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How to Wrap the Perfect Present

While there are so many different things about this time of year I love, I must say wrapping gifts for my loved ones may trump them all. It’s a tradition my family takes very seriously. There may even be a yearly competition between my father and I. I always win obviously (just don’t tell him that). And over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks of the family trade I thought I’d share with you all. Happy Holidays Loves! xoxo, Mandy of Waiting on Martha.

Large, clean surface to work
Sharp scissors are a MUST
Double Sided Tape
Decorative Washi Tape
Tape Cutter
Ribbon and Twine in all different colors, prints, and textures
Wrapping Paper
Embellishments such as fresh flowers, pine, herbs, candy canes, ornaments, etc.

How to Wrap the Perfect Present

1. Lay the package facedown atop wrap leaving paper attached to roll. Cut paper along allowing a wide enough sheet to cover both sides of the box.

2. Pull wrap tautly up and over the far end of the box, secure with double-sided tape and crease paper along the box’s edge with thumb and forefinger. Repeat with opposite side. If your cuts aren’t exactly straigh simply fold them under an inch before securing with tape.

3. Next close the edges by folding in the right and left edges pushing the sides in towards your box forming flaps. Then fold down top flap, pulling tightly towards the box and adhering with tape. Repeat on the other side of the package.

4. Finish by facing the package up and creasing the edges with your thumb and forefinger creating a crisp creased edge. Repeat on the bottom of the box.

How to Tie the Perfect Bow

1. Measure ribbon by wrapping it around the box twice. Make sure to leave enough ribbon so you can trim the edges again after your bow is tied.

2. Create a single tie as you would when tying your shoe. Create two loops one with the first with your right hand then next with your left hand. When making the second loop with your left hand use your right thumb to hold your first knot in place.

3. Pull loop one through and under loop two pulling the ends to create an even bow.

4. Tighten the bow to your desired length and cut the edges in a diagonal. Add gift tag and voila, you’re done.

Photography: Kathryn McCrary | Concept & Styling: Mandy Kellogg Rye Of Waiting On Martha | Paper, Tags, Twine & Ribbon: Waiting On Martha

Mandy Kellogg Rye

Contributing Editor: Fashion, Food, + Lifestyle
Family-Friendly Condo full of Bold Accents

I’m convinced that Poppy and Spencer are the luckiest kids on the planet. One look at their crazy cool rooms designed by mom, Shannon Wollack of LIFE.STYLE., and you’ll be on that “definitely lucky” bandwagon. It’s a place where bold accents and loads of artwork commingle and where grown-ups and kids can both be inspired. Have a look at the family images captured by Scott Clark Photography and the home tour captured by Diana Relth and tell me you don’t want to move right into Poppy’s fuchsia digs.

When you’re a successful interior designer living in LA, the pressure is on to create a truly envy-inducing home for yourself. But, with two children under the age of five, LIFE.STYLE. LA founder Shannon Wollack had to get creative in order to make her family’s 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom loft-style condominium in Brentwood sophisticated and filled with bold accents, but also comfy for kiddos. 

The first goal: make the furniture as childproof as possible by using special fabrics and materials. The second goal: incorporate a statement piece of art since the space boasts high ceilings and many white walls.

Shannon and her husband, comedian Brad Wollack, commissioned artist Tia Zoldan to create two oversized pieces of art that set the tone for the living room. Other custom pieces include a navy couch upholstered with Robert Allen fabric strong enough to stand up to stains, spills, and children, and a custom credenza with Liz’s Antiques Hardware. The living room also contains rounded coffee tables (child-safe), vintage chairs, a patchwork cowhide rug from Sunland, and a photo gallery at the entry.

In the master bedroom, Shannon wanted to keep the colors and tones less bold and more soothing. Because of the high ceiling, Shannon designed the headboard to be higher than average, and added layers of sheers and drapes to add softness. The bedding, also made up of layers of textures (silk, fur, etc.) helps to add softness to the room, and the slight sheen of the wallpaper almost seems as if it glows. The bench is an older piece that Shannon and her team recovered.

The nurseries (Spencer’s, age 3​, and Poppy’s, 6 months) each have their own distinct feel and personality. Spencer’s room is cool and colorful, grounded by the use of black and white elements and pops of color throughout. The goal for this room was to balance a unique, timeless and contemporary feeling with a touch of funk! The blue Egg Chair brings in that traditional blue “boy” color. The room was designed around an Alexander Calder lithograph from Brad’s parents; it set the tone for the entire nursery.

