It’s a wrap – bows, tags and last minute gift wrapping

Whether you’re an organised elf or a last-minute warrior, buying the gifts is sometimes only half the battle. If you’re a bit crap when it comes to gift wrap, look no further than our guide to present presentation:

The Thrifty Take

It’s not news that student budgets are stretched to their limit around the Christmas period, but being broke doesn’t have to mean your presents are the saddest in the pile. Grab glue, tape, and whatever scrap paper, card, or similar material you have lying around and fashion fantastic gift bows that look effortlessly expensive but require little time and cost next to nothing. A brilliant way to use up materials that would otherwise be wasted, these bows would even look cool fashioned from newspaper or tin foil. Take a look at ClaCali’s YouTube tutorial for inspiration on DIY paper bows done three ways:

The Sustainable Switch

The environment is on our minds constantly here at the Student, and the gifting season is no exception. According to Zero Waste Scotland* wrapping paper can’t be recycled if it is thin with few quality good fibres, contains glitter or foil as both carry microplastics, or has too much sticky tape attached. If you’re concerned about your festive footprint, quit traditional store-bought wrapping paper in favour of good old fashioned plain brown parcel paper. Go minimalist by combining with simple twine for a rustic look that ditches the tape altogether, or get creative with colour and pattern, customising your brown paper with coloured pencils, felt tips, pastels, watercolours, acrylic paint, ink, and stamps, or any other medium you prefer. This is a playful way to personalise every gift with names, messages, or even a cheeky portrait of the receiver. 

The Crafty Creation

Why not rekindle that creative spark you discovered during summer lockdown and get back into craft? Clay gift tags are a beautiful way to customise your gift-wrapping, not to mention they can be repurposed as cute Christmas tree ornaments year after year. All you need for this simple project is air dry clay, festive cookie cutters, tools, and paint. Roll out your clay and cut into shapes – typical label shapes, hearts, stars and Christmas trees all work well. Use a straw or skewer to make a small hole somewhere in your shape – this is essential for threading your ribbon through at the end. Let the clay dry overnight and apply your design and message with acrylic or metallic paints and permanent marker pens. Once dried, attached to your gifts with a matching ribbon, and voila – unique and long-lasting gift tags.

Textile Twist

We’ve all seen Lush’s iconic brightly printed eco-friendly fabric knot wraps. Why not get inspired and create your own? Use old, unwanted textiles like pillowcases, scarves, duvet covers, blanket, sheets, and bandanas, cut into squares, and get folding. The Japanese art of Furoshiki, which, simply put, is an origami-style gift wrapping technique using fabric, is an elegant twist on the traditional, and is bound to make your gifts the most talked about under the tree. This is perfect for those otherwise difficult-to-wrap shapes, and a quick Google search supplies endless beginner tutorials to get you into the swing. Check out these recycled sari fabric squares sold on the Oxfam website, ideal for perfecting your Furoshiki skills and making small gifts look effortlessly elegant:

So there you have it, four fabulous techniques to get your wrapping game up to scratch. Watch out Santa, there’s a new Christmas hero on the scene!


Image: via Pikist