If you give gifts, you know. Unless you order online and click the “gift wrap” button, or you are one of those super deluxe people who never pump their own gas, weed their own gardens or wrap their own presents, you get to experience the creative and challenging practice known as gift wrapping. Done correctly, it’s an aesthetically and emotionally rewarding experience. Shush. It is.
My 10 favorite non-mass produced options:
- Fabric – bundle, tie, voila. Or you can be as neat and tailored as a Sunday suit with ribbons and tacked down edges. (Make sure you explain how to open it if you sew it down. Fabric is reusable, hence the appeal to this method.) Match gift to wrap – give kitchen goods wrapped in a dish towel, bath salts in a hand towel.
- Brown kraft paper. It’s recyclable and a decorative tabula rasa. My fave, brown paper and a wax seal. Or tie with twine or yarn. Enough to hold down the paper.
- Newsprint or other recycled paper. Customize with comics, headlines or pretty ladies. How About Orange can tell you how to make it pretty, too.
- Felt. Make it or buy it; it feels warm as roasted chestnuts and hot cider and can be used again. Make your own wet felted wonder that no one would throw away in a million years.
- Bonus Gifts: Decorate something plain with a thrift store brooch. Or some fun costume jewelry. Beads, sparklies, anything fun and shiny.
- Leaves and other natural items. Don’t believe? Martha Stewart will make you.
- Potato chip bags. Also Martha. Ask your neighbors if you don’t eat them from bags. I bet someone you know does. (Promise them you won’t tell.)
- Kid’s drawings. Have a plethora of scribblies and there’s no way you can save them all? Give them out. Grandma will love it.
- Don’t forget biodegradable stuffing when mailing packages or have something fragile (you know that trick where you shake the present to see what it is? It backfires on the fragile stuff). Actual popcorn and peanuts still in the shell step up and fill those gaps.
- Stick it under your shirt. Works best on gifts for significant others who are impatient and last minute gift buyers who have no time to wrap.