Wrap it up

December 16, 1999

Tying a bow

Here's one way to tie a bow, provided by Donna Kidwiler of Jefferson County Schools Adult and Community Education:

Use at least 3 to 3 1/2 yards of ribbon - Kidwiler says wire-edged ribbon is best.

Hold the ribbon in your left hand, make a 2-inch loop over your thumb and hold it there. While holding the ribbon with your left hand, bring the ribbon toward you, turn it under and twist and hold with your left hand. Make another loop going away from you, turn under, twist and hold this with your left hand, too. The procedure resembles a figure eight.

Continue doing this until you have used all but about 5 inches of ribbon, which you should leave hanging.

Put a piece of coated floral wire through all of the loops and twist the ends together tightly. Once this is complete, pull out loops to form a bow.

By MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

With only six days left until Christmas, are you looking for wrapping ideas?

With some simple extras, you can transform a ho-hum package into one worth ho-ho-hoing about.

cont. from lifestyle

"Ribbon comes in every shape and size you can imagine," says Betty McNairn, owner of Family Craft Center on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown.

Ribbon also comes in various colors, patterns and materials, including velvet, satin and chiffon. Then it can take on all kinds of shapes.

If you don't want to stop with pretty bows, which you can either buy or make yourself, attach some sprigs of evergreen, suggests Teresa Poffenberger, floral designer at Family Craft Center. You also can attach flat ornaments, foil garland, braiding, curling ribbon or even cinnamon sticks.

One alternative to standard ribbons is raffia, which can be tied to packages and further beautified with ornaments or floral picks, says Karen Sanders, manager of Jo-Ann Fabrics in Chambersburg, Pa.

Here's the wrap

If you want to make the wrapping stand out by itself, plain brown paper can become a palette for the creative at heart with the help of stencils and rubber stamps, Poffenberger says.

Stickers bearing holiday designs can add some excitement, too, says Phyllis Wood, manager of Paper Plus in Hagerstown. Spray glue can be applied to the outside of presents and covered with confetti for extra splash, she adds.

Before she got so busy with work, McNairn says she sometimes glued cotton balls into the shape of a beard on the outside of gifts, then added pieces of felt to form a Santa Claus hat and face.

Comic strips from the newspaper provide fun wrapping for children's gifts, McNairn adds.

A touch of texture

Fabric can be a fun and fancy addition to presents.

Strips of tulle can be attached to a bow or tied all the way around a package, Sanders says.

If you're preparing something special for a person who sews, wrap the gift in fabric and ribbon. That way, the decorations are part of the gift because they can be used for a project of the recipient's choice, Sanders says.

Another option is to cut designs out of fabric and glue them on to a gift, she says. The designs also can be used as a tag, which can be written on.

No paper necessary

If you don't want to worry about wrapping at all, try stuffing the treasures for your loved ones in decorative boxes made of papier-mach, McNairn says. They come in all sorts of shapes, including standard squares, circles and ovals, in addition to snowmen and trees.

You also can add some mystery to presents by placing them inside gift bags and baskets.

Bags lacking busy patterns can be enhanced with rubber stamps and be tied with raffia, Sanders says.

Baskets are pretty by themselves but can be made even more attractive by wrapping them in tulle topped off with ribbon and maybe an ornament, Sanders says.

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