Hi there, I hope you are doing well!
This little blog post will be quick today because it is getting busier and busier in the run up to you know what and there is always more to do than is humanly possible isn't there? Nonetheless, we'll give it a try. (You should skip down the page if you are looking for DIY instructions for Christmas Gift Tags and Personalised Gift Bags.)
I love wrapping. I really do appreciate a attractive but simply gift wrapped present. I read recently that certain psychological analysis and studies have been carried out by various people about this subject. The resulting report after one such study really didn't resound with me at all.
In the study it was maintained that extravagant wrapping with pretty bows and beautiful paper etc reduced the perceived 'value' of the gift and that if you put in a big present along with a small add-on so to speak, this too had a negative affect on the perceived 'value' of the gift etc etc. My antennae went up here as 'value' for me has never ever been about cost or money.
I believe the main thing is to give something you put some thought into it in order to please the person it's intended for. Is it their favourite colour, theme or style? Did they express a wish to have one like it 5 months ago but couldn't find one etc.. Is it a little surprise for them? Does it show that you do actually notice them as a whole person and not just ,' He's a man therefore socks' tick? No. it has to be somewhat personal and how personal depends on the intimacy shared between you. So, now that rant is over, I will proceed.
Making a Quick Christmas Gift Bag
You can whip up a quick Christmas Gift Bag at home quite quickly and easily. Even personalised gift bags are no problem when you know how. It simply depends on what you have available to you combined with your imagination.
Here is a list of things that would come in handy so when you do a quick recon mission around the house you may want to bring a vessel or box or bag of some sort. For this sort of thing I usually grab the empty clothes washing basket used normally to deliver clean clothes to their usual abode after washing. The strength of materials and bag style depends on what the gifts will be...
For light and small things then paper such as wrapping paper or wallpaper is great but printer paper, copy paper or magazine paper is good too. Always make sure the gift will not be affected by the colourant on the wrapper or gift bag.
For larger or heavier items gift bags made of material are great. So grab a new sheet if possible or an clean old sheet or better still, a pillowcase. Then you'll have less to do. If you have any material remnants then they will work great too. If they are too small you can join pieces together, no problem.
Paper gift bags go like this.
Take a big piece of paper more than twice as big as your gift. You can also take two pieces which will make a nice size when finished.
Lay it/them on the table so that the long side is going across and the pattern is underneath. If it is a square piece/pieces then it doesn't matter which way. Fold the top/tops down about an inch or two from the top and secure with glue or paper tape. You can even sew them down on a sewing machine or by hand, using big stitches, if time is not on your side.
Turn it over then so that the fold is folding away from you and fold the paper in half from the folded end to the other end and secure the bottom and up the side using the methods described above.
Turn the bag right side out now and punch a number of strategic holes around the doubled down fold (make sure to make enough to hold it closed), to slip a chord through for tying purposes. For this part you can have two pieces of chord or string or wool of equal length which each measure three times the width of the bag. You simply thread the string through all the way round from one side and repeat on the other side with the other string. Tie the ends after you thread a string so it doesn't come out on you while you work. (The second string is optional.)
The Quick Way to Make a Gift Bag!
Another option, if you are in a flying rush, is to forget about holes at the top and simple tie a red ribbon, belt or a bit of doubled wool or string in a bow to secure the opening. Then cut a circle of card out of a cardboard box or a bit out of an old greeting card etc, punch a hole in the top for some string and write your message on the back. If you have time make it a personalised bag by writing a big initial on the front. Attach this to the top of the bag along the string somewhere and VOILA!
How to Make A Material Christmas Gift Bag
This is much the same as making a gift bag out of paper except you may like to thread a chord through the top fold instead of punching holes for string. It's up to you. You can have chord entering from one side, going around the whole top to exit the same hole and the other chord entering from the other side, going around the top of the bag and exiting where it entered. (If you' have used one big piece of material, you will have to make an extra hole on the side that isn't sewn.) Tie the ends together as you finish each chord so it won't slip out on you while to continue to work.
Add a tag or a bow or both. Get imaginative. You could even use paper napkins as tissue paper or old curtains to make Christmas gift bags etc. The nicer the material the nicer the effect but neat work and a little thought work wonders too with simple recycled materials. Even untidy work will do the trick as long as it looks intentional like 'just got out of bed hair' or a rustic look.
Pillowcases are great for this kind of thing. You don't even need to make a bag at all. The work is done. Of course you can go mad and paint one with any kind of paint or permanent markers to right for purpose fabric paints etc.
This is one of the quickest bags to get together if you are in a rush of course. It doesn't have to be sewn, made or coloured. You can always add colourful ties and gift tags.
Endless Great Ways to Personalise Your Christmas Gift Bags
There are so many different and sophisticated ways to personalise your gift bags and anything else for that matter. Take for example the gift tag. You could but the initial of the recipient on the tag. Write it with a big fat marker or write it in double and colour it in. Have a look at some font styles on a computer or on Canva or other design app. Then approximate it for your initial by hand. TIP: Decide on a narrow colour scheme for a luxe look. Or choose a natural theme for an eco lover style. Choose traditional imagery such as Christmas trees and roaring fires, children, animals and toys for a vintage scheme and you won't go far wrong.
I feel that personalised gift bags always make a great addition to a gift giving opportunity. For initials you could cut them out of any paper, card, plastic or any material that your scissors can handle and then stick it onto your tag with glue. You could make a stencil of your letter and stick it on temporarily while you paint all around it. When you take off your letter the shape is left behind. You could cut out the same letter from two tags and put a little tissue paper behind it to give a stained glass window effect or leave it free of colour or anything at all and make it see through. Take a potato and make a stamp in the shape of your letter and dip it in poster paint, ink or dye etc etc etc... Endless...
Other Ways to Make Personalised Gift Bags
Make the tie or ribbon count! Yes. Choose it in their colour. If you don't know exactly which colour then think of their clothes. Is there a clue there? Do they like vibrant colours or pattern? Perhaps monochrome or block colours are their thing? You could find a scarf to tie the bow with or use a theme they love on the gift tag or wrapping paper such as gnomes, fairies, cats, dogs, trees, flowers or some other theme or hobby based ideas.
Print an image on copier paper of their favourite actor, singer, band or something else that would bring a smile to their face. What about a photo of a shared laugh, occasion or simple memory like a trip to a park or beach etc This will show you pay attention and care about the time you spend together.
Sometimes when you think of all this seems like a big 'palava' but trust me it is so much fun and worthwhile when you get started. Have a nice cuppa as you work or a glass of wine even. Go on, give it a try! As I always say, 'the style police aren't out tonight!'