My childhood idea of present wrapping began with Santa Claus paper and stick-on bows. Then, at a birthday party, I saw a package that had been wrapped at the local upscale department store – Wow! I was impressed with its shiny paper, satin ribbon, and bouffant bow. After that I became my family’s chief present wrapper. I experimented with different color combinations, ribbon styles, bows, and decorations like small toys tied on the outside of baby shower gifts. I even wrapped a fishing rod for my dad on Fathers Day.
Today I wanted to wrap a gift with extra-special flair, so I turned to a vintage how-to book that I recently acquired: Bows Step by Step, by Jane Berry. First published in 1983, this little booklet has step-by-step instructions for all kinds of bows. I purchased red paper with gold dots and navy ribbon with white dots, relying on the dots to tie my red, white, and blue theme together. Then I chose the “tailored bow” style. The directions were so clear and simple that my child self would have had no trouble with them. All I needed was the ribbon, a stapler, and a glue gun. Better Homes & Gardens also offers a bow-making guide. Bows are beautiful on gifts, and will also give tired wreaths and holiday decorations a new lease on life.
A friend of mine confided that he always matches his clothing to the presents he gives, so when he arrives at the event, gift in hand, the whole picture is as harmonious and pleasing for the recipient as possible. What a great idea!