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Wrapping up Christmas

So, I've finally finished my Christmas shopping (whew!)...just in time, which means that I'll spend tomorrow wrapping.  I like to use real ribbon when I wrap my Christmas gifts so wrapping takes a little longer than normal because I don't just stick a bow in the  middle of the box.  Everyone has their own method, of course, and if you're logical about it...'they're just going to rip of the paper anyway'.  I'm big on the presentation, I'll spend the extra time on it if it means a beautiful box under the tree.  If you're like me and you still have a lot of wrapping to do, here are some creative ways to add that extra something to your gift presentation! 

Button Gift Wrap

This button-stamped gift wrap is fun to make. Affix button to a cork with double-sided tape. Place plain paper on a piece of felt or a folded piece of fabric (this cushions the paper so the mark will be even). Top with a pretty button tied on with baker's twine.

Eco-Friendly Paper Gift Wrap

Easy to find and work with, vintage and repurposed papers add pop to presents. Layer several colors and textures, or add vintage beads for a finished look. 
Clockwise from top left we used: Vintage wallpaper; Chinese newspaper topped with colored paper; recycled map; grocery bag with Japanese beads.

Natural Gift Wrap

Birch bark and fresh leaves are surprisingly pliable; just roll and secure with twine. Find them in Asian markets and outdoors. 
Clockwise from top left, we used: banana leaf with cinnamon, bamboo leaves with hemp twine, bamboo leaves with star anise, banana leaves with reeds, birch bark with a feather.


Cloth Gift Wrap

In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called furoshiki, and it's brilliantly eco-friendly. Secure open ends with a button, safety pin, or knot. 
Clockwise from top left, we used: vintage scarf; burlap rice bag; wool scarf with a knitting needle; tea towel with rickrack; scrap from a vintage kimono.

Potato-Chip Bag Gift Wrap

Give a new life to empty potato-chip bags by dressing up your gifts in them. Cut open a potato-chip bag along its seam to reveal the shiny white or silver inside of the bag. Flatten the bag, wash it with soap and water, and air dry. Then wrap your present and adorn it with ribbons and homemade cards.

Stamped Shopping Bag Gift Wrap

Have shopping bags lying around the house? Repurpose them into festive gift wrap. Cut an open paper shopping bag along one fold and scissor out the bottom of the bag. Wrap your gift in the paper. Dip one end of  a wine cork into ink or a dark fruit juice and begin stamping patterns

Kraft Paper Gift Wrap

Kraft paper makes an attractive yet sturdy wrapping for oddly shaped packages. Once wrapped, add special trimmings and gift tags to your package.

Yarn-Embellished Gift Wrap

Give holiday gifts unexpected panache by using leftover yarn in place of ribbon. Wind cotton or wool yarn around presents (solid-color paper looks best) a few times for thin stripes or several times more for thick ones. Use a fuzzy yarn to give packages a cozy texture. Combine different yarns for colorful striations. Knot strands tightly on the bottom of each box. If desired, tie a bow on top.

Kids' Artwork Gift Wrap

Children's drawings make for inexpensive and delightful homemade gift wrap. Have kids doodle on Kraft paper, calendar pages, shopping bags, magazine pages, and phone book pages

Doily Gift Wrap

Stick-On Design

Use blank stickers from an office-supply store to create polka dots or to spell out a name with rubber stamps. For the paper, stick to solid-color wrapping, which is versatile and economical (it's often sold in thick rolls). You can also spruce it up with bands of decorative paper.

Green and Brown Gift Wrap

Extend your palette with pretty favors in green and brown that are a delight to behold. Familiar materials -- paper bags, cardboard boxes, crepe paper, twine -- are easily made into sophisticated packaging for small gifts and favors with ribbon or decorative paper.

Ideas and photos courtesy of Martha Stewart

That's a wrap!


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