Using some simple coloured string can liven up an ordinary wrapped present.
You will need
• Enough paper to wrap your gift
• 10 lengths of string (each one long enough to wrap around your gift)
• Sticky tape
First, wrap your box in a sheet of paper, as normal, and tape up.
Measure out ten lengths of coloured string. They should be long enough to wrap around the box, plus some extra length for tying. Remember, if your parcel is rectangular one set of five pieces will need to be a bit longer than the other.
Put your parcel on a flat surface and lay out five of the lengths of string on top, a few millimetres apart. These strands will stay fixed in place while the other five strands are woven between them, so fix them in place by tying tightly on the back.
Next, lay your other five strands of string on top, with the string crossing over at the place where you would like the weave to appear.
Take one of the loose lengths of string and weave it through the five strings it is crossing, alternating over and under.
Do the same with the next four strands until all the string is woven together.
Hold them in place and carefully turn your parcel over. Tie the remaining string securely on the back.
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Christmas tree cutouts
This is slightly fiddly but well worth doing for those extra-special gifts. You will need enough of the outside wrapping paper to cover your gift and enough of a contrasting design to cover the front of your gift.
Ideally, go for contrasting designs. In our example we went for a metallic silver wrapping paper on the outside with plain matte red on the inside. You could also use craft paper for the inside sheet, if you like.
You will need…
Enough paper to wrap your present in one design
• Enough paper to cover the front of your present in a second design
• Cutting mat
• Sticky tape
First, cut your main length of wrapping paper to size, as normal. Lay out your gift with the front facing down. With a pencil, mark the edges of the gift on the paper and put your gift to one side.
Lay out the paper with the area marked as the front on a cutting mat.
Draw out a Christmas tree. If you are worried about doing it wrong, draw it onto a scrap of paper first and, once you are happy with it, cut it out to use as a template and draw around it.
Dot a few trees around, remembering to leave a space if you would like to tie a ribbon around it.
Once you’re happy with the positioning of your trees, hold the paper down firmly and cut half of the design out with a sharp scalpel. Remember you are not cutting out the entire tree – you want to create a flap.
Once your trees have all been cut, place your second piece of paper behind them and fix in place with sticky tape.
Place your present back in place and wrap as normal, then turn over so you see your Christmas trees on the front.
Carefully lift up the Christmas tree flaps and fold back on themselves. This will make the Christmas trees look 3D and allow you to see the coloured paper underneath.
Tie your bow around the gift.
How to decorate a Christmas tree
Using two complimentary styles of giftwrap is an extremely simple but effective way of wrapping a gift. This is also a great way to use up small lengths of leftover wrapping paper. Aim for contrasting designs, such as a busy pictoral paper mixed with a simple design, or a glossy metallic paper mixed with a matte paper.
You will need
• Enough paper to cover your present in two designs
• Sticky tape
• Double sided tape
First, measure out two pieces of wrapping paper – one larger and one smaller (the smaller piece should cover the bottom quarter or third of the wrapped present).
Wrap in one design as normal, leaving one end of the gift exposed. Cover up the remaining section with your second length of wrapping paper.
You will see you now have a join where the two papers meet. This may work as it is with some designs, but you can also choose to hide it by tying a ribbon around it, using double sided tape to secure it in place.
Tuck in the cut ends of the ribbon into the bow to hide any frayed edges.