14 Unique Ways to Wrap Gifts

Forget the boring gift bags and typical wrapping paper. Find how-to instructions for DIY gift wrapping ideas that become part of the gift.


Alphabet Soup Gift Tags

What’s better than a craft project that can be done with your kids, and does a great job of improving their spelling skills? Dried alphabet soup noodles are available in the pasta aisle of most grocery stores, and when glued to a large paper gift tag, they’re an instant way to add pizzaz to any gift.

Touch of Nature

Sometimes the holiday inspiration you’re looking for can be found in your own backyard. Why not turn this nature-inspired gift topper into an afternoon activity for you and the family. Pinecones, acorns, berries and cypress are all fair game, and when clustered atop a wrapped present, they add the perfect touch of nature. Get step-by-step instructions >>

Gumdrop Gift Garland

Often, the most clever DIY projects are the simplest to create. With that notion in mind, we created a garland that’s perfect for tying onto presents, and that’s just as precious to look at as it is delicious.

Perfect Picture

A holiday gathering of close friends and family wouldn’t be complete without a few trips down memory lane. This year, kick off the nostalgia by incorporating childhood photos onto gifts to indicate who the recipient is — and the goofier the images, the better. Tie off with decorative ribbon for a spin on the traditional gift tag that’s festive, sentimental and sure to evoke a laugh or two. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Felt Pennant Flags

This year, give your wrapped presents a preppy, collegiate feel with pennant gift flags made of felt. In lieu of the standard tied-on paper tag, these flags can be inserted into gift bags of any size and let your holiday message or the gift recipient’s name stand out loud and clear. Best of all, rather than getting tossed, they can live on as a decorative detail for years after the holiday.

Fringed Lunch Sacks

Brown paper lunch sacks aren’t often viewed as the most stylish gift wrapping option, but in just a few steps and a pair of fringe scissors, this simple and inexpensive product can be made into a show-stopping gift bag.

Floral Garland

‘Tis the season for beautiful holiday florals, and contrary to popular belief, favorite blooms need not be confined to wreaths and fireplaces. This year, utilize your green thumb to craft small faux flower garlands that festively tie around classically wrapped gift boxes. Using silk flowers and floral wire from the craft store, it’s easy to weave sprigs of holiday greenery together in a flash. Whether you’re a seasoned floral designer or simply an enthusiastic gift-giver, these garlands are sure to add a dose of holiday cheer to your presents. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Poster Board Envelope Wrap

Poster boards are commonplace when it comes to school projects and sign-making, but we’ve given them a new purpose with this unique alternative to wrapping paper. Perfect for wrapping flat items like books, a folded scarf or a vinyl record, this project channels the classic envelope design to create a new way to wrap presents, and requires nothing more than a few craft materials.


Wrapping flat and folded objects can be a bit of a gift-wrapping conundrum. Rather than sliding around in boxes or getting lost in gift bags amid heaps of tissue paper, items like books or scarves nestle cozily in these gift envelopes. With a custom design on the front and spaces to write the gift-giver and recipients’ names, these offer a chic and easy alternative solution to gifting small, flat items. Download templates >>

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Who could have guessed that in just a few simple steps, a standard coffee filter could be transformed into a one-of-a-kind snowflake? Get in the holiday spirit by creating cut-out flakes and adhering them to already wrapped presents. This is a great project for the kids to lend a helping hand.

DIY Gift Card Envelopes

Although some might hesitate to present gift cards for fear of its being impersonal, there’s no doubt that people love receiving free money to their favorite stores and restaurants. This holiday season, make gift cards personal and beautiful by wrapping yours in these homemade festive envelopes. Beautifully crafted using colored origami paper and small paper doilies, a few folds and a knotted ribbon are all you need to add a home-made touch to an otherwise unsentimental present! Get the step-by-step instructions >>


A neatly tied ribbon is a staple when it comes to gift-wrapping, but instead of reaching for a traditional satin option or a ready-made sticky bow, stock up on a variety of festive fabric trim at your local craft store. Wrap gifts with perfectly knotted pom-poms, sequins, stripes or lace, and layer in any number of colorful combinations. It’s just as easy as wrapping with standard ribbon, but is a fun, modern way to embellish simple kraft paper-wrapped presents. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Neon Edge Gift Wrapping

This holiday season, give your kraft paper-wrapped presents an edgy accent that’ll instantly make them stand out above the rest. A little neon goes a long way, and since this time of year everything seems to be dripping red and green, a splash of bright color can be a welcome change.

Vintage Cookie Tins

When recipients are expecting cardboard boxes and paper bags, there’s something special about gorgeous reusable packaging. Nothing’s more nostalgic than receiving a tasty homemade treat in a vintage tin. Scotland-made “tartanware” containers have become collectible pieces, and when used in holiday gift-giving, the wrapping becomes a memorable part of the gift itself. If a tartanware tin is nowhere to be found, any vintage container can be used in its place and be repurposed over and over. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
Photos by Buff Strickland

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