How can it be November already? It seems like it was just June and I was vowing that I would make most of my gifts this year since I'm freelancing and would have more time(!) to work on handmade gifts. In reality, I have only one gift nearly finished—and that's only if you count buying the materials as "nearly finished"!
Part of the time crunch is that for me, it's not enough to make a beautiful handmade gift. I want to present it in a glorious fashion that fits this season of celebration. Usually, my hopes exceed my skill. Seriously, my family jokes that the hallmark of a Michelle-wrapped gift is excessive amounts of tape. (It's true. I don't know why I use so much tape. It's not like the earrings are going to escape!)
I have a good friend who is the exact opposite of me when it comes to gift wrapping. Her presents are so artfully wrapped that I'm always happy to get them early so I can stare at the pretty packaging for as long as possible. She uses all sorts of materials: ribbons, rubber stamps, colored papers, and unusual packages such as jars and tins.
Gift Wrap Idea #1
This year I decided to make more of an effort in my gift wrapping. If I can create a beautifully wrapped package for my gifted friend, that would be a cause to celebrate! My first gift wrapping project used hot-fix red crystals on green satin ribbon. I tied the ribbon first to get the correct length and then slipped it off to use the heat tool to melt the glue on the back of the crystals. I learned from the brilliant Beading Daily editor, Kristal Wick that I could use my regular iron if I wanted to affix multiple crystals at once for an even speedier project.
Gift Wrap Idea #2
My second idea was to stamp designs on tissue paper. I saw an article in the September/October 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors where you could make your own stamps out of that fun foam you can buy in the craft store. This was messy and I didn't love my first attempt. It was fun, though, and I think it would make a great project for kids. (Lampworked beads pictured in my earrings are by Lori Anderson.)
- Adhere dozens of butterflies or bows on your package (Adelle)
This idea made me realize that I always think of patterned wrapping paper as flat instead of 3-D.
- Decorate boxes with pom-poms (Bugs and Fishes)
I've made pom-poms for knitted caps, but never thought about them for packaging.
- Bring the outdoors in with pine cones and evergreens (Deborah's Design & Decorating)
I like this idea, but I'll save it for gifts I give in person. I'm not sure it would travel well.
- Use cupcake liner bows, photocopied fabric, and other unusual ideas (The Decorologist)
I'm especially intrigued by the idea of photocopying fabric, although knowing me, I'd be too enamored of the results to use it for wrapping paper. (I'd probably make jewelry out of it instead!)
How do you wrap your handmade gifts? I'd love to hear your suggestions and ideas.
Don't forget to check out what the other Art Bead Scene Carnival bloggers had to say about this month's "celebration" theme.