Conversely, when Shannon found out she was having a girl, the first thing Brad told her about the nursery was “no pink.” Shannon agreed…and then wallpapered the room fuchsia with gold accents. Poppy’s “glam-rock un-nursery” mixes sophisticated ​elements and cheerful children’s ​prints with unique accessories that are still relatable to children. 

Shannon and her team spiced up traditional pieces with decorative hardware to create a great vibe of bold sophistication. The hot pink is still feminine, but sets a different tone than pastel or baby pink.

The chairs are comfy enough for a nursery but can grow with Poppy and can be used in another “adult” location down the road. The light fixture is a vintage Murano chandelier and the neon “Poppy” sign was a unique way to add a different type of artwork. The Slim Aarons prints were taken from LIFE.STYLE.’s old offices, and Poppy’s library was a more unique take, rather than using traditional children’s books.

Artwork In Living Room: Tia Zoldan | Bench In Master Bedroom Upholstery: Maharam | Changing Table Hardware: Nest | Family Photos: Scott Clark Photography | Floor Lamps In Spencer's Nursery: Jonathan Adler | Giraffe In Spencer's Nursery: Jonathan Adler | Gold Paint In Poppy's Nursery: Modern Masters | Interior Design: LIFE.STYLE. | Letter Pillow In Spencer's Nursery: Jonathan Adler | Living Room Rug: Sunland | Luggage In Spencer's Nursery: Globe Trotter | Master Bedroom Lamps: Lamps Plus | Master Bedroom Wallpaper: Schumacher | Neon "Poppy" Sign: Endeavour Neon Signs | Nightstand Hardware: Liz's Antique Hardware | Orange Throw In Spencer's Room: Jonathan Adler | Pencil Holder In Spencer's Nursery: Plantation Home | Photography: Poppy's Room: Diana Relth | Pillows In Master Bedroom: Calypso | Pillows On Spencer's Nursery Chair: Maison De Vacances | Pillows On Spencer's Nursery Chair: Calypso | Poppy's Crib: Target | Poppy's Nursery Lamp: Jonathan Adler | Poppy's Nursery Pouf: Calypso | Poppy's Nursery Rug: West Elm | Poppy's Nursery Side Table: Arteriors | Poppy's Nursery Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries | Pouf In Spencer's Nursery: Calypso Home | Race Cars In Spencer's Nursery: J. Crew | Rocking Polar Bear In Spencer's Nursery: All Modern | Sofa Upholstery: Robert Allen Fabrics | Spencer's Crib: Baby Letto | Spencer's Crib Bumper Fabric: Studio Bon Textiles | Spencer's Dresser Hardware: Liz's Antique Hardware | Spencer's Dresser/changing Table: Designed By Lee Kleinhelter | Spencer's Nursery Egg Chair: Regency Shop | Spencer's Nursery Egg Chair Fabric: Perennials | Spencer's Room Pendant Light: Design Within Reach | Spencer's Room Wallcovering: Osborne & Little | Tray: Barneys | Yellow Throw In Spencer's Nursery: J. Crew | Zebra In Spencer's Nursery: Serena And Lily | Zebra Rug In Spencer's Nursery: Calypso

DIY Snowy Gift Wrap

Wrapping gift after gift can get a little boring. But when you throw a bit of fake snow into the mix, ummm, totally NOT boring! Fancy up your package with a bit of holiday snow and you will most definitely be gifted with a few smiles and probably a laugh or two in return. See this project and so much more in our Holiday Mag out now!

MaterialsPatterned gift wrap (we used this paper, this paper, and this paper)
Double stick tape
Spray adhesive
Faux snow
White ribbon
Large cardboard box


step-1Wrap each present. Need help getting a perfectly crisp look? Check out our tutorial on wrapping.

step-2Use the large cardboard box as the workspace, it will keep the spray adhesive from landing everywhere and keep the faux snow contained. Place the present inside the box on it’s side, with a sheet of newspaper over the top 75% of the present. Lightly spray the adhesive from about 8-10” away.

step-3Sprinkle faux snow over the present until adhesive is covered, then shake off the excess. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all sides of the box are covered.

step-4Tie present with white ribbon, or tie a stack of presents with a ribbon.

Photography: SMP Living | Design & Styling: SMP Living