Celebrate the spirit of giving in style. If you’re not into the traditional ways of gift wrapping, these out-of-the-box DIY ideas will definitely make your presents stand out under the X’mas tree.

Apply some flower power

Apply Some Flower Power2

For something rustic, how about sticking a small bouquet of dried flowers onto your presents? Use small bunches of dried flowers and wrap them up with leftover wrapping paper, and secure with some twine.

Stitch it up

Stitch It Up2

Here’s something that will put a smile on your friends and family: a gift stuffed into a star-shaped envelope. Draw the shape of a star on two pieces of construction paper. Make sure that it is large enough to contain your present. Cut the two pieces out using scissors. You’ll need a sewing machine, needle and thread for the next step. Sew up the seams along the sides of the star, but remember to leave one corner unstitched to insert your gift. Fill it up with tinsel and your gift and sew up the last bit.

Go for gold

Go for gold2

This DIY gift-wrapper is at once wallet-friendly and pretty. You can recycle gold-foiled shopping bags and punch out circles using a hole puncher. If not, store-bought foiled paper works too. Using glue, stick the circles on plain brown or white paper. Once dry, wrap your present and embellish with a couple of Christmas ornaments for a festive touch.

Add some star accents

Add Star Accents2

This quick and easy gift-wrapping idea puts a spin on the conventional bow and ribbon combo. Keep it monochrome for a modern take. You’ll need a star-shaped hole puncher, stack of art cards, string, scissors, construction paper and glue. After wrapping your gift, wrap the string around it a few times. Punch out stars from the art cards and glue them to the string. Finally, add gift tags and you’re done!

Consider natural elements

Consider natural elements2

This super simple gift-wrapping idea is so easy it takes no time at all. You’d have to spend some time outside foraging for leaves though – ferns make good choices as they sport intricate designs. Once you have wrapped your present, tie it with twine and slip a leaf under the knot. You can add personalised gift tags too.

Feather away

Feather flair2

Impressive as they may be these feather gift tags are functional too. Gift receivers can re-use them as bookmarks! To make, trace out outlines of feathers on coloured art card. Cut them out and brush some gold poster paint at the ends for the gold-dipped effect. Once dry, secure them to ribbons using glue. 

A version of this article first appeared on SquareRooms.

More related stories: 8 Unexpected Christmas Gifts That Will Surprise Anyone On Your ListQuirky Under $50 Gift Ideas For The Tech Junkie In Your Life

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Christmas shopping can be fun, but it often turns into somewhat of a nightmare when you’re set on finding the perfect gift for the people on your list, then turn up empty-handed. Instead of losing sleep over the ideal item, why not switch things up with a little unpredictability? Be inspired by our list of quirky, one-of-a-kind gifts that would make wonderful surprises for your loved ones this festive season!

#1 Receive divine intervention for your food decisions
Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-01-Meal-Divination-Sticks

As a well-known food haven, living in the gourmet paradise that is Singapore often plagues us with too much or too little choices. To solve this first-world problem, let fate make the food decision for you. With these Meal Divination Sticks, you can choose to pick the sticks from a holder at random, or shake the holder the traditional way and wait for one of the sticks to fall out. Whatever it is, these sticks are looking to be a foolproof meal plan!

#2 Enjoy local flavours in a cup

Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-02-Local-Flavours-Made-Into-Tea

Nothing hits home more than familiar local flavours like ice kachang and nasi lemak turned into refreshing cups of tea. Founded through tea maker Victor Koh’s imaginative plate, these original tea blends from ETTE Tea are sure to please even the most discerning of tea connoisseurs.

#3 Hug your organs to sleep
Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-03-Plush-Organs

If you know someone who’s really into plushies, these Plush Organs might make an ideal substitute for the usual teddy bears and animal soft toys available in the market. This adorable line of stuffed guts includes all the major organs in our human body, and are squishy enough to hug without causing any internal damage.

