It’s a Wrap

Herbs and other botanicals open an exciting realm of expressive, unusual gift-trimming possiblities.

| December/January 1999

Soon after I learned to tie my shoelaces, I learned how to wrap gifts, and soon after that, I started experimenting with materials not usually considered for gift wrapping: spices, herbs, fabrics, paper cupcake holders, coffee filters, bottle labels, recycled greeting cards, yarns, laces—you name it. I even colored my own wrapping paper with food coloring.

Recipients seemed to enjoy my wrapping nearly as much as the gift inside, and my childhood pastime grew with me into adult life. Many of the wraps I have developed are easy to execute, and all of them allow you to wrap extra love into every gift.

Leafy Trimmings:

Use medium-size leaves as patterns to cut shapes from thin white paper wrappers that hold cookies and candy within an outer package. Wire the leaves to lace ribbon and tie the ribbon onto a package wrapped in festive wrapping. Fill a red plaid bag with whole mulling spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice) and tie it shut with lace ribbon. Tie it onto the package along with a cinnamon stick.

Just Follow the Directions:

Make a copy of your favorite herbal recipe on clear copier film and place the required herbs in a muslin bag with strings. Wrap a flat package in light-­colored plain paper. Adhere the recipe to the top of the package with double-sided tape or spray adhesive. Wrap the package with a coordinating ribbon, finishing with a bow. Tie the seasoning bag to the base of the bow with the bag’s strings and finish in a shoestring bow.

Oregano Cupcake Flowers:

Holding two paper cupcake tin liners together as one, punch a small hole in the center, insert two sprigs of dried oregano in the hole, and pinch the back of the liners to form a flower. Tightly wrap floral wire around the pinched area. Make more flowers (we used three in all). Twist the wires of all the flowers together and attach them to the ribbon, finishing with a bow made from 11/2-inch-wide ribbon.

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