Creative Wrapping 101
Gift Wrapping Alternatives for Christmas
Today class, we are going to learn about the many ways to save money on wrapping paper by not using wrapping paper or, alternatively, a lot less wrapping paper. I don’t imagine that wrapping paper is going to disappear from the scene altogether. After all, no matter how inventive we get, nothing quite beats the thrill of ripping paper off of a present and it remains fresh and new with each use because, as a rule, it is not reusable.
Still, at Christmastime, we may resent spending inordinate amounts of money on something that will end up in the local landfill. So, let us see what alternatives are open to us.
Patterned boxes or tins don’t need wrapping as well. Simply tape them closed and add ribbon or a bow and you’re done.
This 9″ by 5 ¾” plain colored box was made Christmas-sy by cutting two strips of leftover wrapping paper, one 2 ½” and one about 5″ wide and attaching them width- and length-wise. The red in the paper was a good match to the color of the box and as the pattern in the paper was printed in rows, it was easy to cut straight strips of paper. If you opt for this paper-conserving method, be sure to secure the paper strips by taping them to each other so you don’t damage the reusable storage box.
One of our readers, Liz from London, Ontario, suggests wrapping very large items, like the ones we buy for our kids, in unlined colored plastic tablecloths, using it the same way you would wrapping paper. Just make sure they’re not see-through thin. We would suggest that one large tablecloth could also be used to wrap several smaller gifts. Wipe clean gift wrap – neat!
Liz has made numerous fabric gift bags in many colors and prints. She writes: “a person could find some cute Christmas placemats or towels, sew the three sides, pop the gift in and tie with ribbon or a tassel.”
So we did, here using a Christmas fingertip towel and Christmas green and red cloth napkins to hide surprises. We added a Christmas sticker to the plain green bag and Christmas pins help to decorate the other two bags and make a little extra gift as well. We applied a self-adhesive gift tag directly onto the wide ribbon.
Gift tags are literally a dime a dozen but, if you’re looking for something a little different, try dressing up a metal rimmed tag with a Christmas sticker or a rubber stamp. The round tags we found came
in a package of six but only four of them were big enough to use as gift tags. The bell-shaped tags were packaged with three large and three small. A set of four rubber Christmas stamps were
packaged with a small ink stamp.
Include bandannas, along with the above suggestions, to make into reusable gift bags or gift-wrap. It’s an economical and eco-friendly idea that you can use all year long.