Long hours in the newsroom mean I have to get pretty "creative" sometimes when rushing off with pens in my hair to some kind of present-giving event. (Here, Sally and Rick! An ice-cold soft drink wrapped in Post-its! May you have a long and happy marriage.) Luckily, my loved ones were eventually saved from ugly presents by my discovery of the newspaper bow. It's cool because the quirkier the material you're using, the better it looks.
Step One: Wrap your present in newspaper.
Step Two: Cut newspaper into strips, about 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide and about a foot long. No need to be precise. This is an imperfect science. You need about eight strips, but if you've cut them thin, 10 might be better.
Step Three: Lay the strips in a asterisk shape with the side you want showing face down. Try to keep them as evenly distributed as possible. The center of the star should be located where you want the bow to end up on the present.
Step Four: Lay a piece of tape over the center of the asterisk, taping all the strips together and simultaneously taping the whole thing to the present. You may need more than one piece of tape, depending on how strategic you are.
Step Five: Loop the strips into the center and tape them down. Use little pieces of tape so as not to overwhelm your invention.
Step Six: Plump up your loops.
Step Seven: Cut another shorter strip and loop it around your finger, making a ring that's about 2 inches across. Tape this in the center of your bow. If it still doesn't look fleshed out, make another and tape it under the first.
Lovely! Now if you can only get your sister to believe the pack of Doritos under your gorgeous handiwork is a collector's item ...