Learn how to top a special gift with hand-curled ribbon, add your own creative embellishments, and even make store-bought bows uniquely beautiful.
You can easily make package toppers that feel much less perfunctory and predictable than a typical bow. Grab beads, blossoms, bells, or other bling from a crafts store and knot one piece at a time onto embroidery floss or thin ribbon.
With a little scissor work, basic self-adhesive bows are transformed into sumptuous blooms. For each "flower," cut the loops of one small bow and one large bow at an angle. Then affix the small bow to the empty center of the large bow. Coil a short length of matching ribbon; place the coil in the center of the small bow, and secure with double-sided tape. Showcase a single bloom, or pair with more matching ribbon.
Paper snowflakes aren't quite as delicate as the real things are, but they make perfect toppers for holiday gifts. After kids cut out shapes, help thread ribbons through gaps in the snowflakes and tie around presents. Or glue flakes to plain wrapping paper, then cover with translucent tissue.
A present is two treats in one when you decorate the package with soft handmade ornaments. Pipe cleaners are also easy for young children to work with; make extra decorations to keep for yourself.
To make these beautiful rosettes, take a 2-inch strip of paper accordion (folded like a fan). Staple in the center, and then spread open and glue the ends together to make a circle. Glue a Dresden star to the center of the rosette. Then use hot glue to affix the rosette to the front of your gift packaging.
Gift tags are all the sweeter when they happen to be crisp cookies. To make them, cut gingerbread dough into shapes or letters, punch with a small hole for threading with cord, and bake. The cookies can be eaten while the unwrapping takes place, or hung on a tree as ornaments.
When it comes to loose spirals, there's only one rule: The more, the merrier. Run a scissor blade down ribbon, from middle to ends, varying the tension for tight or loose curls. Gather ribbons; cinch in the middle with a length of thinner ribbon. Affix with a hot-glue gun.
Give holiday gifts unexpected panache by using leftover yarn in place of ribbon. Wind cotton or wool yarn around presents (solid-color paper looks best) -- a few times for thin stripes or several times more for thick ones. Use a fuzzy yarn to give packages a cozy texture. Combine different yarns for colorful striations. Knot strands tightly on the bottom of each box. If desired, tie a bow on top.
Decorate with a familiar face (or many of them). Print or copy a photo onto heavyweight paper. Then wrap package with a wide band of ribbon. Using double-sided tape, secure photo to ribbon. You can use the photos to identify the giver or the getter, or attach one favorite photo to all your presents.
Make like Santa’s elves and get busy cooking and crafting some holiday cheer with Martha.Watch the Videos
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