Prop Stylist Elizabeth Press traces her gift-wrapping prowess to her mother, whose creative, budget-conscious ideas—like wrapping boxes with painted newspaper comics, pasting gift certificates inside hollowed-out books, and making decorative stamps out of eraser carvings—proved that a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. "She really understood presentation,"Press says. "Her creativity could turn even inexpensive gifts into something fabulous."
Now Press has her own cost-saving tricks. To achieve a chic, monochromatic effect, she says, "let leftovers be your guide."If you have lime-colored ribbon from Easter, use green paper. And forget traditional holiday color combinations: Pair pink with red, yellow with gold.
1. Keep it Monochromatic
Combining any two shades of the same color "is a straightforward scheme that looks really modern,"says Press. FYI: Matte, solid-color papers tend to cost less.