Shopping for gifts is, in itself, a very tedious and expensive exercise. We spend so much time making our way through road and human traffic as everyone braves the Christmas rush in the hope of completing their gift list.
Then this happens: You spend all your cash, you go home feeling accomplished, and you realize you forgot one important item – gift wrappers.
Sure, you can always go to the nearby store to buy some wrappers. But then you end up getting frustrated by what you see because they are either expensive (especially if you already used up all your Christmas gift budget) or come awfully designed.
Luckily, there are alternatives to the usual gift wrappers and most of them are readily available in your home. All you need are some nice laces or ribbons, glue, adhesive tapes, and a touch of imagination.
Use your grocery brown bags
Plastic bags have since been banned in many cities in the Philippines and replaced instead with brown bags. Many just throw them away after unloading their groceries at home. Don’t. These make ideal gift wrappers which can look really classy if you know how to style them up.
For instance, wrapping your gifts with brown bags, and finishing it off with a bright ribbon and cut-outs will give your gift a nice shabby-chic feel.
If you don’t have time to work on cut-outs and patterns, you can always stick to using a good lace or ribbon and just use a gold or silver pain pen. This also spares you from the need to buy gift tags.
Make your own gift boxes
Boxes sold in malls do not exactly come cheap. Often, they cost more than wrappers themselves. Why put up with those when you can make your own gift boxes?
All you need to do is look for any cardboard or cartolina in your kid’s storage and cut them out using this pattern:
Here’s the link for a more detailed set of instructions.
Also, if you have paper cups lying around, you can use these as instant gift packs. Since you or your officemates may also be in the habit of consuming liters of coffee just to collect stickers for that Starbucks planner, why not ask them to give you their used paper coffee cups? You can use what they donated as boxes for the gift you will hand to them during your office Christmas party.
Here’s how you do it:
Out-of-the-box gift boxes
Other things worth using for gift boxes include old soft drink plastic bottles. In this example, you can simply slice through them and get bottom parts of the bottles. Punch holes so you can nicely tie to bottoms together with a ribbon.
Just like that, you have an apple shaped gift pack.
As an added touch, you can hot glue an actual tree stick with cardboard leaves to make it look like an apple.
If you’ve somehow forgotten to buy a gift for your inaanak (godchild), you can always give him cash. But to make the cash gift feel more specially prepared, you can place it inside old balloons and, again, design it with a few ribbons. This will make the gift really, well, pop.
Go ahead, use old magazines, calendars, and newspapers
You can always get away with magazines, calendars, newspapers, and even telephone directories. It’s all about making the wrap feel personalized. For example, if the recipient is into crossword puzzles, wrap her present with the crossword section prominently highlighted.
If the one getting the present is born, say, June 23, peel off that old June calendar and encircle 23. This should make that person feel more remembered.
BONUS: How to wrap your present in under 30 seconds
If in case you have already bought gift wrappers but dread the idea of spending an entire weekend wrapping presents, here’s a video to help you go through the process in a breeze. See how he managed to wrap not one, but two gifts in less than half a minute.
Which gift wrap ideas impressed you the most and which one would you likely adopt? Let us know by sending your comments below.
*The featured image above is a derivative of “Host a Gift Wrapping Party” by Jenny Steffens Hobick, used under CC BY.