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Squid & Birch is a lettering and design shop offering prints, cards, and flair for fans of all things nerdy and cheeky.

Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrapping

Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite ways to get crafty.  Taking the time to personalize a package for a loved one brings me a lot of joy.

While I love fancy paper and ribbon, I think it's hard for most people to justify those expenses this time of year.  So I've put together three wrapping ideas that have big impact for small money.

My best piece of advice is to save any paper you might be able to repurpose in the future, and to think outside the roll.  My first box is the perfect example. 

This idea reuses tissue paper from your Christmas shopping.  I'm talking about the stuff they use to wrap your glassware before bagging it.  This kind of paper is a bit sturdier than tissue paper you'd buy for gift bags and I love the simplicity of solid-colored, matte paper.  The fact that it's been crumpled and softened from wear adds to its rustic charm.

I used double-sided tape to combine two colors of standard tissue, then wrapped kitchen string around the box several times.  Some greenery -- real or faux -- is always a welcome addition.  Clip a piece of evergreen from a tree in your yard or do what I did and grab a branch of eucalyptus from your Thanksgiving floral arrangement.

One of my money-saving tips is to never buy new gift tags.  I make a lot of mine from magazine clippings and construction paper.  The above tag utilizes my favorite tag trick: I upcycled a used greeting card by cutting out a graphic element and punching a hole in it.  Attaching an eyelet as I did is completely optional.  I simply tied it onto the string with some contrasting hemp twine and the package is complete.  This box is going to someone who also loves to craft and shares my love of rustic aesthetics.

For my second example I used some beautiful handmade paper that had previously been gifted to me.  When you receive quality packaging, there's no shame in saving it!  

When the paper is fancy, I like to keep the embellishments simple.  For this one I used just one strand of twine and tied on a tarnished bell from an old Christmas decoration that had passed its prime.  The minimal tag -- just a printed word -- is the perfect finishing touch.  That package is for the red-lover in my life.

And finally, one of my favorite things: brown paper packages tied up with string!  Kraft paper is really inexpensive and it's such a classic look.  I buy mine on the roll at the office supply store.  I'm a sucker for baker's twine (imagine that,) especially the red and white variety during the holiday season.  

I crafted this tag using two colors of construction paper and a chalk pen.  A special person in your life will certainly appreciate the bit of extra time it takes to lovingly pen his or her name in pretty script.  But if you don't enjoy hand-lettering, just find a font you like and print a tag.  If you're a fan of the chalkboard look, here's a link to some free printable tags you'll love.

My final tip is to keep the recipient in mind when you're wrapping the package.  Incorporating favorite colors, shapes, and decorative elements will not only make the process more fun for you, it will also certainly add to the special impact of the whole gift for the lucky getter.

If you dread wrapping all those Christmas presents, I encourage you to seek out a new, creative look that might take some of the tedium out of the task.  Check out my gift wrapping Pinterest board for more ideas.  Happy gifting!

Composing a Cheese Board

Composing a Cheese Board

Getting Festive on the Cheap

Getting Festive on the Cheap