04 January 2010

Christmas Gift-Wrapping Recap

This year, thanks to weekly art time with Jan and giftwrapping inspiration from Charissa of The Gifted Blog, my giftwrapping was taken to a whole new level of artful presentation and whimsy.  And believe it or not, it was incredibly easy to pull off.  I'll show you what I did and how in this blog post.

A few weeks back, I attended a workshop at Charissa's home where she taught a small group of us how to create tissue flowers and pom poms.  Back home, I used a clean mylar rice cracker package, cut it into one long strip, and created a spangly firecracker of a pom pom.  It turned out to be a perfect tree topper for our petite cone-shaped rosemary tree.  J. and I didn't have any ornaments nor did we feel like spending money on one.  So I took an idea I saw at Charissa's house to decorate the tree.  I punched out frilly dots from card stock and magazines with a Martha Stewart craft puncher from Michael's and sewed them together in a line with a sewing machine.  It took some experimenting to find a way to work with my machine and create lines of sewn thread between each dot but once I did, it was smooth sailing.

Screenprinting with Jan gave me the tools to venture out on my own and try a freehanded botanical screenprint which turned out to be better as wrapping paper than an art print.  I printed on different kinds of paper to see which ones I liked best.  One of my favorites turned out to be a print on the blank side of a Trader Joe's grocery bag.  This wrapping paper looked beautiful with Charissa's tissue flowers.  I used leftover ribbon to tie it all together.

The icing on the cake came again from Charissa's blog.  She frequently highlights free downloads that are worth checking out.  From her site, I found free french-themed tags and polaroid tags with evocative nature scenes.  I taped them, threaded them with ribbon, and stuck them on my packages wherever I felt like.  The tags added a special personalized touch.  The best thing about it was that it was so easy. I just printed, cut, and taped away.

I used tissue paper to wrap presents for mailing in a parcel and used the tags to create simple moments of serenity and personalization.  I tried to draw a chandelier (kind of looks like a devil's tail!) and used miniature polaroid tags and a french "madame" tag to address it to J.'s mother.    Tissue paper paper works better when mailing gifts in packages-it lends a fragile natural wrinkly look vs. giftwrapping paper that creases and exposes unsightly white cracks in the printed image.

Below I used scraps from my screenprinted botanical paper to customize something for J.' brother.

 J. got into the mix and before I knew what was happening, he had whipped up some labels of his own for our edible presents--jars of moroccan preserved lemons and spiced glazed nuts.  I was impressed.  He created the labels using techi coding software but I'm sure it's easy enough on a word processing software.

We paired miniature polaroid tags as covers for folded up recipes and instructions.  We used double sided tape to secure ribbon and labels.

J. used an old Netflix mailer to punch out red dots for the tops of the jars.  He also found my old scrapbooking pinking scissors to create nice pinked edges.

And that's it!  I hope this gives you some inspiration for your gift-wrapping this year.  I really enjoyed using non-traditional Christmas colors and images to create something that was pleasing for me to look at and give.  Thanks to Charissa for giving me these ideas to implement!  Check out her blog for fresh ideas and the latest on free downloads around the internet.


  1. Oh my gosh, this is amazing. :)
    I LOVE all the spark and personality you and J. put into your gifts this year, and flattered that I had any part in your creative outpouring!

    I really like the gift for J.'s mom. I could definitely tell it was a chandelier!

    I'm doing a roundup of reader highlights soon and will definitely include you. Thanks for sharing, Hanna!

  2. glad it looks like a chandelier! we had a lot of fun giftwrapping this year and it was a breeze with all of the tutorials and inspiration you gave from your blog and workshop. thanks charissa!

  3. wow! that looks awesome. i can't believe i missed this post, found it via the gifted blog!