Photographer Gemma Ingalls often shops for unexpected gift wrap and embellishments, such as faux birds, at Pearl River and at fabric or trimming stores. With ribbon, she likes to combine colors and textures (wide with thin, matte with sparkly). And she is a big fan of seam binding.
She says, "It it super lightweight, affordable, and comes in tons of colors. I like to layer different complimetary colors -- it's a bit transparent." At Sew-Biz, seam binding costs roughly $3 for 75 yards. Gemma also enjoys using a single chandelier crystal to "fancy up a gift or a Christmas tree!" The replacement piece below is $1.50 at chandelierparts.com.
Last year she made her own wrapping paper from a photograph of trees on a snowy hillside in Colorado. Non-copyrighted images can usually be blown-up onto wide sheets of paper at your neighborhood Kinko's (now called FedEx Office). Gemma requested black-and-white for graphic punch.
Muslin is another alternative to traditional paper that Gemma sometimes uses. She gathers the material at the top of the box for volume. At JoAnn fabric stores muslin costs about $1.50 per yard.