#4 Will the perfect Singaporean please stand up?
Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-05-The-Singaporean-Dream-Card-Game

Created by the masterminds at SGAG, The Singaporean Dream is an interactive card game that all locals need in their life. Encompassing the things we are best known for, this innovative game allows you to sabo, complain and pay your way into becoming the perfect Singaporean – one card at a time.

#5 Be a traveling performer

Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-06-Mini-Karaoke-Microphone

You no longer have to feel obligated to go to a karaoke sesh anymore when you gift this Mini Karaoke Microphone to the wannabe pop star on your list. With the ability to be plugged straight into a smartphone, this palm-sized mic works perfectly with most karaoke apps, and can even be used to make phone calls. Dual functionality for the price of one!

#6 Grow organic ingredients at home

Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-08-Indoor-Allotment

Know someone who’s got a real knack for gardening? Challenge the green thumbs in your life to grow their own food with this Indoor Allotment. Complete with miniature plant pots, snips, soil pellets and seeds, your very own herb garden is open for business!

#7 Accessorise with wearable local delights

Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-09-Local-Delicacies-as-Earrings

Who says you can’t eat your food and wear it too? Having made waves on social media with their delightfully adorable clay food earrings, Klay’s collection of handmade miniature clay accessories would make the perfect gift for the fellow foodies.

#8 Go back in time with a nostalgic timepiece 

Surprise-Your-Loved-Ones-This-Christmas-10-Game-Boy-Watch

Ideal for a 90s baby, this Gameboy Watch is bound to bring back memories from yesteryears. Functional and retro, this bad boy can rival a Baby-G and win with its nostalgic Super Mario Land alarm. Throwback vibes, anyone?

What will you be getting for your loved ones this Christmas? Share the love in the comments below!

Singapore Polytechnic

Escape rooms are pretty much passe, and karaoke just doesn’t cut it. So the next time you and your friends are looking for some unique activities to do (be warned: it isn’t ‘chill’ per se), check out some of these virtual reality game rooms that have been sprouting up all over Singapore.

Hado Singapore

Hado Singapore

We kick off the list with the mildest VR experience, though by no means less fun. For those afraid of jumping head first into an unknown realm, Hado Singapore provides a solution by introducing virtual elements into the real world instead – think dragons, mushrooms, and fireballs etc. Marketed as “techno sports”, they offer augmented reality instead of a fully immersive VR experience. The upside is that you don’t have to worry about motion sickness; and as you won’t be connected by cables, you’re free to move around and experience the activities. They offer three different games: dodgeball (but with fireballs instead!), monster battle and Hado shoot. It is one of the more affordable options on the list, priced at $20-23 per person for all three games lasting 30 mins in total.

Address: *SCAPE #02-15, Singapore 237978
Opening hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon to Sun)
Tel: 6634 4668

HeadRock VR

HeadRock VR

With 11 different VR attractions spanning different themes, HeadRock VR is the place to check out if you’re hoping to spend hours lost in distant worlds. Full-fledged adrenaline junkies can have their spine tingled by plunging into the depths of hell – or more accurately, molten lava – from a jaw-dropping height of over 1000m on the Flying Dive ride. If you’re more of an extreme sports person, navigate through overflowing river rapids on Jungle Rafting, supposedly a crowd favourite, that won’t require you to have a change of clothes after. Or experience a blistering snow storm with the Storm Blizzard installation – a world’s first of its kind – that will see its debut in tropical Singapore. No winter, no problem. Admission tickets are sold as a bundle, allowing you access to seven ($65), five ($50) or three ($35) rides at a go.

Address: Resorts World Sentosa #01-38-39, Singapore 098269
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon to Sun)
Tel: 6963 4609

Sandbox

Sandbox

Sandbox offers a hyper realistic experience, using haptic technology to bring in the added sense of touch along with untethered movement. Bring a party of up to six people to play in one of two games: Curse of Davy Jones or Deadwood Mansion. With movie quality motion capture, actions are seamless and they themselves have compared it to the “Holodeck” from Star Trek. The games are priced at $29-40 per person for about half an hour of gameplay.

