Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Idea Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares “Creative Christmas Packaging” ideas.
Use Creative Containers:
• Wrap a tiny gift in a huge box such as a refrigerator or other appliance box.
• Wrap gifts in recycled containers such as old antique boxes or tins, ceramic dishes, wood boxes, unusual baskets, plastic containers, hat boxes, jars, etc. Check out yard sales or thrift stores for some fun containers. You can also use paint stripper and steel wool to remove paint from tins if desired.
• Use food containers such as oatmeal boxes, cans, cereal boxes, etc. The outside of any box can be spray painted to cover any printing.
• Round containers can be wrapped with paper and then cellophane and gathered at each end to resemble a piece of candy.
• Use graduated boxes wrapped one inside of another or stack them into a tall tower and wrap together.
• Wrap items in baking pans or muffin tins.
• Wrap tiny gifts in matchboxes.
• Wrap or give gifts in new paint cans. Several sizes are usually available at hardware or craft stores.
• Wrap gifts in purses, bags, aprons, wallets, lunch boxes, pockets of clothing etc. Be creative.
• Decorate simple brown lunch bags to use as gift giving.
• Seal a gift in a can if you have access to canning equipment. The recipient must use a can opener to get to the gift.
• Give a gift in an old hard sided suitcase or briefcase. You can even decoupage pretty paper on and in the suitcase or other items to customize it.
• Giving a ring or other small jewelry item? Place inside of a rosebud and as the flower opens the ring will appear!
• A quick way to dress up a red paper gift bag is to place a strip of white fur or feather trim at the top and wrap a black ribbon around the middle with a buckle. It will look like a Santa bag.
• A darling way to give money is to steam open some fortune cookies and place the paper money inside. Place cookies in a take out box. Very fun!
• Fill a Santa hat with items and glue shut.
Be Creative with the Wrap Itself:
• Cellophane can make anything look fabulous and fancy. Stamp cellophane with a permanent ink or spray with spray glitter to customize.
• Make your own wrap by printing a festive word, greeting, poem, thought, etc. over and over in a fun font on paper.
• Create homemade gift wrap. Stamp or sponge paint on plain colored wrap or kraft paper. Plain paper grocery bags also work well. You can also lay items such a paper snowflakes or die cut shapes on paper (use as stencils) and spray paint over them to create cool images. Another idea is to use acrylic paint to make hand or feet prints of children on the wrap.
• Use creative wraps for gifts such as: wallpaper, tablecloths, bed sheets, bath towels, kitchen towel, scarves, newspaper (comics work great!), sheet music, lined school paper, kids artwork, scrapbook paper, maps, travel or other brochures, posters, flat envelopes, recipes or old cookbook pages, magazine or catalog pages, junk mail, felt, handkerchiefs, bandanas, blankets, candy wrappers, old sewing patterns, fabric, fake fur, burlap, netting, t-shirts, last years calendar pages, phone book pages (highlight the recipients name), old pages from a book, etc. You can lightly spray many paper and cloth items with glitter spray for a fun sparkle effect.
• Wrap gift with cellophane after wrapping with gift wrap. Layer confetti, punched or die cut shapes, cards or other items between the layers and when the gift is opened confetti or snowflakes fall out. The confetti could be placed under plain wrap as well.
• Wrap gifts in something that relates to gift itself or to an interest of the person. For example wrap ski lift tickets in a map of the ski resort or wrap a book in actual pages from an old book. You could even wrap a game in copies of the instructions.
• Use non traditional holiday colors such as hot pink and green, brown and light blue, red, white and black, etc. Make it chic!
• Create wrap by sewing blocks of paper or fabric together and smooth out seams flat to wrap.
• Wrap gifts for kids with coloring book pages and add some crayons on top. The kids can color the sides of the gift while they are waiting to open gifts.
• Wrap gifts in plain paper. Let kids color pictures on the package for the recipient. You could also let each member of the family write a message or sign the gift with a marker. This is fun for a grandparent to receive and fun to do when giving a group gift.
• Make your own customized wrap by scanning photos or copying them on a copy machine. This is a fun way to personalize a gift especially for a grandparent. You can also lay a transparency (to protect scanner) on your scanner bed and lay on items such as cereal, sweaters, greenery, candy, etc. and color copy. This makes a fun wrap.
• Tape items together to use as gift wrap. Items that work well are playing or game cards, photos, large candy wrappers, coupons, old Christmas cards, postcards, dollar bills, etc.
• Attach a blingy hairclip or two to the center of a bow.
• Wrap tiny items with yarn and keep wrapping to turn it into a large yarn ball. The person must unwind to get to the gift. Place other items in the ball as you wind such as money, notes, candy, etc.
