The Gifted Blog

December 10, 2012

Gift Wrapping and Giving in Denmark

I'm pleased to welcome reader Anne-Mette to share her observations about gift wrapping and giving in Denmark! Anne-Mette blogs about her crafty adventures (such as the origami envelopes below) at femthe.

After reading a very interesting post about gift wrapping and giving in China/Shanghai ending with Charissa’s call for other gift wrapping traditions I was tempted to tell you a bit about Danish traditions. And Charissa was luckily up for another guest post from another part of the world.

How Danish people wrap gifts
The Danish flag has a very special place in the hearts of Danish people. We use the flag whenever we celebrate something and it is always in use for birthdays. This is reflected in the gift wrapping materials available in an average supermarket. I took a snapshot with my phone of the shelf with wrapping paper – maybe you can guess what the Danish flag looks like…

Most people in Denmark wrap gifts and we love to give. Most stores wrap gifts upon request all year. Especially at Christmas time they make an extra effort to wrap nice presents. We hardly ever use gift bags or boxes and mostly wrap gifts in paper.

My own take on a present with Danish flags on was like this – this was a present for my best friend's 30th birthday this summer. I had to buy the present on my way to the party and therefore I let the store wrap it for me – and then I added the flags stickers to make it more special.

You can buy all sorts of gift wrapping paper in Denmark and last year at Christmas I found wrapping paper with a very special Danish pattern – the classic pattern from Royal Copenhagen dinner service porcelain called “Musselmalet” or in English, “Blue Fluted Plain”.

{Photo by Julia Runge}

By contrast, Danish designer Rie Elise Larsen has a very young and modern take on paper design and makes the most beautiful and colorful paper.

{Photo via Rie Elise Larsen}

Gift-giving traditions in Denmark
Danish people often bring small presents when visiting friends for dinner but this is usually a nice bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers. These things are often brought as-is so that the host does not have to spend time unwrapping the present at the dinner party but can still thank them for the gift, knowing what it is.

Some people like me love to wrap gifts and to me the gift wrapping is like a gift by itself. I have chosen a few of my resent gifts that I think works as good examples of my gift wrapping philosophy: unique, surprising and colorful.

This one was for my dad at his birthday. I chose to wrap it in blue tissue paper and then add a layer of cellophane wrapped a little looser than the first layer. The ribbon is recycled from an earlier present from Paul Smith and has the characteristic stripes from the brand. I find it rather masculine and it gives a good contrast to the shiny cellophane.

Like Charissa I find it very inspiring to use alternative materials in my gift wrapping. For the ribbon on this next one I used a string bought in a hardware store. It is normally used for construction work to make even lines. I love the bright pink color and that it has a coarse texture that makes a nice contrast to the white and gold paper.

The last present also has an alternative material in it. I wrapped the gift in basic green gift wrap and then added a stripe of plastic cover for shelves which is sticky on one side. I used the same material for a little card as well.

Thank you so much for reading along – and great thanks to Charissa for letting me write this post and for this wonderful blog that gives me so much inspiration!

Anne-Mette, I learned some new things from  you! Thank you so much for teaching us about gift wrapping in DenmarkReaders, do you have any tidbits to share about gift giving in other countries? 

Earlier: Gift Giving and Wrapping in Shanghai

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{All images by Anne-Mette except where noted}


  1. So interesting! I would love to visit Denmark someday!

    1. I know! My interest in the country is piqued now, too.

  2. really enjoyed reading that and nice visuals

  3. What a lovely post Anne-Mette! I'm glad you could use my photography :)
    Denmark is definitly a place worth visiting :)

    1. Julia, I heard you did a special photo shoot just for that present. Thank you so much! I love the story behind the Musselmalet paper.

  4. How cool! Thank you so much for posting. I loved learning about gift wrapping in Denmark!

    1. I know, I really enjoyed learning, too. Who's next!?? I want to know about gift wrapping in more countries!


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