Wrap up your gifts in unusual wrapping for a unique impression. Here are some ideas:
1) for a child's gift, use the Sunday colored funnies

2) use plain white paper decorated by your child with rubber stamps

3) use plain white paper decorated by your child with crayon

4) use colored paper with bits of craft paper artfully applied

5) use glitter glue to added accents

6) use regular glue and then pour foil sprinkles on top of the wet glue, let dry for a sparkly effect

7) us a large soft leaf, like a hawaiian ti leaf, to wrap the gift

8) use soft left over fabric

9) buy ribbons from the dollar store and stick them all over the package

10) buy fabric ribbon from the fabric store in velvet or gilt to wrap around the package

11) (for the dudes) get a free self sealing priority mail box from the US Post Office - enclose gift inside!

12) (for dudettes) buy the cute decorated padded envelopes from Ready Post or Wal-Mart, no further wrapping necessary!

13) Scrapbooking stores have all kinds of paper punch cutters and glitter and forms you can adorn plain paper with, keep a drawerful of supplies handy

14) Drip colored wax as a mysterious and old fashioned looking seal

15) place the item into a "gift bag", available in the wrapping paper section of most drugstores

16) decorate your gift with one fresh flower

Even inexpensive home made gifts look nicer with the right presentation. The bean mix for multi bean soup is less than a dollar at most grocery stores and can be found next to the rice and lentils. Retype the directions in an attractive font and glue them onto a gift card. Pour the beans themselves into a clean mason jar. Tie a fabric ribbon around the jar with the directions attached for a sweet looking gift. Use red and green ribbon for Christmas. Foil for a New Year's gift, team colors for a Superbowl etc.

The mason jar wrap up can also be used for mixing sugar, cocoa and spices for home make hot chocolate mix. Get the directions from the outside of a premium chocolate powder, such as Ghiradelli's. I am rather fond of spiced coffee and tea myself. You can buy Turkish coffee, mix it with cayenne pepper and cardamon and present it in this same manner, or premium tea with cardamon and saffron for a fancy looking gift. Most people know how to prepare coffee and tea, yet attaching the directions still looks spiffy.

Another inexpensive wrap up, is making a fabric bag for oranges or apples. Pick the nicest looking fruit you can find. If you live near an orchard grove, get blood oranges or something exotic. Find an end piece of fabric in an attractive color. Fold it over on itself, inside out and sew up two sides to make a little open mouth pouch. Use the selvage side to be the top. Insert apples or oranges and tie the top with a wide fabric ribbon. It looks pretty and didn't even require a sewing machine!

Right around the holidays many companies start selling colored cellophane and cling wrap. Buy enough to have all year. Colored cellophane can be used to cover all sorts of homemade goodies as well as loose candies such as jelly beans. Home made cookies, brownies or bread looks cool when covered in a pretty colored cling wrap. You can also save holiday tins and use them over and over again after the original item was eaten.

Some designer boutiques send home the clothes you bought in nice paper bags. Carefully undo the bag along the bottom where it was glued to create one large flat piece of paper. You can cut that up to wrap a smaller gift and feel good about recycling at the same time! Victoria's Secret tends to include one piece of tissue paper with every purchase in addition to their distinctively pink bags. I used to use the tissue paper to wrap one item, like a book or a premium candy bar, and the unfolded pink bags to wrap another.

Unleash your creativity!