Thinking outside the box: Homemade gift-wrapping

Since stores have showcased Christmas decorations since the end of their "Back-to-School" promotions (ugh!), I'm giving myself permission to post a blog about Christmas/Hanukkah crafting pre-Halloween.  And this time, I'm asking you to think outside the box.  Literally. Years ago, I had a friend who gave me the most amazing homemade gifts. What impressed me the most, however -- and has stayed with me all this time -- is how she packaged everything:  With hand-crafted wrapping paper and embellishments. She was my Secret Santa at work and, each day, I found a uniquely wrapped box on my desk.  One day, it was a box wrapped in plain brown paper, with white snowflake stenciling and a sprig of evergreen tucked neatly under a ribbon. Another day, it was a package in white, with cut-outs of words and pictures from newspapers and magazines.  My favorite was one in which she took three heart doilies and stacked them, with the largest on the bottom, to resemble a Christmas tree; she used different-colored buttons for the ornaments! This "special treatment" is an inexpensive and creative way to show your thoughtfulness and stand out during this giving season.  Below are some great ideas to consider. Snowflake or folded-paper cut-outs and doilies make for easy designs.  Use a piece of twine or string in place of a ribbon for an old-fashioned look. DIY Paper flowers How cool would it be for your family members to identify their gifts by the photos you used to tag them?  (And the photos are gifts, too!) Photocopy photos and use in place of gift tags What about a collage of color photos?  Take your design to a copy center to print it on larger sheets of paper. Homeade wrapping paper. Just made this for my boyfriend's birthday! Why not be silly?  Clip images from magazines or use stamps to make a repeating design.  Perfect for kids and teens.    StampedPaper Give yourself license to do something different this holiday season and wrap your gifts in style.  There's nothing like a "grand opening." 🙂 --------------------------------------- Photo credits:  DIY Pinterest; Daily Suze; Our Suburban Farm; Originals; Top Inspired; Sweet Paul Mag