Welcome to the 12 DIYs of Christmas! Today is the 7th December which means I am sharing my 7th Christmas DIY with you.
Christmas can be a seriously expensive time of year and so I will be sharing DIY Christmas gift ideas as well as some thrifty decor ideas to help you to stay on budget this December.
On the 7th DIY of Christmas Thrifty Londoner sent to me…
5 WAYS TO WRAP WITH BROWN PAPER
You may have already read online that many wrapping papers are not actually recyclable- not to mention they can be extremely expensive for something that gets discarded moments later!
This year I am wrapping my gifts with brown paper, which is not only recyclable, but also a super cheap alternative to traditional wrapping paper. You can buy rolls of brown paper for anything from around 50p to a few pounds- depending on which shops you have access to and where you are based in the UK. The roll I used for these gifts cost £2 in West London, but in my hometown I have bought 2 rolls for £1 in the past.
The only problem with brown paper, is that it can look pretty plain if you don’t add some extra decoration. Here I have put together 5 ways to decorate your brown paper parcels, to make your gifts shine beneath the Christmas tree.
Many of the ideas below have been executed using things that were already lying around my home, so get creative to make sure that decorating your gifts doesn’t cost you the earth.
1- Fabric ribbon
I love using fabric ribbon to finish off a gift- there’s something about it which makes the present seem luxurious. Rather than spend lots of money on ribbon, I tend to keep ribbon that has been given to me on gifts, and other packaging. There is also an amazing independent haberdashery shop in my hometown with a bargain basket of ribbon which I have raided on many an occasion.
2- Dried flowers and ribbon
I’ve purposely been keeping hold of some flowers I got for my birthday a couple of months ago, in order to use them in some Christmas crafts. This colour scheme strays away from the traditional, but adds something special- particularly if the recipient is partial to a bloom or two.
I have also added a brown paper gift tag here which is actually a luggage tag- you can find these pretty cheaply in most stationery stores, and could cut them into Christmas shapes if you wished to. I have used the string from the tag to tie the sprigs of dried flowers together, making it multi-functional.
3- Twine and spruce
I love nature-inspired decorations to compliment the brown paper- here I have used two different colours of twine, and then added a sprig of spruce (that may have been cut from the bottom of the Christmas tree-shh!).
The mini mushrooms on wire are shop bought, and cost around £3 from Tiger which is a little steep- but I loved them and there is enough in the box to go on all of my presents.
4- Christmas bauble
As you may have already read in a previous installment of 12 DIYs of Christmas, I am quite fond of Christmas baubles, and I make a point of giving my nearest and dearest loved ones a new bauble each year.
By including the bauble as part of the wrapping, this could serve as an alternative to a name tag, and makes the gift wrap part of the gift itself.
5- Printed paper
There are so many ways to hand decorate or print brown paper, and how you decide to hand decorate the paper will much depend on what is already lying around in your home. For this gift, I decided to use some silver and gold pens that I already had to draw on some stars, and use a simple twine ribbon, with that sprig of spruce.
Other ideas could be to use a potato stamp to add trees or stars in coloured paints- if you have the space, this could be a really quick way to print a whole roll of paper. This year there are so many rolls of printed brown paper being sold in stationery stores such as Paperchase- why not make your own and save yourself a (small) fortune.
Check out the rest of the 12 DIYs of Christmas here:
Day 1: a hand embroidered tee
Day 3: upcycle a photo frame
Day 4: how to make a pomander
Day 5: how to make felt baubles
Day 6: gingerbread fudge recipe
Day 9: a potted seedling gift
Day 10: make your own Santa sack
Day 11: a handmade wreath
Day 12: a pom pom garland