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Copyright 2006

Wrapping Gifts
by Tash Hughes of Save Time Online

Handy ideas to help you create beautifully presented gifts!

If you have ever seen young children with a gift, you will know that it is not only the gift that receives attention and is appreciated – the wrapping and presentation can also be part of the experience.

Picture the weddings and parties you’ve been to and seen a pile of beautiful gifts. The look of that pile and the anticipation add to the festive air of the occasion.

So what are some tips about wrapping the carefully selected item(s) as a beautiful gift?

How can you make each present stand out to extend the enjoyment of giving?

  • Instead of paper, gifts can be wrapped in pretty tea-towels, a handkerchief, a scarf, a colourful tablecloth, etc. Such wrappings lend themselves to a great big ribbon and bow to hold it all together.
  • Children’s artwork, especially paintings, makes great wrapping paper that people appreciate receiving. It also gives the child pride in their work and an enjoyment from the giving of gifts.
  • Wrapping paper can be made at home from butcher’s paper of a roll of brown paper. Use stamps (commercial ones or make your own from potatoes,) brushes, stencils or rollers with paint and glitter. Alternatively, decorate plain shopping bags and boxes in the same way.
  • Pressed flowers, glitter, ribbon, pencil shavings, and many other little pieces can be used to make beautiful wrapping paper. Arrange the items on a sheet of waxed kitchen paper and place a second sheet over the top. Cover with a tea-towel and iron until the pieces of paper are fused together.
  • Using sticky tape that peels off easily rather than the fancy Christmas tape can make gifts easier to undo without ripping the paper. More and more people are reusing gift wrappings as this is very environmentally friendly.
  • Use some left over material to sew up simple bags for gifts to go into. Add a drawstring or ribbon and the bag will be useful beyond holding the gift!

  • A paper doily over a coloured piece of paper wrapped around a gift will give an elegant feel to it.
  • Instead of wrapping the gift, place it in a related object for presentation. For instance, put some gardening tools in a large terracotta pot or a cook book and utensils in a large saucepan. Depending on the arrangement, this may be enough or the whole thing can be wrapped in cellophane for a festive look.

  • Small gifts can be placed in a small decorative box
  • Use a barrette or hair clip as an alternative for doing up a present
  • If giving home-made biscuits or cakes, present in them a reusable kitchen container with a bow on top
  • Wrap a gift in plain paper (brown or white) and add something special like a bunch of dried or silk flowers, a toy animal, bag of bath salts, a lollipop or three,  some ivy or a special gift tag. If the added extra relates to the enclosed gift, all the better!

  • Be creative - make a display of the gift instead of wrapping it. For instance, fill a vase with colourful fruit or marbles and water. Present it complete with a bunch of flowers, Voila!

  • Consider something different for tying the present – maybe braid, linked chain or a string of pearls or beads.
  • Use previously scrunched kitchen foil to wrap the gift and add some bright coloured ribbons or bows for a shiny present.
  • Take a big sheet of paper and write all over it – either make it a letter or message to the recipient, or just randomly add letters and words for an arty finish.

Cards can be special too

  • Old birthday or special occasion cards can be cut up to make gift tags and postcard style cards for this year
  • A photo (real or printed) on the front of a card is a personal touch likely to be kept long term.
  • Thick card can be cut and folded into card format for children to decorate as special cards. Of course, adults too can decorate cards with pens, paints, stickers, pictures, cut-outs, etc.
  • Use a luggage tag as a gift tag – this can then be used again. Particularly good for soon-to-be-travellers!

Tash Hughes is a professional writer and co-owner of Save Time Online. The site includes a number of informative articles with tips on appreciating people and having a happy family, as well as linking you up with some of the best Aussie websites available. You can visit at www.savetimeonline.com.au or email us to arrange your own feature listing.




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