This year, think outside the box! Instead of store-bought papers, dress your presents in tulle, tin, and other unusual trappings. Our instructions are so easy to follow that even your youngest can lend a helping hand.
What you need: Kraft paper, Red, white, and green tempera paint, Scissors, Scallop scissors, Rubber alphabet stamps and ink pad, Oval template, Ribbon.
To make: Cut a sheet of paper large enough to wrap gift. Dip the tip of your child's index finger in green paint, and press a wreath shape onto paper. Repeat until desired look is achieved; let dry. For decorative balls and ribbon, dip pinky finger into red or white paint and dab onto wreaths. To make tag, trace oval onto kraft paper using template, and cut out with scallop scissors. Finish by spelling out name with alphabet stamp. Attach to package with double-sided tape.
Design tip: Don't worry if the wreaths aren't perfectly round. A rough quality gives this wrap its charm.
What you need: Tissue paper, Tulle, Ribbon, Scissors, Tape, Threaded tag.
To make: Cut enough tissue paper and tulle to cover your gift completely. Wrap the gift in tissue paper. Wrap a layer of tulle over the tissue and tape. To finish, gather loose ends of tissue and tulle and tie together with ribbons. For the label, rethread the tag with ribbon and tie to the package's bow.
Design tip: Any fabric can be substituted for tulle as long as it's sheer enough for tissue to show through.
What you need: Plain metal lunch box, Felt squares in assorted colors, Scissors, 3-D paint, Rickrack trim, Handheld hole punch, Tree-shaped cookie cutter, Double-sided tape, Craft glue, Pencil, Metal-rim tag, Satin cording, Rubber alphabet stamps and ink pad.
To make: Cut a piece of felt to fit face of lunch box. Line edges of felt with rickrack. Trace tree outline onto green felt and cut out. Hole-punch various colors of felt, and glue the tiny circles to tree for ornaments. Glue tree to felt background, and attach background to lunch box with double-sided tape. Write message next to tree in 3-D paint. To make gift label, stamp the recipient's name on a metal-rim tag, thread tag with satin cording, and tie to lunch-box handle.
Design tip: The tree's ornaments don't have to be made from felt: 3-D paint makes a nice substitute.
IN THE BAG
What you need: White lunch bag, Snowflake craft punch, Snowflake-shaped cookie cutter, Heavyweight art paper, Ribbon, Glue, Glitter, Paintbrush, Scissors.
To make: Trace outline of cookie cutter onto paper, and cut out large snowflake. Using craft punch, make 8 small snowflakes. Brush glue onto the face of each snowflake, and dust with glitter. Line edge of bag with ribbon. Glue snowflakes onto face of bag.
Design tip: For a unified look, use glitter and ribbon of the same.
What you need: Mailing tube, White or red kraft paper, Red, pink, white, and green artist's tape in various widths, Scissors, Self-adhesive labels, Markers.
To make: Glue kraft paper to mailing tube. When glue has dried, wind artist's tape around the tube in a pattern resembling a candy cane. Repeat with different colors and widths until desired look is achieved. For gift tag, decorate a self-stick label using markers and apply to tube.
Design tip: An easy alternative is to start with a colored mailing tube and apply artist's tape over it.
THAT'S THE TICKET
What you need: Vellum envelope, Colored card stock, Satin cording, Handheld hole punch, Glue or double-sided tape, Alphabet stamps and ink pad, Stocking template.
To make: Cut 2 stocking shapes from cardstock. Stack the cutouts, and glue them together along the edge to form a pocket. When glue has dried, stamp recipient's name on cuff, fill stocking with a gift card, and place stocking in vellum envelope. Punch holes around edges of the envelope; weave satin cording through holes. Finish off the ends of the cording with a knot or a bow.
Design tip: Craft your stocking in a bright color to help it stand out.
Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the December 2001 issue of Parents magazine.