It's the thought that counts. Isn't that what they say when it comes to gift giving? If you're like me, you hope this belief applies to gift wrapping, too. There are those who make masterpieces from a box, wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and scissors.

And then there are the rest of us.

Wrapping gifts needn't be a chore. Check out these 11 ways to add pizazz to the wrapping you'll be doing during this crazy gift giving time of year.

1. Use Greeting Cards as Gift Tags

Did you save the cards you received last year? Did you receive holiday cards from a charitable organization? Put either to good use, reusing them as gift tags.

2. Cut Out Greeting Cards for Wrapping Paper Decorations

You know the card with the cute animated sledding penguin or the peaceful cardinal perched in a snow covered tree? Cut out the pictures to tape to plain-colored wrapping paper.

3. Go Natural

Add a pine tree sprig, berry tree clipping or cinnamon stick to any package for a festive, eco-friendly decoration.

4. Use Brown Paper, Tied With String

After all, these are a few of our favorite things! Add a splash of color by using different shades of twine.

5. Keep It Classy and Simple

Everyone recognizes the signature Tiffany's little blue box wrapped in a white satin ribbon. Make your own statement with one brightly colored box manicured with a big crisp bow.

6. Think Outside the Box

Not everything needs to come in a box. Canning jars, food tins, totes, cardboard tubes — all make great containers, especially for hard to wrap items.

7. Let the Wrapping Complement the Person Receiving the Gift

For the traveler on your list, wrap his gift with a map. Use sheet music for the music lover, decorate the baker's and cook's gift with recipe cards, and assemble book jackets for the book worms.

8. Incorporate Textures

Adding yarn, different ribbon sizes and styles, and other textures like felt and cloth can turn a boring box into an interactive, 3D surprise.

9. Go Over the Rainbow

There's no rule that says you have to stick to red, green, silver, and gold colors. Give the brightest gift under the tree this year.

10. Bring the Wrapping to Life With Stickers and Stamps

Every store has snowman and Santa Claus stickers at this time of year. Why not go in another sticky direction? Any theme, any idea, any topic you can think of, there's a sticker or stamp to represent it. Check out the store aisles that sell scrapbooking materials for stickers that will make your gift stand out.

11. Design Your Own Wrapping Paper

Visit an art supply store for different types of paper you can use and accessories to add, including mosaics, feathers, glitter and beads — just to name a few.

With a little imagination, you can think outside the gift box and create a present they'll love from the outside in.

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