A WHOLE PACKAGED deal to wrap up a gift! Colorful, matching bow, a gift card, stickers. Two dollars minimum and not one shred of origninality.
Great for those who seek the quick and easy, but for you who need to be creative, or at least a little different, all manner of Christmas wrap ideas are available.
Among the most delightful gifts I ever did were the group I wrapped in plain old newspaper. I chose pages with the most beautiful ads I could find-soft, gray, loose illustrations with lots of white space. And I made sure the ads had Christmas backgrounds-holly, big poinsettias, candy canes, Christmas trees. Then I arranged the paper to show off the most eye-catching part of the page. One of the rewards of wrapping with newspaper is that you can be as flagrantly extravagant as you wish, and you haven't wasted a thing.
With bright red velvet or satis ribbon and bows and lots of bigh red stickers, my gifts were original, vivid and full of the Christmas spirit. And with colorful funny pages used for wrapping presents for kids, I had a collection to exhibit with pride.
The same thing can be done with bright, shiny pages from magazines, except that a magazine page can handle only small packages. Even so, enough small gifts are bound to be on your list to make perusing your old magazines for appropriate pages worth the time.
Another year, I wrapped all my gifts in shelf paper and tied them with ordinary string. With a pair of scissors, a pot of glue and a willingness to experiment, you can create a world of confections with the edgings that come on most shelf paper. Just snip off the edges, pleat them, ruffle them, swirl them or use them as tailored stripes or in geometric designs. Glue them on the already wrapped package. Once you start, the combinations you can create from those edgings is endless.
One year, my husband and I wrapped our gifts in wallpaper. We had just finished papering one wall of small den with a green and white striped paper, and I hated to see all those good leftovers go to waste. It's surprising how many square feet are in one roll, and I wrapped several gifts with my remnants. For ties, I used loops and loops of vivid green yarn and, for color contrast, tucked sprigs of holly, all with red berries, into the bows.
The next year, since I still hadn't tired of wallpaper, I bought a whole roll of a discontinued pattern-25 feet for $7. I chose a pale pink bathroom paper with lots of silver in it and tied my gifts with shocking pink ribon. Around each ribbon, I festooned a few tiny silver Christmas balls and had the most luscious Christmas gifts I had ever wrapped.
Some of the deep reds and greens also make stunning wrapping, and if you can talk your decorator into giving you a discontinued book, you're home free, with variety to boot.
On today's market, a whole roll of wall covering, 20 1/2 inches by 21 feet long, can be purchased for as little as $2.98 and up to $9 or $10, while foil covering will cost from $13 to $18 a roll. All of which could come to a lot less than buying some of the expensive Christman wrap.
For ribbon or ties, browse through the braids in the fabric centers. Rick-rack, seam and hem binding, lace, embroidery floss, trims, ruffling, all make bright, different ties. One year I tried copper wire, but I must admit the idea was better than the finished product. You may have more facility with wire than I did.
My most economical wrappings of all were created from brown wrapping paper and tied with plain old grocery string. But I went wild with a couple of magic markers-a red one and a green. I'm no artist, but anyone can copy poinsettias, candy canes, Christmas trees and wreaths and sprigs of holly from the various ads in magazines and papers. Just shower the wrapping with your art, and if yours don't look like any holly or poinsettia you've ever seen, all the better. The more I drew, the more skill I developed.
Save your Christmas cards this year and next year used them as paste-ons on gifts wrapped in solid colrs. You can turn the edges, cut them in scallops or just pick out certain parts of the card you want to emphasize. Depending upon the size of the gift, ribbons and bows can be placed strategically or omitted altogether.
Wrap doesn't have to be paper. A bright remnant of colorful chintz, a leftover length of lace or gauze, an elegant piece of silk you hated to give to the trash can-all of them wrap gifts with elegance and originality, and you've utilized something lovely that you were reluctant to throw away.
Look around you for ideas right in your own home. When you hear the word paper-what do you think? Tablet, construction, news, towels, doilies, note, brown wrapping, toilet, etc. Now that I think about it, you might create right fetching bows with soft, colorful toilet paper. It's worth the try.