It’s A Wrap!

Every year, my good friend M and I share this mission of having all our Christmas stuff done as early as possible.  We even have a timeline–shopping done by around September (or earlier), gift wrapping finished by October (or earlier), Christmas cards written and mailed out by  first week of November.  It’s a great way to put the pressure on ourselves to be more efficient, especially with the holidays being such a hectic time of year.  We also actually enjoy the process because we end up keeping tabs on each other, making sure that we’re on track and on time. The best thing is that by December, there is very little left to do, and more time can be spent bonding with the family 🙂

This year, I must admit I’ve been having difficulty sticking to the plan, while M is waaaaaaaaay ahead of me on all fronts.  I think she is already done with most, if not all her Christmas shopping, while I’ve barely scratched the surface of my list. Currently, we are both on the lookout for the perfect Christmas card (as you will read in her blog entry here) and have begun to discuss with each other and finalize the “look” of our Christmas packaging (although at this time, I think she’s bought her wrapper and ribbon already :().

Among the three tasks, I think the latter is the one I take the most seriously.  It’s also the one I have the most fun with because it allows me to let the creative juices flow 🙂 Every year, choosing a theme or color motif is serious business for me! Hahaha! In other words, “kina-career” ko talaga!  From the choice of wrapping paper, ribbon, gift tags and accessories–it MUST be perfection!

This year, I’ve decided to go with a “green” theme.  I think I’m going to recycle some of the materials that I have at home–magazines, newspapers, paper bags, etc.  Not only will it make me feel good that I’m doing something to save the environment, but it will save me a lot of money as well 🙂

Also, I am always inspired to create beauty out of everyday things, so to make my gift wrapping look chic despite its “recycled-ness”, well, that’s a super exciting challenge for me!  I’ve already began to search the web for ideas, and am devoting this post to the ones I’ve found to be the most interesting.  Ofcourse, I’m still keeping the “look” under wraps (haha, no pun intended :)), but one thing’s for sure, it will have my very own personal stamp on it 🙂

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I really like this idea of personalizing each gift with the recipient’s name.  Kaya lang, kinda high on the “effort” factor, if you know what I mean.  And if you’re like me and you have a long list of people to give gifts to, this might not be the most practical idea.  I think the presentation looks really simple yet classy, though. And the best part?  I’m sure it doesn’t cost much, but it sure creates a lot of impact! 🙂

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This is another really cool idea, and one I’ve already done before.  All you need are stamps, a stamp pad or water-based paint, kraft paper, ribbon, a single-hole puncher and voila!  Instant wrapping paper!  What I love about this is that there are no limits as to what designs you can come up with 🙂  You can make your own pattern, experiment with different colors–whatever you do, you are guaranteed to come up with something unique that cannot be found in any store!

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This is a bit of a variation of the first idea, but just as adorable 🙂  If like me you do not have all the time in the world to cut out all the letters of each of your friends’ or family members’ names, then why not just use their initials?  The key to upping the cuteness factor is the kind of paper you use.  Time to bring out the scraps! Recycling or re-using old wrapping paper from previous occasions would come in handy here :).

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Believe it or not, these beauties are wrapped in re-used Trader Joe’s holiday paper bags!  Who would have thought that a grocery bag would make such neat wrapping paper?  Add some doilies, twine or some washi tape, and no one will even think you didn’t have to spend a lot on such great packaging!

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This charming wrapping paper was made with vegetables and paint!  I remember doing projects like these with my pre-school students :).  We carved patterns onto a potato or a carrot or an apple, dipped it in some tempera paint, and stamped it onto some paper!  Easy peasy and they make the most wonderful prints!  And there are so many things you can do with them too!  Frame them, make them into cards, gift tags, or stationery!  The options are endless!

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These dainty and delicate looking wrapping papers were made with just paper, a piece of lace and some spray paint!  Aren’t they byoo-tee-full?  I think I’m gonna scrounge around my lola’s baul or my mom’s attic to see if they have any left over fabric that I can use…hahaha! Such an easy, inexpensive and fab idea!

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Here’s another tip for those of you who are into the “lacey”, feminine look–try dipping some doilies in food coloring!  Set against plain white or even kraft paper, it gives your Christmas packaging that extra vintage-slash-shabby-chic look!

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I’ve been showing you a lot of gift wrapping ideas that use the painting or printing technique… Here’s another one that doesn’t require as much effort, but is every bit as personal–why not use photographs as a design element in your packaging? You can either make use of photos of the recipient, or photos of you and the recipient!  It’s a great way to put the spotlight on a fun memory or occasion that the two of you shared together 🙂

Speaking of photographs, here is another execution.  Gather photos and arrange any way you want (a collage, is an example).  Scan your photos, and print onto large-sized paper.  Instant personalized wrapping paper!  Add some twine and a nice tag, and you’re good to go!

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So there you have it…my list of Christmas wrapping ideas for 2011.  I hope you enjoyed reading this post, as much I enjoyed researching ideas and putting it together.  I hope I’ve also convinced some of you to spend a bit more time and to put a bit more thought into your gift wrapping this year.  It doesn’t even have to cost much–just a little imagination, and a lot of personalization goes a looooong way 🙂  And believe me, there’s nothing like receiving a nicely wrapped present 🙂 From my experience, it speaks volumes about how you care.  Take a look at the picture below and imagine if you saw something like this waiting for you underneath the Christmas tree…how would you feel?

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Enough said 🙂

Till my next post, Chicas! 🙂  Hope you stay dry on this wet Saturday afternoon! 🙂


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