Think outside the box – gifts don’t have to be cocooned in traditional festive paper! Here are six creative and budget-friendly ways to wrap your presents
1. Painted gift wrap
Painted gift wrap is a cheap and easy way to customise your gifts as well as being great for keeping kids occupied in the lead-up to Christmas.
Pick your colour palette. We went for non-traditional hues of lilac, mustard and soft blue. You can also add some glam with flecks of gold paint to make it more festive.
Get painting. Use different methods and techniques, such as using watercolour paint (or watering down acrylic paint) and flicking it on from a height. Paint rough shapes and layer over darker blobs or flecks of paint. Leave to dry.
Keep the look minimal by tying your gifts with white string or ribbon.
Knotted-fabric wrapping is an on-trend way to present your gifts. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and you don’t need sticky tape or ribbon. Source scraps of material from an op-shop or buy cheap offcuts from a fabric store. Calico is great for the natural look. Remember, this method works best with boxed items.
Place a large piece of fabric pattern-side down on a flat surface. Make sure you have enough fabric to go around the gift and leave long enough ends to tie together. Place your boxed gift in the centre of the fabric on the diagonal.
Fold the fabric over the sides of the box just as you would with gift paper, and fold or roll the corner pieces over a few times in the middle. Flip over the box so the folded fabric is now on the bottom.
Neatly bring the two remaining corners up to meet each other, tucking in the rough sides to create a neat fold.
Tie the fabric ends in a knot and tuck the rough edges under to hide them.
Reusing newspapers is a great way to do something a little different with your wrapping as well as being kinder to the planet. Plus, if you don’t like what’s going on in the world, give it a whitewash!
Collect old newspapers or ask your local cafe for their leftovers at the end of the day.
Lay the newspaper sheets flat on a protected surface and give them a good whitewash with watered-down white paint. Let them dry.
TIP: Tint your whitewash with a colour of your choice to create soft pastel hues.
4. Tea towels
Tea towels are a great way to present a gift as they are easy to wrap with and double as an extra present. You don’t have to spend up large; look for specials and multipacks at homeware stores. A couple of bottles of craft beer wrapped together makes a nice gift. TIP: It may take a few goes to perfect this one!
For a wine or Champagne bottle, place your bottle on an angle at the corner of the tea towel and simply roll inwards, folding the bottom up as you go, like fish-and-chip wrapping. Secure with some ribbon or string at the top.
For beer bottles, place your bottles end-to-end at the corner of the tea towel, leaving about a 5cm gap between them. Roll them up in the tea towel until you reach the opposite corner. Stand the bottles up side by side and tie the tea towel ends together in a knot, creating bunny ears.
5. Put them in a can
Canisters are great for presenting foodie gifts such as meringues and homemade biscuits or small items like jewellery or a beautiful ceramic ornament or candleholder (all carefully wrapped in tissue paper, of course). Kitchen canisters are easy to come by at homeware stores or keep an eye out at your local op-shop for ones.
Give your canister a light clean, then line it with tissue or baking paper to prevent any sticky residue or damage to the inside.
Arrange your gifts snugly inside, then close the lid and attach a nice gift tag with a ribbon or piece of leather cord.
6. Use a basket
Baskets are a great way to package up gifts that include more than one item. They also work well with presents that are an awkward size and can’t be easily tied with ribbon. The Warehouse or Kmart stock lots of affordable options in various sizes.
Individually wrap your gifts, or if you have a basket that isn’t see-through, simply place your gifts inside.
Once all the goodies are positioned, finish off with a nice tag and maybe a bauble, too.
Created by: Catherine Wilkinson and Tanya Wong. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.