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Oh, what an aching head you get when you think of all those gifts hidden in the closet that have yet to be wrapped. And, to make matters worse, after all the care you took in choosing them, who wants to use run-of-the-mill paper from the corner drugstore for the job? So, we turned to senior home editor Rebecca Robertson, one of the make-it-dazzle geniuses at Martha Stewart's latest magazine, Blueprint (www.marthastewart.com/blueprint), for tips and ideas on creative gift wrapping that will have you clear headed and, dare we even say it - excited - about the task at hand.

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Unique Wrappings

START YOUR GIFT from the outside in. Place pretty stationery, recipe cards, or a beautiful bauble inside a brightly colored linen box or a mini file drawer that your lucky giftee can use throughout the year to organize desk accessories, kitchen clutter, or jewelry. Finish by adding an elegant ribbon or waxed twine (www.marthastewartcrafts.com).

PERSONALIZE PLAIN PAPER with a this-is-who-it's-for photo of the gift recipient. It makes sorting out the pile of packages that the oh-so-generous you left under the tree easy and fun for your family.

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Playful Tags

WHY SHOULD THE post office have all the fun? Doll up vibrant shipping tags - in colors ranging from bright red to hot pink to fluorescent blue - from Staples with white ink (for an elegant touch) and a ribbon. A thousand tags for $40, www.staples.com.

PREFER A PRETTY PATTERN? Martha Stewart Crafts features tags with a floral burst. Eight tags for $2, www.marthastewartcrafts.com.

DROP A HINT as to what's inside your package with a gift tag that offers a clue. For example: As the perfect finish for a gift box loaded with rice bowls or other tabletop items, write your recipient's name on a pair of disposable chopsticks.


FOR A KITSCHY touch, consider an ever-so-friendly Hello My Name Is sticker. They're quick to stick and kind on the wallet. Pack of 100 for $4, www.officedepot.com.