Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or any other gift-giving moment, you probably spend an extraordinary amount of time searching for and buying (or making) the perfect gift. The perfect gift is then unceremoniously dropped into a nondescript bag and with some tissue paper stuffed around it.

Wouldn’t it be even better if the wrap was as much a part of the gift as what is inside the package? With the price of gift wrap and gift bags, this can be a practical choice, too.

Making your own gift wrap is quick and easy, not to mention a fun project for the kids.  Start with brown packing paper, white meat packing paper, or even paper scraps that would otherwise be tossed out (you can even use leftover wrap inside out so that the white side is showing).  Using stamps, crayons, paints, or markers, turn your kids loose decorating the paper.

For birthday gifts, add a list of all the pertinent things that happened during the year of their birth. For a mother’s day or father’s day gift, include the kids’ handprints. If it’s a Valentine’s gift, put lipstick on everyone and put kisses all over the package. If you would like to prevent lip prints from smudging, you can cover them with clear fingernail polish or lightly spray just the lip print with hairspray.

Did you child make a beautiful fridge-quality piece of art?  Use it for gift wrap! Do you have some beautiful scraps of leftover fabrics?  You guessed it, they can either be glued on as accents or used alone as gift wrap.

Oh—and if you still want to drop the gift into a bag, all of these decorating ideas can be used just as easily on plain brown paper gift bags (with or without handles).