The following are just a few of her ideas:
- A Silver Metal Bucket filled with gardening tools and greenery.
How To: Fill bucket with holiday greenery (pine, eucalyptus, red berries), place the gardening tools in the bucket among the greenery. Tie pretty red ribbons around each of the gardening tools to add a splash of color.
Great gift for an avid gardener, the bucket functions as both the "wrapping" for the gardening tool gifts and can then be reused for gardening and storing the tools for years to come. Plus, the greenery smells fantastic.
Bucket can be purchased at any garden center for $10-$15.
- Canvas sweater box filled with gift of clothing.
We've filled ours with men's dress shirts, used "Stock Quotes" tissue paper to pack it, and tied it shut with a red men's tie. ItÂ's a great non-traditional way to wrap a traditional gift (men's shirts and tie).
How to: The sweater box functions as the "gift box" for the shirts. But, unlike an ordinary paper shirt box, the canvas sweater box can be reused to store the shirts, to store a sweater or can be folded away for easy storage. The "stock quotes" tissue paper is a unique addition; it looks like the financial pages of a newspaper but leave no newspaper print on the gift items.
The red tie that is used to secure the box shut in lieu of a ribbon is also part of the gift. The tie should be secured in a traditional tie knot.
The sweater box comes in two sizes and can be found at The Container Store near you or purchased from the store's Web site for $18.99. Stock Quotes" tissue paper made by Marcel Schurman can be found at your local stationary store for $2.75.
- Makati Magazine Basket containing December issue of Travel and Leisure magazine and packed with "books" pattern tissue paper.
Giving the gift of a magazine subscription has become very popular because the gift will be remembered throughout the year and is relatively inexpensive. But how do you "dress up" a gift subscription?
How to: Pick up a copy of the magazine and place it in the magazine basket with their gift subscription card (or just write your own note). The basket can be used throughout the year to hold the many issues of the magazine they will soon be receiving.
The "books" tissue paper adds a nice touch, and you can spruce up the packaging with a few ribbons and a few sprigs of eucalyptus.
Makati Magazine Basket sells for $29.99 and can be found at The Container Store near you or on its Web site. Travel and Leisure magazine subscription costs $39.00. "Books" pattern tissue paper made by Marcel Schurman is $2.50.
- Yellow Suede Tool Belt filled wih Kiehl's men's shaving products.
The tool belt is a "handy" way to package gifts like shave creams, soaps and lotions.
How to: Fill the belt with toiletries, wrap up the whole thing with some bright ribbon and add some greenery or holly. Once the toiletries are removed, the tool belt can be used as traditionally intended for years to come.
Tool belt can be found at K-mart for $17.59.
Keihls products can be purchased at any department store with a Keihl's counter (prices vary $10-40) .
- Fleece Throw wrapped around the gift of flannel pajamas. Secured with red and green "Stretchy Ribbon".
A fleece throw is the perfect way to wrap the gift of warm and cozy pajamas.
How to: The throw conceals the gift inside, is a cinch to wrap, and goes with the "theme" of giving your loved one a present that will keep them warm throughout the holiday season.
"Stretchy Ribbon" is made of a lightly woven acrylic. It's unusual in its texture and is great for making bows and decorations. Fleece throw, K-mart, Martha Stewart Everyday $12.99. "Stretchy Ribbon", The Container Store, $11.99.
- Giant decorated plastic bags, a light blue one with a Snowman picture and a plain white bag that says "Merry Christmas" in huge red and green letters. Inside the bags will be an extra-large child's toy such as a giant stuffed animal or a train set.
These bags are a great alternative for extra-large gifts that otherwise difficult to wrap such as large stuffed animals, train sets, or bicycles.
How to:Placing an item in the bag takes mere seconds instead of struggling with two or three rolls of traditional wrapping paper. The bags come with a matching tie string and gift card. These bags can then be reused to clean up the mess left by the unwrapping other paper-wrapped gifts . Cut a hole in the top and the bag can be reused throughout the year as a garment bag.
Note: these bags, like all plastic bags should not be given to young children to play with. They pose a suffocation hazard.
Giant plastic bags sell for $2.99-3.50 and can be found at The Container Store or on its Web site.
- Using the box from a package of snack cakes to conceal an easily spotted gift item like jewelry.
Giving jewelry for the holidays is a popular choice but the surprise is not easily concealed. The moment the recipient sees the small box, they have a pretty good idea of what they are getting. Throw them off the track by wrapping your gift of jewelry in a whimsical and inexpensive item like a box of snack cakes.
How to: Open the box and remove most of the cakes, place the small jewelry box inside an ornament bag and place the bag in the center of the box, fill the remaining space with colored shredded packing paper and reseal. Be sure to leave a few snack cakes so that the recipient isn't disappointed. Secure a bow around the box so that the gift is not confused with dessert.
Snack cakes cost $1 r $2 and can be found at most supermarkets. Crate and Barrel red felt ornament bag (with snowflake pattern), set of two, $8.95.
- Assortment of velvet bags, wrapping cloth, paper bags, plastic see-through Chinese "takeout" container, and paint cans. These items make unique gift wrapping a snap.
Pottery Barn's Santa Suit Wine bottle bag ($10) is a great whimsical way to give the gift of wine for the holidays.
Red velvet "Santa Sacks" are sold by The Container Store and are a no-brainer for gift-wrapping .
How to: Just place any small- to medium -iszed gift box in the pretty red velvet bag pull the drawstring shut, and viola! Instant holiday wrapping that looks classy under any tree. The sacks come in assorted sizes and sell for $4.99-$12.99. They and can be re-used to store practically anything. With clear plastic "Chinese take-out" containers and empty paint cans, roll the item up and place in the container.
The plastic "take-out" containers sell for $1.49 and the paint cans sell for $1.79-3.79 depending on the size. Both are available at The Container Store.
- Colorful printed paper bags have been around for a while but here's a new twist on a classic: colored paper gift bags that look like leather. The bags are made by Marcel Schurman and sell for $3.50. Use a Chinese language newspaper as wrapping paper. Any foreign language paper will do the trick for use as an exotic and economical wrapping paper.
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