7 Creative Holiday Gift-Wrapping Ideas

This year, instead of purchasing wrapping paper and ribbon in bulk to deliver the same packaging to everyone on your list, embrace it as an opportunity to get crafty!

Splatter Paint Wrapping Paper

The only thing more fun than shopping for gifts for loved ones during the holidays is thoughtfully wrapping each present in a unique, unexpected way. When you're using materials that can be easily found at the craft store, gift-wrapping can be less of a chore and more of a handmade labor of love. Crafty gift givers know that when you use butcher paper as a starting point, the possibilities are endless. Here, just a dollop of white tempera paint instantly transforms classic gift-wrap, and when it’s topped with seasonal ribbon, twine and a sprig of faux berries, the final design is both playful and traditional.

By Camille Styles, photography by Molly Winters

What You’ll Need: 

To get started, have your present already wrapped in butcher paper. Squeeze a dollop of white paint onto a plate or piece of scrap paper, and use a medium-sized paintbrush to dip and splatter the wrapping paper with a flick of the wrist. Once splattered to your liking, allow to dry, then adorn with ribbons and tags.

Washer & Twine Gift Embellishment

Have a loved one who considers the hardware store a second home? Draw inspiration from his or her personality and create a gift-wrapping design that’s unmistakably tailored to the receiver. Both inexpensive and unexpected, washers are a great way to add metallics to patterned wrapping paper, and the gift’s recipient will be thrilled over the thoughtfulness that went into the present and its packaging.

What You’ll Need: 

A roll of your favorite wrapping paper (patterned or solid will do), enough jute twine to wrap around your present several times, and a handful of washers are all you’ll need to re-create this design. Wrap the present as you normally would, then tape the end of the twine to the back of the wrapped present, toward the top. Bring the twine around to the front, string on some washers, then wrap the twine around the back again. Repeat until you reach the bottom of the present, tape the twine in place on the back of the box, then slide washers around to adjust.

Dollhouse Miniatures Gift Box Toppers 

For most, dollhouse miniatures are delighted over in the aisles of the craft store, but unless you have a dollhouse, they don’t have much practical use. Not only is this do-it-yourself gift-wrapping idea a clever way to package small presents like jewelry and ornaments, but it also gives crafters an excuse to purchase those adorable thimble-sized figurines! Opt for miniature reindeers and bottle brush fir trees for an unabashedly holiday display.

What You’ll Need:

Everything needed for this craft can be purchased in one swift visit to the craft store: a small paper mache box, dollhouse miniature reindeer and Christmas trees, and a small bottle of craft glue. Arrange the miniatures on the box lid until you achieve the perfect grouping, then use small dots of glue to secure everything in place. 

Map Gift-Wrap

Because the holiday season is ripe for world travel, it’s not unlikely that some friends or family members will be airport bound just after presents are exchanged. Wrapping their presents with a world map is only fitting, plus it’s as easy as gift-wrapping gets.

What You’ll Need:

Search thrift stores for old atlases or your local craft store for oversize map paper (the wrapping paper aisle or scrapbooking aisle are your best bets), then wrap your present. Tie off with whatever twine you have on hand, and string on luggage tag-inspired gift tags for a simple, on-theme presentation.

Googly Eye Gift Embellishments

Believe it or not, googly eyes have a place outside of the preschool classroom — and it’s right under your Christmas tree! Add humor and whimsy to plainly wrapped gift boxes by attaching googly eyes to the front of them with a drop or two of craft glue. Gift recipients will get a kick out of the oversize, lifelike eyeballs, and for the first time ever, when kids are anxiously eyeing their gifts under the tree, their gifts will be eyeing them back!

Sponge-Painted Wrapping Paper

Have a color combination you can’t get enough of this year? Put it to good use in a creative gift-wrapping project. With just one coat of paint, uninteresting, solid-colored wrapping paper gets an exciting makeover, and all holiday presents are beautifully ready for gifting.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need a store-bought sponge to create this effect, but a crumpled paper towel or bunched sheet of newspaper will do the trick as well. Simply dip the sponge into the paint of your choosing, then gently apply pressure to solid-colored wrapping paper until sponged to your satisfaction. Allow to dry, then wrap your present and adorn with trimmings.

Candy Button Gift Embellishment

For a wrapping-paper adornment that looks good enough to eat, look no further than the candy aisle at your local grocery store. Candy buttons are a favorite childhood treat, but when they're repurposed to embellish the top of a wrapped present, they’re given a whole new identity. Here, they add color and texture to an otherwise plainly wrapped gift, plus they make for a fun afternoon craft project!

What You’ll Need:

All you need are candy buttons, white wrapping paper, craft glue and twine to re-create this playful wrapping design. First wrap your present and tie on twine, then arrange and glue down candy buttons until you’re pleased with the presentation.