A pretty wrapping makes a gift special. But when you suddenly realize that some of your Christmas presents are costing almost as much to wrap as they did to buy, then it’s high time for ingenuity and originality. Utilize cleverness for big packages, instead of sheets and sheets of gift wrap and yards of ribbon. Usually, the fancy papers are your greatest cash outlay, so choose a less lavish wrapping and make it look festive.
Newspaper can make a very impressive Christmas wrapping, with a little effort on your part: First, neatness counts; the corners must be crisp. The ribbon — or at least the bow — must be a little more extravagant, and the paper should be more than just a regular inside page of the local daily. Perhaps a foreign-language newspaper? For children’s presents, use colored Sunday comics.
That sturdy green paper your florist uses is an utterly traditional Christmas color, especially when tied up with red ribbon. Maybe you can buy a few yards from him, or ask him to throw some extra paper in with your order of mistletoe and holly.
The color of grocery-store paper bags is immensely chic this year. Split the bags on the fold, iron them carefully and you’re ready to wrap. This “plain brown wrapper” is particularly effective paired with an orange or brown tie-up.
Discontinued wallpaper sample books from the paint store provide a wealth of stunning wrapping papers for small or medium-size presents. The wallpaper is a little stiff to work with, so crease it firmly with a ruler as you fold it around a box.
When you’ve got a really big box to wrap, paint it instead! Using poster paints in bright colors, slap on a giant, festive design, making sure your paint covers any printed advertising if you’re using the manufacturer’s box.
Black or green plastic trash bags can make the slickest looking wrap, and the price can’t be beat. Cut the bags to size, wrap them tautly — transparent tape holds the corners tight — and tie with silvery string.
How about that raft of fabric remnants you’ve put away over the years? Use them to wrap special presents. (If the gift recipient is a member of the family, you’ll get the remnant back anyway.) To wrap, fold material to size; baste corners. Tie on a pretty bow.