Gift wrapping, especially this time of year, can zap more of our money than it needs to. We want our gifts to look nice, of course, but there are plenty of ways to do that without having to purchase rolls of paper or stacks of ribbon. From calendars to sheet music, we've gathered some upcycling ideas that let you wrap up new gifts with items you already have in the house. So get gifting.
If you've got a snowstorm of European proportions headed your way this Winter, hopefully you've stocked up on all my essential Winter storm supplies to stay safe. Now what? Being snowed in is pretty exciting for the first hour or two, until the novelty wears off and boredom and anxiety set in. Keep yourself and your family happy, calm, and entertained with a few of these remedies for cabin fever. You may even find yourself wishing the snow would stick around!
- Play an unboring board game: If you choose the right ones, board games are anything but boring. Go with a new classic like Apples to Apples or Cranium, or revisit an old favorite. If you haven't played Monopoly or Clue as an adult, by candlelight, during a snowstorm, you don't know what you're missing!
- Catch up on your must reads: Know how you're always wishing you had more time to read? Well, guess what — you have all the time in the world right now! Catch up on must reads from the past year, or tackle something you've always meant to read but — ahem — haven't had time to.
- Get crafting! What better time to attempt that DIY project you’ve been wanting to try, than a day you’re stuck indoors? One tip: keep your projects easy and fun, and make sure you have all the supplies you need ahead of time. A snow day is not the time to get in over your head on a difficult project!
- Keep moving: If board games are making your group antsy, get everyone up and moving with something more active. Noisy, lively games like charades or a home-spun version of Win, Lose, or Draw will break both the silence and the monotony in a snowed-in home.
More ideas after the break!
I wanted the packages to have a glamorous feel, yet still hand-crafted. I incorporated brown & white kraft paper, pennants, doilies, buttons & twine. More photos of my packages on my blog, Love & Lace.
Even if the rainy season has come and gone in your neck of the woods, there's still a completely practical reason to keep your umbrella stand front and center in your home. Instead of using it to store umbrellas, stash the umbrellas in a closet and use the stand to organize unwieldy rolls of wrapping paper. It's the perfect way to keep your present wrapping area tidy and handsome. Need other great ideas for reusing items around your home? Check out Real Simple's 869 New Uses For Old Things ($18), out now!
Interior stylist Selina Lake, author of Bazaar Style, never ceases to impress with her design skills. So it's no surprise that her Christmas presents look like works of art. For a December feature in BBC Homes & Antiques, she wrapped these gifts in rich, jewel-toned paper, and finished them off by tying ornaments to ribbon to make them extra special. It's a simple trick that's easy and affordable (drugstore ornaments will do), but it really makes an impact. I also love that despite an alternative palette, the boxes couldn't look more festive.
Photo by Debi Treloar
Style For Style: Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Solutions There's going to be a whole lot of gift wrapping in the upcoming month, so in order to pacify Mother Nature's anxiety, let's go go green and save a Christmas tree or two.
Furoshiki is a type of Japanese wrapping cloth that was traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, and food. The name means "bath spread," and can be traced to the Edo period, when cloths were used to to bundle clothes while at the sentō (public bath). Furoshiki is a great way to add decorative flair to a gift this holiday season. So if you're taking my Casa Quickie advice and wrapping any presents with fabric, try one of these furoshiki-wrapping techniques and impress your friends with your gift-wrapping skills!
You can download this diagram as a PDF from Japan's Ministry of the Environment.