Home & Garden

It’s a wrap!

With the price of everything going up, we’re all looking for ways to save money. While not a huge savings, eschewing wrapping paper and purchased gift boxes can reduce holiday costs and give you a chance to show off your creative side as well.

Instead of rolls of wrapping paper, look around for other materials that can be wrapped around a box or the gift item itself.

For example:

• Chronicle newspaper – perhaps match a colorful section or featured article to the gift or the recipient.

• Hand-decorated butcher’s or kraft paper,  paper bags can be opened up and used, too.

• Wrap kitchen gift in a dish towel or cloth napkin and turn one gift into two.

• Likewise, clothing items can be wrapped in a scarf.

• If you sew or quilt, perhaps you have some remnants you can use.

Skip the ribbons and bows, too.

• Tie twine or string around packages wrapped in newspaper or brown paper

• Use strings of colored beads 

• Men’s ties or shoe laces can adorn clothing items; a scarf might also be used as a ribbon.

Instead of a bow, use objects that go with the gift, such as …

• A wooden spoon, colorful spatula or whisk could adorn a kitchen gift

• A pin or bracelet might serve as a topper for a girls gift

• Use decorative bookmarks on gifts of books

• Sprigs off of evergreens, pine cones, clusters of holly berries and other winter plant material

• Mini Christmas tree ornaments

• Gingerbread cookies might serve as focal point and gift card in one (make a hole in the cookie before baking so you can attach it to the ribbon)

Think outside of the box

Depending on the shape and size of the object(s), you might try bags; tins; jars; pouches; anything else that fits the gift!

If you have none of the above in the right size, try making your own! There are sites that offer free customizable templates for all types and shapes of packages, such as Templatemaker: tinyurl.com/4r98d7an

Tips for making your own boxes

• Best for small, light-weight items. 

• Recycled cereal or frozen pizza boxes are perfect for reshaping into gift boxes. 

• Bold lines of template are cut lines, dotted or thin lines are folds. Lightly score the along fold lines on the outside surface of the board to get a clean fold.

• Small document clips or heavy paper clips work well to hold the corners together while glue dries.

• Create a fancy edge on a gift bag by cutting it with a pinking shears or decorative craft scissors

• Punch holes around edge, leave as is or glue a strip of a contrasting colored paper on the inside. Or weave string, ribbon or other items through the holes.



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