There seems to be an element of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’’ when it comes to our presentation in gifting. From lavish paper to expensive ribbons; sometimes the wrapping turns out to be much more pleasing than the actual gift itself.
These days, we all live hectic lives – even when we’re quarantining – and most of us don’t have the time to create perfectly handcrafted wrappings. (praise be the all-mighty gift bag) That’s why at BoConcept, we love the rustic Scandinavian treatment of gift wrapping; it looks incredibly polished but requires minimal effort. Not only that, some of these ideas are very sustainable, and can be used again and again. Saving the planet and the money in your wallet is a win-win in our book.
The key to the Scandi Christmas is natural, warm toned palette of supplies. Brown paper is a must-have. Plain string is even better. Plant clippings? You’re showing off now. These create a simple but pleasing backdrop to any accoutrement that you plan on adding to your present as a final flourish. Luckily these can be found in most shops or post offices, we recommend shopping local.
As we mentioned, plant clippings are the piece that take your present from drab to fab. Nothing looks, feels or smells like Christmas than a Nordic pine branch. Why not stick it to the front of your present? Any festive greenery will do, from holly to mistletoe and everything in-between. You’d be surprised at the difference effectively sticking a stick on a box makes to the presentation. If you like this idea but want to go less Christmassy, try eucalyptus or thyme. They’ll still add that pop of colour, as well as a very pleasant aroma.
Our main objective here is clean, simple and neutral, much like the rest of the Scandinavian trend. This means you’re not just limited to the brown paper – we’ve found that white or black paper also work amazingly and creates a clean, crisp look. Baker’s twine is also commonly used and adds that festive spirit to your oh-so cool presents.
We’re sorry to say it, but careful and precise wrapping will make your present ten times more presentable. Clean-cut folds and straight lines make the present not only look more expensive, but also more Scandinavian (we’re going for that cool aesthetic, remember?)
Luckily, we have found an easier way to get those clean lines and edges. Wrapping the paper diagonally, rather than parallel, makes for a much simpler and easier job to look professional. Here’s a simple guide to show how we did it.
For those of you that shudder in fear at precision and details, do not despair! When it comes to the string, you can go to town. The aim of the string is to secure your greenery firm. In this instance, our motto is; ‘If it’s nice and tight, it’ll be alright.’ Of course, you can be as precise as you like with the string – the key here is layers. Natural string has such a beautiful texture, and since we’re going plain with no pattern, we want to play up that texture as much as possible.
Now, as an alternative to paper – we have seen a movement towards an ancient Japanese technique that’s resurfaced recently that we’re really keen on. Using fabric as reusable wrapping is very en-vogue this year, and we’re all for it! Furoshiki (風呂敷) is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.
We recommend using Furoshiki in a similar way as we taught you to wrap with paper, but with less folds and tying a knot at the end. Here is our friend Hege Morris showing us how she wraps with it.
As well as being an excellent and sustainable paper alternative, the lazier among us (cough) are rejoicing at the ease of wrapping with these. Plus, you can still use all of your strings and plants for extra oomph and security, and all of them together creates the perfect, eco-friendly gift. How smug will you look on Christmas day?
We recommend using cuts linen or muslin fabric, creating a stylish raw edge and a bohemian, earthy feel. There are companies that manufacture these too if you would like a more tailored look. Alternatively, an old scarf will work wonders if you’re feeling extra thrifty.
If you want to go that extra mile, here’s some add-ons you can whip up at home to be the talk of the present pile. We’ll cover gift tags and extra accessories.
If you’re reading this in November with a few weeks to spare, 1. Well done for being so organised, and 2. Try and dry some flowers. Adding this motif to your gift tags feels so earthly and really gives the giftee a feeling that you care (or that you have too much time on your hands, one of the two) We recommend going for smaller flowers, the daintier the better. We suggest to go quite light on the amount of flowers too, two to three maximum. Bear in mind that the Scandi aesthetic is all about minimalism and scaling back – any more flowers and it might appear too busy. PVA glue should suffice as a bond.
On the topic of gift tags, don’t be afraid to get creative. Wood slices are a common choice and only add to the rustic charm. Tree decorations such as baubles are a nice choice too and give the receiver a personal item they can hold onto forever. If you have nice handwriting, feel free to write a heartfelt message on the bauble. If you have chicken scratch for handwriting, perhaps not.
If you’re feeling very decadent, a small glass frame is a lovely touch to add to a present. A present on a present feels extra special. Maybe you can use the extra dried flowers from our other suggestion. Just be sure this gift isn’t travelling a long distance.
And finally, of course, before you even think about wrapping you have to get something to wrap in the first place. Luckily for you, we created an accessory guide last week that covers all the latest trends, our new accessory collection and how to style it. This means it doubles as an excellent gift guide for your designer-y friends, or those who you think just deserves a nice little something this time of year. As always, our designers are in-store and online to answer any of your questions you may have. Whether it’s just about wrapping advice or getting a gift for someone, feel free to bother them relentlessly. They love it.
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