Since the holidays are all about spreading joy and good cheer, it's only natural that your gifts should follow this sentiment too. But all too often, our gratitude and kindness can get lost in the stress of sourcing them. It's all fun and games until you're throwing a tantrum in aisle five at Best Buy. Once that weight is lifted, however, you encounter another (often dreaded) task: gift wrapping.
Why not make this activity a fun part of gift-giving rather than a tedious one? In our hunt for creative and chic ways to make wrapping fun, we turned to gift-giving pro Simone LeBlanc (she is the best in the game, after all). When we stepped inside her studio, we were awestruck by her gorgeous gift boxes—the epitome of wrapping elegance.
Thankfully, LeBlanc whipped up a gorgeous, easy-to-follow DIY guide for MyDomaine readers that not only elevates our gifts but is fun to do too. Think festive tea-dyed fabric instead of traditional paper and demi-wreath toppers for an extra punch. The final product? Gorgeous gifts that will stand out from the crowd and also double as holiday décor. Win-win. Scroll through for the full instructions!
Tea-Dyed Wrapping Cloth
For this wrapping project, LeBlanc was inspired by tastes and scents of the winter season, the slower pace, and that cozy comfort. "By dyeing fabrics and then wrapping your presents in them, you elevate the gifting experience to something personal and positively dreamy," she said.
Use a natural fiber, as a synthetic one won't hold the color. Linens, cotton, and silks are all perfect here. Aren’t those our favorite fabrics anyway?
For a tea-dye bath, you'll need cinnamon sticks, cloves, tea bags, and coffee grounds.
For a ruby-hued dye bath, you'll need sliced pomegranates and beets (you can add cabbage to make more purple tone).
Foliage bits to finish the gift, such as hearty flowers foraged from your neighborhood, local flower shop or mart. We love rosemary, magnolia leaves (their backsides are velvety), seasonal cedar, and berries. Just make sure what you choose is not delicate, as you want them to stand the test of time and dry well.
Gather your two sets of dye bath contents. Place items in individual pots of water and bring to a boil.
Give a few stirs to release more of the color from the materials you are boiling and to keep an eye on the color. The longer you let it boil, the darker the colors will become.
Let it steep for 15 or so minutes. Adjust the mixture by adding more water (to lighten) or more ingredients (to darken) and achieve the color dye you are looking for. You can always use your test strips of fabric here to test the color.
Strain the contents of your pot and then transfer the boiling dye bath to a large vessel for the dye bath. You want something rather roomy and not precious, as the dipping process can get a little messy, and you don't want the fabric to be crowded and thus get an uneven exposure to the dye.
Wet your fabrics with water thoroughly in the sink before immersing in the dye bath. Dip your fabric into the hot dye bath and let sit until the desired shade is achieved, checking every 15 minutes or so. Remember that the longer you let sit, the darker the resulting fabric will be. Also, the fabric will always look darker when it is wet.
Remove the fabric and give it a quick rinse in a cold water bath. The longer you rinse, the more the dye will wash out. Then lay the fabric out to dry somewhere with good air flow. You can also toss it in the dryer on tumble to soften and add texture.
Lay out your fabric and loosely tie your fabrics around your gifts in a simple Furoshiki style, using the twine or a pretty pin to hold the fabric in place. The look is meant to be loose, wabi-sabi, relaxed, so feel free to really experiment here. Treat your gift as a beautiful bundle, so no need to worry about a perfect finish or anything too buttoned up.
For the final touch, wrap your lovely gift with that twine, ribbon, or metallic thread of choice. Pop in some of your favorite foliage—tuck it under the fabric, adhere it with your twine, whatever strikes your fancy.
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Mini Wreath Gift Topper
"For the wreath, the demi-circle shape feels fresh," said LeBlanc. "It's somewhat happenstance and effortless while still feeling festive and seasonal. The density of the florals applied in an asymmetrical fashion allows for an easy application. You really can't make a mistake with this."
Wired wreath frame
Rosemary, bay, berries, and branches
Cut your wreath frame in half. Prep your foliage, berries, and branches by cutting them into smaller pieces so that they are ready for assembly. Choose your heartiest foliage first and wire pieces to the wreath frame to create a nice base.
Next, take a few stems of berries, a small branch or two, and any foliage you like and wire it to your wreath where ever you see fit. Just be sure that you've covered the frame as well as any floral wire you've used.
To get a similar look to the cloth wrapping pictured here, choose a soft, easy-to-work-with fabric in a natural fiber (such as the linen pictured here) that adds to the feeling of effortlessness. The hand-painted metallic tag gives that additional holiday shine that we all love.
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Gold Gift Tags
Heavy white card stock (or a color of your choice!)
Gold leaf paint
Small painter's brush
Cut your tag to the size you'd like it. It can be thinner, wider, or any decorative shape. Cut multiple tags to leave room for painterly mistakes.
Take your paintbrush and your gold leaf paint and paint a pretty brushstroke on the tag. Let the paint dry before you write on it.
Lastly, cut a hole with your hole punch at the top left corner of your tag and secure it to your gift with a simple strand of ribbon or twine.