Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Gift Wrapping On A Budget

I've never been a huge fan of glitzy Christmas wrapping paper, preferring to instead use the more environmentally friendly brown parcel wrap (did you know that shiny, foil-effect and laminated wrapping paper can't be recycled?). And the recent fashion for low-key Scandinavian-style Christmas decorations means my habit of using brown paper is bang on trend.

You can get brown paper pretty easily on the high street and I usually pick mine up from the Post Office, where I found a 10 meter roll for £2. I then picked up a somewhat tatty and unloved music score for 99p in Oxfam and this, combined with a couple of brown paper bags (saved from shopping trips over the year) gave me more than enough to wrap all my gifts.

The joy of plain brown paper is the myriad ways you can jazz it up with ribbons and trimmings, and this is where my magpie-like tendencies come in handy: I've been collecting bits and pieces all year for my Christmas parcels. This is your chance to get creative: in past years I've used candy canes, pine cones, and small baubles to decorate my parcels (although not all at once. Even for Christmas-mad me that would be overkill).

This year, I went for a combination of trimmings: lace on some, ribbon on others, together with clay decorations. The length of lace is actually a collar sent to me by Kezzie in a swap. Sadly it was too short for me, but it looks amazing decorating my sister-in-law's gift and, as she's far more slender than I, it will hopefully fit her.  In a local haberdashery I found grey gingham and heart print ribbon for 50p a meter. The black & white striped butcher's string was £1 from Tiger and the white clay decorations were left over from my homemade Christmas cards last year.

Finally, my gift tags were made from brown luggage labels (they're much cheaper from eBay than from places like Paperchase), which I then either covered in sheet music or decorated with a Merry Christmas ink stamp.

In total, I spent £4.99 on my wrapping supplies this year, but with way over half the roll of paper, almost the whole book of music and most of the string left, I reckon the wrapping costs for my ten gifts comes in at around £2. And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think they look a million dollars.