The holidays are upon us, and with them thick knit socks, hot cocoa in “’tis the season” mugs, pine trees draped in snow… long story short, it’s time to wrap gifts! That means gathering as a family to wrap while you watch holiday classics on the Hallmark channel or listen to Bing Crosby croon Christmas carols, right? LOL nope. In reality, wrapping presents (for parents, at least) usually winds up as a desperate adults-only event around midnight on Christmas Eve, when we have 18 rolls of wrapping paper with only two inches left on each roll. Cocoa becomes wine, paper cuts abound, and we run out of tape…after only the first present.
Plus, after we spend hours wrapping those gifts, they get torn through in mere seconds — and if you, too, look around at the wrapping paper carnage stuffed in trash bags and feel a twinge of environmental guilt at all that shiny, glittery paper that can’t be shoved in the fireplace, you’re not alone. There are some gift wrapping hacks to help minimize the damage, but it’s still pretty substantial.
Resist the urge to declare Christmas ruined and bah humbug your way outta there, though. Instead, it’s time to call in the troops: your kids. Because we’ve got some kid-friendly holiday wrapping tricks up our sleeves. These hacks allow even the most unartistic (and the most five-year-old) among us to DIY holiday wrapping and be proud of what sits under the tree.
From hand-stamped fabric to paper letters with little trinkets sewn in, surprise balls all ages will love, and color-blocked felt pockets to hide delicate treasures, ditch the yearly avalanche of wrapping paper rolls from your closet and get the whole family working on these gorgeous DIY holiday wrapping ideas.
A version of this story was originally published in November 2019.
Furoshiki Gift Wrapping
Furoshiki is the art of traditional Japanese cloth wrapping, and it is an unexpected and fun way to wrap gifts for the holidays that adds an extra present once you’re done unwrapping. Use tea towels, aprons, bandanas, and more to wrap your gifts. Use simple linen cloth and fabric paint to create a customized print, or check out Cotton and Flax for some other options.
Color Blocked Felt Pocket Wrapping
If you have teeny weeny gifts like jewelry, or gift cards, these color blocked felt pockets from Paper and Stitch are the perfect way to wrap them. Use geometric shapes and contrasting colors to make the pockets pop. Head over to Paper and Stitch for the tutorial.
Mini Christmas Tree Wrapping
Mini Christmas tree? Yes please. Using simple kraft paper and some trimmings from your tree, you can create the perfect mini tree to adorn your packages. A Piece of Rainbow has the full how-to.
Dyed Gift Bags
In case you lean more towards bag than box, Paper & Stitch has a super cool step-by-step how-to that involves nothing more than muslin bags, dye, and rubber bands. Stick with traditional holiday green and red, or use the full spectrum of the rainbow.
Colorful DIY Wrapping
Leave it to the sister team behind A Beautiful Mess to come up with some festive wrapping with bright colors and bold patterns from just scraps of paper, cloth, ribbon and lace you might even have lying around. (That orange webbing you see there? The mesh from a bag of clementines.) Go nuts with turning discarded items into wrapping; it’s all about recycling, baby.
These surprise balls from Oh Happy Day are the perfect way to wrap up a bunch of little things into a quirky unveiling. My older sister used to make these for us at Christmas when we were kids. (She recently resurrected the tradition, and dare I say, it’s even more fun as an adult.) All you need is some little gifts or trinkets and a ball of crepe paper.
Mini Wreath Wrapping
Home Depot is not the place I generally think of when I think of minimalist, nature-inspired wrapping, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t hit this one on the nose. Head over to Home Depot’s blog to check out this DIY mini wreath to top your gifts.
Hand-Painted Wrapping Paper
Alice and Lois are a duo of creative masterminds, and if you’re in a pinch for some last-minute wrapping, this DIY for hand-painted paper is adorable and so, so simple. The secret? Embrace the flaws. Not enough paint on that brushstroke? Resist the temptation to go over it again. Just go with the flow.
-Leather Wrapped Gifts
I’m sorry, how is this the first time I’ve ever seen leather-wrapped gifts?! Paper & Stitch has the perfect combo of edgy and modern DIY wrapping to make your gifts stand out under the tree.
Unleash your inner Pollack (or let your three-year-old go nuts) with this splatter-paint wrapping DIY from DIY in PDX that requires only kraft paper, string, and paint. If you’re so inclined, add a few sprigs of herbs or pine to tie the whole thing together.
Photo Tag DIY
Sometimes, the best gift isn’t what’s in the box; it’s what’s on it. The Merrythought has the instructions for choosing the best Instagram photo to use as a gift tag for your present. Pick a sweet photo of the recipient, or a shot of the giver and recipient together. Some jute and a sprig of greenery complete the look.
DIY Painted Fabric Gift Wrap
Use solid-colored fabric, fabric paint, and stencils of your choosing to create these fabric wrappings by Paper & Stitch. You could also use stamps, or paint on everyday objects like leaves or pine boughs to use as all-natural prints.
Paper Letter Wrapping
Trying to think of out-of-the box wrapping? Literally? A Subtle Revelry has the tutorial for these rad letters that are made from paper and sewn together to house special little gifts. Spell out your recipient’s name, initials, or just “xmas.” Add some watercolors, and voilà.
DIY Wallpaper Gift Bag
Gifts bags are cute (and easy to stuff some tissue paper into for some three-second gift wrapping), but they can be pricey for something that gets put in a closet or trashed. Oh Happy Day has a DIY for gift bags you can make yourself, and it’s easier than you think. Use some velvet or satin ribbon as handles, and you may never buy a gift bag again.
Yes, chalkboard wrapping paper is a thing, and it lets you create with chalk (or chalkboard markers, if you’re worried about smudging) your own declaration of holiday cheer.
Chalkboard wrapping paper, $18.99 at Amazon
Pin it now for the sake of your upcoming holiday gifts.
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