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That's a Wrap

By Julie Senger

During the holiday season, we often get so busy due to increased seasonal events, out-of-town visitors, added cooking and cleaning duties, and, of course, shopping for gifts. All these added responsibilities often mean that wrapping those carefully selected gifts becomes a last minute, throw-it-in-a-gift-bag-with-some-tissue-paper endeavor — and that’s OK. But perhaps you have a special gift or two that you really want to take the time and energy to wrap in a creative way. A way that tantalizes the receiver’s imagination about what could possibly be inside. A way that looks so visually appealing, he/she almost doesn’t want to open it — almost. Here are a few ideas for those precious presents that will get you thinking outside the box, literally!

Map It Out
This idea is perfect if you are giving a gift that is made in a specific location that’s special to the receiver, or if you are giving someone a trip to a location on the map you choose to use. Since so many people use online maps or GPS for their navigation needs, thrift stores are a great place to try to find a discounted atlas containing a map of your desired location.

Kids of all ages will love receiving a gift with a favorite treat attached to the top instead of a traditional bow. Use single-serving sized bags of candy, tie some ribbon/yarn around the center, and voila! You have an edible gift topper!

Reuse / Recycle
For smaller items (think socks, gloves, undies, costume jewelry), decorated paper towel/bathroom tissue rolls make super cute wrapping containers. Add stamps, stickers, ribbon, drawings, or bows to embellish these upcycled small gift holders.

Farmhouse Fun
This popular interior design theme doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. So, if you want the gifts under your tree to match your interior decor, pick up a roll of brown butcher paper, some jute twine or neutral-colored yarn, save the branches that you trim off the bottom of your live tree (or go to your nearest live-tree lot to see if they will let you have their castoffs), and create this naturally trendy look. Pick up ribbon or fabric in your home’s accent colors/patterns to personalize this idea even more. A great thing about butcher paper? You’re not limited to December holidays. You can dress it up for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions by simply changing your adornments.

To celebrate the Festival of Lights, why not use glow sticks as a fun gift topper for children? Tie unlit glow sticks in a neat bundle to adhere to the top of the gift, so the recipient can activate the glow solution later. Or, if you’re wrapping a gift at the last minute, activate the glow sticks (see individual package instructions), and adhere the lighted rods in a fun pattern atop the decorative paper.

Musically Gifted
If you’re giving someone concert or musical theatre tickets; a CD or an iTunes gift card; a musical instrument; or perhaps a nostalgic gift in which a particular song played a special part; use sheet music to wrap your present. If the item is too large for a single piece of sheet music, or if you’d like to be subtler with your gift hint, make a sheet-music bow instead.