Easy, Artsy, Last-minute Wraps

fabric gift ties
Rip some fabric, snip some greens: you're done.

cate pratoYou already know I'm a Last-minute Lucy when it comes to making art as gifts.

But, guess what? I'm also the queen of last-minute wrapping.

I know, you're shocked.

I inherited the title after my mom passed away. She was tops at last-minute everything: Halloween costumes, science experiments, bake sale cakes, you name it. What made her the queen was that she made an artistic creation out of the limited materials that were available at the time.

When it came to wrapping gifts, the supplies available to work with were primarily wrapping paper and ribbon from the drugstore. But, oh, what she did with those supplies!

I remember one wedding gift she adorned with glossy silver ribbon she made to resemble bells. First she cut the ribbon into three sizes and "glued" the ends of each piece together by wetting one end and sticking it to the other end. Then she glued the concentric circles together and bent the ribbons into a bell shape. It only took a few minutes to assemble this creation, but it really made her gift stand out.

Granted, wedding bell ribbons seem rather tame by today's Martha-ized, unlimited scrapbook doo-dad standards. But it was my mom's attention to artistic detail-even if it was at the last minute-that made an impression on me. And the fact that she somehow made her embellishments look artistic, not cheesy.

I have found that it really doesn't take much to give a gift that distinctive, artistic touch. Just some imagination, basic supplies, and a few minutes of effort. And it's the effort as much as the results that make your gift recipient feel special.

Here are some of my favorite last-minute wrapping tricks:

domino gift tags
Domino tags by Michelle Spaw.

Use torn strips of fabric as ribbon and natural items (a bundle of sticks, a piece of greenery, dried flowers) as the centerpiece. This trick can make even packages wrapped in newsprint look special.

Mount a copy of a photo of the recipient (or of you and the recipient together; I like to use vintage pix) on cardstock and center it on the package. Depending on the amount of time I have and the occasion, I might edge the photo in glitter or frame it with novelty yarn.

Découpage the top of a small- or medium-sized gift box with a vintage postcard or cutouts. This works really well on boxes that are brightly colored or metallic.

handmade paper gift toppers
Decorative paper toppers by Michelle Spaw.

Of course I'm always on the lookout for fresh last-minute wrapping and gift decorating techniques. Last year, I found several in Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts that have become my new favorites. Using a piece of stitched art (like an artist trading card) to decorate a plain gift bag and making a "bow" out of paper scraps, are two.

I also like the domino tags; they take a little more work, but I like the gift-tag as jewelry concept.

There's a ton of ideas for wrapping, décor, and gifts in Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts, and most are quick and easy to do. For a limited time, you can download the entire issue for just 10 cents.

Think about it: You could download Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts 2010 right now, make one of the clever projects, and gift it to someone tonight. Talk about last-minute!


P.S. Do you have any last-minute tips for wrapping or topping off your gifts? Won't you share them with us below?


Blog, Easy Gifts to Make


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