Address: Orchard Central #05-31, Singapore 238896
Opening hours: 1pm – 10.15pm (Mon to Thurs), 11.30am – 12am (Fri), 10.30am – 12am (Sat), 10.30am – 10.30pm (Sun)
Tel: 9832 5988

Virtual Room

Virtual Room

Touted to be the best collaborative or team-based VR game room, Virtual Room sets itself apart from other VR places by offering each player their own room to play in. Following their first sci-fi release, players must now work in teams of up to four and time travel all the way back to ancient Egypt to solve puzzles together in order to save the world. Prices here are slightly steeper at $44-49 per person, but you get 45 minutes of game time so the math works out to be about the same, really.

Address: Lucky Chinatown B3, Singapore 059432
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon to Sun)
Tel: 6966 8060

V-room

V-room

Located in the heart of Jurong East, V-room offers over 30 games, featuring horror, shooting, puzzle and multiplayer games. A suitable option for a casual game or two with your friends, it is by far the most affordable of the lot here as well – each cosy room fits two to four people and only costs $12-15 per person for an hour. You can consider coming here as an introduction to VR gaming, or just to get a quick VR fix that won’t break the bank.

Address: JCube #02-11, Singapore 609731
Opening hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon to Sun)
Tel: 6904 4045

Zero Latency

Zero Latency

Perhaps the biggest arena in Singapore, Zero Latency offers a staggering 4000 sq ft warehouse for you and your friends (up to eight players, no less) to play in. Cordless, you are free to move around without fear of bumping into a wall three arms’ length away. This is accompanied by a perfectly weighted controller and a headset with 2k resolution to provide the ultimate VR experience. Four games are offered here, ranging from zombie to space themes. The priciest of the lot, it’ll set you back about $48-70 per person, but the extensive game play and fully immersive environment makes it tempting to try it out at least once.

Address: Suntec City Mall #03-346, Singapore 038983
Opening hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon to Thurs), 11am – 11pm (Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat), 10am – 10pm (Sun)
Tel: 6931 0331

A version of this article first appeared on SG Magazine.

More related stories: There’s Now A VR Theme Park In Singapore (And It’s Opened By Seungri!), Get Your Geek On At These Good Ol’ Board Game Cafes In Singapore

Singapore Polytechnic

It’s finally December, and that means it’s time to celebrate all things Christmas! From festive markets to outdoor carnivals to musical treats, there are plenty of exciting events to soak in the festive cheer.

NOW TO 26 DEC: CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND 2018

01-Christmas-Wonderland

Expect dazzling illuminations, festive delights and a myriad of fun activities at Gardens By The Bay’s annual year-end extravaganza, Christmas Wonderland 2018. Aside from the debut of Asia’s largest luminarie mirror maze, one can also look forward to kinetic light installations, live performances and carnival games – guaranteed fun for the entire fam!

Tickets from $4, visit Christmas Wonderland for more information.

NOW TO 31 DEC: LOOP

02-LOOP

Join in the green movement at Singapore’s first and largest pop-up event. A month-long lifestyle festival held on the grounds of Esplanade Park, LOOP brings together over 100 local craft makers, F&B vendors and eco-friendly beauty brands in hopes of promoting sustainability. Besides getting your eco fix, there will also be hands-on workshops, movie screenings and sunset yoga sessions to keep you entertained throughout. Who knew going green could be so fun?

Admission is free, visit LOOP Singapore for more information.

NOW TO 1 JAN 2019: A UNIVERSAL CHRISTMAS

03-A-Universal-Christmas-01

Immerse yourselves in the festive celebrations at Universal Studios Singapore as it transforms into Elf Town, where you’ll meet Chester Chestnut, Sugarplum Mary and more of Santa’s helpers all decked out in their holiday best. Don’t miss out on the Santa’s Snowy Sleigh Parade and Santa’s Christmas Light-Up Party that will provide you with plenty of photo opportunities for the ‘gram!

