With all the mad gift-giving that happens every Christmas season, gift-wrapping is a very in-demand skill. While there are the professionals available to do it for a certain fee (or even for free but using limited gift-wrapping paper choices, often with the store logo), gift-wrapping is something that almost anyone can do, minus the amateur-looking results. Below are a few basics to get you through the holiday rush and some extra yuletide wrap ideas to make those recipients stare at those presents a few seconds more before they finally go for the ripping.
Wrapping books, boxes or anything rectangular is one of the easiest to do and all it needs is a sheet of wrapping paper and maybe some strips of ribbon for detail. While an assortment of wrapping paper in various Christmas-related prints is readily available in the market, so many other options can be used. From magazine tear-outs to coloring book pages, from newspaper to maps, some kinds of wrapping paper don’t even have to be purchased.
Using solid-colored sheets of paper such as cartolina, felt, art, construction or kraft paper is a simple idea that can be made more interesting by layering them or using color combinations. Popular themes are the usual red and green combo, brown with red and green for an earthy feel, Tiffany blue and white for that winter effect, and a lot of whites with silver or gold touches.
For personalized gift-wrapper, you can paint, stamp or write phrases, messages or even the family name on the paper.
A few fun details can also be added to give the gifts more dimension and make them look even more attractive. Apart from the expected ribbons, curled or not, other accessories that can be attached are stickers, snowflake cut-outs, origami creations, fake flowers, twigs, bells and even candies.
When it comes to more challenging items such as stuffed toys, t-shirts, trinkets and others, putting them in a paper bag is a better idea than wrapping them. While paper bags, both expensive and more affordable, can be purchased in bookstores and department stores, making one is pretty easy too. You must have a friend or at least a friend of a friend who knows how to do so and can probably teach you, but if there’s none, you can always surf the net for an instructional video.
Paper bags are fun to decorate as well. You can attach cards or images or even details such as handles, ribbons and buttons.
But don’t limit yourself to paper bags since you can package your gifts using other items as well, such as Chinese food take-out boxes, tin cans or cloth.
For the final touch, one should never forget the gift tag. Ready-made tags are in abundance at the mall, but making your own is pretty simple and practical as well. Any type of paper can be used as tags, but preferably the harder and thicker types. Once cut to the preferred size (fun shape-edged scissors can be used), decorate with borders, glitter, stickers, doodles and even puncher holes. If you’re on a tight budget, use the blank side of business cards that you don’t need anymore.
You can use plain cartolina as gift-wrapping paper, but don’t forget to decorate it with Christmas-related scribbles or doodles using felt-tip pens or paint. Add strips of ribbon in yuletide colors.
The red-and-green combination is so overused so why not use a blue-and-white color theme? Create your own snowflakes by folding square-shaped paper and cutting holes in various shapes. A silver strip of ribbon goes good with the snow theme.
Even with plain and solid colored paper, you can come up with an interestingly-wrapped gift if you layer them. Layer as many times as you want and polish it off with a shiny strip of ribbon.
Paper bags are perfect for gift items that are hard to wrap or for those that you don’t want to put inside a box. Embellish ready-made or make-your-own paper bags with cut-out images of Christmas-related pictures and other materials such as ribbons, sequins, glitter and stickers.
A paper bag made of personalized gift-wrapping paper with scribbles can be sealed with paper clips in Christmas-related colors.
Pages from old Christmas books can be ripped out and pasted together to make a huge sheet of yuletide wrapping paper.
Ornaments such as crystals and bells (used), twigs, fake flowers and the like make great finishing touches
As published in the December 5, 2007 issue of 2bU!, the youth section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer