Weekend Womenscraft: Wrapping your presents

Hoydens are apparently going to be showing you some crafty goodness as a regular weekly feature around here so stand back. If you follow my personal blog then you know I’m a goddamn craft-cynic so it doesn’t really make sense that I am kinda kicking the feature off here at Hoyden About Town. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the beauty and skill of crafty stuff, it is just that over time I have been beaten down by an art n’ craft lovin’ six year old kid. Once you’ve repeatedly picked up a truckload of someone else’s paper scraps and cotton threads you lose a certain craft sparkle in your eye.

But moving right along. Here’s how you might care to wrap your Christmas presents this year. First piece of advice? You should have bought your presents already. Don’t leave it until Christmas Eve to shop, that’s so ‘1995 me’ to do that. It is now 2011 and we have the Internet, so even if you hate being in actual shops you can still do your shopping – do it online, hurry up. (If you’re one of those crafty types who makes your own gifts then start writing a post for the Weekend Womenscraft feature). The wrapping ideas I’m about to show you were inspired by Pip Lincolne. You can see a little tutorial on her present wrapping ideas here.

Now, here’s my idea.

Brown wrapping paper. It’s cheap and it’s old-fashioned. Or maybe it’s hipster. Anyway, don’t argue.

String. It’s cheap and it’s Sound of Music.

Plain labels. They’re cheap and they’re a blank slate.

And here’s what I did with my blank slate, I bought an old book from an op shop and I let my six year old cut it to pieces. I know, I know. My punk brother-in-law is living with us at the moment and he has zero respect for any conventions, particularly the ones involving replacing my wine when he drinks it, but even he shuddered when he saw this sacrilege. Anyway, it wasn’t a great book and it wasn’t in great condition and it cost me a dollar but oh my, its illustrations (and later when I’ve devoured all illustrations, its wonderful font), make great scenery on gift tags. Don’t worry about whether the illustrations are actually Christmassy in theme, I sure didn’t. I’m a big fan of obscure.

Cut out something and stick it on your plain label. Scissors, glue, craft.

But next, actually make the present a little bit Christmassy. I had amazing luck at a discount shop where I found these Christmas cocktail recipe cards for $2 a deck. Honestly, they looked like nothing much at all, the outside of the pack gave nothing away about how truly pleasant they are inside. I’ve glued one of these cards on to each present, like so.

Right, that’s enough Christmas for the decorating of the presents.

And here’s another tip. Pip Lincolne said ditch the bottle gift bag if you’re giving a bottle of wine to someone this year. Those gift bags are hideous, just decorate the bottle a bit instead. I went with pipe cleaners, and then I would have liked to staple the cocktail recipe card on to the gift tag but my stupid stapler had no staples so it’s glued on instead. But let the record show that I’m a massive fan of staples in craft.

One more for the road.

That’s it. Happy Christmas if you celebrate it, happy everything else if you don’t.



Categories: fun & hobbies

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7 replies

  1. I’m doing confectionery as Chrimble gifts for the family again this year. It’s become something of a tradition (which started when we were first spending Christmas on the dole). This year, it’s going to be a mixture of chocolate truffles (brandied cherries in milk chocolate, rum-soaked raisins in dark chocolate) and White Christmas. One of the good things about these recipes is most of the ingredients can be accumulated well ahead of the festive season, one or two at a time as and when the money becomes available, and stowed away until the time comes to put everything together.
    The trick is in the packaging. This year, I’m planning to hit up the local newsagent for some gift bags and cellophane, and popping the truffles into fancy little paper cases (coloured mini patty pan cases) before wrapping each type in the cellophane. Fancy ribbons to make it look pretty, and a hand-written “map” card (index card written with fancy pens and my best handwriting) and it gets us extra kudos for presenting folks with a hand-made gift. Nobody has to know that the most expensive part of the whole business is the standing around getting the chocolate to melt (oh, and the washing-up afterwards).
    Oh, and for decorating a bottle of wine: curly ribbon works just great. It worked for my parents last year – buy a bottle of what I know is one of their favourite wines (Evans & Tate Gnangara Shiraz, for those who are interested) and just put a couple of loops of ribbon around the neck and make the ends all curly.

  2. Your goddamn craft speaks even to me, and you couldn’t find someone with a greater horror of having paper and sticky things around at the moment. (We just put in an application for a rental place and move impending and yikes yikes yikes.)

  3. I was hoping that this feature would be called “Goddamn Craft” actually as I share Mary’s horror of paper and sticky things, but mine lasts all year round. I am going to have to go through the kids drawings soon and do a big sort and recycle. How I’m going to do it in the holidays, with both of them home I don’t yet know.

  4. Oh crap, I’ve just been reminded that I should have spent this morning making a gift for someone I’m seeing tonight. Um. Oops. Not sure I have time to do it now.

  5. Everytime my daughter wants to do craft or brings home craft from other places all I can think is ‘GODDAMN CRAFT!!!!” You have infiltrated my thought process Blue Milk! (And I love it!)
    Re wrapping. My Dad is a great wrapper. He comes from the ‘make do’ school of wrapping. He has been known to use pillow cases, silver foil, newspaper and even a cabbage leaf once. It is a running family joke as to what Dad will use this year to wrap gifts in!

  6. Megpie71 – I need to see a photo of these map cards, they sound interesting. Either that or we need to all do a study tour through your house, have White Christmas ready please.
    Mary – the craft is a bigger force than all of us.
    Mindy – the feature SHOULD be called Goddamn Craft, you’re right.
    mimbles – how can you not feel like making things after my very inspiring first Weekend Womenscraft post?
    bri – your dad is the business, I love love love his ideas.

  7. Basically the “map cards” are sort of the equivalent of those “what each chocolate in the assortment looks like” cards you get in chocolate assortments. In my case, they’re fairly simple – things like “white chocolate with coconut: type X”; “milk chocolate with hundreds and thousands: type Y”; “dark chocolate with chocolate sprinkles: Type Z”. Or if I’m using coloured patty cases, they’ll list the colour and the flavour associated with it. I haven’t done up this year’s set yet (I’m a very “last minute” person when it comes to wrapping things) so unfortunately photos aren’t really an option just yet, sorry.

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