One thing I look forward to most during the holidays is gift-giving. Not much else compares to the excitement of searching for and finding the perfect gifts for your people. I listen all year round for hints of what would make the best gifts for my mom or best friends and search store shelves with unmitigated scrutiny until I find them.
A great Christmas gift can only be made better by adding personalized touches like sweet cards and handmade gift wrap. When you’ve worked so hard to find the right thing for someone, it would be a crime to wrap it in a generic, one-size-fits-all wrapping paper.
This year I’ve created a few different gift wraps with handmade designs. As I was thinking of this year’s iterations of holiday gift wrap, I tried to think of what types of gifts I planned to give and to whom they would go. The simple pink pouf and black speckled gift wrap is perfect for a friend who loves anything pink; the rose gold gilded gift wrap will look great around jewelry; the pink ombre gift wrap with gold hearts can make a sweet personalized gift even more thoughtful; and the paperless gift wrap made of reusable fabric will show a friend with a bohemian spirit that she is well-known, understood, and loved.
If you want to add a personal touch to your holiday gift wrap, use one or more of the designs I created or use them to inspire your own handmade gift wrap designs.
Find a simple sheet of craft paper and add your own hand-drawn design
One of the simplest ways you can create your own DIY wrapping paper is by finding a sheet of craft paper that already has a simple design and adding your own drawings to it using oil markers or paint. I bought this ombré paper at Paper Source and used a gold oil paint marker to draw small hearts all over it. It looks dainty tied with thin black satin ribbon and would be perfect wrapped around a Lauren Mary Tristripe Throw blanket for your friend who can make a house a home.
Upcycle tissue paper by decorating with your own design
Save the tissue paper that your ceramic and glass wares get wrapped in at the store counter and reuse it as decorative gift wrap – two birds; one stone. With a permanent marker of any color, you can create a speckled design on it by lightly tapping the paper all over with the marker. Then, wrap your gift in the wrapping paper and instead of using a traditional tinsel bow, top it off with a pouf in a contrasting color to reflect the bright personality of the person to whom the gift will be given. This gift wrap will look great wrapped around a fun gift like a Polaroid instant camera or an engraved photo box for your friend who loves people.
Use gilding flakes to create a sparkly gift wrap
Gilded wrapping paper is not a common sight during the holidays so your gift will stand out if it’s wrapped in this wrapping paper. It is so pretty to look at and will be a beautiful sight to see under your Christmas Tree when it’s lit at night. To make this gift wrap you need heavy weight paper, white Elmer’s glue, a paintbrush, and gilding flakes like the ones I got from Paper Source (they also have gold and silver). Mix your glue with a little water to thin it out enough to paint onto your paper. Next, sprinkle the flakes onto the paper in layers until it is covered with enough of the gilding flakes to fit your preference. Once it’s dry you’re done! This gift wrap would be the perfect compliment to a gift of jewelry for a friend who has her own style.
Use fabric gift wrap for a reusable, no-waste friendly gift wrap
If you have a gift with an oblong shape, this paperless gift wrap is a great alternative to wrapping paper. Also, if your friend lives a no-waste lifestyle, she will be happy to see her gift come wrapped in a hand-glittered cotton wrap that she can reuse in the future. Even if she doesn’t live a no-waste lifestyle, this cotton wrap can be reused in the future as a Furoshiki wrap to carry food, wine, and other goods. To make this gift wrap I bought a large square of cotton fabric (what size you need depends on how big the gift is you need to wrap) and painted the corners with a mix of white glue and gold glitter. To make the glitter paint, mix Elmer’s glue with enough water to thin it to a paint consistency, then combine the glue-water mixture using a 2:1 ratio of glitter to glue (e.g. use 2 tablespoons of glitter to 1 tablespoon of glue) and paint it onto the corners of the cloth in layers, letting each layer almost completely dry before adding the next.