• Make a collage wrap using images form a catalog, photo copies of photos, or scraps of wrapping paper, etc.
Be Creative with Package Trimmings:
• Instead of ribbon, wrap garlands of greenery around package.
• Tie a child’s gift up with a jump rope instead of a ribbon.
• Use items for ribbon such as twine, string, yarn, lace, fabric strips, rope, wire, decorative trims, sequins, pom poms, etc. watch at thrift stores for some unique trims to use.
• Layer different widths of ribbon.
• Wrap package with a feather boa.
• Use a flexible sewing tape measure for ribbon for a sewing themed package.
• Place one huge bow or many tiny bows that cover the entire top of the package.
• Use glue dots to adhere wrapped candy all over the package like polka dots. Starlight mints are cute for this. You could also add candy along a regular ribbon such as gumdrops. Very cute!
• Use a glue gun or glue dots to adhere rhinestones, buttons or large sequins all over a package.
• Spray entire wrapped package with spray adhesive before adding trims. Coat entire package with glitter. Shake off excess and add trims.
• Wrap gift with a strand of battery powered Christmas lights.
• Adhere a half or whole Styrofoam ball to the top of a gift. Use it as a base for a faux flower or greenery arrangement.
• Wrap a long winter scarf (fleece works well) around a package and tie in a knot.
• Tie fresh greenery or twigs in the ribbon of your gift. This will make a nice smell. Add a tiny bird nest or other natural or unusual items to the top. Pinecones are also nice to add. You might be surprised what your yard has available. Twigs can also be spray painted to match a package.
• Add a fresh rose or other flower bloom to the top of a gift.
• Wrap a gift with a beautiful satin ribbon and add a rhinestone pin/broach as the bow.
• Wrap a stretchy bracelet(s) around a smaller gift box. Add a satin or sheer bow to the bracelets. This is really pretty and adds a little extra gift.
• Snip apart the loops on purchased bows and layer several together or place a pom pom or ornament in the center.
• Make your own bows by cutting 1″ strips from a magazine page, scrapbook paper or gift wrap. Loop together both ends ender until the meet in the middle making a figure eight and place a brad through the center. Continue making loops and adding them to the brad until you have as many pieces as you like. Close brad and arrange to look like a customized purchased bow. This is a great way to recycle as well.
• Tie a jingle bell or two to your package for a fun sound.
• Add a drapery tassel to a gift for a bow.
• Add a grouping of ornament balls to the top of a package.
• Create a theme wrap to represent the love of the recipient such as a princess package (pink, bling, and a crown on top) or a dinosaur package (with dinosaur tracks all over the wrap with a plastic dinosaur attached), etc. Hobbies also make great theme wraps.
• Use a belt with a pretty buckle as the ribbon.
Create Unique Gift Tags:
• Use a Christmas ball ornament as a gift tag. Write the recipients name on the ornament, use rub-ons or sticker letters or use a glitter glue pen.
• Use candy as a gift tag. Punch a hole in one end of a candy or candy bar wrapper and attach to bow.
• Use a tiny frame as a gift tag. You can insert a name or simple a photograph as a clue to who the gift is for.
• Use an actual glass replacement Christmas light bulb as a tag. Write the name on it with a permanent marker or use rub-ons.
• Use old Christmas cards as gift tags. You can decoupage them onto wood or paper tags or just use as is.
• Use a gingerbread or sugar cookie as a gift tag. Use a drinking straw to poke a hole in the top of the cookie immediately after removing from the oven. Write a royal icing (icing that hardens) name on the cookie.
• Use a large twisted lollipop as a gift tag.
Other Wrapping Tips:
• Spray package lightly with a holiday scent or perfume.
• Use gift wrap as a table runner.
• Purchase plain gift wrap during the holiday sales and use for other events and holidays through the year.
• As filler inside of your gift package use fun items such as: batting, popcorn, feathers from an old pillow, balloons, soft pine boughs (this would smell great when opened!), a blanket, etc.
• A quick way to create a gift bag using wrapping paper is to wrap it around a shoebox as normal leaving one end undone. Slip off wrap from the box and fold sides in and bottom up like a gift bag. Trim along top edge with decorative scissors and add paper twist or ribbon handles if desired.
• There are many books available that have creative gift wrap ideas. Also check out websites such as:
www.thestationerystudio.com (they will make personalized ribbons and wrap for you)
http://www.boakart.com/wrap/WrapArt.html (creative wrap site using items from around your home)
http://www.kid-at-art.com/htdoc/lesson16.html (how to make your own tiny boxes using old Christmas cards)
That’s a wrap…Enjoy!