Dec 11, 2013

Ten creative gift wrapping ideas.

Need some inspiration for wrapping presents? In a hurry? Try these ten ideas!

1. Use plain brown or colored paper and add 3-D stickers. Totally custom and very eco-friendly. Do the same with plain gift bags...add your own embellishments (photos, ribbons, buttons, bows, the list is endless) for gorgeous presentation.

2. Have some fabric remnants? Wrap a bottle of wine, some bath soaps, or a gift that fits the fabric size.  Fabric stores often have clearance fabrics that can work for year-round gifts. Furoshiki is the Japanese technique and is an environmentally friendly substitute for paper gift wrapping. It encourages reuse — depending on size, the recipient can use the wrap as a scarf or pocket square or pass it along as another gift wrap — and eliminates ribbons and tape. Have wallpaper instead? That works really well too!

3. Try decorative tapes instead of paper wrapping. You can customize a plain gift box, dress up a recycled box and make your holiday shipping boxes snazzier.  

4. Sheet music and maps make wonderful wrapping. Along the same lines, the comics from your newspaper, pages from large books (damaged!), foreign language newspapers (often at your local bookstore or large news stand), and old posters, make a great presentation and can be selected based upon the type of gift. Add a tag that fits the theme!

5. Instead of traditional tags, use a cookie tag. You can tie on a gingerbread man with the recipient's name, and even protect the cookie with a glassine envelope. Along those same lines, I like to tie on candy canes, coasters, small ornaments - that I write the name on -  dried magnolia leaves sprayed with gold, pressed oak and maple leaves, key chain tags, small picture frames, paint color cards, and even cut outs from old holiday cards.

6. Have an old scarf? Use it instead of ribbon. Other ribbon replacements I've used...jump ropes, pony tail holders (for top ties),  a mans tie, colorful rubber bands, seam binding, twine, chain, and even re-purposed electrical wiring. These ideas look very cool on the right gift.

7. For an elegant and natural gift, tie pine cones, small branches and other items from nature on with raffia ribbon. Using brown paper bags with the writing on the inside, tissue paper and other re-purposed papers, will make your gift eco-friendly.

8. Ever thought of using a mesh bag (from fruit) for a gift? Work well for children's toys, balls, sports equipment, and - with a tissue paper liner - can be great for other items as well. Dress it up with a candy cane, lollipop or other fun item.

9. When coming up with the idea to package your gift, think outside the "box".  An old lunchbox is perfect for many gifts, small items 'hidden' in a large can filled with candies is fun. How about using an empty cookie tin, a wooden wine box, an empty candy box, the old tennis ball container, a flower pot, a colorful sock, a great dish towel?

10. Use the shirt, sweater, or clothes as it own wrap. Since you'll likely clean clothing before wearing, you can add the accessories wrapped in the clothes for an interesting, time saving wrap.