- Always have a roll of brown paper on hand. From the Post Office, the $2 shop or even Office Works; you can't go wrong with a brown paper package. Like the song says, just add string.
- I have a box with wrapping paper, tissue paper in various colours, and saved paper from gifts I've received over the years. You'll never find yourself doing the last minute dash to the supermarket for generic gift wrap or god forbid, coloured cellophane if you have a few options on hand. IKEA have these $1.99 plastic bag storage tubes that I use for keeping rolls of wrapping paper in.
- Ribbons. Or string. Or shoe laces. Or rope. Either way, don't give a nude gift. In my mind, a beautifully presented gift is one that's been lovingly finished off with a ribbon. The "ribbon" could always be a strip of contrasting paper or fabric, a few strips of washi tape, a strip of glue sprinkled with glitter, or even a photo.
- Use fabric. There are many beautifully designed tea towels that could be used to wrap a gift and BONUS, given as part of the gift!
- Get creative. Re-use sheet music or pages from an old book, magazine, newspaper or a map of somewhere special, or even a finger painting art work made by the kids.
- As a general rule, plain paper can carry patterned ribbons and patterned papers call for a plain ribbon. As always, there are exceptions to this rule - hello, print clashing - but adopt this principle to be safe.