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Recycled Gift Wrap
These creative Christmas gift-wrapping shortcuts will help you save both time and money so you can focus on fully enjoying the holiday season.
Have scraps of wrapping paper left over from other gifts? Don't toss it. Instead, run it through a shredder (cut to size first, if needed) and use it for lining gift boxes or bags.
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Potato-Chip Bag Gift Wrap
You can give a new life to empty potato-chip bags and dress up your gifts in them with this quick idea. Cut open a potato-chip bag along its seam to reveal the shiny white or silver inside of the bag. Flatten the bag, wash it with soap and water, and air dry. Then wrap your present and adorn it with ribbons and homemade cards.
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Add a blooming touch to wrapped gifts by topping them with nesting pastel papers in different sizes.
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If you have a lot of gifts to give this year, assign each family member a different color paper, and you won't even need gift tags. This is a fun way for everyone to identify his or her presents.
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Make gift-wrapping tasks easier by creating a station for all of your supplies.
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Choose a Palette
If you don't have enough material to color-code, try choosing a palette to unify the gifts you wrap -- then vary the materials; everything you give will have your signature for the season.
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Use Decorative Tape
Forget ribbon: This decorative tape gets the job done just fine. Made in Japan using traditional washi paper, the 50-foot rolls come in two widths and 125 cheerful colors and graphic patterns that transform any solid wrapping paper into something special.
You can buy rolls of Happy Tape individually or in a themed set, and combine them to create vibrant and charming color combinations.
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You can make gifts look elegant without fancy ribbons or costly trimmings by simply using extra bits of paper.
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Kraft Paper Gift Wrap
For oddly shaped gifts and those that need sturdy wrapping, make it all about the trimmings. Use kraft paper for an attractive yet supportive covering. Once wrapped, add special trimmings and gift tags to your package.
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Make Your Own Gift Tags
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DIY Gift Wrap
Create your own wrapping paper by making impressions on a large sheet of paper with a square rubber stamp. For a uniform pattern, stamp the sheet of paper repeatedly with the same stamp, leaving a small space between each impression. Or, stamp just the center of a piece of wrapping paper. A stamp rolling pin also makes an attractive pattern. Here, we applied several different colors to a sheet of white paper to create a muted design.
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Stamped Shopping Bag Gift Wrap
Repurpose shopping bags into festive gift wrap. Cut an open paper shopping bag along one fold and scissor out the bottom of the bag. Wrap your gift in the paper. Dip one end of a wine cork into ink or a dark fruit juice and begin stamping patterns.
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Kids' Artwork Gift Wrap
Let the kids join in on the gift-wrapping fun by using their drawings as inexpensive and delightful homemade gift wrap. Have kids doodle on Kraft paper, calendar pages, shopping bags, magazine pages, and phone book pages.
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Cheerful Gift Boxes
Here's an eco-friendly idea that's both inexpensive and full of Christmas spirit. Transform a cardboard box into unique holiday gift wrap by gluing on a greeting card cutout.
Place the lid on top of a card. Using a ruler, draw an outline that's about 1/4 inch outside the lid. Cut just inside the line with a pair of pinking shears. Use a glue stick to attach the cutout to the lid; the card will extend over the box's edges (be sure it's centered over the lid before pressing down). Repeat to cover the bottom of the box.
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Photo Gift Toppers
Want to add a personalized touch to your gift presentation? Print or copy a special 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 receiver, or attach one favorite photo to all your presents.
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Elegant Gift Bags
By adding simple embellishments, ordinary brown paper bags are transformed into elegant wrappings. Lace ribbons through two small holes in the flap of a bag, and tie a millinery fruit into the knot.
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Vintage Linen Wrap
Wrap goods in vintage napkins, handkerchiefs, or other linens graced with lively patterns, and the packaging itself will serve as an added gift. Look for linens at flea markets or online. Fabrics are particularly helpful when wrapping articles whose shapes don't lend themselves to paper. The rest is a cinch: Gather fabric around items, and tie with ribbon.
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Read, wrap, and recycle! Turn old magazine pages into beautiful, one-of-a-kind bows for your packages. Cut strips of similar colors for the best visual effect.
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Quick Cloth Wrap
In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called "furoshiki," and it's brilliantly attractive, quick, and eco-friendly. Secure open ends with a button, safety pin, or knot.
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For those hard-to-wrap items, (think sewing supplies and bath fizzies), simply put them in a jar.
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For those gifts that deserve a big shine, use foil floral paper. It comes in many colors and costs much less than most traditional metallic gift wrap.
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