We like to make packages look fancy in our house – but, like a lot of people, we don’t really have tons of time to spend on the process. Luckily, my aunt taught me a super-easy way to decorate packages years ago! It’s so easy that even kids can do it! (They just have to be old enough to safely use a hot glue gun.)
I tried to take some pics while I did a package, but using hot glue and taking pics at the same time is a little difficult, so I recruited my 9-year-old to help out with the demo — because, like I said, it’s so easy a kid can do it! (=
The trick to fancy packages with very little work is tinsel garland! You know, the stuff you can buy to put on your tree? We never actually use it on our tree, but we use a lot of it on packages.
To get started, buy a few garlands of tinsel that will coordinate well with your wrapping paper colors. Don’t get the cheapest/thin garland either – – get some nice, full stuff. I know it cost a little more, but you will get quite a few fancy bows out of it. We also buy some of the wire ribbon stuff (the name escapes me, but it’s in the pic) to use as accents.
Once you have your present wrapped, figure out which garland and wire ribbon looks best with your paper. Then, determine how big a piece of garland you need to make a good-sized bow on your package and cut a piece of garland to size. Do NOT cut the garland or wire ribbon with your favorite scissors! The garland contains wire and will ruin your normal scissors. We use Kitchen Scissors to cut ours, you could also use wire cutters.
After you’ve cut your garland to the right size for your bow, cut your accent wire pieces (we usually do 3 per bow) and twist them lightly around your fingers to give you a nice spiral. This might take a couple of practice moves to get right, but that’s ok you can just keep retwisting your wire. (= You want all of your bow pieces ready before you put down the hot glue so that you will be able to get everything stuck on while the glue is still hot.
Once you have all of your pieces ready, put a large area of hot glue on your package. Then attach your garland to the hot glue.
A few pointers on attaching the garland:
- Make sure to attach the 2 cut ends of the garland into the hot glue first, then gently form/place the rest of the garland around it to attach. You don’t want the raw ends to be hanging out the edges of the bow.
- GENTLY use the fingers on both hands to form your bow and lightly press it down into the hot glue. You need enough of the garland sticking into the glue to hold it on the package in its shape, but you don’t want to flatten the whole bow into the glue. You also don’t want to smash your fingers down into the hot glue and burn them! Although. if you’re anything like me, you’ll accidentally stick your finger in the glue at some point… hopefully you’re not as klutzy as me though. (=
- Once you have the garland stuck down, go about strategically inserting your wire ribbon spirals where they will look good and will hit a chunk of hot glue. You may need to put down a little more hot glue in areas to help hold the wire spirals, or a rogue section of garland, into place.
Here are some more pictures of the process with my youngest making a bow. This was his first one and I think it turned out great! (=
Have fun decorating your packages! (=