14 Packaging Ideas for People Who Suck at Gift Wrapping
Some people are blessed with the art of gift-giving, and others… Well, it’s the thought that counts. Wrapping fails are just a reality of the holidays, from torn corners to oddly shaped presents. (What are you supposed to do with that basketball for your nephew?!) Don’t go the shiny gift bag route just yet — there are still plenty of ways to package your pressies without wrapping paper.
1. Tins Wrapped in Fabric: It’s not the size of the present that matters. Put tiny treats inside little tins and then wrap those up in a circle of fabric. Add a bit of baker’s twine and you’ve instantly elevated the presentation. (via Hello Natural)
2. Confetti Gift Wrap: No need to worry about tearing beautiful gift wrap anymore. This packaging was made by Mod Podgeing some confetti inside a clear box, effectively and colorfully hiding the presents. (via Julep)
3. Dipped in Confetti: If you gave the old wrapping paper a try and botched the corner folding, a quick fix is to slap some double-sided tape onto the tear and sprinkle on confetti. That way it looks totally intentional. (via Brit + Co)
5. Color Block Canister: Believe it or not, this trendy color blocked box was made using a bamboo steamer — you know, the thing that keeps your dumplings warm. A couple coats of paint transform it into a way chicer gift box than the average store-bought tin. (via You Are My Fave)
7. Wine Bottle Wraps: Showing up with the grocery store brown bag is NOT okay. Add a personal touch to that bottle of wine by wrapping it up in a dish towel, old sweater sleeve or simply sewn felt. (via Crème de la Craft)
8. Taped Wrapping Paper Edges: If your only option is the spare roll of wrapping paper in the closet, cover your bases (AKA your edges) using shiny tape, which will hide any of those badly wrapped corners. (via Design Love Fest)
9. Colorful Tights: Just because you don’t wear those bright tights anymore doesn’t mean they need to go straight into the trash can. Cut them in pieces, wrap the two ends together in a knot and boom — present is disguised. (via Brit + Co)
10. Pyramid Box: This one is a little bit challenging, but definitely doable. Follow the origami-like steps to create pyramid-shaped boxes, which are perfect for round gifts like baseballs or truffles. (via Willow Day)
11. Cheese Paper: Cheese makes such a good gift for the party host because 1) it’s the best, and 2) it’s supposed to be wrapped messily, to give it that straight-from-the-fromagerie look. (via Oh Happy Day)
12. Neon Duct Tape: Duct tape. Is there anything it can’t fix? It even solves your bad wrapping skills by coming in all sorts of bright colors these days. Use it to fashion your own perfectly sized packages. (via Brit + Co)
13. Reusable Tote: Why even bother with gift bags? They’re pricey, kind of gaudy and will only get used twice at best. If you’re really in a rush, bring it in a way more practical vessel — the reusable tote. World Market has some beautiful ones. (via The Accidental Okie)
14. Giant Gift Bow: If all else fails and you’re still stuck using crinkled wrapping paper, there is no shame in just slapping a big-ass bow on top of the problem areas and calling it a day. (via Homedit)
Are you trying any new gift wrapping techniques this year? Tell us your tricks in the comments!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com