Prepare Now for Last-Minute Gift Giving

stitched gift tagscate pratoWhen it comes to making gifts, I'm a Last-minute Lucy. But, guess what? I'm also the queen of last-minute wrapping. It follows, right?

I inherited the title after my mom passed away. She was tops at last-minute everything: Halloween costumes, science experiments, bake sale cakes, you name it. What made her the queen was that she made an artistic creation out of the limited materials that were available at the time.

When it came to wrapping gifts, the supplies she had to work with were primarily wrapping paper and ribbon from the drugstore. But, oh, what she did with those supplies! It was my mom's attention to artistic detail–even if it was at the last minute–that made an impression on me. And the fact that she somehow made her embellishments look artistic, not cheesy.

I have found that it really doesn't take much give a gift that distinctive, artistic touch, especially when you already have a stash of ribbons, beads, buttons, trims, and fabric. And, with a little bit of forethought, you can prepare now by gathering supplies like ribbons and fabric strips in baskets near your worktable or making components of your wrappings (like rosettes or tags) ahead.

Here are some of my favorite last-minute wrapping tricks:

Luxe Life: Velvet or satin ribbons, beaded trim, chenille rickrack, or sequin edging wrapped around a package, or just

Homespun Happiness: Use torn strips of fabric as ribbon and natural items (a bundle of sticks, a piece of greenery, dried flowers) as the centerpiece. This trick can make even packages wrapped in newsprint look special.

Center of attention: Instead of a bow on top, I like to attach a rosette made of fabric; stacked concentric fabric circles with a button center; or even an inexpensive brooch or small belt buckle.

stitched gift bagTag, you're it: Make stitched fabric tags ahead of time so they'll be ready to adorn a special gift. Machine- or hand-embroider an initial or special motif on the front for extra personalization.

In the bag: Instead of using paper gift bags, make your own from fabric. Tie with a festive ribbon or add a button closure. The bags can then be repurposed as containers throughout the year, or re-used as a gift bag for someone else.

With my penchant for doing things at the 11th hour, I'm always on the lookout for fresh ideas for last-minute wrapping and gift decorating techniques.

So I couldn't wait to get my hands on Stitch Gifts. Inside there are tons of ideas and tutorials for wrapping, décor, and creative handmade gifts, and most are quick and easy to do. You can order the print issue or download it to your computer.

Think about it: You could download Stitch Gifts right now, make one of the clever projects, and gift it to someone tonight. Talk about last-minute!

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