This year, think outside the box -- make those packages a lot more personal (and pretty!) with these creative gift wrap ideas.
Everything in this slideshow
Candy Cane Carryall
Make your own extra-large gift bag for oversize playthings or assembled toys by adding strips of red duct tape to a white garbage bag.
Have a Ball
Forget gift boxes and wrapping paper. Disguise hard-to-wrap, odd-shape gifts in bright crepe paper.
Tuck clothes and soft goods into a custom canvas sack. Attach a stencil to the bag using double-stick tape and spray with non-toxic Simply Spray fabric paint. Let paint dry completely before stuffing the bag.
Imitation Gift Wrap
Running low on gift wrap? Color photocopy what's left of your favorite roll or use cute craft paper to cover small items. Twist together the ends of two chenille stems, wrap around the package, and fashion into a bow.
Outfit a belt (old or new) around the center of a large box to mimic Santa's suit.
Bundle a plate of homemade treats in a reusable napkin tied with a scrap of ribbon.
Pretty Packing Tape
Sending a gift to a loved one? No need to wrap the present inside when you seal up the boring brown mailing box with pretty packing tape.
Tie up packages in pieces of string or thick yarn to give them a cozy look under the tree.
Make use of all those wrapping paper scraps. Have kids decoupage small strips of gift wrap onto a gift box and top with a few pom-poms.
Skip the crinkly silver bottle bag and wrap a sheet of colored tissue paper around a bottle of wine for the hostess. Tie a piece of red ribbon around the bottle neck to secure.
Plastic Bag Bow
Recycle your plastic shopping bags into bold box toppers. Simply cut a large square from the bag, roll it up, and knot it the center to create a bowlike burst.
Reusable Gift Bag
Tuck your gift into a reusable shopping bag that's festive and functional.
Adorn your present with fabulous faux flakes. Use glue dots or double-stick tape to arrange doilies on a wrapped box.
Make a cute-as-a-button gift by looping wired ribbon into a figure-eight shape. Pinch the center of the ribbon twist together and cut a small hole in the middle. Weave a chenille stem through the holes of a button. Twist chenille ends together and insert a few button stems through the hole in the ribbon rosette. Bend chenille stems flat against the package, then tape to secure.
Make a heartfelt gift for loved ones: Wrap a present in felt. Use pinking shears to snip a strip of felt long enough to wrap around package and tie into a bow. Cut out circles from coordinating colors of felt, and glue to ribbon. Once dry, tie ribbon to package.
Jolly Gingerbread Men
Cut out a chain of gingerbread folk from brown crafts paper (try using a cookie cutter for a template) and tape to the sides of package. Add rickrack and a chain of two gingerbread men to the top: To make the gingerbread men dance, accordion-fold two narrow strips of paper. Use the strips to attach the figures to the package with tape.
Adhere squares of wrapping paper scraps to a sheet of white paper with a glue stick; wrap package. To make the fan-shape adornment, accordion-fold a wide piece of color paper. Staple the middle of the pleated paper, and fan edges out. Tape to top of package.
Using a paintbrush, apply craft glue to natural materials such as cedar sprigs, mistletoe, dried berry branches, or mini pinecones. Adhere to a crafts paper-wrapped package; tie with raffia. Add a cedar rose or additional pinecone to the raffia to finish.
Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel
Cut plastic foam food trays into four blocks to use as stamps. On the back of each block, draw the outline of a dreidel with a ballpoint pen, pressing hard. Draw backwards Hebrew symbols within each dreidel (symbols will be reversed when stamped). Add lines to fill in extra space surrounding dreidel. Using a roller, roll paint over plastic foam blocks, and press image onto white art paper. Let paint dry completely before you wrap the gift, and top with a matching bow.
Wrap a package using Chinese takeout menus. For the fortune cookie, trace a circle onto crafts foam and cut out. Fold the foam circle in half. Hold the outer edges together, and push in the center of the foam until the edges meet. Tape to secure. Insert a strip of paper with gift recipient's name. Tape cookie to top of package.
Use old road maps to wrap gifts (or pick up free ones at a gas station). For a creative gift tag, cut out paper flags and label them accordingly. Attach to box with thumbtacks, marking the locations of the sender and recipient (ours travels from Andy's house to Santa's to Grandpa's). Wind and knot yarn to connect thumbtacks.
Glue pom-poms in various sizes to a blue wrapped package. Stack and glue large pom-poms together to make a snowman. Use smaller pom-poms and felt scraps to add decorative details such as a scarf, a nose, and eyes. For fun, add a doll-size top hat. When dry, glue snowman to top of package.
Gifting a crafter, sewer or decorator friend? Wrap a tape measure around a present and secure it with a sticker.
Personalize your present by adding a sticker with the first initial of your friend or relative's name. It adds a thoughtful touch and will keep you organized.
Add on a Cute Calendar
Top off a gift with a small, sweet calendar that toasts to the New Year.
Let Yourself Coast
Paper coasters can double as gift tags. Pick some up at your local party store or scour Etsy for handmade and vintage coasters that won't break your holiday bank. Use a hole punch to tie on a ribbon for a modern and merry presentation.
Watch Your Gifts Grow
Hit your local craft or dollar store and pick out a bouquet of flowers to top off your gifts. Poinsettias, faux evergreen, and berries will add a bunch of cheer to your wrapping routine.
Layer it on
Small gifts will look artfully crafted when you layer leftover pieces of wrapping paper and ribbon in interesting ways. Mix and match contrasting colors and feel good about using the most of what you have.
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.