Tickets from $72, visit Universal Studios Singapore for more information.

5 DEC: THE WEEKND LIVE IN SINGAPORE 2018

04-The-Weeknd

Of course, we can’t forget about the plethora of gigs taking place. First up, R&B star The Weeknd will be staging his first-ever concert in Singapore as part of his Asia tour at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Known for his addictive electronic tunes, get ready to groove along to his repertoire of chart-topping hits including ‘Starboy’, ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ and ‘The Hills’.

Tickets from $118, visit Singapore Sports Hub for more information.

7 DEC: CHARLIE LIM LIVE IN CONCERT

05-Charlie-Lim

Arguably one of the most successful acts in the local music scene, homegrown singer-songwriter Charlie Lim makes his return with his latest record CHECK-HOOK – which he will premiere at his upcoming concert at The Star Theatre. Alongside the new tracks, fans will also get to enjoy re-imagined pop tunes from his past discography as well as special guest performances from Weish, Yung Raja, Fariz Jabba and more.

Tickets from $58, visit SISTIC for more information.

12 DEC: SHANGELA IS SHOOK (R18) 

06-Shangela-is-Shook

Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race are in for a divalicious treat. Brought to you by LA Comedy Live, American drag queen Shangela is making a special stop in Singapore for her Shangela Is Shook Tour (R18) at Shine Auditorium. Having been the only contestant to compete in all three seasons of the Emmy-award winning reality show, there’s no doubt that the All Stars 3 star is ’bout to slay her debut show.

Tickets from $78, visit SISTIC for more information.

13 DEC: THE KEVIN HART IRRESPONSIBLE TOUR 2018 

07-Kevin-Hart

This man needs no introduction. Best known for his iconic role in the recent hit Jumanji, the actor-comedian will be bringing his stand-up antics to Singapore with his latest comedy tour. Here for a one-night-only show at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, the funny man promises a night of side-splitting acts that will leave you in stitches!

Tickets from $98, visit APACTix for more information.

14 & 15 DEC: STAR WARS A NEW HOPE FILM CONCERT

08-Star-Wars-A-New-Hope-in-Concert

Enjoy a live orchestral soundtrack with more than 70 musicians performing to the fourth installment of the Star Wars franchise at the Esplanade Theatre. Composed by five-time award-winning composer John Williams, buckle your seat belts as you make the hyperspace jump to a galaxy far, far away.

Tickets from $125, visit SISTIC for more information.

14 TO 16 DEC: SINGAPORE DOG FESTIVAL 2018 – A CANINE CHRISTMAS

09-Singapore-Dog-Festival-2018

Who says our furry friends can’t be part of the festive fun? There’s now a Christmas-themed night market made specially for the pups at The Grandstand, where dog lovers and their canine companions can enjoy a host of activities such as sharing sessions, educational talks and more. It’s truly going to be a woof-derful Christmas!

Admission is free, visit Singapore Dog Festival for more information.

15 DEC: IU 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR CONCERT 2018

10-IU

From her bubblegum princess days (think ‘Boo’ and Marshmallow’), to the multi-talented singer-songwriter she is now, IU has come a long way. In celebration of her decade-spanning reign, the K-pop powerhouse is set to hold her long-awaited maiden show at The Star Theatre. If you’re an UAENA worth your salt, you’d know that her concerts never disappoint (her Seoul concert lasted over five hours) so we can’t wait to see what performances she has prepared for us!

Tickets from $148, visit APACTix for more information.

22 DEC TO 24 MAR 2019: PRUDENTIAL MARINA BAY CARNIVAL

Prudential Marina Bay Carnival

Adrenaline junkies have much to look forward to at this year’s edition of the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival. Back for its sophomore installment after a highly-successful run, the carnival returns with 50 thrilling rides and games across the 23,000 square metres event space. That’s not all; visitors can also check out its vibrant array of festive programmes happening all the way till 2am on Christmas Eve. No better way to ring in the Christmas cheer!

