Ideally, I would have had this post up and ready for you all much earlier than this - but I admit that I am a mega procrastinator when it comes to gift buying and wrapping! It's actually a miracle that I have this ready for you today on Christmas Eve (lol) - as most other years I am typically still wrapping the night of Christmas Eve. Chances are most of you smart people are already done with your wrapping, but in the case that you still haven't finished - I'm here to share with you what I did this year! If you have finished, maybe you will find these ideas useful for next year or any other gifts you may be wrapping in the future (birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries, etc.)
This year I decided to do my own DIY gift wrapping. Of all the people in my family, I am probably the only one who truly gets into the spirit of wrapping gifts. Most people in my family think that the extra ribbons are a waste of time / money, but I think that an extra pretty gift (from the outside) is much more fun and exciting to open. With all that said, you can totally dress up your gifts and make them extra special without spending a whole lot of money - and I am here to share with you how I did just that. :)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- kraft paper
- gold Sharpie marker
- scissors / x-acto knife
- ribbon / twine
- pine tree clippings
- scotch tape
- bone folder (optional)
- Christmas music - to set the mood of course ;)
I am a big fan of reusing and recycling anything and everything as well as a fan of saving money (who isn't?!) ;) The kraft paper is something that I had laying around, and I decided to use it this year to wrap my gifts. It is relatively inexpensive to buy a roll of it, and you can even recycle and reuse cut up brown paper grocery bags if you are really desperate / struggling for money! ;)
This year was my first year giving kraft paper a try as an option for gift wrap, and I have to say that I will definitely be doing it again! There is something so nice about the way that kraft paper allows all the other decorative details (ribbons, garnishes, etc.) to truly pop and shine. Sometimes those things can get lost with super busy / colorful paper.
I decided that I didn't want to use just plain kraft paper though - and dressed it up a bit with some gold Sharpie doodles! I bought the gold Sharpies when they were on sale at Staples a few months earlier - anticipating using them around the holidays. ;) A great tip for saving money on gift wrapping supplies is to get a head start on buying anything you might need by keeping your eye out for sales / coupons through out the year. The green / red ribbon seen in these photos was purchased at Joann's during a 70% off sale. Another great way to minimize your expenses is to reuse materials. The red / white twine is actually not something I bought - but is something that I kept from a purchase I made at a local bakery. I held onto the string, which may seem SUPER cheap of me, but hey - I saved myself a good $4-$5! However, if you do have to buy it - it can definitely be found at a local craft or art supply store (such as Joann's or Michael's).
The pine tree clippings were foraged from my own backyard. I used regular scissors to cut some branches off… although I'm sure gardening shears would be the better tool to use here if you have those (lol). My house has a fake Christmas tree sadly, but if you have a real tree this is also a great way to recycle any tree trimmings you may have… (don't throw them out!) :P
WHAT TO DO:
I cut the piece of kraft paper to size (according to the size of each gift) and freehand doodled simple shapes repeatedly to create organic patterns. I tried dots, swirls, squiggles, and triangles - but you can really draw anything your heart desires! You can go as crazy or stay as simple as you want. You also don't have to use a gold Sharpie if you want to use something else. You can use colored Sharpies, paint / paint markers, glitter, etc. I chose to experiment with the gold Sharpie because I liked that it added a subtle shiny and festive detail to the plain kraft paper. The kraft paper naturally absorbs some of the marker's color - which makes for a really nice and cohesive end result.
I used a bone folder to help fold and crease the paper when I got around to actually wrapping the gift itself, but this is optional. You can totally use your fingers to make crisp folds, but a bone folder will make your life much easier and your hands will probably thank you for it. It's a great little tool that I use for all paper folding endeavors (book binding, stationery, etc.) You can order one online or pick one up at your local craft store. They are $5-ish and again - a worthy investment that lasts a lifetime! (unless you lose it)
I also decided to make some simple handmade gift tags. They weren't anything too crazy or ornate (for lack of time), but I think they added a nice touch.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- card stock
- scissors / x-acto knife
- awl / small hole puncher
- pen / pencil
- twine / ribbon
WHAT TO DO:
I measured and penciled in the outline for the tags on a piece of off-white card stock and then cut them out. I made them 1 inch tall by 1.5-2 inches wide. I used my awl to punch the small holes - but a small single hole puncher will also do the trick.
I added some decorative dots to the border of some of the tags using my gold Sharpie (but you don't have to do this). I then strung the gift tags through the ribbon / twine and tied bows on each gift. I tucked in the little pine tree clippings and... voila! :)
What are some of your favorite DIY gift wrapping ideas?
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas filled with joy, delicious food, and quality time with family and friends! :)