When it comes to gift wrapping, there is no end to the possibilities.
Look around your house and see what you have on hand. You might just amaze yourself with your own creativity! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Upcycled/recycled gift wraps
Consider “upcycling” by wrapping your gifts in paper like magazine covers, comic strips from the Sunday paper, and calendar pages. Here are a few more ideas:
- Chef or cook: Someone who loves to bake, a chef or a cook would love a present wrapped up in cookbook pages or recipes cut from a magazine or newspaper.
- Architect: An architect or interior designer will relish gift wrapped up with an old blueprint or two.
- Style maven: Use the dust cover bag from a fancy purse purchase to cover a stylish gift — like a hand-knit sweater or a vintage blouse.
- Traveler: Someone who likes to travel will get a trip out of seeing his or her gift concealed by old road maps.
- Recent grad: Find yesterday’s Wall Street Journal or the local newspaper’s classified ads to wrap a gift for a recent college graduate who’s looking for a job.
- Fashionista: Wrap makeup or other fashionable finds in pages from a back issue of Vogue or Elle.
- Foodie: Use old gourmet or cooking magazines to wrap a gift for your favorite foodie.
- Athlete or fan: Wrap a sports fan’s gift in a sports magazine or the sports section from the newspaper.
- Quilter: A quilter might enjoy a gift wrapped in a piece of fabric that you might have at home and never used.
- Kiddo: Wrap a child’s gift in a brown paper bag, and add a box of crayons or markers for the little artist to create a brown bag masterpiece.
- Home DIYer: Tools, paintbrushes or other construction supplies in a 5-gallon bucket or a big tarp.
Other items you might use for gifts: Burlap bags, onion sacks, cloth diapers, socks, hats, plastic food containers (like Glad or Tupperware), new trash/recycling bins,
Different wrap ideas
- Trash for treasures: Disguise a gift in a non-traditional container: Put perfume or socks in an empty paper towel roll, or use an empty coffee can or cereal box for t-shirts or neckties, books, DVDs/Blu-Rays, video games and other medium-sized gifts.
- Re-bag it: Use store shopping bags as gift bags by putting a decorative band of wrapping paper, and/or some strategically-placed bows over the store logo.
- Towels & sheets: Check out the linen closet. A decorative holiday towel or large beach towel — or even a flat sheet — will do in a pinch, or scraps of fabric leftover from a recent sewing project.
- Ready-made bags: Festive bags make for super easy wrap jobs — and they’re usually reusable, too!
- Takeout: If a Chinese food takeout box has had only steamed rice in it, it will be easy enough to wash out and dry so it can be repurposed to hold a gift.
- Enveloping: Dress up a generic gift card with a special envelope, or decorate/wrap the envelope and tie it with a ribbon.
- Fabric and bags: Use a reusable cloth shopping bag — or canvas tote bags, t-shirts (old or new), fun fabrics, handkerchiefs, Japanese Furoshiki wrapping cloths to cover your presents.
- Painted boxes: Spray paint boxes, etc. to repurpose even the most basic kind of box — from toothpaste to tampons.
- Cups: Use plastic cups with lids (like from convenience stores or restaurants) to hold small items, and tape wrapping paper around them, or bundle them up in tissue paper.
- Pinata: A pinata doesn’t have to only hold candy — especially if you’re not planning to bash it with a stick! Hide a variety of gifts inside, and the recipient can hang the pinata up later as a decoration.
DIY & different gift wrap tips
- Chalk it up: Have some fun with black or green chalkboard gift wrap. With just a chalk marker, send your recipient personalized greetings alongside drawings of reindeer and holiday trees.
- A family affair: Give kids pieces of kraft paper pre-cut for individual gifts, and a variety of crayons and markers. Let their creativity take over! The wrap becomes part of the gift, as the ‘work of art’ can be framed by the recipient once they unwrap the present.
- Household paper: Wallpaper and shelf paper are both sturdy substitutes for wrapping paper for oversized gifts that are hard to wrap.
- Dress up basic brown: Brown paper bags, foil, kraft or parchment paper from the kitchen are good alternatives to traditional gift wrap, and can look nice, too.
- Cut through the red tape: Who says you have to wrap a gift using paper and ribbon? Instead, add layers of colorful Washi tape or Scotch Expressions Tapes around a solid-colored box to create stripes and imitate a ribbon. Complete the look by folding individual pieces of colored and patterned tapes into triangles, and then tape them together to create a 3-D bow atop the gift.