Friday, March 30, 2007

Festive Friday - Gift Wrapping

Parties often mean presents, so for today's Festive Friday tip I thought I would throw out some ideas for you to arrive at your party armed with the greatest looking gift in the bunch (even if you didn't get the most expensive thing on the bride's registry).

I love giving gifts.

Part of me really enjoys the challenge of the hunt for the perfect gift, but it's really the look on the recipient's face that gets me going. The other part of the gift giving experience that excites me is the wrapping. This is the person's first impression of the gift and granted, half of them will just rip into it and not even appreciate it, but most people will see the time and attention to detail that you put into the wrapping and will get that much more excited about what's inside.

Now, there are a lot of cute paper gift bags out there, and they're perfectly fine to use (I have a drawer full of them) but sometimes, it's fun to just experiment and think outside the box (or bag, in this case).

Get Inspired: Use your gift as the inspiration for the wrapping. Sometimes what you wrap stuff in is part of the gift itself, like wrapping beach themed gifts in a beach towel and tying it with a bow or giving someone all the ingredients and tools for a recipe and putting it in the casserole dish or giving an avid gardener some new supplies in a pretty clay pot.

Recycle: Look around your house and recycle. Wrap a coffee can, put the lid on it, and put a bow on top. Take pages out of your atlas and use those as gift wrap. Show off your kids' artwork by wrapping Grandma's gift in some "custom made gift wrap." Use the crossword section or the comics section in the newspaper to either wrap the whole gift or to accent solid color paper like this:

Box it: Take-out boxes, hat boxes, jewelry boxes, or even clear storage boxes are easy to wrap (or just put a ribbon around) and are a quick and easy way to present a gift. Even old boxes decoupaged with old magazine cut-outs make a great personal touch. Baskets are also great (think about picnic baskets, too).

"Wrap" it: Use any type of fabric, towel or throw blanket to wrap around your gift for a quick solution. Just put your gift in the middle, gather the sides and tie with a ribbon.

Tie it: Don't underestimate ribbon. :o) Sometimes, all you need is a pretty ribbon to tie around something and you're ready to go. Satin ribbon, wire ribbon, curly ribbon, and raffia will add instant pizazz to any of your wrapping. How about taking the cords out of your gift bags and threading some satin ribbon for handles?

Label it: Use your imagination with gift tags, too. At Christmas, tie an ornament to the bow and write on it with a permanent marker. Recycle (again) and cut out old greeting cards and use them as your gift tag. Use a luggage tag for your travel-crazed friend or write on a leaf or a pine cone for a nature-loving pal.

Stock up: Keep a supply of solid color paper that you can "customize" with ribbon. Brown packing paper is also a great alternative and can be decorated by stamping or decoupaging.

Remember, it doesn't take a ton of time (or money) to put a personal touch on the wrapping of a gift. With that much effort put into it, they'll know for sure that you think they're special.

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