Take a Bow: "You can give your gift more oomph with a customized ribbon. Using a colorful paint pen or alphabet stickers, write a personal message, lyrics to your favorite holiday song or words of gratitude on the trimming of your choice. Take it one step further by cutting an additional three-inch length of ribbon, writing the to and from names in your best script, and tying it to the original one."

Chalk It Up: "Chalkboard wrapping paper and permanent chalk markers—which you can get at most craft stores and online—let you really personalize a gift. Draw repeating patterns, like stars or x's and o's, or even a trompe l'oeil ribbon and bow. Handwrite the recipient's name, and top things off with an ornament that will add extra sparkle to your gift—and your friend's home."

Stamp of Approval: "How to wrap an oddly shaped item? An everyday brown paper bag should do the trick—if you make it holiday-worthy with a personalized rubber stamp. A website like TheStampMaker.com can create customized logos (picture a holiday message accompanied by a playful doodle) that will elevate simple lunch bags or cheesecloth satchels. Add a final ribbon in a bright color—it makes a nice counterpoint to an earthy brown bag—and you're good to go."


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