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Creative Alternative Ways to Wrap Gifts

Scrap the standard pricey wrapping wares and make your holiday goodies really shine with some DIY fun (make some memories with the kids, too!)

From fancy ribbons to funky bows and holiday themed wrapping paper, sometimes a gift's appearance is as good as what's inside the box. And, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza, prep always involves gift wrapping. So why not get your kids involved in the fun – and create some holiday memories – with a more creative flair?

Jazz up the gifts you give, from the paper to the nametag, with advice from Lisa Gleeson, owner of Lisa's Gift Wrappers in Royal Oak.

DIY wrapping paper

A few budget-friendly (and, often, reusable) store-bought items is all it takes! Gleeson suggests buying craft paper or butcher paper from your local art or office supply store, along with water-based paint, stencils, rubber stamps and shaped sponges.

Now that you've got the supplies, find a spot with space for decorating. Mix some dishwashing soap in with the paint, so it can be easily washed out if there are spills, and let the kids create.

"To have the Hallmark quality wrapping paper is not important," Gleeson says. "It's all about the fun of creating something special."

Think of the wrapping paper as a canvas for your child to stencil or finger paint on. Then, after it dries, you've got cool, inventive wrapping paper – perfect for wrapping grandma or grandpa's present.

Special touches

Give your gifts a punch of pizzazz with yarn, twine and duct tape. That's right: this classic tape now comes in a rainbow of colors – not to mention sheets with funky prints like zebra, tie-dye and flames.

"You can create stripes with it," Gleeson suggest. Or, "make a fake ribbon. You can fold the tape in half and then make it into a loop." Google around for tutorials on how to make duct tape bows. Just remember, when it comes to using duct tape, make sure you use it on thick paper – because it's not as forgiving as normal tape. Once it's on, it's stuck and there's no moving it!

Twine and yarn, which also come in a variety of colors, are other great alternatives to ribbons, adding a bit of originality to any gift.

Tags with flair

You don't have to turn your kid into the next Martha Stewart by making gift tags adorned with ribbons, bunches of artificial berries or mini ornaments – but you can help them make some funky, cute alternatives.

Say goodbye to standard stick-on tags and grab a few essentials to create the perfect label. Simply buy a pack of index cards and a stick of glue. Grab some scraps of wrapping paper and glue the wrapping paper to the index card. Or wrap the index card in wrapping paper like a gift, glue it and there you go – a gift tag perfect for any present!

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