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Think Outside the Box for Memorable Gift Wrapping

Written by Adrienne Wolter, Community Blogger | Dec 23, 2013 11:10 AM

It's Christmas Eve and you're in your nightcap to settle down for a long winter’s — wait a minute! You haven't even begun to wrap the presents! In a panic, you muster up all of the gift bags and festive wrap that you own, but it doesn't begin to do the job. What now? All of the stores are closed and if you don't have your gifts wrapped, you know there will be tears and disappointment in the morning.

Let's be honest: the holidays are a whirlwind, and our seasonal gatherings and feasts take precedence over gift wrapping. Call us procrastinating elves if you will, but there is a simple solution to shift your "code red" panic mode to an "I can do this and it will be awesome" attitude.

Use your resources and get crafty this season to make your last-minute gift finalizations look as if it took you hours to accomplish. Remember, it's all about the presentation. To get your creative juices flowing, here are 10 different ways to help you think outside of the box, while saving money.


Photo by Erika G

1. Personalize It

Who says that using construction paper, glue and crayons are strictly for kids? Channel your inner child and wrap your presents in fun, holiday colors. To add a personal touch, print images from your computer of your family, highlighting some of the most memorable experiences from the year. Cut out your pictures and decorate with glitter, lettering or even stickers to give the present a scrapbook look. Finally, complete the gift with a little sophistication by mastering the perfect bow. Your present will look like a page out of your photo album, brimming with sentimental value and whimsy: perfect for your favorite grandparent.

2. Sing it Loud

Music is prevalent during the holiday season, as it produces a sense of nostalgia and togetherness. Strike a chord with your family and friends by wrapping their gifts in sheet music. If you have copies of printed music or old sheets in a book that are gathering dust on the piano, use this technique to provide a little touch of class to your wrapping. Then, add a dash of color to harmonize beautifully with the black and ivory. Soon enough, they will be singing your praises.

3. Dress it Up


Photo by happy_serendipity on Flickr

Fabric gift wrap is a great reusable option.

Clothe your gifts in the finest ribbons and threads to get your presentation to look like a million dollars. Dig around your craft room for quilt squares and leftover fabric. You can even invade your closet for clothes you never wear.

Take the right measurements and tailor the fabric or cloth snugly around the gift's flattering figure. Color-coordinate different styles and patterns for a truly fashion-forward ensemble fit for a holiday runway.

4. Map it Out


Photo by Yesica

Life is a journey, so make your gift the final destination for your lucky recipient. Sift through old travel maps and brochures to make your presents out of this world... literally. We tend to see a lot of cold weather and snow during this time of year, so you could play on this and wrap them in a map of Hawaii or a warm island getaway.

Tap into your sense of adventure and exploration to show them your gift-giving goes the extra mile. This is a great option for those who love to wander. You could even make sure you remain an anonymous gifter, much like a VPN tunnel does for a client's internet service.

5. String the Lights

Find some white computer paper and "deck the halls" with marker or paint. Your gift is now a blank canvas, prepped and ready to unleash your inner artist. With some simple lines and painted fingerprints, you can create a string of brightly colored bulbs. Nothing says "from the heart" like your very own masterpiece. Just remember to keep to a simple rendering; this will look less cluttered and more professional.

6. Tote-a-Present

What's the point in gift wrapping a beautiful tote bag? If this was on someone's list, get creative and use the bag to give the bag. That may seem a bit redundant; however, the concept is very simple. Find a theme or motif for your gift and surprise them with tiny "stocking stuffers" to unwrap inside the bag. If you have no wrapping paper, hide the gifts in the inside pockets and have them search for their presents.

7. Stamping Up in the World


Photo by Gemma Garner

Stamping is not just for holiday cards. Gather all of your festive stamps and some ink pads and get to work. Arrange various stamps in a pattern along plain paper. If you don't have any paper, use the back of brown grocery bags, much like you covered a textbook in grade school. White stamps look especially good on the rich brown!

Don't have any stamps? Carve your own out of a potato or cut fun shapes out of a sponge. Always use your resources if you get into a bind.

8. Get the Scoop

Today's headline reads, "a gift for you." Why not use newspaper to conceal a buzz-worthy gift? If you know that your recipient has to wait patiently to open their gift — maybe at a large gathering — find a creative way to arrange crosswords or Sudoku so that it covers the top of the present. Include a pencil or pen on the top of their gift to "play" before they open. If you're feeling humorous, add the comic section for some fun laughs while you wait.

9. Knitting Up A Storm

Think "outside the box" and create a different approach to a gift bag this year. If you dabble in knitting, design a fun bag that will fit the size of your present. Instead of receiving one gift, your special someone will in essence be getting two — the original gift, and a multi-purpose knitted bag. This is a perfect wrapping solution for the person who has everything.

10. Say Something

Put your thoughts on paper this season in lieu of a card. Use the backside of brown paper bags or plain construction paper and grab some Sharpie markers or pens. Write your recipient a lovely little letter to explain how much they mean to you. Or, add the lyrics to a festive tune or favorite quote. If you want to get really sneaky, leave them a riddle and make them guess what their present is based on the clues. You could even turn their presents into a scavenger hunt and hide their gifts — no wrapping necessary.

Whatever way you choose to package them, remember that your gifts come from the heart. If you're feeling really inspired, try to make your gift wrapping as well — it's always the thought that counts.

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