Public Service Announcement: We are ten days out from Christmas, y’all. Saying that out loud makes my mind race, my heart skip a beat and make me feel like I’m in a state of state of sheer panic. I feel like it was just last month that I was sipping wine beachside and riding around the island on bicycles with my family.
We all know firsthand how quickly the costs of buying presents for friends and family can add up. I feel like my husband and I were pretty prepared throughout the year to pick up gifts here and there, but there is always a mad rush to finish off those checklists last minute. With that being said, anywhere you can save a dime here and there helps to lighten the load for everyone.
I will go over different ways to make easy DIY gift tags and alternate wrapping paper options that will have your loved ones drooling. You might even surprise yourself at how easy and time efficient these can be.
I have always considered myself to be a “crafty” person. Growing up, I could sit for hours coloring, drawing, or painting whatever I could get my hands on. The amount of times I roped my mom into taking me to a craft store was well in the hundreds. (poor Kim) Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a crafter or a DIYer, its okay to start somewhere! It is 2020 after all. Most of these ideas are “fool proof,” but don’t be afraid if they don’t come out exactly as you had planned. Often times, the best aren’t always perfect.
Brown Shipping Paper
Seeing this idea for the first time a few years back, I have found that brown shipping paper works really well when it comes to seamless, yet alternative wrapping paper. There are thousands of options to “dress it up” and make your presents look like you took them to get professionally wrapped. You can buy a role at any office store like Office Depot or Office Supply for well under $5. In years past, I have hand drawn people’s names right on the package and they turned out beautifully. I will have to admit that my calligraphy has got quite a bit better since I first started.
Dried oranges tied with ribbon against the brown wrapping paper makes for a breathtaking contrast. I typically go for a white ribbon or burlap twine ( buffalo plaid ribbon if I’m feeling bold), but experiment with whatever will match your “vibe.” Making dried oranges are very simple and quick, so experiment with this whenever you have a few minutes of free time. Pick up a bag of oranges during your next grocery shopping outing and get to baking. Make sure to cut your oranges in thin pieces and lay them flat on a baking sheet.
I’ve also found that doing both naval oranges and blood oranges are cool way to have a variation of color. In my DIY Christmas Decor blog, I also talked about how to make a fresh strand of garland out of these beauties.
Dried or Fresh Flowers
Dried flowers make for a beautiful, yet simple way to also dress up your gifts. If you are wanting to truly DIY these yourself and have them ready in time for Christmas, it would be in your best interest to start yesterday. The best approach I’ve found to dry these beauties has been to tie them at the bottom of the bouquet with string and to hang them upside down in a dark area. They do take a few days to completely dry out, so be patient with them. Although some flowers naturally hold their shape better than others, some sources have also have also said that spraying hairspray over the flowers help to preserve them. A few strands of fresh Eucalyptus or Lavender also smell heavenly while getting the same general gist of the dried flowers.
With making your own paper tags, there are endless opportunities in what you can do to make your own. Craft Stores, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, have paper cutting tools that come in squares, rectangles, circles and stars. Buy a few shapes to be able change up your options. Pick up a few sheets of cardstock and sit down to start cutting. As another easy and quick option, invest in a watercolor set to draw simple trees or stars on white card-stock. Remember to keep things simple and light! Punch a hole in the top and tie with ribbon. Wallah! If you have a Cricut like myself, then you know how many hundreds of thousands of options there are when it comes to making your own tags. I remember the hours I spent two Christmases ago making tags and I was sooo pleased with how they turned out.
If you have DIYed any tags or wrapping paper in the past? If so, I would love to see what creations you came up with. Drop any pictures you have in the comments below. If not, what is your biggest fear in holding you back?