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Keepsake Wraps - gift wraps that double as presents

These gift-wrapping ideas send extra greetings of joy--the package is part of the present.

A bottle of wine wrapped in a beautiful silk or satin scarf is a luxurious gift. Center a wine bottle on a 36x16-inch scarf. Draw the ends of the scarf up to the top, and tie each pair of opposing corners into double knots. Add a tassel and gift tag around the neck.

This technique works for gift boxes too. Match a square box with a square scarf that is about three times as large as the box. Center the box on the scarf. Pull up two opposing scarf corners and tie in a single knot at the top of the box. Pull up the other two corners; tuck them under the knot and out the opposite sides. Tie the corners in a knot on top of the first knot. Add a gift tag.


* Square or long, narrow scarves

* Tassels in coordinating colors

* Gift tags
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When a gift is as good as gold, give it in a box covered in precious metals. Wrap boxes in foil paper, or give them a copper or gold coating with a metal-leafing kit from the crafts store. Spray a brown crafts box with the metal-leafing adhesive. When the adhesive gets tacky, use tissue paper to press the foil sheets to the box at slight angles, abutting each other. After the surface is covered, rub it with a natural-bristle paintbrush, cotton swab, or cloth to remove excess foil. Repeat for the lid. Tie a copper wire bow, twisting the ends around a pencil to get curlicues. To order the crafts boxes.


* Brown crafts boxes with separate lids

* For every box, one metal-leafing kit, including 5 1/2-inch squares (available at crafts stores)

* Spray metal-leaf adhesive

* Natural-bristle paintbrush, cotton swab, or soft cloth

Paper wrapping takes on new meaning when the paper is decoupaged to the box surface to create a reusable container. This project is messy, so cover your work surface with wax paper. Cut printed tissue paper to fit sections of the box, allowing extra for overlapping box edges and seams. Coat the box surface with decoupage glue; then cover it with tissue paper, working out the wrinkles in the paper with your fingers. Next, coat the surface of the paper with more glue. The glue will dry clear. Repeat this process for the lid and the inside of the box. To order crafts boxes.


* Hat or shoe box with separate lid

* Water-base, matte-finish decoupage sealer/glue

* 2-inch foam brush

* Three 20x30-inch sheets of printed tissue paper per box

* Wax paper

Tuck special gifts in elegantly upholstered boxes in a variety of sizes and shapes--ovals, hexagons, and hearts. The basic upholstering technique involves wrapping the box in fabric and gluing it in place. Trims and button tufts are snappy touches; choose coordinating elements for a seamless, themed appearance. This sophisticated traditional look was created with silver-colored silk, pearlized buttons, and gold fringe. Vary the materials to suit a different scheme. To order crafts boxes.


* Crafts boxes

* 1/2 yard of fabric per box

* Decorative paper

* Cotton batting

* Shank buttons

* 2-inch-wide drapery fringe

* Thread

* Hot-glue gun

* Awl

* Tack hammer

Instructions: Measure around the box. Measure the height of the box, double it, and add 2 inches for wrapping around the edges of the box. Cut the fabric into a rectangle consisting of the two measurements.

Put a thin, vertical bead of hot glue on the back side of the box; press one narrow end of the fabric to the glue, letting 2 inches of fabric hang over the bottom edge of the box. Pull the fabric around the sides of the box to the back side again, fold under and glue it in place over the other edge of the fabric.

On the underside of the box, stitch a large running stitch through the loose fabric 1/2 inch from the cut edge. Draw the thread tight, cinching the fabric and creating pleats. Glue the pleats to the bottom of the box. Cut decorative paper the same shape as the box bottom, and glue it in place covering the pleats.

Turn the box over and press the loose fabric into the box, smoothing it into the corners. Cut a piece of cardboard the same shape as box bottom, and fit it into the box to hold the loose fabric in place. Cut decorative paper the same shape as box bottom and insert to cover the cardboard.

For the lid, cut cotton batting the same shape as the box lid and set aside. Mark placement for the button tufts, and punch holes through the marks with the awl and hammer. Cut fabric 2 inches larger than the box lid. Lay fabric over the cotton batting on the box lid, and stitch loose running stitches around the fabric 1/2 inch from cut edge. Draw the thread tight, cinching the fabric and creating pleats. Glue the pleats to the box lip, without wrapping the fabric under the box lip. Trim away excess fabric.

Thread the needle and secure one end of thread to the underside of the box lid with a dab of glue. Sew through a hole in the box lid, catch a button on the other side, and draw the thread back through the same hole. Continue at every hole, and secure the thread end with another dab of glue. Cut decorative paper the same shape as the box lid, and glue to the inside of the box lid to cover the holes. Glue cording around the lip of the box lid.


Get a head start on our ideas for wraps with these sets of nesting crafts boxes from DC&C. Just add fabrics and trims you have on hand. The Hexagon Set includes three boxes--6 3/4 inches, 7 1/2 inches, and 8 1/2 inches in diameter. The Oval Set has boxes 7 1/2 inches, 8 1/2 inches, and 9 1/2 inches in diameter. The Heart Set includes boxes 7 1/2 inches, 8 3/4 inches, and 9 3/4 inches in diameter. One set costs $19.95; additional sets are $14 each. Prices include shipping, handling, and tax.

TO ORDER with your MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or American Express card, call 800/881-4066. To order by mail, specify set(s) you desire and send a check or money order to: Better Homes and Gardens[R] Reader Shopping Service, Dept. 0012, Box 9128, Des Moines, IA 50306-9128.

To make the most pleasing pattern, press the copper-leaf sheets to the box surface at a slight angle, so that they overlap the box edges slightly. Let the sheets gap, wrinkle a bit, and tear for surface texture that shimmers.

If this is your first attempt at decoupage, follow these helpful hints: Choose a tissue paper with a forgiving pattern; the gridded map paper is difficult to match up. Decoupage glue stays workable for several minutes, so you have time to fix mistakes. And, work one small section at a time.

Piercing holes through the cardboard box top enables you to easily stitch the button tufts. Later, you'll cover these holes with decorative paper.

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