Fun Ways to Wrap Gifts

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Bag It

Crafty Clues

Wrap a piece of string around an item to measure how much paper you'll need to wrap it.

For some gifts, a bag works better than a box. Gift bags can be made from paper, or you can recycle paper bags by adding clever decorations. Bags can be made from fabric, as well. Here are some great gift-bag ideas to get you started “bagging it:”

  • Use burlap to make a narrow sack for a bottle of homemade herbed vinegar or oil or a bottle of wine or sparkling cider.

  • A larger burlap bag could hold a metal crafted tray. Include a package of mixed cookie dough. The dough could then be tied with a ribbon and a cookie cutter used as an outer decoration. Fray the top edges of the burlap.

  • Brown paper bags can be used as gift bags after being stamped with rubber stamps or homemade stamps made from Styrofoam, a clean, new sponge, or cut potatoes. Citrus fruit sliced in half and then dipped in acrylic paint make another interesting decoration. Use acrylic or tempera paints for this (thin with water if necessary). Leave the top of the bag open and fill with colored tissue (or ivory tissue for a more natural look).

  • A fabric sack is an excellent way to disguise an odd-shaped gift. Part of the fun is trying to figure out what the heck made that shape! Just use a string to measure around the object so you know how big to make the sack.

  • Want a ready-made fabric sack? Recycle an old pillowcase. If the pillowcase is printed, just add a matching wide ribbon at the top. If it's plain, stamp or stencil it with fabric paint.

  • Sew up a lace bag to hold potpourri. Tulle works well for this, too.

  • Cut the leg off a worn pair of jeans. Cut a tube the length needed and sew across the bottom. This works great for a long narrow gift, such as a piece of sports equipment or an umbrella.

  • Use a long, warm winter sock for a Christmas stocking. Roll up the mate and put it inside. A glove can be used the same way for a different gift. Use one glove as the "wrapping" for a small gift. Place the other glove inside as well and tie the opening with a colorful ribbon.

  • Make a fabric or canvas tote bag and put your gift inside, along with some tissue.

  • A velvet bag with a drawstring makes an elegant gift wrap, then becomes a travel bag for jewelry.

  • A fabric bag is a good way to wrap and later store a quilt or fabric throw.

  • Make a crocheted doily into a bag by lacing ribbon through the openings around the edge.

Bags are great when you're in a hurry, since they don't require precise folding and taping -- just pop in the gift and go. Keep some ready-made ones around and consider sewing up a few fabric bags out of scraps so you have them available “just in case.”

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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