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  • That's a wrap

    Experts offer tips on special 'present-ation' for the holidays — doll-up your gifts
  • FRESNO, Calif. — Need some pointers to wrap holiday gifts that catch people's eyes?
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  • FRESNO, Calif. — Need some pointers to wrap holiday gifts that catch people's eyes?
    We talked to some gift wrapping experts to help you out.
    Raina Toy operates a business called The Badly Guarded Girl out of her Fresno, Calif., home.
    She specializes in customized gift wrapping and other services related to special events. She has earned a reputation with clients for her artistry, ranging from "spikes" that jut from boxes to peacock feathers that sway atop the box. Her fee is usually $3 to $20.
    A longtime Fresno stationery/gift boutique, Not Just Paper, also has a reputation for attractive gift wrapping. Co-owners Karen Genovese and Allyson Adams and their employees doll-up gifts with curly ribbons in colors that complement the wrap.
    "When they see it wrapped in a special way, they also feel special," Toy says. "When I wrap, I pour all my heart into it. They are going to feel what you did."
    Genovese agrees, equating it to the effect of great food presentation.
    "Presentation is everything," she says. "They think that if someone takes the time to prepare a gift in a special way, it says a lot about how that person thinks of them."
    Here are some recommendations for the holidays.
    Save old gift wrapping — even scraps: Feed it into a paper shredder to reuse for packing inside a box. Beats plain, old tissue.
    "There's all that color," she says.
    Use quality gift wrap: It is thicker, folds better and resists tearing or wrinkling. "You can feel the difference," she says.
    Toy also recommends butcher paper, which is thick and takes on varying appearances, such as modern, rustic or shabby chic.
    Use quality ribbon: The best kinds to work with are satin-based or wired ribbon, she says. They keep their shape and don't show imperfections.
    Think of a theme: Wrap all holiday gifts similarly each year, such as themes with floral patterns or black and white.
    "You can also tie an ornament with ribbon to the gift," she says.
    Use a hot glue gun: Rather than use a bow, fashion a topper out of feathers or leaves and pebbles, held together with the use of a glue gun. Double-sided tape also is a must.
    Tips from Genovese and Adams
    Use gift bags as alternative to flat wrap: First, place the tissue-wrapped gift in the bottom of the bag. Then, use tissue as a topper for the bag. Genovese demonstrated by holding the long end of a piece of tissue in the palm of her hand and snapping it downward into a cone shape. Then, she carefully tucked it into the bag so that it kept its shape.
    Use celo: There's no masking a gift wrapped in cellophane. Beware: You need a second set of hands. One holds the top. The other cinches it with ribbon.
    Crease the edges on boxes: It makes the gift wrapping look crisp and neat. Nobody likes wrinkles on wrap.
    Cut the gift wrap to size: Extra wrap that is tucked under creates a bulky, messy look that can be unappealing.
    Double-bow gifts: It creates a bigger-bow look. Embellish it with curled ribbons that provide a festive look.
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