First I made some fabric ties out of scraps that weren't big enough to make bags with. These ties can be pinned on, tied on, or buttoned together at the end. They can be plain or embellished with fabric paint or buttons. You can also layer them with ribbon, fiber or garland for more interest... And best of all, since they aren't sewed on they can be traded out for different gifting events. The red bags can have blue ties on them for Alex's birthday in July. Awesome, I know. They were very easy to make, I just cut long strips of fabric, folded the strip in half so the wrong side was out, stitched, flipped and pressed. Not more than 10 minutes.
And last but not least we have name tags. We have these great (reusable!) wrappings and embellishments, the question is how do the kids know who's gift is who's? Well short of pinning a tacky piece of paper to each gift with the kids name on it, we've come up with a few ideas on how to label the gifts, most of which were dug out of my stash of scrapbook stuff. The first is these great pieces of chipboard. After my children painted them we punched holes in them and wrote their names on them. We also found these cool acrylic monograms that are awesome until you have more than one family member with the same initials.
So now we have a rather large stash of beautiful, easy to use goodies to wrap gifts with. Which means that I can confidently outsource giftwrapping to the kids, and know that we'll still end up with a stack of lovely items to pass out.
I'd love to hear how you guys dressed up your gifts this year... if you have any great ideas to share let us know!