When you receive a gift, the thrill of it all really spikes when it’s custom wrapped. After all, “present” is right there in the word “presentation.” Special wraps have your signature flourish and show how much you care. Best of all, they’re creative and cheap — you can use plants from nature or scraps from the craft drawer.
Here are 34 gift wrapping ideas to boost the excitement this year. Whether you’re a minimalist who shudders at glitzy designs or you’re craving the fanciest wrap, you’ll find it here. If you’re artsy or have tape all over your fingers, there are designs for your skill level either way. The extra effort will make it personal, which is exactly what a gift like these from Redbubble should be.
You can hear the sleigh bells when you look at this gift. It’s vintage to the max, including pine sprigs you scrounged up from the back yard. You’ll find spray adhesive and shredded fake snow at craft stores for a magical finish. Soaps in star shapes are glued on top. (Note: Remove from the package before using in the bath.)
Image by @lukelung1991
2. The Tuxedo Wrap
This wrap is classy black-tie. There’s a keepsake photo, a dab of gold sealing-wax, and a fern frond for contrast. Black paper keeps things clean and striking. You can riff on this by attaching a photo clothesline using yarn and clips. It doesn’t have to be formal — that Insta pic of your friend with ice cream running down their chin will inspire holiday cheer.
Image by @prathsnap
3. Wrap It in a Gift
The best container for a gift is another gift. You save money on wrapping and it’s two, two, two gifts in one! Also, it won’t land in the landfill. This perky bag has the main gift tucked coyly inside. Have it custom-printed with a saying that describes your relationship: “We are one soul in two bodies” or “I appreciate your meatloaf.” You can also print that one joke that never gets old, except to everyone else.
Image by @evgenija.kasper
4. Green Wrap That’s Brown
Eco-friendly green wrapping that exudes holiday cheer can be made from shopping bags. Cut it up and wind on lace, glue on feathers, or add a cheery red bow. Even easier for the overwhelmed: Use shopping bags pre-printed with holiday designs.
Image by @edgordow
5. Get Graphic with Graphics
Gifts for friends like these at Redbubble need special treatment. Some wraps are an inside joke. If your friend won a sushi-eating contest or has a morbid fear of bananas, you can probably find that exact theme online. Go for personality — anything to stand out from the Prancers and Vixens. Use unexpected materials: a red duct-tape bow or a colorful picture you scrawled in second grade.
Image by @CarolineFeelgood
6. Mother Nature’s Son
Forage outside for bright berries, pointy maple leaves, and bristly pine cones. Press these treasures until they’re dry in a thick book, or bribe a friend to sit on them. Next, glue the trimmings on plain brown wrapping paper so they’re not upstaged. When all is done, throw on your flannel pajamas, grab some mulled cider, and binge-watch movies about the olden days.
Image by @sherisilver
7. Tasty Trims
These fun designs use treats from the pantry for décor on the cheap. They double as a holiday activity for the kids. Graham crackers are frosted in royal icing in patriotic colors. They’re stacked with marshmallows and wrapped in twine. Star-shaped sprinkles crown the top. Be sure to make a double batch to feed the help.
Image by @designecologist
8. Say It with Words
For a wrap that’s really saying something, print out word search paper for free online. The best part: You can edit the design to convey your own funny/insulting/romantic message. Let them hunt for your thoughts, like “I’d walk through fire with you” or “For my annoying sister, with love.”
Image by @stilclassics
9. Clip it Together
Journals are one of many great gifts for teens at Redbubble. They’re much better than self-help books (“How to Communicate with Your Parents.”) They come in funny or artistic patterns for every taste. In keeping with the stationery theme, wrap them in fabric clamped with binder clips.
Image by @texterphotography
10. Downtown Goes Uptown
You’re appalled by people who rip off the wrapping paper. Your presents sparkle like 5th Avenue. This glitzy silver-on-silver design with the aggressive curls is for you. A variation: Make it look like it’s from a fancy boutique (even if it came from the corner drugstore) by topping it with a Tiffany blue bow. Use this to wrap the perfect gift for the woman in your life.
Image by @she_katherine
11. The Glitter Bomb
Don’t be that person who gives a gift that explodes with glitter when you open it. Your friend will be vacuuming it up next Christmas and thinking of you, but not in a good way. You can use glitter sparingly, though. Just spray with adhesive or dab with a glue stick and press it on. This presentation shouts fun and sparkle, key ingredients for any holiday.
Image by @marianarascao
12. Santa’s Little Helper
Stockings aren’t just for the chimney (sorry, Santa.) You can buy inexpensive stockings at drugstores and tuck one-of-a-kind gifts like these from Redbubble inside. Even a fancy gift like jewelry can be pushed into the toe of a velvet stocking. Colorful socks make fun gift holders, too. If it’s for someone you like, just skip the coal.
Image by @nynnes
13. No-Fuss Festive
You have that minimalist friend who breaks out in hives during the holidays with all the conspicuous consumption going on. It’s time to walk back the gaudy red paper. Instead, wrap a gift in a simple mailer bag or even a t-shirt. Keep it neutral and attach a card using the thinnest wisp of baker’s twine. The wheat is optional, but if there’s a field nearby, hey, go for it. They’ll also appreciate an inexpensive gift that’s budget-approved.
14. The Mystery Gift
Create a new tradition this year: Set aside one box as a mystery gift. It can be a white elephant gag that makes everyone smirk when you bring it out. It can be a fat gift certificate for your spouse. Each year, the tension will rise when you bring out that box because everyone loves a mystery.
