Up your gift wrap game with these unique hacks

Gift wrapping is something that does not come naturally to me. At all.

My mother is a whole other story. She was somehow gifted with the innate talent of knowing what looks amazing (in all things from interior decorating to tree trimming), and gift wrapping is one of her specialties. Forget Santa or his elves: The best workshop is right in my house.

Over the years I’ve picked up on what it takes to hack gift wrapping and create some beautiful, unique presents that look like they come right out of a Free People catalogue. But I know the struggle, so I wanted to pass on some of these hacks to you. Here are some of the best secrets for wrapping presents that are as fantastic as the gifts inside!

Think outside the bow

There are so many ways to decorate a gift besides just sticking a bow on it and calling it a night. As much as you want to. Believe me, I know. But you can do better.

Collect interesting stuff you find along the way, from costume jewelry pieces to vintage holiday cards, and use them as decorations on your presents. I promise it’s worth the bit of extra effort to make the gift go a long way in style.

Combine textures

From lace to flannel, there are a ton of different fabrics that you can mix and match to upgrade your wrapping. You don’t even need to do anything complicated: Just tie a piece of lace over your bow and the present will automatically look 10X more chic. Like fashion, gift wrapping is all about being eclectic. You never want to be too matchy-matchy, and the same goes for presents.

Personalize it with bling

My mom likes to find charms and letters that have our initials, instead of just putting tags on each gift. Every year, I can find my present by the letter on it. Tags are for basics. Don’t be a basic.

Pick up the paintbrush

This artsy wrapping paper is actually just regular butcher paper with white paint splattered onto it. For some reason butcher paper looks cool as wrapping paper, and there are a lot of ways you can jazz it up- stamps, drawings, whatever. Tie it all together with a brooch and you have an elegant effect.


There you have it: presents that show off your newfound amazing gift wrapping skills! Now all you have to do is put them under the tree.

Happy gift wrapping!

XO,

A

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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It’s time for that post-Thanksgiving panic: Holiday gift shopping!

Just in time for Cyber Monday and the chaos that ensues in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ve created the Caffeinated Holiday Gift Guide. The categories are based on Caffeinated Californian personality traits: Traveler, Girlboss, Creative, Intellectual, Trendsetter, and Caffeine Addict, with curated gift ideas in each.

Warning: Lots of pink. This was not intentional.

ALSO NOTE: None of these are sponsored! All opinions and ideas are 100% my own.


The Traveler


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I’m Outta Here Luggage Tag, $10

There’s also a matching passport holder if you really want to feel coordinated.

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Carry On Cocktail Kit, $24

These come in different drinks, so choose your friend’s favorite! Just add booze. If you bring your own airplane-sized bottle, don’t show the flight attendant or tell them you got the idea from this blog.

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Scratch-Off Map, $26

These maps are gorgeous, inexpensive, and perfect for anyone who seeks out new destinations all the time. I actually have one of these in my room, and I’ve taken it with me everywhere I’ve moved because it’s so fun scratching off all the places I go!

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Pink Polaroid Camera, $69.95 (Cyber Monday special: $59.99)

The instant classic.

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Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Face Mist, $32

After all the plane flights I’ve taken, I can say with full confidence that any frequent flier would kill for this face mist. I haven’t quite mastered the art of glamorous travel, but this mist is a step in the right direction, and perfect for your travel buddy.

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Parks Project Apparel, range of prices

Every purchase helps support a project in a national park, making this gift probably the coolest one on the list.


The Girlboss


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I Am Very Busy Pencil Case, $12

I saw a girl at work with this case and I have envied her ever since.

Bonus: Fill it with theĀ Like a Boss Pencil Set, $10!

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Personalized Stationery, $14

I should probably get this for myself, actually.

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Day Designer Planner, $59

Ughhhhh WANT. Want want want.

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Boss Lady Coffee Mug, $20

For some glam on the go. I need to stop making this gift guide or I’ll start buying everything for myself.

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Adorn Bath Bomb, $8

Help the woman relax, for goodness’ sake. Buy some bath bombs.


The Trendsetter


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Personalized Eye Mask, $11

Insert their celebrity dreamboat here.

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Kate Spade New York: All In Good Taste, $21.61

Coffee table books are the ultimate gift, because no one goes and buys them on their own, but everyone wants them. They’re chic, Instagrammable, and super fun to read. Here are more ideas for coffee table books on Refinery29.

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Faux Fur Slides, $29

Slippers are the most diva thing I can think of. You can’t go wrong.

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Sonia Kashuk Brush Set, $24.99

Speaking of gifts you can’t go wrong with: You can never have enough makeup brushes. Never ever.

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Yoga Mat, $32

Also has a matching gym bag and water bottle! Yay yoga! Yay for excuses to buy cute yoga accessories!

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Victoria’s Secret Tease Rollerball, $18 (on sale for $6 as of post date)

My absolute favorite thing to stash in my purse. This one is great for a stocking stuffer.


The Creative


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Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, $54 (on sale right now for $27!)

If you want to be the best friend ever, and I mean THE BEST friend ever, this is the palette. Creative types love their dramatic eyeshadow. I should know.

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Lists Make Me Happy Notebook, $12

For the thinking woman with a love for lists. All the lists.

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Gallery Wall Art, range of prices

Collect art prints to get your creative friend started on decorating some inspiring walls.

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Pantone Watch, $119

Anyone obsessed with design and color is probably obsessed with Pantone. Trust me on this one.

Split Decision Throw Pillow, $24

For the indecisive overthinker! This pillow flips, so one side says Make It Happen, while the other says Sleep On It.

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Letter Board, $50

For whenever they need to make a statement or feel inspired. Could also work for the Caffeine Addict, which leads us into our last category…


The Caffeine Addict


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I Want My Coffee Black Print, $5.99

Enough said.

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The Original Coffee Scrub, $13.56 (or DIY it!)

Beauty and coffee in one. There’s a reason this scrub took off on Instagram.

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Kate Spade Sugar and Creamer Set, $29

I wish I were fancy enough to actually have a place to put sugar and creamer.

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Eileen 8-Cup French Press, $50

For the coffee lover who spends too much money on store-bought coffee.

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Starbucks Gift Card, range of prices

For the coffee lover who spends too much money on store-bought coffee, and you want to enable them.


Whew, that was a lot to get through! I hope this list took away at least some of that post-Thanksgiving stress. Happy holiday shopping!

XO,

CC