After finding the perfect presents for the people on your list, it’s time to focus on your gifts’ first impressions. While it can be tempting to reach for the tissue and a gift bag to save time (a perfectly acceptable approach!), getting creative with gift wrapping can be a fun exercise—and enhance the recipient’s experience. Here, we outline some of our favorite tactics for dressing up presents:

Try tone on tone. If the look you’re going for is elegant and understated, tone on tone is an excellent way to achieve an effortlessly beautiful effect. Colors we find particularly lovely when kept in a monochromatic palette are gold and green, but this approach will work for pretty much any hue. That said, it can also pay off to…

Use contrasting colors. In addition to being festive, the tried and true red and green color scheme plays the two bold hues against each other for maximum impact. Using the classic lesson in contrast as inspiration, try a non-traditional twist. We enjoy mixing green with orange, light blue, or metallics for a fresh and eye-catching take.

Add texture. Another way to add a contrasting element is to experiment with texture. This can be done simply through ribbon selection, such as pairing a length of velvet with a shiny metallic paper, or reaching for satin ribbon to set off wrapping or tissue with a matte finish. For a fun—and slightly more elaborate—twist, add texture through pompoms, an embellishment composed of multiple ribbons, etc.

Incorporate nature. Natural elements bring a wonderfully unexpected note to a wrapped gift. Get inspired by what’s in your backyard—a sprig of greenery, holly, or a few small pinecones, feathers, or a gold-painted twig can instantly take your presentation to the next level.

Get personal. Sure, you’ve put thought into what’s inside the package, but adding another personal touch to the exterior will make it that much more fun for the person to open. Once the box is wrapped, tie on an ornament or small token that will have special meaning for the adult recipient, or affix a rattle, small stuffed animal, or toy car to the top of a children’s gift.

TSG Tip 292 features Antique Gold Leaf Foil gift wrap, Spots Gold gift wrap, Greek Meander green/gold foil gift wrap, and Bunny Williams for Caspari Faux Bois Green gift wrap from Caspari in Charlottesville, Virginia. Caspari is featured in The Scout Guide Charlottesville.