Let’s face it. DIY packaging often looks DIY! But what if you could craft holiday gift packaging that’s so distinctive and creative it will have people exclaiming, “Wow! You made that?” Here are some fabulous ideas for presenting your Christmas gifts that are fun and surprisingly easy to do. They make use of readily available materials, as well as recycled items you probably have right at home. Just add a bit of crafting skill and an eye for what’s pretty—and your yuletide packages are good to give!
Bring on Some Sparkle
See how an already charming gift-wrapped and beribboned box gets some added holiday bling! Just attach an ornate gold gift tag and glue on sparkly sequins all over.
A traditional present comes in a box wrapped in pretty paper and tied up in ribbon. Attractive enough, but ordinary. For the holidays, some extra sparkle is definitely in order—and you can add it in a snap! Simply glue on glittery sequins in a complementary color all over the wrapped box, than cut a rococo-style gift tag out of gold metallic paper and attach it to the bow. Super easy and so affordable (free even, if you use paper scraps and sequins from a past project)!
Alternative materials - You could go for a monochromatic effect with solid-color gift wrapping paper and sequins in the same hue. You’d still get the sparkle! Or you could substitute tiny stickers with a glittery finish, or little gemstones that come with adhesive backing. Just peel off and apply!
For the gift tags, you could cut them from gold boxes used to package chocolates you’ve received (and eaten), the margins of old calendars, or brochures and catalogues you receive in the mail. Hint: Get into the habit of saving odd materials like these, with a pretty color, pattern, or texture. You never know when you may need them!
Decorating tips - A random pattern for gluing the sequins onto the entire package (except the bottom, of course) is one option. But you could also opt to use the sequins to create a Christmas design or to mark out the recipient’s monogram. Just use your imagination and have fun.
If you’ll be making tags for several presents, we suggest preparing a template for tracing the rococo-style cutout—unless, of course, you can “free hand” it! Then, for extra impact, you can mount the cutouts onto a backing of red felt paper, as in our example. (A good idea if your tags are cut from recycled materials that may have something printed on the reverse!)
Where to buy? - Actually all the needed materials—gift wrapping paper, ribbon, sequins, and card stock—are available anywhere…including your own home! So look there first, before you go out to buy. Now, if you’d like to try those glittery stickers or adhesive-backed gemstones, simply check out any craft supplies store or the scrapbooking or art materials section of your favorite school and office supplies outlet.
Wrap in Organza and Mount on a Wreath
Gift packaging doesn’t come easier than with organza fabric wraps in holiday hues of red and olive. Simply gather them around your gift item, slip on an art paper sleeve with a gift tag, and prop them on a tabletop Christmas wreath. All DIY. Ultra-appealing!
Want a packaging option that does away with the gift box, wrapping paper, and ribbon? Try ready-to-use organza fabric cut into circles, hemmed, and complete with matching ties tipped with crystals and pearls. Perfect for the “all thumbs” gift giver!
To suit the holiday season, choose wraps in red and olive to bundle around your gift items. Then, cut strips from craft paper or board with an interesting texture to create a sleeve for each package, and stick on a tiny gift tag. A unique way of finishing each package with a contemporary look.
Alternative materials - You could make your own wraps from scratch, using fabric scraps in holiday colors. For a finished look, hem the edges or trim them with pinking scissors, then provide matching ties in the same fabric or use velvet or gross-grain ribbon. Knot the ribbon ends around a crystal, wooden, or glass bead to keep them from fraying.
For the gift sleeves, you can again use scraps of art paper or board you already have on hand. Or even remnants of Christmas wrapper from other gifts you’re packaging.
Decorating tips - The organza wraps are so versatile, you can experiment with several packaging styles, using their circular shape and pretty jeweled ties to best advantage. But if you’d like to recreate our CD wraps shown above, visit our how-to article.
Presentation can go even beyond the gifts themselves. If you’re hosting a holiday party with family and friends, mount the wrapped packages on a cheery tabletop wreath. Or if the gift items are light enough, pin or tie the packages onto the wreath hanging upright on a door or propped up on a mantelpiece. A lovely addition to the home’s holiday decor!
