up.

Another popular package trend? Topping your gift with oversize additions. Options are endless, so keep your packages cohesive by sticking to a singular style. Bring a bit of winter inside with pine cones, berries, or greenery for a more traditional finish or pair a tag with a large tassel for boho vibes. For childlike whimsy, add an extra treat like a candy cane, toy, or stuffed animal. Achieve farmhouse chic with an old-fashioned ornament, metal star, or burnished snowflake.

Keep It Sustainable.

Maintaining earth-friendly practices is always in vogue. But it’s never been easier to find sustainable ways to wrap your gifts. Source eco-friendly wrapping paper from stores like Wrappily and Etsy for one-of-a-kind prints you’ll feel good about using. (Keep in mind that many waste management providers and centers allow you to recycle wrapping paper as long as it’s free of foil or plastic lining.)

Looking to reuse instead of buy? Materials already lying around the house may be just the ticket. Repurpose tissue paper or newspaper for an eclectic and sustainable way to wrap your gifts. Even fabric works in a pinch—particularly for unwieldy items like mugs and bottles. Try the furoshiki method (a Japanese style of wrapping cloth that finishes with a tie) for an extra festive touch.

Stage Your Workshop.

Even the best ideas benefit from preparation. Save time and reduce frustration by investing in a few tools worthy of the North Pole. Multipurpose gadgets like a paper cutter and folder produce clean lines and creases and even help you curl ribbon. In the middle of a tricky package, double-sided or hands-free tape dispensers are invaluable. And when you’re ready to call it wraps for the season? Store everything in a rollaway cabinet or hanging organizer that tucks tidily into a closet.

Holidays Homemade
Feeling crafty after planning the perfect package? Choose one of these homemade recommendations for a gift that doesn’t break the bank or sacrifice quality.

Family Recipe Board. Transfer a beloved, handwritten recipe onto a cutting board, platter, or pie plate. You’ll need a picture of the recipe, access to a laser printer, Mod Podge, a damp washcloth, and a little patience.

TIP: Allow extra drying time for dishwasher-safe Mod Podge.

Pressed Art. Pick a few of your favorite winter botanicals to press and a frame with all-glass backing for a trendy piece of wall decor.

TIP: Use newspaper and dry your plants quickly to retain better color.

Personalized Notebooks. Scatter favorite quotes or inside jokes throughout a notebook or planner before gifting. Each day will bring a new surprise!

TIP: Don’t forget to keep the personality of your recipient in mind. Do they prefer wide-ruled? Have a favorite brand? Would they love magazine clippings or prefer tidy marginalia?