By Jennifer R. Sthatham
Designer/ Artist/ Writer
I love playing with wrapping paper and tape. I like to get artsy, making frilly bows from glittery ribbon for Christmas gifts and finding unique items or paper to decorate the present packages.
This year, I went in search of bow and gift wrapping hacks to improve my wrapping skills. An abundance of videos and tutorials on wrapping presents can be found on YouTube, Pinterest, and various other craft websites.
Below are 10 of my favorite Christmas gift wrapping tips, that I found both useful and unique:
1. Wrap your present in 30 secs or less
The demonstrator in this video on a Japanese Method of Gift Wrapping, covers a gift by placing the box in a diagonal direction on a rectangle of wrapping paper.
2. Become a “Gift Wrap Expert,” wrap any shape
I’m not really sure how you sign up to learn to be an “expert gift wrapper” but it doesn’t look like a bad gig. Learn in this video as Professional Gift Wrapper Jane Means demonstrates how to wrap a cylinder object.
3. Add shaped message cards to a Kimono Style wrap
The Japanese-styled Kimono gift wrap is a refreshing take on gift wrapping if you like creasing gift wrap paper, especially if you like origami. I like the bonus slot for a message card the Kimono wrap leaves. The message card could easily be modified for any occasion. Christmas Tree and Star shaped gift cards come to mind for Christmas.
4. Use extra fabric for gift wrap
I have a ton of pretty fabric pieces that I thought I’d never part with until I was introduced to the “Furoshiki” way of wrapping gifts. Another Japanese technique, Furoshiki is a cloth-folding technique that, as a bonus, can reduce waste by reusing cloth to wrap items again and again. Also, when wrapping a present with fabric you create the bow as you tie the fabric. This tutorial on Treehugger.com is a good place to start with a link to a YouTube video demonstration and a chart that diagrams Furoshiki folds for various shapes.
5. Switch from Paper,Bows to Boxes,Washi Tape
Skip the wrapping all together with a cute box and some seasonal washi tape. This tutorial at The Sweetest Occasion shows some cute washi designs on plain boxes and bags. Bonus -there’s a link to printable gift tags in the write up. Double bonus- the author decorates ornaments with washi tape, too.
6. Add a photo as a gift tag
Use an Instagram photo for your gift tag. The adorable website at A Beautiful Mess shows you how to make sticker name tags from Instagram photos. This could be modified for family and made nostalgic by scanning in old family photos and printing them on sticker paper.
7. Up-cycle old magazines to bows
A quick four-step process to making bows out of old magazine pages can be found at Whole Living. All you need are old magazines, double-sided tape and scissors. This would also be cute with old newspapers, especially with the comics section.
8. In a time crunch – Use a pen and a brown paper bag
In a pinch for wrapping paper with no time or materials, grab an extra grocery bag and a felt tip pen like this blogger did, to create a unique, hipster-ish gift wrap design. Simply wrap your gift item in a grocery bag, with plain brown paper right-side out, then decorate by drawing with a felt marker. Make it more colorful with crayons or colored pencils.
9. Make the wrapping part of the gift
The perfect small gift for the artsy person in your life is a surprise ball. A tutorial at Felt Magnet uses mixed-media art material items as gifts and secures the pieces using ribbon, lace, and yarn to wrap and form a ball shape. This is quirky and it’s fun to unwrap the tiny surprises one-by-one.
10. Make your own bags
Whether you want to use up that stack of scrapbook paper, or add a personalized look your gifts, making your own gift bags can be fun. A simple to follow video by Sea Lemon covers the basics of making sturdy gift bags as plain or decorative as you want to get. Making your own bags can also prove useful when you need a custom sized bag for those oddly shaped gifts.
Jennifer Statham is the Owner of Fabric & Frames, a North Alabama-based service that provides on-site or at-home paint or craft parties, a craft blog about all things involving fabrics or framed items. Fabric & Frames also provides handmade or sewn crafts for sale, such as ready-to-ship fabric banners, magnets, and art decor. Jennifer also takes orders for commissioned sewn pieces or paint projects. Find out more about Jennifer and Fabric & Frames here.