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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Do-It-Yourself Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas

These ways of wrapping are creative enough to surprise you.

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Tin Foil- Not Just For Sandwiches and TV Antennas
This material is the perfect fix for those odd-shaped presents, since it can be manipulated to hug whatever item you cover in it. Or even wrap your boxed gifts with this reflective foil for an eye-catching shine reminscent of Christmas tree tinsel.

What You’ll Need: 1 sheet of tin foil, ribbon or paper strip

How It’s Done: Set the gift on center of the sheet of tin foil and draw the sides up and pull the ends together at the top. Using the ribbon, make a bow to tie the ends together.

Bonus Tip: To sweeten up this project skip the bow and instead slip a strip of white paper in the top. Ta-da. You’ve got a hersehy kiss and the paper strip will serve as your gift tag at your next White Elephant gift exchange.

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A Fresh New Use for Your Ziploc Bags
A simple plastic bag and some festive trimmings will give the appearance that your gift is enclosed in a snow globe.

What You’ll Need: 1 Ziploc bag (gallon-size works best), tissue paper, tape, scissors, ribbon. Optional materials: confetti, pinecones, tinsel, and strips of ribbon.

How It’s Done:
1.Wrap the gift in tissue paper.
2. Cut the zipper off of the plastic bag.
3. Insert wrapped gift into the bag, along with the decorative items you’ve selected (ie. pinecones, strips of ribbon, etc.
4. Tie the bag closed using the ribbon.

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Put Some Pants On That Wine Bottle!
Dress up that bottle of wine you bring to your holiday dinner party with an old pair of slacks or denim jeans.

What You’ll Need: 1 pair of pants (denim, dress or corduroy all work great), scissors, fabric glue or sewing machine.

How It’s Done:
1.Cut the legs off about 12- 5 inches from the bottom.
2. Turn inside-out and sew ends together or attach them with fabric glue.
3. Cut pant pocket and attach to the front. This is a great place to tuck a wine opener.
4. Slip a bottle of wine or champagne inside.

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Blooming Bag

What You’ll Need: Plain gift bag (75 cents at a drug or craft store); flower-shaped foam stamp (50 cents at craft stores), peach and gold acrylic craft paints ($2 at craft stores), wide flat paintbrush, foam paintbrush, velvet ribbon, holiday floral sprig, scrap holiday ribbon, hot glue gun, glue sticks.

How It’s Done:
1. Apply the gold paint to the stamp using a foam paintbrush. Stamp into the center of the bag. Repeat until you’ve reached the edges of the bag. Allow to dry.
2. Dip the flat paintbrush into peach paint, tap off the excess paint until you have a near dry brush. Working quickly, paint a light topcoat over the stamped design.
3. Hot glue velvet ribbon across the top and attach the remaining ribbon and floral sprig to the handle.

Bonus Tip: You could also spruce up any plain gift bag using rhinestones, scraps of ribbon, beads, buttons, pieces of fabric and whatever else you can find around the house.

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Bows Like the Pros

What You’ll Need: Ribbon, hot glue gun, glue sticks.

How It’s Done:
1. Twist one end of a piece of ribbon into a loop and secure with a drop of hot glue.
2. Create a figure-8 by making a second loop of ribbon the same size as the first loop. Twist loops together and secure with a drop of glue.
3. Continue creating loops and figure-8s until you have rounded out the bow, decreasing loop size until bow is full.

Bonus Tip: For the men in your life, make that bow more masculine by using measuring tape or a long zipper instead of ribbon for an edgier look.

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6. Gift Wrap Idea: Go Green
Go green this holiday season. Instead of tossing that cardboard box the gifts you purchased online were shipped in, put it to use with this trick for creating pillow boxes.

What You’ll Need: Pillow box template (download it here), cardboard or corrugated paper, pencil, scissors, craft knife, glue stick, silk ribbon.

How It’s Done:
1. Print and cut out a pillow template. Place the template on the smooth side of the corrugated paper, trace the template and cut out the pattern.
2. Use the tip of a craft knife to score curved lines on the cardboard. Crease the pillow inward toward the center score lines.
3. Fold the long edge inward on the marking and apply glue to the flap. Bring the opposite edge over the flap and place a heavy book on top until the glue is dry.
4. Gently squeeze the sides of the package to open slightly. Fold in the curved flaps on one end, place the gift inside and fold the flaps on the other side.
5. Tie the package with a silk ribbon.

Bonus Tip: Recycle last year’s holiday cards into gift tags by using a decorative punch or cutting a traditional tag shape.

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7. Gift Wrap Idea: Keepsake Accents
Attach these handmade decorations onto your presents to dress them up. They also make great ornaments too!

What You’ll Need:Seed beads (Most craft stores sell bags filled with thousands of these tiny beads for only $2. IF WORKING WITH SMALL CHILDREN OPT FOR LARGER SIZED BEADS.), heavy-gauge jewelry wire, small silk ribbon, needle -nose pliers, wire-cutters, computer print out of a cursive letter or shape.

How It’s Done:
1. Cut off a piece of wire long enough to fit the printed letter. Make a small loop in one end of the wire with round-nose pliers.
2. Thread seed beads on the wire, leaving a small section of wire free of beads. Place the beaded wire on top of the printed letter and shape the wire to form the letter, adding or removing beads as needed. Finish the end of the wire by coiling to secure the beads in place.
3. Tie beaded letter to a small silk ribbon and attach to a package.

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8. Gift Wrap Idea: Poof! Instant Jewelry Box
Follow Filian’s five-step origami technique and you’ll soon have an adorable gift box, perfectly sized for jewelry and small trinkets. Choose decorative prints and you can skip the wrapping paper.

What You’ll Need: Two 12 by 12 inch. sheets of scrapbook paper (25 cents a sheet at most craft stores), scissors, bone folder or credit card.

How It’s Done:
1. To make the box lid, fold one paper square in half diagonally, first one way and then the other, sharply creasing the folds with a bone folder or an old credit card before unfolding.
2. Fold the four corners in until they meet in the center of the paper, crease sharply and unfold.
3. Beginning with the paper unfolded, fold one of the corners until it meets the farthest crease line opposite that corner. Crease, unfold and repeat the process with the remaining three corners. Finally, fold each corner to its closest crease line before unfolding all corners to reveal an overall pattern of creased squares.
4.Fold two opposite triangular corners at their first crease lines; fold again at the next crease lines. Use the last crease to stand up box sides. Using your thumbs, gently fold in the remaining box sides along crease lines, forming the sides of the box. Crease and fold in the last triangular corner flaps to complete the box.
5. To make the bottom of the box, trim a 12’x12′ piece of scrapbook paper to 11-1/2’x11-1/2′ and repeat the steps for the top of the box.)

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest