Most people spend hours searching for the perfect gift, only to throw it in a gift bag and cover it with tissue paper.
But this holiday season, you can make your gift wrapping just as special as the contents inside. With three do-it-yourself ideas, you can take your gift to the next level without even traveling off campus because all the materials needed can be found at CVS or your local stationery store, like the Paper Source at 3019 M St. NW.
Brown paper packages
What you will need: Paper bag, twine, black Sharpie, tape and scissors.
Just as the classic song goes, brown paper packages tied up with string are one of many people’s favorite things during the holiday season. Take a step away from the glitter and sparkle that cover most holiday paper and keep your gift wrap minimal yet endearing with simple brown paper.
Wrapping your gift in this fashion is the perfect way to reuse Whole Foods shopping bags that piled up in your closet over the semester. Simply remove the handles and deconstruct the paper bag by cutting along its edges to flatten it into a sheet. Then, wrap your gift, making sure the logo side of the bag faces in.
If you are artistically inclined and want to spice up the plain brown paper, you can use a black Sharpie ($3.95) to doodle all over the package. With this gift-wrapping method, you won’t need to worry about attaching a name tag – you can write the label directly onto the paper alongside festive sketches of objects like mistletoe, snowflakes and holly.
To keep in line with the rustic feel, use thin twine ($3.39) you can find at CVS or opt for a punch of holiday color by using traditional ribbon ($3.95). Cut a piece long enough to wrap around your box, and you’ll be good to go with a gift that is wrapped simply and sustainably.
What you will need: Mini ornaments, twine or ribbon, wrapping paper, scissors and tape.
If you want to go over-the-top for your gift wrapping, you don’t need to break the bank by shopping at expensive gift shops. Adding one simple touch will make it look like your gift was wrapped by a holiday pro.
Pick up a pack of mini ornaments from CVS ($4), which comes with a 20-pack of different shiny, solid or snowflake patterns. Choose an ornament that matches the color of your wrapping paper ($3.95 to $5.95) so the entire gift is color-coordinated to perfection.
To start, wrap your gift as usual, then string a few of the ornaments onto your choice of twine or ribbon. Carefully tie the ribbon around the package and position an ornament or two where the ribbon crosses in the center. If you want to go for an asymmetrical look, shift the ribbon so the ornaments dangle off the side of your box.
This one-step addition to gift wrap is so easy, but it spruces up any package to look a little bit more special.
DIY painted paper
What you will need: Black paper, white paint, paintbrush, cotton swabs, scissors and tape.
If you can’t find a wrapping paper design that is perfect for your gift’s recipient, DIY your gift wrap with this splatter paint and dotting technique.
First, wrap your gift up in any solid color construction paper or a paper bag flattened into a sheet. Because the wrapping itself is a neutral tone that could use some spicing up, dip a small paintbrush in a batch of Crayola paints ($5.79) or even a vibrant colored nail polish ($2.24) from Pop-arazzi.
Lay down some paper towels or even this newspaper as a mat under your gift, then you’ll be ready to DIY. Fling paint onto the package using short, quick downward motions to achieve the perfect splatter mark or use a cotton ball ($1.64 to $2.99) to create a simple dot pattern.