Red holiday Giftwrap
snowflakes, bells, santa...

I was trying to do something simple. Someone asked me how I got into this whole gift wrapping decorating (I suck at the actually wrapping parts) shtick. My sister-in-law decorated her gifts with lavish clumps of curling ribbon, with, perhaps, a bow. So simple, and so much better than our family's casual wrap/slap-a-bow nods to the tradition.

2018 red giftwrap—silk poinsettia flower, beads, jingle bell, snowflake, santa, curling ribbon, lace. Sorry about the soft focus.[1]

My sister in law is not a hoarder, so I quickly ended up with the used curling ribbon and schemes to incorporate this scheme into my own efforts for gifts. (I should note too that unlike my mom, who simply purchased whatever cheapest wrapping paper was on sale, Sis would make the effort, say, at an outlet store—remember those?—to get a better grade of paper.)

My earliest efforts were the curling ribbon and a bow or three; then I started adding fans of matching paper for additional height and textural interest. Then, because the point was not only to make beautiful wrappings but also (& especially) recycle all those beautiful bows and ribbons being thrown away it was only a step to incorporating other ephemeral objects.

Over time I added silk flowers, snowflakes and other vertical elements, to the point of nearly creating floral arrangements on top of the boxes...gift decoration is a high art in Japan, and beautifully decorated envelopes are for sale in every 100 yen store there, though I'm not certain how much that aesthetic has informed my own.

Despite heavy pruning around the time this post was made (i.e. late 2018) I have bins full of supplies for this particular hobby—really, someday, I'd like to cart it to some community event and decorate a ton of gifts for other people because I have so much more than I'll ever use, otherwise

[1]I used the school's 100mm macro, and unlike my beloved zuiko 50mm, it does not take good pictures out of that close-up macro range.