The fine art
of gift wrapping
your own gift-wrap kit
Create a gift-wrapping corner, table, closet, or box
where you can keep everything ready to use. Here are things
to include in your gift-wrap kit.
- Keep gold, silver, gel, or coloured pens available for writing
greeting cards and gift tags.
- Raffia strands are available in natural beige as well as
a number of bright dyed colours. They give a homey touch to
gifts and are perfect for creating some rustic decor. Use
at least three strands together when using as ribbon. Knot
strands from end to end to make longer lengths for larger
- The passion for beautiful ribbon has increased in recent
years. Keep in mind, however, that gorgeous ribbons are often
very expensive. Use them for special gifts rather than presents
that might be ripped open in the blink of an eye. It will
also help to confine the use of special ribbons to smaller
items and come up with cheaper alternatives for large bulky
wire - This is a useful item for all sorts of gifts in bags.
Glitter wire (or garland) is metallic covered wire with sprays
of metallic cut-outs (stars, hearts, trees, etc.) bursting
out in every direction. Use wire cutters to trim to shorter
lengths and use them as twist ties to close cello or paper
gift bags. Wind the ends around a pencil for a curly finish.
ribbon - Wired ribbons are becoming widely available. Most
offer beautiful colours or sheers with the convenience of
wired edges. Making a package look gorgeous in a snap with
wired ribbon since you'll be able to fuss with the bow to
get it look just right. Trim the ends of wired ribbon on a
slant or in a V-shaped swallow tail cut.
- Gift bags - plain, coloured, with or without handles - are
terrific for giving items that don't have a box or for gifts
that include multiple items. Use ribbon, raffia, or glitter
wire to close the top of the bag. Look for inexpensive coloured
lunch bags that might be used to contain party favours or
gift papers - Many people like wrapping paper that looks as
if it is homemade. These can be done in brown craft paper
(plain or rubber stamped with designs), using the comics as
wrapping paper, origami papers for small gifts, wallpaper
scraps, old scarves, or even pieces of fabric.
- Metallic cording is a simple but elegant touch on a package.
In addition, it can be reused easily later on another gift.
Collect several colours.
sleeves - Interesting effects can be made by using wrapping
paper strips as ribbons for gifts. Use one or two layers and
tape or glue them in place.
ribbon - This inexpensive narrow ribbon can be curled with
the blade of a knife or scissors. It can be somewhat fussy
to use, but is colourful and fun for kids' gifts. Gather three
or four strands of assorted colours and use them together
as if they were a single strand. Tie in a knot, leaving about
about 12" of end to curl.
Gifts, gifts and more gifts is one of the best
things about Christmas.
Day and gifts are piled high under the tree. What a beautiful sight.
All wrapped up in colourful paper and
all the same. Wouldn't
it be great if the wrapping had variety?
a gift is easy, but remember Christmas is all about sharing and
giving. Which means we also have to give gifts. Some of us have
spent countless hours scratching our heads trying to figure out
what to buy whom, with the limited budget we have.
After all the
hard work, we all would like our gift to be a bit different, a bit
unique and maybe have our own style embedded in it
in the wrapping.
A common problem
encountered when giving a gift is how to wrap it. Yes, we can get
it wrapped at the store, but then, if we do the wrapping, it adds
more meaning to the gift and shows the person that we really do
Hema-chandra is a well-known artiste in the handicraft field. She
conducts gift wrapping classes and shared with us some of her thoughts.
"It's something very simple and can be done in a 'jiffy',"
she says with a quick click with her fingers. "Even if you
are short of time, you can still wrap your gift in a nice way."
She wraps a
wine bottle in a way to resemble a butler, with the coat and the
buttons. A shirt box is wrapped up in natural paper and then outside
is pasted with a little collar and a tie made out of a striking
paper. "Natural paper at the moment is 'in', so many use it
to wrap gifts."
to say that anything can be used to wrap gifts, if we want to. It
is all a matter of taste and what we like. There are myriad of choices
in wrapping paper: bookstore wrap paper, paper tissue, foil, cellophane,
construction paper, even plain brown wrapping paper or newspaper.
You can also make your own paper from scratch or decorate plain
paper with pen and ink drawings, stamps or paint! We should never
limit ourselves but have fun trying out different ways, she advises.
boxes, cans and gift bags look presentable and attractive too. Tie
them up with ribbons, lace, string cords or twine. For more effect,
these can be adorned with anything you can think of; dried flowers,
origami, twigs, even soft toys or a simple card. Have fun experimenting
with different materials and combinations. "The person who
is getting the gift will relish the gift even more when it is given
in an attractive package."
So how did
this whole wrapping business gain such importance? According to
her, it all started in Japan. Japanese people give much thought
to the wrapping more than the gift itself. Thus, it evolved and
slowly the idea got carried across the world.
Well, we have
to admit that gift wrapping at times is not the easiest thing in
the world to do, especially when you have so many gifts to wrap
and so many more things to do. Here are some helpful tips for organising
gift-wrapping jobs and some ideas to make gift-wrapping easy.
wrap materials - Instead of buying Santa gift paper, try going with
a plain red, metallic silver, and a beautiful white. These papers
can look wonderful by using red, green or metallic ribbons.
bags - Clear or printed cellophane bags can be a lifesaver for small
non-fragile gifts, candies or baked goods. Simply insert the item
into the bag (wrapped in a tissue if desired) and seal the top with
ribbon, raffia, cording or a twist tie.
paper - Tissue can make any gift seem festive. Collect several colours
to use when lining gift boxes, to cushion delicate items, inside
cello bags or even to use as gift paper.
Seasonal stickers are a fun way to decorate plain gift bags, tags
or to close cello bagged gifts.
Tags - Beautiful
tags are a lovely touch. Crafts and stationary stores have blank
tags in a variety of shapes. You can also make your own tags in
any size or shape using coloured paper or cardstock. Scalloped edge
scissors will also help create beautiful looking tags.
cards - Cut off the fronts of beautiful holiday cards and attach
them to your gift. The picture on the card will dress up your gift
and add a bit of colour and style. Use a simple cording as ribbon.
- Gifts can be made special by tucking in a bit of greenery. Look
for artificial leaf or pine to use on gifts.
sure can be fun and a learning experience. However, if it is left
until the last minute and you are scrambling for a scissor, tags
and tissue paper, then it is a job that can be turned to a stressful
But then, considering
how easy gift-wrapping really is, maybe your gift will turn out
looking wonderful just the way you wanted.
If you are
pressed for time, you can always go to a store and get the gift
professionally wrapped. As for your creation
there is always
next year. Merry Christmas.