If you're in the mood this holiday season to make your holiday parcels pretty as a picture, here are some ideas to get you started. Scripps Howard News Service
Adventurous? Wrap your gifts in unusual paper. For instance, if your gift is for a world traveler, use an old wall map or pages cut from a vintage travel magazine. If the recipient is a kid at heart, use Sunday's comics or pages cut from an old children's storybook you found for a steal at a tag sale.
Wrapping a gift for a romantic who treasures the past? Scan old letters, photos and postcards and make a collage on the box. Do you have a music lover in your life? Wrap her package in old sheet music scavenged from a flea market.
If you are crafty, consider making handmade paper. Or, wrap the gift in brown butcher paper that you cover with your own works of art.
Attractive ribbons and tags
Instead of defaulting to traditional shiny paper ribbons, tie up packages with something truly inventive. Go crazy at the fabric store, picking out unusual ribbons like grosgrain, rickrack or pompoms. How about ribbon spiced up with beading? If you want something more rustic, use string, raffia or twine.
Likewise, when tagging your gifts, dare to go beyond convenient preprinted gift tags and instead use something out of the ordinary.
Try spelling out the gift recipient's name with letters cut out from a magazine, keys from an old typewriter or letter tiles from a discarded Scrabble game. Find industrial-looking mailing tags at an office store and dress them up with art paper, sequin or stamps. Use a vintage postcard or an old luggage tag.
Fanciful embellishments can be the crown jewels of a package. For instance, secure a bow with a fun costume-jewelry brooch or a rhinestone earring. Make flower petals out of art paper or lightweight fabric and find an unusual metal brad to serve as its center. Try a cluster of jingle bells in place of a bow. If you love nature, insert treasures from outdoors into your bow, like a sprig of holly, a bunch of minipine cones or a twig spray-painted silver.
Don't forget a surprise
One fun way to delight loved ones is to include a minipresent in your packaging. If you're giving a gift to a dog lover, tie the package up with a collar or leash instead of a ribbon. For the cook, tie on a fun kitchen gadget like a cookie cutter or measuring spoons. Do you know someone who loves to read? Use an attractive bookmark as a gift tag. If you have a friend who loves antiquities, tie on a treasure you found at an antique store, like a child's silver fork, and secure the gift card in its tines.