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DIY? It's a Wrap!

You know what I like to do? I like to wrap presents. I actually have books on unique ways to wrap gifts. Twisted, right? Most people hate it. I think everyone gets pressed for time around the holidays and they get all their shopping done and then it's like, "Damn, now I gotta wrap all this junk too?" I think that's why they invented the gift bag concept. Plop it in a bag and go. 

I'll admit that I have fallen prey to the gift bag wrap method of gift giving, but I don't like doing it. I like to take the time to wrap something nicely because I think it's part of the gift. In years where the budget has been tight, I've gotten more creative on the wrapping, because it gave me the sense that I was giving something nice versus something cheap. I like thinking about the person I'm giving the gift to when I'm wrapping. And while this may sound silly, you know the people who save paper and ribbons? I wrap with less tape and better supplies for those people because a)I know they'll save it b) I know they appreciate it and c) reduce, reuse, recycle! 

So when I came across some really cute wrapping ideas from Sweet Paul Magazine, I just had to share and then show you one of my favorite quick-tip wrapping idea. First, total cuteness from Sweet Paul (have y'all seen this online mag? I ♥ it.)

I actually did this last year, but used white as the accent and different kinds of bows and ribbon, but I love the idea of yarn! And folks, craft paper is cheap. You can get it at any craft shop, for sure. But you can buy in bulk online and check out the moving departments of Lowes or Home Depot or even Amazon - cheaper and LOTS more! 

How cute and vintage-y are these? Of course, more involved: photo copying images at Kinko's onto large paper. Probably not the cheapest route. But you COULD do the tags super easy on your home computer with card stock and a tag punch-out (best shape to buy for reuse!). Cute, right? 

Here are a few other cute ideas Sweet Paul had. Love the pompom! Got left over cupcake liners? Here's an idea! 

So now for a little T30SB DIY! I actually got this little DIY idea from my brother. He's one of the most creative and crafty people I know. That's right - a guy who's crafty. There are more of them out there than you think. I mean, what else is a garage for other than a place for dudes to get their "craft" on. Instead of paper and fabric and scissors and hot glue and endless trips to Hobby Lobby, it usually comes in the form of wood and metal and rope and paint and power drills and endless trips to Home Depot. Right? Anyway, one year my brother his wife sent us gifts with all the bows done as follows. It was really super cute. 

You know the cheap bows you buy during the holidays that stick right on top of the gift? You buy a giant bag of them for $4.99, use about 10 and then stuff the bag in the closet for 11 months. And then you go to wrap the next year, see that all the bows are crushed because you've stuffed them in the closet and then you go out and spend another $4.99 on bows. The endless cycle of bows. Want to stop the bow madness? Recycle those crushed bows! Here's how: 


Mangled bows (see above)

Small Scissors

Step 1: 

Cut all the loops on the bow, staying as close to the center of the folded loop as possible. 

Step 2: 

Once all the pieces are cut, try to lay the bow as flat as possible and line up the layers of ribbon. 

Hold the layer of ribbons and cut a fringe into the layers as close to the center as you can. These do not have to be even, symmetrical or perfect in anyway. If you cut a few too small or too big, it's OK! 

You can go piece by piece, ribbon by ribbon and fringe them all for a really perfect looking bow, but by the time you're done you'll want to stab yourself in the eye with your scissors. Trust me, your anal retentiveness will do you more harm than good on this step. I speak from experience.



Step 3: 

Using your tiny scissors, curl the ribbon fringes as you would curling ribbon. Make sure when you do this that you have a firm grasp on the center of the bow so you don't pull the bow apart. I find starting with the pieces that are the most crushed is helpful. Curl it in the opposite direction first to get the bend out, then re-curl. 

Next, curl the pieces in the center and work your way outward. 

Then twist it and scrunch it and make it look pretty. 

You can layer smaller crushed bows into the center of larger bows for multiple colors and depth. If you do so, make sure to firmly secure the two bows together before curling. I usually just staple them, like they do to begin with. Th entire process takes 5 minutes, tops. 

So what do you think? Are you going to get creative on the cheap or just go for the gift bag? Either way, happy wrapping! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! I can't wait for Christmas! 

Reader Comments (6)

I LOVE wrapping presents. I hate, hate, hate gift bags - no fun for anyone. My favorite thing to do is wrap gifts in craft paper or white tissue paper, and then draw bows and gift tags on, sort of a trompe l'oeil effect. Thanks for sharing Sweet Paul, too - I hadn't heard of it!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Camille - totally cool. Like that idea. I also like to take solid color paper and ball it up to get it all wrinkly and then wrap it.

November 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

Ooh! These are adorable! And remind me I should probably buy those presents so I can wrap them (at the last minute). Eeek.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Love these ideas! I am currently obsessed with gift wrapping. The spoon idea is so adorable.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I love those photo tags. How much fun to print out baby pictures and have everyone try to figure out who the package belongs to. (Off to store to find a tag-making punch.)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

@Sarah - BRILLIANT idea. Totally stealing it and using this Xmas. You cannot stop me. ;)

November 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterLouise

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