You have all of your holiday gifts bought and sorted. Now it’s time to wrap. Will the prospect make you groan or grin? If you’re among the people who tend to panic over prettying up a pile of presents, take heart. You can turn a wrapping marathon into a fun project by making your own gift bags and tags.
A make-it-yourself approach can also save you big bucks. The cost of holiday wrapping paper, ribbons and tags adds up fast, especially if you have lots of family members and friends on your gift list.
You can also turn make-it-yourself gift-wrapping into a family endeavor. Kids love craft projects, so making bags and tags can be part of their holiday fun. Just remember to set aside the gifts for the littlest ones so that you can wrap them yourself after all, you don’t want them to think that Santa has lost his scissors and tape.
Here are some ideas for creating gift bags and tags that will add a personal touch to your holiday presents:
Cloth bags that keep on giving: Reusable fabric holiday bags are a “green” way to cut down on paper waste. Head to the fabric store for some inexpensive cloth in colors or patterns reflecting Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa. Cut a rectangle twice the width you need for your gift. Fold in half, good side facing out. Sew down both sides. Use pinking shears on the seams and across the top. Now that your bag is done, tie with some felt string or colored twine in a complementary color. You can keep the bag in the family, to use year after year.
Brown bags made fancy: Many of us love to give cookies, tea breads and other treats during the holidays but there’s no need to buy expensive gift bags for them. Recycled brown paper bags will do the trick if you add some adornment, for example ribbon in holiday colors. Start with a plain brown bag from the grocery store, the size that would hold a loaf of bread. With the bag closed, punch a series of four holes down each side. Fold the top of the bag over, and in the middle of the flap, punch two more holes, side by side. Lace satiny ribbons through the holes along the sides and tie them into bows. Wrap your treats in waxed paper and place inside the bag. Lace ribbon through the top holes, then tie to secure the bag closed.
“Gingerbread house” tags: This unique idea will add a little spice to your holiday gift-wrapping – and it’s easy to execute. First, cut some panels from brown cardboard boxes that are in good shape. Make sure there is no printing on the cardboard. Next, draw house shapes on regular paper to use as templates. Trace the patterns onto the cardboard and then cut out your houses using scissors or a ruler and utility knife. Use a white marker pen to draw doors, windows and shingles, so that your details look like icing. Write “To/From” names on the blank side of the tag. Punch a hole in the top, pull through silver or color twine, and knot. Tie your gingerbread tag onto the handle of a gift bag.
“Xmas tree” tags: These handmade gift tags need not cost a dime. First, visit a hardware or home supply store to ask for discarded or about-to-be-discarded paint chips in shades of green. Look for ones that are more oblong than square. Cut each tag into a triangle shaped like a Christmas tree. Voila, you have trees in shades of green! Punch a hole toward the top of each tag and string through some twine. Add “To/From” names using a red marking pen, and you’re good to go.
Want more unique gift-wrapping ideas? Find other outside-the-box ideas on Pinterest.