Nothing creates instant holiday cheer like a beautifully wrapped gift, and what better place to look for inspiration than the great outdoors? To make it extra easy, Melinda McKee—of the gift design studio MEMENTO & MUSE—has shared with us her favorite DIY tips to spruce up your gift-wrapping game.
1) Have fun with foraging!
Grab some garden clippers and a dirt-friendly tote, then search out gift-worthy greenery in your backyard, the woods or your favorite park. Please note: If you’re playing by the rules, be sure to follow local regulations, as not all public green spaces permit the removal of botanical elements.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Evergreens like spruce, cypress, cedar and firs (think: Christmas trees)
- Dusty miller (this pale, silvery, fuzzy-textured leaf has a beautiful wintery effect—try calling your local home improvement store or plant nursery to see if they have small pots in stock)
- Clusters of red berries
- Pinecones (see Tip #3 below)
- Magnolia leaves (if your freshly wrapped gifts will be opened within 1 to 3 days, you can show off the vibrant green top sides; otherwise, look for magnolia leaves with a rich rust or chocolate brown underside…the more velvety the better!)
Bonus Idea: To add some fauna to your flora, combine ethically sourced feathers with fresh greenery to create a woodsy, boho-chic effect.
2) Go big…OR go small.
For a minimalist look, tie on a single sprig of greenery with twine, or simply glue on a large magnolia leaf (or two)! For a fuller effect, layer together a variety of natural elements (tallest pieces on the bottom, shortest on top), binding it all together with floral wire or twine before tying the bundle to your gift.
3) Attach pinecones using craft glue, thin twine or floral wire.
If you prefer to use foraged rather than pre-cured, store-bought pinecones, just make sure you debug them first—you don’t want any tiny critters surprising your family and friends!
4) Let Mother Nature take center stage by using solid-color or monochomatic gift wrap.
For an especially eco-friendly option—or if you’re just feeling extra cozy—try wrapping gifts in a beautiful fabric; natural fibers like cotton and linen work well. Known as the Japanese art of furoshiki, gift wrapping with fabric is much easier than you might think…check out this tutorial.
5) Complement the greenery with woven or natural ribbons (avoid plastic ribbons and stick-on bows).
For a rustic vibe, tie up your gift with jute or baker’s twine, or burlap ribbon. For a more luxe look, opt for satin ribbon, or even silk!