Gift wrapping for the holidays can be a real chore. Often it is saved for the last minute, and we find ourselves wrapping feverishly, with the gift-giving deadline looming and feelings of regret that we procrastinated for so long. We at VISITvortex decided that this year, we are not only going to be proactive about our gift wrapping, but we are going to be creative and have fun with it!
About once a month, friends and acquaintances within our community get together to explore a new craft of mutual interest. Whether it’s indigo-dying of fabrics, making leather pouches and purses, or pressing flowers, it’s a chance to get together, share good food and wine, make new friends, and deepen existing relationships.
While preparing for this Holiday/Winter issue, we thought it would be fun to plan a gift wrapping piece around our crafting get-togethers. Just by changing the energy and feel of the process, and making it into a fun event with friends, gift wrapping turned out to be a surprisingly lovely and gratifying process.
We are happy to share our experience with you, and hope that we inspire you, not only in new and creative ways to make your own wrapping papers, but also in building vibrant community.
Dip-dying paper allows for versatility in both colors and design. We created our own all-natural dyes using goldenrod, indigo, black walnut, and pokeberry.
Using premade rubber stamps is an easy way to make a custom wrapping paper
Naturally Hand-Dyed Papers: Dip-dying paper allows for versatility in both colors and design. We created our own all-natural dyes using goldenrod, indigo, black walnut, and pokeberry, which added another creative and fun element to the process. Folding thin white paper into triangle shapes and then dipping the corners into various colors made for unique and vibrant results. Special thanks to MJ!
Rubber-Stamped Papers: Using premade rubber stamps (for a more custom and personalized feel, you could make your own stamps using linoleum cuts, or even a simple potato). No need to buy expensive inks—feel free to use any extra paint you have on-hand. Whites and silvers look great on kraft paper, and darker colors stand out best on rolled white paper, which can be purchased at any craft store.
Wrap and Embellish with Natural Yarn, String, and Twine: Take your wrapping to another level by wrapping the gift boxes with yarn, string, or twine in unique and interesting ways.
Flower Rubbing: With the help of a local florist friend who brought a bunch of flowers to work with, we experimented with various rubbings. We loved the look of the delicate hydrangea flowers, and were fascinated by the different impressions that each type of flower created. Feel free to experiment with a variety of flowers at home. Simply place the flowers between your sheet of paper and wax paper, and rub with the back of a spoon.
Fabric Wrapping: Furoshiki, as it’s known in Japan, is the tradition of wrapping clothes, gifts, or other goods in cloth or fabric. This is a resourceful way to get rid of leftover fabrics and scraps you have around the house. Group gifts together with complementary fabrics. Create more interest by
using a wide range of textures, prints, and colors. Use string or ribbon to tie off/close the wrapping, rather than using tape.
Embellish with Nature: Make your gifts really stand out by bringing the outdoors in. Gather hearty items from nature, such as evergreen and fir clippings, red berries or holly, birch bark, tree bark covered in lichen, or pinecones. Try with dried flowers, leaves, feathers, or beads for a different look.
Giftwrapping with this kind of intention is a special way to show your love and appreciation for your friends and family.
bring the outdoors in
Decorate packages with evergreens, bark, or flowers.