I spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon wrapping all of our presents on the fly, since Andrew and I exchanged our gifts with his parents last night (my family is up next). I never wrap my holiday presents at home, where all my cool art supplies and fabric live, since we always fly to the east coast with everything… so I generally end up borrowing paper and ribbons from either my mom or my mother-in-law and doing it at the last minute. I have big dreams every year, but the cold hard reality is that it’s December 23rd and I don’t have any of my own crafty stuff handy.
Anyway, I wanted to do some ultra-simple and eco-friendly wrapping (especially since a bunch of our gifts are from recycled paradise ReForm School). And luckily for me, when we went out to buy wine earlier we ended up with about seven extra brown paper bags. So I just cut them into large rectangles, turned them inside out, and did my best to make them look festive…
Some ideas I tried:
-Wrap thin ribbon around a square or rectangular gift several times, angling it a little on the back so the front is nice straight parallel lines. You can also add ribbons perpendicular to the first set — or try a different color or style, too, like twine or rick-rack.
-Instead of writing a to/from card, try making the recipient’s initial in yarn or twine (I used glue stick all over the paper, then gently formed the initial over the adhesive and let it dry), or freehand cutting letters out from cardstock (like the one to Julian, from Aunt Susan and Uncle Andrew.
-Use bright ribbons or accents on the ultra-plain brown paper — they will really pop. You can also write a message directly on the paper with a Sharpie or colored pencil.
-Wrap a small or squishy gift candy-style: just roll it in a wide piece of brown paper (lighter-weight paper often works better for this) and then gather and tie each end with twine or ribbon. No tape required!
-If a gift is lovely on its own (like this adorable patchwork bag I got Fiona, made by the super-talented Melissa, or the Remarkable car-tire-turned-pencil case for Julian) just tie a single ribbon around it and let the rest of it show through.
-Re-use a bag with handles as-is — just secure each side with ribbon. I don’t think my brother will mind getting his presents in what’s obviously a Starbucks bag too much… I did cover the logo with a little name patch for him, and after all, I am married to the one and only Tradition Keeper. And since David drives a Prius I know he’ll appreciate the repurposing!
Here are some of my favorite gift-wrapping tutorials to check out, too:
-Natalie Zee Drieu shows how to wrap your gifts with fabric — I love doing that!
-The current issue of Venus Zine has a great DIY piece, “Wrap Star” — Anna Joyce shows you how to use all kinds of everyday things to create a cool exterior on every gift you’ll give this year.
-The “Finishing Touches” section of Super Crafty has lots of fun vintage-inspired ideas for presentation and wrapping.
I hope you have lovely holidays if you’re celebrating this weekend, and I’ll see you on the 26th!