Forget the gold and the glitz. It really is the thought that counts when your holiday gifts are wrapped in clever packaging that doesn't cost an arm and a leg — or a tree. Recycled boxes or tubes, scraps of corrugated cardboard, bits of fabric or art paper, buttons, beads, raffia and a sprig or two of something green are all it takes to create unique gift cards and wrapping. The environment will thank you and so will the lucky recipients.
What could be cozier than corduroy on a cold winter night? Recycled boxes get a makeover thanks to glue and old fabric scraps. Buttons add the final festive touch. You can also make your own boxes by disassembling one and turning it into a template, or by buying templates available at craft stores.
Make cards using fabric scraps, torn paper, beads, wire, corrugated cardboard, raffia, glue and a visit to the button box. They'll be as original as they come.
Cheery holiday fabrics can be stitched or fused into a simple sac for everything from a soccer ball to a bottle of wine. Tie shut with raffia, decorate with a sprig of holly or mistletoe and you've got it wrapped up.
The texture of corrugated cardboard provides a great foil for raffia bows and feathery evergreens. Look for corrugated cardboard in lightbulb packages and candy boxes. The "ribbon" on the art-paper boxes is really beads strung on a wire topped off with a seed pod.