Introduction: Alternative Wrapping Ideas
Most of the time I do not have beautiful wrapping paper for my presents and I keep it that way so that I can recycle, be creative and have fun. I know that Christmas presents should be wrapped in shiny red and green paper but I also know it is worth to expend time wrapping presents in a special way while thinking about the people who will get them. I have been doing these kind of simple yet unique wrappings for three years and every time I get nice compliments. So, here is just a tiny sample. Sometimes, the shape of the gift gives me fine ideas.
Step 1: Some School Stationery.
There were some sheets of paper left from one of my daughter's old school notebooks. I used those because they were plain white. I also found some old markers that gave up at the end of the day, so I had the chance to get rid of them.
Step 2: Let's Draw Something
I took one sheet of paper out of the bunch, I looked at my presents and decided which to wrap. In this case I had a nice photo frame, a bit bigger than my paper sheet, so I took two sheets and decorated them in the same way, glued them together and wrapped the frame. I noticed that the tiny holes where the staples kept the sheets in place were to be seen, so I coloured a thin paper stripe imitating a golden lace and glued it in place. As I saw that my present was a bit sad, I remembered that I still had some long tea bag sealers so I took one, wrapped it around a marker and made a cute spiral which I taped to the present.
Step 3: More Patterns.
It doesn't have to be so elaborated. Sometimes the present itself gives a fine shape once wrapped. In this case the wrapping made the present look like a little coffer. Nice enough to add one little decoration: I was making some paper stars for my Christmas tree, so I took one of them and glued it to the present.
Step 4: Brown Paper Bags Gave the Idea
I didn't want to buy an 8€ gift bag, but as I didn't know how to make one of those fancy bags, I was about to give up and buy one and then it hit me: there it was, looking at me while I was in my kitchen drinking a coffee..nice but boring brown paper bag holding my breakfast bread. I "disassembled" it carefully and copied the pattern until I knew it by heart, made a bunch of bags in different sizes using notebook sheets with drawn patterns and that was it. I still had a bit of golden string, so I punched two tiny holes and closed the bag with it.
Step 5: Box Pattern
These are cute boxes for tiny presents. I tried to take photos while making them, but I made a mess out of the whole thing and I gave up. I think these boxes are well explained in some origami instructables (I hope).
Anyway, before making them I used white paper, decorated it and folded it according to the instructions I took from an old magazine. But once the little presents were inside, I had to use some extra paper to close the box. I think the one on the right looks lovely.
Step 6: Be Creative.
I bought a scarf holder in a perfectly rounded flower shape..yes! a rounded shape makes me think because it is not so carefree to wrap it so that it looks beautiful. So I took two pieces of notebook paper, drew some patterns, glued them together, placed the rounded scarf holder in the middle to measure the space needed, took it out again and built a rectangular "box" for it using a book of about the same size; it was almost like wrapping the book, only that I was using its shape to make the rectangle. I sealed the lower ends with tape, then I punched two holes in the upper end, placed the scarf holder with its hook out of the box and used a stripe of silver lace to close it.
The long green present attached to the surface, is a liquid eyeliner wrapped as a candy.
So as you can see, the presents don't look sooooo bad. Ok, I admit..they don't look like Christmas presents at all, but the whole idea is fun: the wrapping paper is unique in design, easy to decorate, you help declutter your home every time you use tiny bits of this or that and if you are like me, you find joy and peace of mind while creating something useful.