From The Straits Times    |

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‘Tis the season to be gifting and if you’re on a budget, fret not! Just as the saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts”, right? You need not scout for expensive gifts if you know little unique ways to pimp your gift. This way, it’s meaningful and it doesn’t break the bank. Win-win! Here’s how you can give your present a little something extra.


Make your gift sweet smelling

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Scents can do wonders and lift one’s mood at a whiff! Unless your intended receiver has scent sensitivity, consider adding a finishing touch by giving a spritz of your favourite perfume on the gift wrappers before you send it off. You smell good, they smell good.


Attach a handmade card

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Forget about purchasing generic cards from stores. Add a little personal touch instead by making your own, either by painting, drawing or using craft materials. And remember to handwrite your note in the card as well. Simple and old school, but it works wonders! It’ll definitely make your recipient feel all warm and fuzzy, and they might even keep it for years to come.


Ribbon it up

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Use ribbons to dress up your wrapped presents! Ribbons are inexpensive and easy to get, and yet they add a luxurious touch. Experiment with different textures — a silky smooth one adds a touch of elegance, while twine gives it an unpolished charm. There’re in fact plenty of YouTube tutorials on creative ways to get it done in less than a minute, like here and here!


Top it off with some dried flowers

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They say flowers are a girl’s best friend. For most girls, at least. If you have some dried flowers hanging around from your last graduation or birthday bouquet, why not put these to good use! Glue pressed flowers to your handmade card or use them as gift toppers by tucking them under your gift’s string or ribbon. It’ll instantly make your present pretty as a picture. Try it for yourself and be amazed at how you can easily get away with plain wrapping papers!


Say it with typography

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Add a bit of festive cheer to your Christmas cards and gifts with some original typography! The beauty of typography is that there are tons of styles for you to experiment with. Think of a quirky message and do it calligraphy-style. Or do it the old-school cut-and-paste way and stick the alphabets onto your gift to customise it. Although it requires a little more effort, the smiles on the recipient’s faces are worth it. Plus, there’re many tutorials online to help you get started, like here and here.


Wax Seal

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Give your gift or card a stamp of approval! Put on a wax seal and immediately transform it into something grand and vintage-glam. There’re plenty of wax stamp sets with wax sticks of various colours that you can purchase from the internet, not to mention simple DIY instructions for you to achieve the perfect stamp that your loved ones will swoon over. Try online retailers such as Shopee, Qoo10 or Lazada. For tutorials, go here and here. Lose the scotch tapes and attempt something new today!


DIY your own gift box

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Go green this Christmas (pun not intended) and recycle old mooncake boxes or shoe boxes for your Christmas gifts! It’s time to get your creative juices flowing because there’re plenty of exciting things you can do! Try spray-painting the boxes with a matte mint green hue and throw on some glitter for some extra sass. Or you could wrap twine around it and glue on some pieces of burlap sack to give it a rustic feel. Otherwise, paste cute stickers to make your boxes look like Santa or Frosty. Plenty of ways to turn the old into something new, sparkly and exciting!

Meanwhile, here’s a video tutorial on how to wrap a Christmas present with no tape required:  


This article was first published in December 2018