Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alcott Autumn: Wrapping Presents

"Demi, as the oldest grandchild, then presented the queen of the day with various gifts, so numerous that they were transported to the festive scene in a wheelbarrow. Funny presents, some of them, but what would have been defects to other eyes were ornaments to Grandma's—
for the children's gifts were all their own."

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women Chapter 47

I realize that we are well into the Christmas season, and that reading about an Alcott Autumn seems a bit strange when carols are on the radio and people are driving home with trees on the top of their cars, but Miriam and I have an exciting little adventure to share with you that has EVERYTHING to do with Alcott Autumn.  We simply can't move on to our next theme until the story has been told.  

We'll share that tomorrow.

As for today, however, I have had to firmly plant my feet on December ground---even if I'm not quite ready for autumn to be over.  I've decked the halls, trimmed the tree, hung the wreaths on the windows, filled the advent calendar, and eaten enough toffee to feed a small country.

My kids are in the full Christmas swing, too.  They have been saving their chore and dog-walking money for weeks now to buy presents for one another.  


Alas, that also means that they have been wrapping presents for one another.

My 8-year-old came down the stairs yesterday with an enormous mass of gold wrapping paper held together with approximately 37.4 yards of clear packing tape.  He proudly announced that had wrapped his gift to his older brother all by himself.  When I considered the size of the taped paper mound, I thought he might be giving his brother a passenger van for Christmas.  

I was wrong.  
 Apparently it is a shirt and a pack of gum.

At that moment, I made two resolutions:  

1.  I will always have my sons give gifts to each other.
It is the happiest and kindest they have been with one another all year.

2.  I am giving my sons wrapping lessons.  Today.  (We may have to start with the basics like how to fold paper instead of jumping to the furoshiki technique all at once.)

I thought I'd share with you a few of the packages I've wrapped this Christmas, and some of the tips I'm going to give my boys on how to make their presents look "pretty".  I know full-well that my tutoring session with them is going to go over like a lead balloon, but hopefully it will inspire them to use a little less tape, a few more folds, and a gift tag (heaven forbid).

10 Fun Ways to Wrap a Gift

1.  Use two kinds of wrapping paper.  Wrap one half of your gift first, and then wrap the second half so that it overlaps the first half.  Place a bow over the seam, and presto!  (This is also a great way to use up those odd-shaped paper scraps.)
  


2.  Use old sheet music.  I also embellished the front of this musical package with a few paper roses.  (And if you couldn't tell, I am a HUGE fan of using monograms as gift tags.)
 

3.  For a fun, whimsical look, put paper pinwheels or flowers on your packages instead of bows.  Here is an easy tutorial on pinwheels, and here is one on how to make paper poinsettias.


4.  If you are fresh out wrapping paper, or prefer "green" wrapping, go dig through your recyclables.  You can use newspaper as the gift wrap, and you can use a colorful magazine cover to make a bow.  (Click here for the bow tutorial).  To top off the eco-friendly packaging, I used one of my 3,756 paint chips as the gift tag.

5.  Involve your kids!  Have them make snowflakes and use them as a present toppers for a charming, homemade look.  Finish off the ensemble by stamping craft paper for the gift tag.



6.  Make an envelope pocket. Rather than wrestling with tape to get your card to stay on a package, simply make a fold in your wrapping paper before you put it on the package and then slip your envelope inside.  (Click here for a tutorial.)
 

7.   Make it pretty with pleats!  Again, simply fold the paper back and forth (as many times as you want) to make pleats before wrapping your gift.  (You can watch this tutorial for step-by-step instructions.)

8.  Use a hot chocolate or apple cider packet as a bow.  Not only do these little packets make the perfect bows when cinched in the middle, but they will be a warm welcome to any holiday gift.


9.  Make a felt flower bow for your gift.  I always seem to have random pieces of fabric left over from projects, so instead of wasting the scraps, why not use them to make a lovely bow in seconds.  All you need is a glue gun and a pair of scissors.  (Click here for the tutorial.)  You can also use this technique to make fun hair bows, belts, necklaces, or shoe pom-poms.


10.   Don't underestimate the power of a toilet paper tubeBy simply bending the ends of the tube inward and adding a bow, you have the perfect packaging for those small, hard-to-wrap trinkets.

 

Regardless of what you are wrapping this holiday, whether it be passenger vans or packs of gum, I hope they turn out beautifully!


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12 comments:

  1. Those are beautifully wrapped presents...so unusual! Thanks for the ideas...just might have to try a few! ;)

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  2. Such cute wrapping ideas. I'm going to steal some of those, if I ever get my shopping done.

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  3. Wow, these are simply splendid. Do you mind if I include a photo and link back to your post in my weekly picks post?

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  4. Cute ideas! I like the snowflake cutout-cute and easy!

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  5. These are great ideas! I especially love the holiday paper pinwheel with the little snowman! Cute!

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  6. Fabulous ideas! I will be trying the two kinds of wrapping paper. So cute! Visiting from Stonegable's linky party. Nice to "meet" you ;o)

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  7. These turned out so good! I've pinned several of them. :)

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  8. My favorite is the pinwheel! They are all fabulous and I am jealous of people who have the patience and the knack! I personally either use bags or just wing it (looks pretty bad by comparison)...
    Nancy
    http://wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

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  9. Your pinwheel wrap is now on my pinterest gift wrap board. Thanks. I love wrapping and am always looking for creative gift wrap ideas.

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  10. Some beautiful wrapping. Thanks for the ideas! Best Christmas blessings to you and following. Linda

    http://twosucculentsisters.blogspot.com/

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