Elegant Foil Gift Wrap
and its Metallic Cousins

Gift packages shine beautifully in
scrumptious foil gift wrap or metallic coated poly
wrap. Your recipient's eyes will shine, too!

Foil gift wrap is available in stunning designs as well as solid colors. Foil papers are easy to work with, you'll love the results, and your gifts will feel well-dressed indeed.

Metallic-finish "mylar" gift wrap is not paper, but a coated polymer film such as polypropylene. This type of wrap is a little more tricky to work with, but it will give you dramatic results. Let's look at these wraps one at a time.

Foil Gift Wrap is Unquestionably Dressy

Foil gift wrap in solids and prints.Foil wrapping papers are made by laminating a thin metallic foil to a slightly thicker paper backing. They are strong, and totally opaque, and they can be folded to a nice crisp crease. With or without printed designs, foil wraps are frequently embossed with a moire or a damask-like pattern.

We can think of only two disadvantages of foil gift wrap:

  • It's usually quite a bit more expensive than standard all-paper wrap. Diane and I keep a sharp lookout for reasonably priced foil papers - not only at the post-holiday sales, but year round.

    Shopping tip: Barnes & Noble book stores carry really nice foil Holiday wrapping papers; that's our first stop on December 26th!

  • Creases show when unfolded - foil gift wrap is not forgiving if you need to try a fold a couple of times before you get it just right. This is also a disadvantage for thrifty folks who like to re-use gift wrap.

    However, creases can sometimes be eliminated by cutting down large pieces for re-use on smaller packages. And if a crease runs across the center of your gift box, you may be able to conceal it with a ribbon.

If you want invisible seams, foil gift wrap is best fastened with double-stick tape, because "magic" and even shiny tape are quite visible on a shiny wrap. If you dislike double-stick tape, try Scotch "Gift Wrapping" tape (purple dispenser) - it disappears better than other tapes on foil and metallic papers.

Aluminum kitchen foil is not recommended as gift wrap because it is easily torn and wrinkled. But aluminum foil might be used effectively for package decorations - to represent a skating pond, for example, or for creations that call for a crinkled effect.

Kitchen foil can be used to make "tissue foil," by bonding colored tissue paper to one or both sides. The shiny foil peeking through gives some tissue paper colors an interesting, almost iridescent effect. Use spray adhesive, and roll out all the wrinkles and bubbles with a rolling pin. Spread newspaper to protect your work surface, and please, work in a well-ventillated place.

Foil gift wrap: This PAPER gift wrap uses metallic printing for the trees.The white gift wrap in the photo has trees with shiny metallic printing, much like that seen on business cards. The gold trees are printed directly on a thick glossy paper, and they sparkle in the light. However, this wrap does not behave like foil gift wrap, for it takes a lot more effort to produce a crisp fold.

Metallic Poly Wrap is Dramatic and Festive

All eyes are drawn to a well-dressed gift wearing metallic/mirrorized gift wrap. Polypropylene film coated with bright metallic colors is thin, strong, pliable, and totally opaque. It's often called Mylar, but "Mylar" is DuPont's trademark for this kind of wrap.

Metallic gift wrap, coated on both sides, is reversible. The reverse might be a simple silver mirror finish, or a solid color that coordinates with a design printed on the front of the wrap. You may also find metallic wrapping paper with sparkles, which add interest to both sides.

Metallic gift wrap needs to be cut with care. It does not tear easily UNTIL a cut is started - then does tear easily, sometimes in unpredictable directions. It's difficult to make a sharp crease with polypropylene wrap, but that seldom causes a problem on a standard rectangular box. Metallic poly wrap is also waterproof and fine for wrapping cut flowers.

As with foil gift wrap, we recommend double-stick tape or Scotch "Gift Wrapping" tape for metallic poly wrap, because regular and "magic" tape are difficult to conceal on shiny surfaces. Or, in place of tape, you might like to use decorative stickers or self-stick metallic seals.

An extra feature - strips of metallic gift wrap behave like curling ribbon. Be aware that during the curling process, bits of the color sometimes flake off like powder. The flakes are not especially noticeable on the wrapped gift, but they may be a nuisance to brush from your clothing.

Foil gift wrap: This gift is wrapped in blue/silver metallic poly wrap.
Here is a photo of Diane's birthday gift to her brother Stephen. She dressed the gift box in a blue metallic wrap, decorated with wide strips of the same wrap (reversed) for a "ribbon," and a metallic-silver bow. Narrow, curled strips of wrap enhance the bow and nicely coordinate the presentation - the blue side matches the wrapped box and the silver side matches the ribbon and bow.

Foil gift wrap and its metallic cousins
look especially elegant under a Christmas tree,
with sparkling lights reflected on their surfaces.

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