over the past few years, i have developed a particular wrapping style. i guess it all came about when i tired of paying perfectly good money on special wrapping paper, only to have it torn to shreds on christmas morning. it's frustrating, yes? well, i find it irritating. so, i formulated a plan. i stopped buying gift wrap. gasp! yes. i know. revolutionary, right? i can hear the questions exploding in your mind right now. "what? but how? does she even wrap her gifts? this is a scandal!". okay...so maybe you're not thinking that.
regardless, i haven't purchased wrapping paper in over five years. the first christmas, i simply used up what i had leftover from the year before. the next year, i had to get a little creative. and over the past four years, my wrapping style has evolved so now, i have had a blast wrapping my gifts, all the while, not spending a single pence on the "trimming and trappings". and here's how:
1. think outside the box
...and use the bag. literally. there are a few ways to do this. first: use gift bags. no...don't go out and buy a bunch of new ones. just keep the ones you receive and reuse them (more on this in a moment). second: save those paper grocery sacks. especially the ones they print for the holidays. now, if you're like me, you are a good little shopper and always bring your reusable bags to the grocery store. if this is the case, and you find yourself without any paper sacks around christmas time (this was me this year!), ring up a friend! my friends gladly handed over their overflowing piles of paper bags to aid in the cause. third: speaking of grocery sacks, their miniature cousins also come in handy. perfect for stocking stuffers or small flat gifts (gift cards, cds, dvds, books, etc), the brown paper lunch sack is practically perfect. i purchased a costco sized package of these bags years ago and still have hundreds. an example of lunch bag wrapping:
|simple and sweet. a hand crocheted ornament and a rafia bow add charm to a plain paper lunch sack.|
2. reduce, reuse, recycle
3. embrace your inner kindergartener
so, what do you do now that you've got your paper sacks? grab your scissors and tape and get wrapping of course! cut up one of the folds on the grocery bag, then cut along the rectangular bottom piece. this rectangle can be saved for tag making or can be tossed in the bin. once you've cut your sack, you're left with a decent sized rectangle just waiting to be wrapped around a gift. i usually wrap it so that the plain kraft side of the paper is showing on the outside but occasionally, with a little creative cropping, i can keep some of the store's designs without also having the store name on display. an example:
a word on tags.
now that your gifts are all wrapped, it's time to get creative. this is when you're glad you saved all those ribbons and tags! a package really only needs a nice bow and a tag. if you want to get more creative than that, by all means, good for you. i tend to get a little weary of re-inventing the wheel with each gift (especially remembering that the end result will not be admired by my six year old before he tears it open) so i stick with a traditional bow. if you don't know how to tie a particularly pretty bow, better homes and gardens has a great tutorial. a bow is simple, classic and most importantly for me, easy for my kiddies to untie. what kid wants to spend ten minutes untying the ribbon wrapped round their gift? (if you want to delve into the realm of super fancy bows, better homes and gardens has those too. as does martha stewart. a simple search will get you tutorials galore.)
|a perfectly pretty bow.|
|this package, wrapped in burlap, is held together with a simple bow of oversized baker's twine.|
|red stamped YOU with black glitter stickers and a ribbon.|