Sarah’s Holiday Crafts, Part I: Wrap it up!

December 21, 2011

In honor of Christmas this weekend (eeeeeeek!), I’ve asked my lovely friend Sarah to give us another craft project tutorial.  The one you’ll see today is so timely – I think you’ll see why.  If you’re super-organized and have already wrapped all your gifts, well done you.  If you’re like me, and have wrapped a couple, but are still rushing around choosing last-minute things which you’ll be wrapping Christmas Eve at 10pm, well then, this is for you…

The second project, which I’ll post next week, is perfect for starting the new year out right.

That said, enjoy the first of these two special projects! Take it away, Sarah…

Hi Great Smitten readers! I’m so happy to be back to share a few more ideas with you. These ideas are inspired by the two most important women in my life: my sister and my mother.

My older sister, Karla, has a knack for finding things. If I’m looking for a certain hard-to-find item, I don’t even attempt to try to find it myself. I know the only way I’m going to get it is to call her. She loves the thrill of the hunt and I think she secretly hopes things are out of stock so that she can find them “her way.” But I don’t judge her because she knows I can eat an entire tube of Pringles in one sitting and she doesn’t judge me for that.

Here's Karla...amazingly beautiful with her little boy.

So, besides my sister’s unrivaled search skills, perfect skin tone and extensive knowledge of 90’s rap music, she has another quality that I admire more than any other. She is generous – with her time and with her money. She loves to give gifts. When she’s out and about she shops with more than herself in mind. More often than not, when we see each other (which is usually once a week), she will open up her bag, whip out an item and slide it across the table. She does this without any expectation of a “thank you”. She just sees something that she thinks I would enjoy or have a need for (usually something toddler related since we both have 18 month old boys) and buys it out of pure kindness, thinking nothing of it. To her it is a small gesture. To me, however, it means I thought of you, I wanted you to enjoy this. It’s never the actual gift that she gives me, but her kind intention behind it that reminds me over and over again that she loves me. Who knew a three-dollar sippy cup could mean so much?

In honor of my sister and her generous heart, I wanted to write about gifts and some fun and unique ways to wrap them. Wrapping a gift is nearly as fun as giving one!

My go-to wrapping paper is brown butcher paper. I pick up mine at the dollar store. It’s a huge roll for just a buck! The bow options are endless with such simple paper. Here’s a picture of the brown paper with a stack of brightly colored ribbon. I wrapped this for my Goddaughter’s 2nd birthday party.

Other ideas for the brown paper are:

Scrapbook paper is such a cheap and pretty way to wrap a small gift.

A simple and clever wrapping for a teacher’s gift – notebook paper.

Calendars are a fun way to make a package pop. Recycle your calendar after you use it! Here are the art and month pages from my 2010 Masha D’yans’ calendar (one of my favorite artists!).

Write Happy Birthday on your recipient’s birthday date.

If you have little ones, get them involved too! Before celebrating a play group buddy’s birthday, Wyatt decorated this plain-white paper with his own design. Watercolors on white paper can be a fun and beautiful way to wrap a gift. For a more sophisticated look, paint it yourself with a simple flower or design.

Mailing envelopes can make great wrapping paper. It’s fast and easy. No scissors or tape required. These fun envelopes are designed by Lotta Jansdotter (I found a pack of them at a consignment sale).

Another simple and sweet wrap idea is to use a paper doily. I bought 30 for a dollar at my local dollar store. Here’s a little gift our group put together for our dear friends, Emily and Rusty (and their sweet little girl, Larkin) before they moved away. The 4×6 frame was the perfect size for a large paper doily. It’s pretty and simple. Top it with a flower from outside and you’re done!

Come back tomorrow for a Christmasy recipe, and next week for Sarah’s second holiday craft!

5 responses to “Sarah’s Holiday Crafts, Part I: Wrap it up!”

  1. mama says:

    Great ideas! You and Sarah make a great team…thanks for sharing! I’m off to the Dollar store!

  2. Callie says:

    These are great! Maybe Sarah should make a how-to blog for crafts. She’s a pretty gifted lady!

  3. MongoliaMan says:


  4. GreatSmitten says:

    Callie – I’ve tried to convince her, to no avail. Until she changes her mind, I love having her craft projects here on my blog!

  5. […] small gifts to wrap and are looking for a creative way of doing it, why not use an old calendar? Great Smitten shared this creative […]

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