Seven creative gift wrapping ideas

wrapping gifts

If Christmas has snuck up on you, don’t worry. There are more ways to wrap gifts than by using shiny red and green paper, gift bags depicting snowmen and reindeer and bows that are immediately ripped off of packages and forgotten.

We’re getting down to the wire for Christmas wrapping. Here are seven creative, stress-free ways to prepare your presents for gift-giving on Dec. 25. The best part is that many of these materials are already lying around the house.

Something other than bows

Cookie cutters

Ditch the bow and tie a seasonal cookie cutter to a package with ribbon. It’s a perfect addition for someone who loves to bake


A pretty, colorful bauble can be used to dress up a wrapped box, and the recipient can use the ornament on his or her tree instead of throwing a standard bow away.

Wrapping paper alternatives

Brown kraft paper or brown paper bags

Why buy pricey gift bags when you can fit small gifts in brown paper lunch bags or use brown kraft paper? You can dress the paper and bags up with stamps, stickers, ribbon or a personalized message.

Maps, sheet music, book pages and newspaper

Recycling never hurts, so you might as well take advantage of the materials sitting around your house or picking up a few at antique stores or thrift shops.

Replace Christmas gift wrap with road map pages that are probably still stashed in your glove box, or are available for free at travel stations.

Also found at antique stores, sheet music can be purchased for several dollars, and you’re likely to find Christmas hymns galore.

If you have damaged books or just novels you don’t want anymore, tear out the pages and tape them together. This gift wrap is perfect for book worms.

Recycle old newspapers (especially the comics) into one-of-a-kind wrapping paper. It’ll give your friends and family something interesting to look at before they tear it off.

Any of these papers can be finished off with a cut of ribbon or embroidery thread.

Dressed up gift boxes

Patterned boxes

Standard gift wrap boxes tend to be white, but many stores stock boxes with Christmas themes. Using one like this will eliminate the need to use wrapping paper. Just add your topper of choice and you’re done!

Homemade gift tags

Paint chips

Pick up some free paint chips at the hardware store and cut them in a unique shape, use a Christmas or winter-themed hole punch, or just use them as-is and write a message on them in Sharpie.

Scrapbook paper remnants and embellishments

Cut a festive piece of scrapbook paper into a gift tag shape, then add embellishments to dress it up a bit.

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