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Found an ideal Christmas present but struggling with how best to wrap it? Fear not, get scissors, paper, and this simple guide to help you.
Sometimes a beautifully wrapped Christmas present can practically compensate for a hastily purchased piece that was bought at the last minute (after quite a few more minutes of queuing) after a well-meaning partner reminded you of a certain relative/friend/pet you had momentarily forgotten the existence of.
Why Make an Effort Wrapping Christmas Presents?
This is your chance to turn an old tradition into something more memorable. Some folk goes to the lengths of spending more on the wrapping than they do on the present, throwing in confetti, bows, jack-in-the-box style trickery, elegant boxes, and sparkly bags.
For the eco-conscious, biodegradable tissue paper loosely placed over unwrapped items presented in a bag can constitute a well-meant gift. For more green gift ideas, see Sarah Mathieson’s article, wonderful if you want to surprise your intended recipient with a unique, personal touch.
Tips to Remember When Wrapping Christmas Presents
- Thoroughly check your gift for giveaway price tags!
- You can make your presents look neater by folding the cut side of your paper over by an inch to achieve straight, neat edges.
- Have your sellotape strips cut ready so you don’t have to juggle items, paper, scissors, and tape like an eight-armed Santapus.
- Browse the web for novelty, the eye-catching paper you won’t find in the stores.
- If you decide to use ribbons to secure your Christmas presents and wish to achieve curls, insert the ribbon between your thumb and the side of the scissor blade and whip the ribbon through. Get an adult to help you if you’re of that age that lacks a certain finesse.
- To wrap a gift perfectly, it is a good idea to bear in mind the old saying, “measure twice, cut once” to prevent making a costly error.
- You don’t have to be a master of Origami – sometimes all that’s needed is a steady hand and common sense. Folded-over corners look much more presentable than jagged edges.
- Practice your wrapping technique on a flat surface – avoid the temptation to wrap gifts on a carpet the dog likes to scrape his posterior on or you may unwittingly include a billion hairy friends in your brightly coloured package.
- Sometimes two pairs of hands are better than one. Invite a friend round and make an afternoon of it. Go easy on the mulled wine though or you may have to start all over again.
- Have an awkwardly shaped present? Use your imagination to come up with inventive ways of wrapping it. A bottle, for example, can be disguised as a large Christmas cracker – all you have to do is twist the ends, and voilà!
Green and Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas
Fortunately, there are many environmentally friendly ways to cut down on the quantity of Christmas gift wrapping you use and add some zing to your holiday season.
Christmas Gift Wrapping Idea: Wrapsacks
Wrapsacks are gift bags made from hand-dyed cotton batik. The company was founded by former yoga instructor Kathryn Hapke. These inexpensive sacks come in multiple shapes and sizes and enable gift wrapping to be reused indefinitely. The recipient is intended to keep the sack with her gift, and then re-gift it to another person later. Each sack comes with a unique tracking number which allows the bag to be tracked on Google maps.
Furoshiki Christmas Gift Wrapping Idea
Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth. It is used to carry items, and for gift wrapping and decoration. There are a variety of furoshiki wrapping techniques that can enclose your Christmas gift both effectively and attractively.
You can use any cloth to do furoshiki wrapping, including cut-up articles of clothing, recycled bed sheets, or scarves. To do the basic wrapping technique, lay the piece of cloth down like a diamond, and place the object inside so that the lines of the gift are diagonal to the wrapping cloth. Fold down the top corner, then fold the bottom corner up. Fold in the two side corners and tie them on top, leaving the top corner hanging over the gift.
Reusable Christmas Gift Boxes
Reusable gift boxes are a great way to reduce waste at Christmas time. In order to make a gift box really spectacular, it’s best to decorate it in an interesting and original way. The trick to making your Christmas gift wrapping really recyclable is to make sure that the gift recipient won’t want to throw it away. Take any box in good condition. Come up with your own original idea, or use it for any of the following gift box ideas.
Train Christmas Christmas Gift Box
Use a box with a solid colour, such as red or green. On separate pieces of construction paper, draw a train motif. Create an engine, coal car, other cars, and caboose. Use glue or rubber cement to attach these trains to the front of the box. Draw on wheels and smoke using a Sharpie marker. Close your Christmas gift with a ribbon made of raffia, string, or silk.
Nutcracker Christmas Gift Box
Enclose an old mailing tube or another cylindrical box in colourful construction paper. Use red for the bottom two-thirds of the tube, white for the face area, and gold for the lid. Hot glue some white buttons on the front in a straight line down the middle.
Then hot glue six darker buttons, three on each side of the nutcracker’s chest. Lace some dark-coloured string across the buttons in a criss-cross pattern. Glue on bits of construction paper for the eyes and mouth, and use a wooden wedge for the nose. Place a gold foil insignia on the gold cap, and attach strips of heavy-duty paper for the arms on each side.
Vintage Christmas Gift Box
Use an old cigar box, hat box, or another highly interesting box to enclose your Christmas gift. Search flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales for vintage containers which have their own natural texture or decoration. If you like, you can wrap your vintage box with a silk scarf, pieces of yarn, strips of fabric, or any other reusable tie with a lot of texture.
By following these tips hopefully, you should be able to take some of the stress out of Christmas and enjoy the holiday season, knowing that your perfectly wrapped gifts cannot be faulted.
Image Credit: depositphotos.com