Where to buy? - Bellenza’s organza rounds are available in a total of seven colors for any packaging motif. The rest of the materials can be found at any arts and crafts supply outlet or, as we said, right in your own treasure trove of “crafting scraps”!
Wrap and Roll!
Gift “rolls” in place of gift boxes? Why not! They’re a breeze to assemble, fun to decorate, and can be made from recycled materials you already have.
For odd-shaped or hard-to-wrap gift items, the solution is usually a gift box or fabric wrap. Another great alternative that combines the two is a gift roll! The roll itself can be easily adjusted to the required size, bundled up in a colorful fabric wrap, and then held secure with a paper strip in a decorative design. Just the thing for giving bottled presents, loose items, edibles, or scented gifts!
Alternative materials - A gift roll presents a wonderful opportunity to use recycled materials. You can take board from a discarded cake box, a used gift box, or even old office folders—and cut it in the needed size. The fabric wraps can be made from handkerchiefs or fabric remnants in plain colors; while the paper sleeves can be strips cut from Christmas gift wrapper scraps.
Decorating tips - Be sure to measure the size needed for the roll before actually cutting the board. You can do this by using a sheet of scratch paper or newspaper to make a “trial roll” around the items you plan to give.
The fabric wraps are a clever way of closing off the open ends of the roll. So again, experiment beforehand to find the best and most decorative way to bundle up the roll in the fabric. In our example, we took advantage of the pearl-and-crystal tips of the organza wrap’s ties to form pretty tassels for our gift rolls!
For the tiny gift tags, we suggest printing out all the names on a sheet of card stock in one go. Choose a striking font in a complementary color, then cut out the tags using a board cutter or crafting knife.
Where to buy? - If you opt for ready-to-use organza wraps, you can purchase these online. Otherwise, organza and other suitable fabrics can be found at any fabric store; while board, card stock, crafting cutters, and adornments like beads and crystals are available at any crafts supply outlet. But we do encourage recycling—so please do remember to dig through your home and office supplies for possible gift packaging materials!
More DIY Holiday Packaging Ideas Eco-friendly Slant
- Brown paper bags can go from school time lunch packaging to crafty holiday gift wrapping! Just use clever tricks like: pinking scissors to form pretty borders; craft punchers to create Christmas-themed cutout designs; and stickers, ribbons, glitter, sequins, even cutouts from gift wrapping paper, old Christmas cards, and gift tags to dress up the bags in a most festive way.
- Envelope wraps can be fashioned from outdated calendars, holiday catalogues, and colored magazine pages. These are great for giving flat gift items such as books, journals, CDs, handkerchiefs, a scarf, a set of table napkins, and the like. Simply take apart an old document envelope to use as a template—then cut and fold your calendar, catalogue, or magazine page accordingly. Tuck in your gift, seal the envelope with a stylish sticker, and finish the package with a large bow!
- Boutique bags tend to be chic, sturdy, and trendily-designed—and the stores give them to you anyway. So why not capitalize on all that to create DIY holiday packaging that’s perfect for bulky, difficult to wrap gift items?
- Doily rolls are a variation of the gift rolls described above. The advantage is that the doilies’ lacy pattern itself provides a lovely decorative effect, with minimal trimmings necessary. Simply roll up each gift item in a doily, fold up the outer edges and tuck them in to the roll, then secure the entire package with a pretty ribbon. For some festive yuletide adornments, you could add tiny sleigh bells, berries and holly, or little angel or gingerbread charms—depending on whom the gifts are for.
You could opt to keep the bag’s origins identifiable (unavoidable in cases where the design is all over the bag!) by simply lining it with gift tissue in a complementary color or colors extending beyond the bag’s rim, and tying it shut with an elegant bow. Particularly nice for toys from a children’s specialty store or sports accessories from a sporting goods outlet. If the boutique name and logo are more subtly positioned, you may simply want to play up the bag’s lovely color or design. You could do this by attaching a faux poinsettia blossom or a sprig of holly and berries over the name and logo using a glue gun, and then finishing the package with a satin ribbon and gift tag.
Looking for more inspiration on what to give this Christmas? Try any of these great ideas: