Gift-Wrapping Tips from Stacey Ballis
Wrapping holiday gifts can be as stressful as putting up all of those holiday lights! Enter Stacey Ballis -- and just in the nick of time. Check out her tips for the ultimate in untraditional and affordable gift wrap as well as how to make your cards and party invitations the most memorable of the season.
Cards and Invitations
Magnet cards: Make magnet cards using printable magnet sheets for your ink jet printer found at office supply stores. If you're using them as invitations, guests can stick them right on the fridge so they don't forget the date!
Mix CDs: Make mix CDs with personalized labels as cards. Compile a playlist of great songs that remind you of the recipient. If you're using them for an invite, make a mix of fun holiday music or songs united by the party's theme.
Chocolate bar cards: Make a personalized label for a 1/2-pound chocolate bar. Leave the foil on but remove the label. For holiday cards, the front could be a family holiday photo, with a "year-in-review" mini-newsletter on the back.
Make your own: Stick old photos or postcards onto blank cards with photo corners. Make your cards funny, simple (with a landscape photo from your last vacation), or kitchy (i.e. a postcard of Miss Atomic Bomb 1957 from the Atomic Testing Site Museum in Vegas. On the inside write: Wishing you an explosively good holiday!) It's also a good place to put a trading card for a sports fan. The self-stick photo corners allow you to use any size item.
The Ultimate Wrap
Fishnet stockings: Wrap a package in plain, solid-color paper, then slide a contrasting fishnet stocking over the top. Connect the ends with satin cord woven in and out of the netting and tied in a bow.
Bowling score sheets: Fill in the recipient's name and the giver's name as players -- you can even write in fake scores. Use long white shoelaces for ribbons.
Recycled shopping bags: Use handled shopping bags from boutiques and print your own stickers large enough to cover the company logos printed on the bag.
Additional Gift Wrap Tips!
• Use brown paper bags from the grocery store, opened up with the plain side facing out. Dress it up with one simple band of a very wide satin ribbon.
• Use blueprints, preferably of an interior floorplan. If they're old-fashioned blue and white, tie with a blue ribbon; if they're black and white, use a black ribbon.
• Make fun wrapping paper for smaller gifts by cutting 1 1/2 inch wide strips of magazine pages and taping them together in an overlapping pattern or weaving them into a mat. Make bows or ribbons out of loops of contrasting magazine page strips.
• Shop the sales after the holidays when everything is 50 percent off. Stick with simpler papers and solid color ribbons so that they can be used for many occasions.
• Buy ribbons and tissue paper online, where 50 yards can cost the same as 10 yards in the stores.
• Anything flat and made of paper can be used as gift wrap, so think beyond the rolls from the store.
• Check out the notions section in the fabric department of your local craft store for trim to make fun bows and ribbons.
• For gifts of odd shapes, use fabric instead of paper; it's much easier to manipulate into shape.
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