Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thinking Outside the Box

By Jamie Boyce

We all spend a lot of time finding the right gifts for the ones we love, but when it comes to the wrapping, not so much. Spend a little time and plan to create something special for the outside and keep it eco-friendly.

When the holidays arrive, I start spending time thinking about what I'm going to use to wrap my presents this year and start gathering my materials. On my list is; as always the old glue gun, must have glitter and glitter paint, of corse pipecleaners, craft glue, fine wire, and spray paint, all in an endeavor to rid the package of the bow. It's been a long time since I bought a bag of bows, but have used some store bought orniments, twigs, dry leaves and flowers, pinecones, acorns, pieces of evergreen tree and anything else I can pick from my backyard.

Let me share some of my preferences.

Brown paper and raffeta is a simple, charming and versatile base for your gifts. Adorned with natural holly, gilded seashells or a few feathers, the presentation can go from whimsical to festive or even echo a common theme. I have spray painted and used all sorts of natural materials from the yard or the nearby parks with gold, silver and other popular holiday colors. Dry magnolia leaves look terrific in gold, while pinecones are quite eye-catching in silver. 'Red' acorns or palm nuts become oversized holly berries when paired with rough edged dry leaves sprayed green. Attach to your wrapped package with a hot glue gun and you are ready to impress.

Newspaper, lightly dusted with spray paint can be transformed into stunning wrap. Add just a few sprigs of Christmas tree or maybe fern for your bow, or maybe some old orniments that were going to the trash and presto a pretty present. Using jingle bells and holly or a fancy reusable cord for a bit of whimsy, or glittered up fabric ribbon and silk flowers can create drama. Most of all don't be afraid to try out different color and texture combinations to achieve that special look. Last year I came acrossed a jug of bottle caps and some bags of beads. I used a little spray paint on the caps and attached the beads to create reusable orniments. They were also used to decorate my presents. So you see, your can just about change anything into a holiday decoration.

Use last years Christmas cards by cutting out the pics and making gift tags. Also you can make use of pictures from holiday catalogues, glued to card stock and the tag problem is solved, making you beautiful gifts ready to go.

Whatever inspires your personal touch, just remember to enjoy. The holidays can be stressful, take a walk... maybe you'll just find the perfect pinecone. -----------------------------------------------

Gift wrap in the U.S. turns into 40 million tons of trash every year. Check out these websites for additional creative ideas.

Advice on where to find wrapping paper and cards made from recycled materials.

Green ideas for an eco-friendly Christmas.

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