Image by @meymigrou
15. Casual and Chill
Casual chic is trending. Brown paper wrapping with gardening twine can be spiked with red — berries, a button, or a red bulb hot-glued to the paper. Add a simple tag with brown beading for interest.
16. Precious Metal Packages
At the holidays, you can’t beat silver and gold, silver and gold … or so the song goes in the Rudolph movie. This pale gold paper is adorned by nature’s jewel: a pine cone and attached greenery lightly sprayed with silver paint.
Image by @lulizler
17. Primarily Modern Design
This simple, modern wrap uses primary colored paper and stickers to create a geometric tree design. It takes just minutes but looks bright and inviting. For extra points, make snowmen or penguins with a circle paper punch and construction paper.
18. Package It Perfectly
If you’re mailing your packages, this biodegradable wrap is good for the planet and for you. There are no dyes that will run if the package gets wet. It’s expandable to cushion even the most oddly-shaped package. Best of all, your giftee won’t have millions of paper scraps decorating their entryway for weeks to come.
Image by @loreschodts
19. Scentsational Design
This wrap wafts a holiday scent through the room with an evergreen branch tucked on top. Add a bright ornament to remember you by. Even the most tape-challenged can do the rest with brown paper and rope. No sailor’s knots are needed — just wind the rope around a few times and tie in a bow.
Image by @tito.yurukov
20. From the Scrap Pile
Finally, there’s a use for that drawer spilling over with scraps of paper, doodads, and geegaws, and ribbon from bygone days. You can use it all to wrap gifts. With black paper as a base, attach accent paper and trinkets like this tarnished metal star. Double-sided tape makes it easy. For an elegant finish, use a lustrous silver pen to write a personal message.
21. Spice is Nice
Honey, you baked! Number one on everyone’s gift-getting list is a homemade treat. If you made some yourself, tuck them in a kraft box lined with waxed paper. For a hint of what’s inside, glue a cookie on the outside with some fragrant cinnamon sticks to get that hunger stirring.
Image by @jillwellingtonphotography_
23. Dotty Gifts
These presents are ready to party. They’re just right for that dotty friend you love. It’s easy to make paper that looks pricey and custom. Just add a sprinkling of gold dot stickers or dab them on with paint and a cotton swab.
24. Words From the Woodshop
These wooden letters are glued atop a brown parcel that has “Merry Christmas” written all over it. You can add your own funny or cheeky message as a gift for that main guy in your life. Understated brown paper and garnishes from the garden let the words speak for themselves.
Image by @jillwellingtonphotography_
25. Holly is Jolly
Shield your eyes from all the garish bright packages. Instead, soothe them with this garden-inspired wrap. Sprightly holly is punctuated with a happy bow. It’ll harmonize with your tree and add to the décor on a red tree skirt.
26. Monochrome Gift Boxes
Colored gift boxes are a ready-made wrap for smaller items like jewelry. They’re cheap and re-usable. Best of all, they’re that Holy Grail of the holidays: a no-work solution. Just plop a bow of the same color on top, and spend the extra time sipping eggnog.
Image by @karishea.creative
27. Chic Understated Neutrals
Wrapping paper doesn’t have to scream holiday. It is best to avoid screaming when possible. This tasteful wrap is geometric and modern but still says holiday with a trim red bow.
Image by @julianamaltablog
28. Foil Firs Get Festive
Brown wrapping paper gets a big lift with foil fir trees that come in stickers or stamps. Their iridescent shine makes them look pricey but you can buy them for a few bucks. Fat candy-striped yarn adds a yummy confectionary look.
Image by @superkitina
29. Ribbon for the Win
If you’ve been tromping on those rolls of gift wrap shoved into your closet all year, there is a solution. Instead of hoarding the seasonal wrapping, buy neutral paper you can use for any occasion. Then, dress it up with holiday trim. Here, ivory paper is perked up with ribbon and a sparkly bow.
Image by @freestocks
30. Gussied-Up Gift Bags
Gift bags are a holiday present to yourself. They’re an instant wrap you’ll love as much as instant popcorn. And they’re reusable. You still have that faded gift bag someone gave you in 5th grade. But they shouldn’t be boring. These bags are fancied up with etched snowflake tags and dotted tissue that tempts you to peek inside.
Image by @i_asma10
31. Steal From the Garden
If you’re stumped about how to wrap presents in a hurry, look no further than your back door. Plants dried in the winter sun have a fragile beauty. They’re wrapped up in a flash with a satin bow.
Image by @dominika_roseclay
32. Stamp Out the Ordinary
Make your own custom wrapping paper or tags with a stamp and ink pads. You can take out your frustrations as you stamp away in a frenzy. Create a neat pattern or a modern impressionist design. It’s a great activity to do with the kids.
Image by @seashell_in_love
33. A Nod to Nature
Flower pods stripped of their petals by the wind are poetic when tied with a matching ribbon. Plain gift boxes are anything but ordinary with this instant, lovely treatment.
Image by @fotografierende
34. Burlap for the Odd Package
Wondering how to wrap a present that’s oddly shaped? Remember how terrible it looks when you wrap it in paper? It rips and bulges like it was wrapped by a preschooler and then hit by a train. Avoid the trauma this year with a rustic burlap pouch. It’s perfect for jams and round cookie tins. You can find stick-on designs like felt reindeer to make up for that lumpy package you inflicted on your family last year.
Even if you’re all thumbs, it takes more heart than talent to give a present that’s custom-wrapped. Next time you’re wondering how to wrap a present, the answer is as near as marshmallows in the cupboard, pine sprigs in the yard, or brown shopping bags stacked in your closet. So go for the unique design, because a gift from the heart is always treasured, even if you’re participating in the gift exchange at work and barely know the recipient.