Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide: Creative (and cheap!) Ways to Wrap Your Christmas Gifts

Everyone has seen the typical Santa and snowmen covered Christmas paper rolls at the store, but why not add some flair to your gift wrap and help our your wallet too!

Butcher Paper

Butcher's paper is wonderful because it is so versatile. You can get a large roll for a small amount and with a little creativity it can go a long way! The same ideas also work with brown package paper.

Ways to make it your own:

  • Pick a stamp and ink pad you love then stamp your own pattern. You will be able to control the placement and no two pieces of paper will look alike. Then ties with ribbon or twine.
  • Crumple the paper first. This looks really cool when you do it with the brown paper (you can even recycle packing paper you get from when the gifts you buy are shipped to you). Then tie it up with raffia or twine.
  • If you have kids, let them color on the paper so that each gift comes with a special drawing.

Newspapers

At some point or another we have all seen someone use newspapers to wrap a gift, but it's honestly a great way to recycle the papers and make your gift look unique. BUT don't use just any section -- try to use the comics for children or find pages with holiday themed pictures or puzzles. You might also try foreign newspapers to add a little interest and flair.  

Paper Bags

As we all know, some gifts just can't be easily wrapper, but this is where those paper bags from the grocery store come in handy! Get a sponge brush and your favorite color paint and paint the bags in thin layers until whatever was printed on the bag is covered. If you're lucky enough to score plain paper bags, you can even use the stamp idea from above to pattern them.

Baskets

Honestly, who doesn't love a gift basket? Contrary to belief gift baskets are not hard to make! If you have a few small gifts for the same person this works great. Pick up an appropriate sized basket for your gift. You can get them for as little as $1 at Dollar Tree and sometimes at Walmart. Arrange the items in the basket so that everything can be seen. If you need to prop things up used crumpled up paper (tissue paper, newspaper, etc) to get them to the appropriate height. You can then either take the basket open as it is or get cellophane and cover it. If you choose to cover it you have a few options: a gift basket bag (you just put the whole basket in and then tie the top close with a ribbon); shrink wrap cellophane (where you put the basket in and then use a blow dryer to shrink the cellophane to fit the basket); or just regular cellophane rolls. If you choose the latter, you take two piece and make a + with them on the table. Then center the basket in the middle. Gather the four ends at the top and secure with a ribbon.

Gift Tag Ideas
  • Postcards
  • Old Christmas cards (many people do not write on the inside front, so just cut off a small portion of the design and use it as a gift tag)
  • Cut out traditional shaped tags and stamp them to match your paper (see above)
  • Magazine cutouts decoupaged to card stock (take the picture and place it on the card stock, then use a foam brush and Mod Podge to secure it on by painting thin layer over one side of the card, then right on the reverse)
  • Wooden tags: get small wooden squares or shapes from your craft store (the very thin ones) and use a permanent marker to write on them and paint pens to decorate them

Gift Decoration Accents
  • Fresh or fake poinsettia flowers (only use fresh if your giving the gift the same day)
  • Christmas Ornament (these go on sale right before the holiday and make such a nice touch in lieu of a bow)
  • Origami creations: a crane, paper flowers, etc.
  • Tassels (you can usually find these at the dollar store as well)
  • Small toy (like a Matchbox car if the gift is for a young boy)
  • Raffia bows
Alternatives to Using Ribbon
  • Baker's string
  • Twine
  • Raffia
  • Yarn wrapped around a couple times
  • Paper strips 
  • Paint ribbon lines on your paper


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