Kyle Jensen / The Record — Langley library associate Karen Achabal, center, shows people young and old creative ways to make their own wrapping paper.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Langley library associate Karen Achabal, center, shows people young and old creative ways to make their own wrapping paper.

Langley Library showcases the art of gift wrapping

’Tis the season of giving, and the Langley Library is getting into the holiday spirit by walking South Whidbey residents through the craft of gifting.

And if there’s anything library associate Karen Achabal wants to show her guests, it’s that one can make his or her very own gift wrapping materials for a personalized present.

“I’ve always been a crafty person, and I’ve been doing Monday afternoon craft sessions for a few months,” Achabal said.

“So I figured I’d get into the holiday season and show people how to make their own gift wapping, gift bags and more on top of how to properly wrap a gift.”

The Langley Library is hosting gift wrapping sessions each Monday in December, with the exception of Christmas Day. The class series, called

“It’s a Wrap!” covers multiple sides of gift wrapping, from the basics to accessories.

Classes are held 4-5 p.m. and are intended for all ages. Guests can bring their own supplies and materials, but the library offers its own.

The upcoming session on Dec. 18 will cover packaging, such as proper ways to wrap presents, how to hand-make gift bags and how to add accessories to gifts.

Achabal, who organized the classes, is covering multiple sides of gift wrapping. So far, she’s held classes on homemade gift tags and making homemade wrapping paper, something she says is surprisingly easy and affordable.

“These classes are simple enough that kids could do them and adults could get more elaborate if they’d like,” Achabal said.

The materials to make one’s own wrapping paper can be purchased at local craft stores, and even in some hardware stores. Achabal suggested using brown or white craft paper, and decorations can be added using stencils, stamps and styrofoam; the styrofoam is utilized by carving a figure into the material and painting around the figure. It imprints the shape of the carving onto the paper.

Achabal said it’s all about following a pattern.

According to Bayview resident Aen Brauer, knowing how to make her own wrapping paper might change how she approaches holiday gifts.

“I don’t think I’m going to buy wrapping paper again,” Brauer joked. “It’s a good new skill, and a way to personalize presents.”

As far as wrapping itself goes, Achabal said there isn’t one right or wrong method to achieve the perfect gift wrapping.

The key thing, she said, is knowing how to work with the present’s shape. Other than that, folding corners is the only tricky part. She didn’t want to give up all her secrets, though.

While hand-making gift wrapping isn’t the most convenient option, Achabal said doing so personalizes gifts. There’s so much “stuff” in the world these days, she said, that everybody could use a bit more personalization.

“If you’re really thinking of the person you’re giving to, handmade gifts and wrapping are really nice,” Achabal said.

“In this day and age, there are so many people who have more or less everything they need, so it’s not as much about what they need, but what is special for them.”

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Langley library associate Karen Achabal demonstrates ways to implement stencils and paint onto handmade wrapping paper.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Langley library associate Karen Achabal demonstrates ways to implement stencils and paint onto handmade wrapping paper.

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