It's the last weekend before Christmas! I have some handy tips for wrapping any last minute gifts and making use of items you might be able to find at home. If you have a pile of boxes from online shopping waiting to be cleared, bulky gift set boxes, wedding gift favour boxes, this is for you!
Idea 1: Furoshiki using a scarf
Our first wrapping idea comes from the Japanese art of Furoshiki, a traditional way to bundle items for transport and gifting. With just a square cloth, you can wrap almost anything of any shape securely and with its own handle. There are so many ways you can use a single piece of cloth, but I will be using an adaptation of the 4 Tie Wrap as an example today.
1. You will need:
A square scarf that is larger than your gift box to be able to wrap around it a few times. I used an old souvenir scarf from Italy and a box from a recent online purchase.
2. Lay the cloth out flat such that the edges are diagonal (ie. a diamond shape). Place the gift box in the middle and double knot 2 opposite corners of the cloth together. Make sure the cloth is securely wrapped over the box but not too tight.
3. Take the remaining 2 corders of the cloth over to the middle, leaving enough space for your hand to go through, and double knot the ends.
4. Your gift is all ready to go! This is my favourite way to wrap gifts as my recipient is able to reuse the cloth as a Furoshiki or as a scarf.
Other than gift wrapping, you can use Furoshiki folding methods to wrap your groceries or shopping when you are out. Say no to plastic bags when all you need is to carry a piece of cloth with you!
Idea 2: Simply wrapped with dried leaves
I have been to so many wonderful weddings this year and have accumulated a few beautiful wedding favour boxes. They are too small to keep items at home, yet I can't bear to get rid of them. The luxurious gold foil design and textured paper is already beautiful enough for a packaging, so this tip is to add just a tiny extra detail to make it more personal.
1. You will need:
Some twine or string, some dried leaves and your wedding favour box. I am using dried eucalyptus from an old bouquet, but you can switch this out for other leaves and flowers that you can forage near your home.
2. Wrap twine about 4 rounds around the box, then add your dried leaves. Wrap the twine around for another 4 rounds, making sure that the leaves are secured. Leave some allowance before trimming the twine, and finish off with a bow.
3. You may slot in a handwritten gift tag into the rounds of twine to complete the whole look. I have decided to go with a more rustic theme with twine and kraft paper, but feel free to explore other colour combination depending on your box design and what you can find at home!
Idea 3: Collage using cut outs from other wrappers
This is another simple way to jazz up a present if you have some scraps of beautiful paper or editorial magazines. I cut out these beautiful flowers from a torn paper bag before recycling it, and I have used the flowers on cards and many other paper craft.
1. You will need:
Paper cut outs, depending on what you can find. You can use any box available, but one with a solid colour will look best.
2. Arrange the pieces and take photos of them for reference. When you have decided on the final position, secure them down with double sided tape or glue. I used tape here to give a more layered look.
Idea 4: DIY gold stamped wrapping paper
Making your own wrapping paper is more advanced but it might be a last resort for those who have to properly conceal their gifts, like at a work setting or a Secret Santa exchange. The sample here is done with gold paint and stamps, but you can substitute with a marker and a round eraser to stamp circles onto your white printing paper. I am also using up an old makeup gift set box that has a clear window.
1. You will need:
String, paint, stamp, newsprint paper and your gift in a box. Alternatively, you can also use tape, water-based markers, an object that can be used as a stamp (eraser, cap of a glue stick, small sponge etc), and plain paper.
2. Load up your stamp with paint or colour them with your marker and stamp randomly on the paper. You may also stamp in an orderly pattern, but doing it randomly leaves room for error and you don't have to worry about alignment!
3. You can start wrapping once your paint has dried completely. For a neater look, fold in the edge of the paper before taping it down or securing with string.
4. I wrapped the string around a few times to secure the folds without tape, but feel free to use whatever tape is available. Voila, your handmade wrapping paper is done!
I hope you have found a few helpful tips in this post! These are just a few ideas to make full use of what you have at home, but they are only possible because I consciously keep gifting materials for future uses, which may not be applicable for everyone. At The Verdant Lab, our goal is to minimise unnecessary single-use items, so if possible, ditch the wrapping entirely. Opt for a handwritten note to finish up your gift, and your recipient will be more than happy to keep it for years to come.
With that, I hope you enjoy your holiday gatherings with your loved ones, get to talk to people you have not reached out in a long time, and bask in the wonderful holiday spirit. From all of us at The Verdant Lab, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and have a great 2020!