Gifting Don’t: Wrapping like crap on purpose

I just learned about a phenomenon called crapwrap, where people try to wrap things crappily. They’ll even do it for you, for a fee. The local news spot showed boxes wrapped with gaudy reused paper and brown packing tape.

The interview included a crap-wrapping employee talking about why they do what they do. He suggested it was a great way to present a package in a one-of-a-kind way.

He’s wrong. Really, the boxes just look like your four year old took a crack at the box. There are soooooo many creative ways to use ordinary objects to embellish beautifully instead of elementary-like. Crumpling up ugly paper, poor technique and using bawdy tape are just that, and they are not beautiful when combined. They are simple and ugly.

There are so many more so much more interesting textures and materials around your house that can be both recycled and unique. Think brown paper bags, foil, spray paint, old t-shirts for wrapping. For joining think clips, rivets, thread, thumb tacks; for tags use the inside of Avon boxes, last year’s Christmas cards (heck, use these for paper!), etc etc.

Of course, if you actually want an ugly gift to give to someone, be my guest. Just don’t say the the best way to make a gift unique is to make it ugly.

About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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