Time to Wrap it Up
With Christmas right around the corner, hopefully most of your gifts are made (or purchased), and it’s time to start thinking about getting those gifts wrapped.
I always enjoy making every package look too good to open. I get out all my wrapping supplies and make a mess for a few days, but the finished packages are so worth it. At my wrapping station you will find:
- a box full of ribbon, rescued bows from old gifts, garland, and any other small items I save for gift-toppers,
- another box consisting mostly of used tissue paper that has been smoothed out, folded, and stored flat, and
- tape, glue, scrap paper/cardstock, yarn, markers, hole punch, and a roll of 4-year-old wrapping paper (that I’m very stingy with).
Don’t let wrapping be a daunting last-minute task this year; start wrapping now and enjoy the beautiful packages under the tree for a few days. I’ll show you a few of the gifts that are already under our tree and let you in on how I wrap without spending a penny!
Shop Your House
Wrapping gifts is NOT supposed to cost you a lot of money. I use wrapping paper sparingly and look for other wrapping options so it doesn’t hurt so much to watch people tear open gifts and throw away the wrappings. Use whatever you already have on hand – shop your house for things that can be used in place of wrapping paper, and things to adorn the top of a gift.
Simple wrapping materials include white butcher paper, brown paper bags, newspaper, boxes that can be covered, or gently used bags that can be rejuvenated with a little slice of pretty paper. I always save nice brown boxes that can easily be transformed into a lovely package without much work.
You can make fun tags, bows, or other attractive decorations to dress up gifts. I love to use homemade ornaments, scraps of sparkly ribbon, tulle, yarn, and small items that can be tied or bundled together for embellishment. Don’t fuss over making the perfect bow. Instead, improvise with a pom-pom, a handmade tag, or pretty ribbon tied into a simple knot. (Every few years I purchase a few spools of deeply discounted ribbon at after-Christmas sales just to keep my stash fresh.)
DIY gift wrap ideas
Check out some of the gifts I wrapped this year, using ONLY things I already had lying around the house.
A bag of jingle bells I found in the basement became the inspiration for this wrap job. The small (used) brown box didn’t need much, so I made a pom-pom out of tulle my mom had given me, and attached a small tag I cut out of scraps of paper.
I broke down and used a bit of wrapping paper for this small gift. To stick with the star theme, I crafted a larger star out of a brown paper bag, old sheet music, and yarn. Thank you random blog for the star idea!
I was loving the look of the music paper for tags, so I made a large letter (mounted on cardstock I dug out of the recycling bin). I think the fancy ribbon was originally from a wedding gift. Can you tell which department store the box is from? Nope, thanks to the paper hiding the logo.
I took homemade bath bombs to a Christmas party the other night to share with everyone and wanted a cute way to display them. The bucket (that had been corralling tea bags in my pantry) worked perfectly for the party favor. I taped a little sign onto a wooden skewer to identify the bath bombs so party guests didn’t try to eat them.
A simple white bag decorated with marker quickly became a holiday gift bag. The tag was made from scraps of paper in my craft bin, and tied on with a few inches of green yarn that’s too hideous for knitting projects.
I spotted this package at my mom’s house and snapped a picture. She said all the materials used were scraps of things, which qualified her to be part of this article. I love how the pine cone gives an organic, wintery feel to this shiny gift.
I disguised parts of this beat-up brown bag with pretty paper, and added a bundle of ribbon and garland to make it look fresh. A homemade applesauce ornament catches the eye to detract from my lack of bow-tying skills.
I couldn’t resist cutting a piece off the Christmas tree for at least one gift. A little tulle ribbon and some other scraps dressed up this used bag. (A warning to anyone trying this – make sure the branch is not dripping with sap when you tie it on!)
I covered a store logo with a little paper on top of this box, then wrapped it with gold ribbon. The small ornaments on top decorated a gift I received a few years ago, and are finally making their second appearance.
That’s A Wrap
Forget spending money on wrapping paper and holiday bags this year. Instead, gather some empty boxes, bags you want to resurrect, and colorful scraps of different materials to adorn your gifts. Put out some yummy treats, crank the Christmas tunes, and call it a “Wrap Party!”