I love a nicely wrapped present. I also love wrapping presents. I take after my mother, the original fashion stylist for gifts. Her adornments turn them into presents wrapped in presents. I become giddy when I receive one of her works of art. I want others to feel the same way, so I’ve adopted her inventive techniques for trussing and embellishing.
I must add that I haven’t bought wrapping paper in years. So how the heck do I dress up my gifts? I think outside the box, so to speak, by using fabrics and textiles. Not only am I recycling–and saving money on fancy paper–but wrapping in this way serves as a surprising and beautiful way to present a present. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the wordplay! Using fabric is an easy way to deal with unusually shaped presents too.
If you’re a normal person and don’t have any bolts of fabric lying around, you can still take part in the fun. I’ve used gently worn (and clean!) clothes with cool designs or fun materials. This comes in handy when part of the fabric becomes damaged, the style is out of fashion, or you’ve grown out of it (either literally or figuratively). I’ve even used gauzy drapes that lost their usefulness after a move. Your imagination is the limit!
Note: Inventive, beautiful wrappings will most likely be lost on children (of all ages) whose only goal is to beat their gift opening time from last year. Regular wrapping paper would probably be best for them. But I think the rest of the people on your list will delight in such personalized attention.
The easiest wrapping technique is to spread out the fabric, place the gift in the middle and bring up all the sides to meet above. Tie the opposing corners into knots…
or use a rubber band and loop through as if you were making a ponytail. In the picture below, I didn’t pull the fabric all the way through at the end in order to keep everything tucked in.
For this one, I cut a sparkly tank top down a side seam so it would open up, then wrapped as I would with traditional paper, but used a glue gun instead of tape. The bow was fashioned out of one of the straps.
This is a bridal shower gift, but demonstrates how a tall present could be wrapped. I used the ponytail tie method but kept the extra fabric for a different look.
I made a gift tag by cutting off a square from a magazine cover (I save decorative cards and pictures for this too) and gluing the inside of a Yogi Tea box on the other side so I could write my message.
Then I punched a hole in one corner and used a pearl twistie thing (probably from one my mother’s past gifts!) to attach it to the bow.
If you don’t have any little bits of string, ribbon, and doodads lying around your house, don’t despair. It takes time and planning to amass a treasure trove of gift wrapping options. But if this is the sort of thing you could get into, keep an eye out for things from now on that you could use to wrap and adorn future presents. You might even see your wrappings or decorations turn up in next year’s presents. In our family, it’s a big compliment!