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Memorable Gift Wrap

The simple act of wrapping gifts takes on a ritual grace at holiday time. With each crease of the paper and knot of the ribbon, you are creating a tiny drama that will be played out when the package is opened. The ideas shown here are designed to be something of a tease: Colored tissue peeks through sheer white vellum; cutouts reveal hidden textures beneath. You can use specialty papers such as colored tissue, glassine, and waxed paper, but even ordinary materials become beautiful when used in an unexpected way.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1994/1995


  • For Christmas-Tree Silhouette: silver and gold paper

  • For Tower of boxes: sheet of glassine

  • For Tower of boxes: colored tissue paper

  • For purse shaped package: 12-by-27-inch piece of Japanese kozo paper

  • Utility knife

  • For purse shaped package: green paper and green satin ribbon

  • Bone folder or ruler


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  3. This package is made from a sheet of heavy, textured paper folded around a tissue-wrapped gift. The outer layer is a 12-by-27-inch piece of Japanese kozo paper (commonly known as rice paper and available from specialty paper stores) backed with green paper. Use a ruler or bone folder, available from art-supply stores, to make neat creases 9 inches, 12 inches, and 21 inches from a short side of the paper. Enclose the gift, bind the package with a green satin ribbon, and finish it off with a slim brown ribbon tied in an elegant knot.

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