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How many times have you been on the fly, had a super cute gift for someone, five minutes to get it ready and wish you had an idea for some creative gift packaging?  Happens a lot, right?  Well if you have ANY box that will fit what you are giving and a few crafting supplies you can have creative gift packaging solutions at your fingertips every time!

First, find (or make, if you are feeling uber crafty) a box that will fit your gift.  And if you don't have something that's an exact fit here are some tips to make what you have work:

– If the item is to TALL for the box, consider wrapping the item in tissue and nestling it in the box.  Add some ribbon or a belly band lengthwise around the box and add a cluster of stamped and cut out embellishments and a bow on the top of the tissue.

– If the item is too narrow for the box, hand stamp some tissue with a matching or coordinating stamp to what you plan to use and bunch it up around the item for a cushy “bed”

– If the item is slightly too wide for the box, try creasing the sides of the box in the center of each side panel and slight crush the box to make a “bowl”; wrap the entire thing in clear cellophane (rolls are available at craft stores and they are EXCELLENT to have around!) and tie up with a pretty ribbon and a cluster of stamped embellishments.

– If you have a box and not a lid, wrap the whole thing in the same cellophane to make a clear “lid” and decorate.

Recently I had a little something that I wanted to get to someone and here's what I made:

Creative Gift Packaging - Completed Box

This came together so fast even *I* was surprised.  I had one of these boxes lying around – you can purchase them here for less than a dollar each – and all I did was cover the box with a cute paper and then add a belly band.  A belly band is any band that goes around the “belly” of an item.  Belly bands can be purely decorative or they can actually help hold something closed like a pocket card, a mini scrapbook, or gift packaging.  Here, it's purely decorative and adding a few layers adds a lot of punch and colors.  The belly band is layered on the acetate sleeve so it won't interfere with the sliding of the sleeve on and off the box..  Here's what the box looked like before I added my stamped embellishments:

Creative Gift Packaging - Box with Belly Band

In the photo above you can see the clear acetate sleeve that slides over the box allowing a peek at the treat inside.  Because I wanted to hide the gift from view until the recipient opened it up, I filled in around it with some simple shredded paper.  Just use your paper trimmer to slice thin slivers off a sheet of printer paper and crunch in your hands.  If you have a paper shredder, you can use that, too!

To add a lot of WOW to this creative gift packaging I simple stamped a few flowers, punched them out, added them to a layered tag and blinged them up with those Basic Rhinestones (you can NEVER had too much bling on a gift!) and it truly was that simple.  All the layering – the layered tag, the layered flowers, the leaves tucked in among them, the layers on the belly band – all these things which are very simple to do add a lot of texture and richness to creative gift packaging.  You cannot go wrong when you use coordinating colors and images and layer them up like I did here.  Here's a closer look at the layering:

 

Creative Gift Packaging - Box with Flower Cluster

Here are the items I used to decorate this box:

 

130698s

$15.95

117191s

$16.95

 

That's it!  Once you start experimenting you will hit on a few designs that you know you can pull together at a moment's notice.  And once you find something that works for you, you can substitute stamps and colors using the same basic plan and never, ever run out of ideas – or supplies! – for your own creative gift packaging!

 

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