Admission is free, visit Marina Bay Carnival for more information.

Singapore Polytechnic

We may be 25 days away from Christmas, but it’s never too early to get into the merry mood. From 30 November to 26 December, Singapore’s annual Yuletide extravaganza Christmas Wonderland will be making its return to Gardens By The Bay – complete with an exciting lineup of festive performances, delectable grub and delightful attractions set against a dazzling backdrop of light structures. Before making your trip down, here are 8 things you can look forward to!

#1  Enjoy savoury delights and sweet treats at the festive market

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-01-Savoury-Food

But first, food. Get chomping away at The Festive Market where you can tuck into a mouthwatering selection of savoury delights such as the Truffle Lobster Roll Croissant from Street Food Circus SG, and Cheezy Truffle Nachos from Chocho Nachos. For those with a sweet tooth, there are also tons of sugary treats to feast on including the signature Japanese Souffle Pancakes from Out In The Woods, and handcrafted churros from Churros Republic.

#2 Take home unique crafts from local craftsmen

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-03-Unique-Crafts

Food options aside, The Festive Market also offers a myriad of artisanal finds that range from beautifully handcrafted jewellery, to one-of-a-kind sock toys. If you fancy getting gifts with a personal touch, these handmade goodies are sure to please even the most fickle-minded person on your list.

#3 Savour wallet-friendly gourmet cuisine by award-winning chefs

Slice of SAVOUR

Who says you can’t enjoy an authentic gastronomic experience for cheap? Here at Slice of SAVOUR, you get to sample a curated selection of French, Italian and Chinese cuisine from esteemed chefs from just $6! Finish off your gourmet meal with creative beverage concoctions or jolly-tasting artisanal cocktails crafted by Three Wisemen.

#4 Check out the light up of Asia’s tallest luminarie Christmas tree (and largest mirror maze)

Luminarie Mirror Maze

The highlight of Christmas Wonderland is undoubtedly the luminarie light sculptures, each piece decadently decked out in gold. Besides witnessing the 21-metre Christmas tree in its towering glory, another attraction not to be missed is the seven-storey high mirror maze. Sprawling over 314 square metres, this illuminated labyrinth is one we don’t mind getting lost in.

#5 Catch your favourite local acts at Yuletide Sessions

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-06-Yuletide-Sessions-Singers

To help ring in the festive cheer, Christmas Wonderland has also invited an exciting lineup of local musicians – including Joanna Dong of Sing!China fame and more of Singapore’s finest talents – to serenade audiences in a series of intimate semi-acoustic performances.

#6 Skate the night away under the stars

Outdoor Skating Rink

Lace up your boots and skate to your heart’s content at the outdoor skating rink, which is imported straight from Switzerland! It also features an lit-up Christmas tree nestled in the middle of the rink, which makes for a magical photo spot amidst the dazzling lights.

#7 Step right up for the carnival games and kiddy rides

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-10-Carnival-Games

Ready to challenge the seemingly unbeatable carnival games? Besides the traditional game stalls, there are also kiddy rides, gingerbread inflatable houses and other new attractions to add to the fun. Games start from $4 and rides cost $6 – simply exchange some tokens and begin your quest to win those adorable plushies!

#8 Stand a chance to win attractive prizes at lucky draws

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-08-Win-Prizes

Aside from getting to enjoy the many sights and sounds at Christmas Wonderland, all visitors will get a chance to win prizes in the grand draw which includes a Genting Dream cruise holiday, and a 3D2N trip to Bali, Pattaya or Penang. You’ll also be able to participate in an instant win where you can win various Christmas Wonderland experience worth up to $30! Truly the season of giving.

Photo credits: Christmas Wonderland

Christmas Wonderland 2018 is happening from 30 November to 26 December, 4pm to 11pm at Gardens by the Bay. Admission tickets start from $6, and can be purchased at www.christmaswonderland.sg.

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