I adore gift wrapping. The ribbons, bows and beautifully folded edges are just perfect to me - getting the kids involved definitely changes the pristine edges! However, the joy of seeing them pass on a gift they have painstakingly painted and bedecked with stickers and jewels is just priceless. Here are some quick and fun ideas to get the kids involved with. I always think doing this is such a win win situation: you get a few minutes peace whilst the making is being done, and then have some presents wrapped to boot! I’ve used brown parcel paper as the basis for all of these ideas, as it's cheap, recyclable and the natural base is a great canvas for children’s colourful makes.
Drawing wrapped presents
If I’m ever out of wrap, I always reach for the paintings drawer! For these presents, I wrapped them first in brown paper, and then gave my kids little postcard sized pieces of paper to draw on. After that, we just stick them on the top of the parcel with washi tape (my craft box staple!). I love how colourful they are, and how no one will ever get the same picture. I get so many drawings handed to me after school and I try and squirrel some away for this purpose, it’s a really beautiful way to give the girls' precious drawings a further lease of life. Tip: If you don’t have parcel paper, you can literally just washi tape the pictures together until you have enough to wrap the present.
Pom pom gift tags
Oh how I love a pom pom! These fun little tags can be tied to the handle of gift bags or parcel ribbons, and are super quick to make. I made these pom poms with a fork, which gives a much looser rustic style pom pom, and is far quicker and great for kids. If you want a more uniform pom pom I’d suggest a pom pom maker or the old school cardboard discs route. Simply wrap some yarn around the fork head as shown below. Once you have the amount you’d like on the fork - the more yarn you use the bigger the pom pom. Then using a piece of yarn, roughly 15cm, put one end between the centre prongs at the base and the other end over the top. Tie the whole bundle together tightly and then using some scissors, cut through the wool on both sides - if you’ve wrapped the yarn too tightly to do this, carefully slip the bundle off the fork and then cut each side to create the pom pom. Trim it to make it a little more even and then tie to a gift tag.
Another fantastically easy way to customise some wrap - children love stickers and I love the concentration on their faces trying to get the perfect placement. This one above was created using a mix of circle stickers and jewels and I topped it with a wand! You could add a gift tag or simply write the recipients name on the tag, I know so many kids who would adore this wand on its own! I’ve also used googly eyes and superhero stickers which really elevate the simplest of offerings.
Such a beautiful topper to add to a gift. We made these orange slices by slicing them and cooking on a lined baking tray on low for a couple of hours. They infused the whole house with the smell of Christmas and I think they might be my new favourite thing to make. Aside from gift toppers you could make garlands and tree decorations with them which are so pretty. The rosemary was literally snipped from a bush in the garden and then slipped under the twine on the present and again, the smell is incredible. This is the perfect last minute wrap which just looks so effective and adds such a homely and individual look to your gift giving.
Another fun way to top a gift is with the kids own craft creations. My two adore making peg dolls and after a long time of playing, many seem to go astray or are found squished down the sofa. Popping them onto the top of a gift is a gorgeous way to upcycle them again. These are lovely on top Grandpaprents or teachers gifts where you know that the recipient will really understand the love and care that has been taken to create the topper. We’re thinking of matching the peg doll to the recipient this year, my nephew loves robots so will be getting a robot topped gifts, whilst my Grandmother loves watching the Nutcracker, so she'll be getting the ballerina peg doll gift each year from now on.