It’s crunch time, you guys! While we’ve been hearing the same thing year after year (start your holiday gift shopping early!), 2021 was when it really counted. Shipping delays, major trade hubs getting overwhelmed and backed up—I’m sure you know all about it. In the past, now would be the time of the season when we’d normally start to get frantic about checking all the gifts off our lists. This year though, that period started all the way in October. (Honestly, maybe even earlier.) But if you did your holiday shopping in advance, then you’re likely sitting pretty right about now. You might even have the luxury of spending the next week leisurely wrapping presents with your favorite Christmas movies on in the background. If that’s the case for you, get ready for all the best gift wrapping ideas the internet could provide. We’ve rounded up 20 of our favorites, and they’re not to be missed.
While I’d consider myself an aesthetically-inclined person, I cannot, repeat CAN-NOT wrap presents to save my life. In the past, I’d try to put together a beautiful present, only to strategically (shamefully) place my presents under the tree so you couldn’t see the taped-together underside. I’ve gotten more efficient in recent years and opted instead for the can’t-mess-it-up gift bag solution. And while that’s definitely helped keep my presents from being an eyesore, I do want to bring a little creativity to my Christmas wrapping.
The good news is, there are endless possibilities for creative ways to add flair to your presents. That’s why we curated this list below for gift wrapping ideas that’ll fit any style. There’s minimalist, maximalist, and au natural. There’s colorful, classic, and beautifully craft-inspired. Whatever way you want to wrap your presents, you name it, this list has it. Click through, and be sure to let us know how you plan to wrap your gifts this year. I’ll take all the inspiration I can get.
P.S. If you haven’t found your gifts yet, check out our roundup of the best last-minute presents for everyone on your list.
Pile on the Pinecones, Foliage, and Natural Elements
I love pairing neutral paper in either black, white, or a natural hue with jute. It’s easygoing while still feeling special and elevated. Adding pops of color with foliage or sentimental notes or photos adds the little touch of joy and emotion I want all of my presents to bring.
Pom it Up
I love gift wrapping ideas that look super glamorous without feeling over the top. This checks off both boxes beautifully. All you need for this fun and festive gift wrap is yarn, pom poms, and a few gift tags. Using black and white paper and adding a little sparkle with your ribbon creates an elevated presentation while still looking like it came straight from the heart (because, well, it did).
Tie on a Little Jingle Jangle
Now here’s what to make if you’re really going for a show-stopping topper. While this DIY is admittedly quite a bit more involved than most others on this list, every single step is worth it to get this final result. The mistletoe is truly a work of art, and you’re going to have to work hard to make sure what’s inside the wrapping lives up to what’s on the outside.
Put Your Paper Snowflakes to Use
I don’t know about you, but in the days leading up to Christmas, you can catch me making all the paper snowflakes my festive heart can handle. While I love sticking them up on windows and using them to decorate all areas of my home, these snowflake present toppers are brilliant. They’re statement-making and modern while still feeling decidedly Christmas-y. You can follow the DIY tutorial here for step-by-step instructions on how to make the most stunning snowflakes. If you’re wrapping with kiddos, this is also a great way to get the whole fam involved.
Adorn Your Gift With a Wreath
When Christmas comes around, I’m of the opinion that wreaths belong everywhere. On my front door, above the mantle, in every window, and yes, on my presents. These mini wreaths take your present from perfect (because anything that comes from the heart already is) to the most thoughtful gift anyone has ever held in their hands. Gather your greenery (try olive and bay leaves), berries, floral wire, a thick metal wire for the wreath, and a glue gun if you really want to take things to the next level.
Add a Little Something Edible
Who wouldn’t love a little sweet treat to go with their gift? These easy-cut-out gingerbread cookies are beyond cute and customize your present with something not only thoughtful but totally gorgeous. Just be sure to bake them no sooner than a day beforehand and keep your presents out of reach of any doggies or curious cats. You want these cookies going to the right mouths.
Make it Sustainable
While choosing which paper and ribbon combo you want can be endless fun, it’s true that oftentimes gift wrapping isn’t always eco-friendly. Follow blogger Melissa Selmin’s cue and opt for natural kraft paper that can be easily recycled (or even reused!). Neutral paper sets up a beautiful backdrop for all sorts of natural elements—dried orange slices, twine, branches, and berries, you name it.
Add a Little Glamour and Glitz
Opting for metallics is an easy way to make your present all the more special. I love this combo of glittery gold with just a peek of the deep, saturated navy. Go for a wide ribbon that lets your wrapping paper barely peek through—this one’s all about the bow.
Let a Printable Do the Work
A reminder that good things come in small packages. This is a super simple and easy way to create a woodland-like effect for your present. Whether you’re gifting jewelry or something else that’s small, pop it in one of these petite boxes for a surprise anyone on your list will love.
Create Some Botanical Beauty
I love this no-fuss way of creating a garden of flora with your gifting. Gather up some floral-focused posters or cards, snip out the flowers, and use a découpage technique to paste them to your present. Keep your wrapping paper backdrop dark or neutral to let your florals really stand out.
Add a Little Warmth
What’s cuter than tying on a pair of either homemade or thoughtfully-purchased mittens to your present? While it depends on where you live, most people could use a pair of fuzzy and warm gloves. Slip the mitts under a little ribbon and add a small bundle of greenery. There’s nothing more wonderfully wintry than this.
Fake a Floral Design
Butcher paper is a beautiful blank canvas for any drawing or designs your heart desires. This flower tutorial instantly elevates any gift while still feeling whimsical, fun, and fresh. The good news too is that if you’re not an artist, you can simply trace or copy an image of a vase from the internet. Add a few fresh, dried, or artificial flowers (any will look great!) and offer up your blooms to the lucky recipient.
Perfect the Japanese Art of Furoshiki
This is the ultimate way to ensure zero-waste gifting. Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese technique that today, is used to wrap gifts or transport a small present when visiting someone’s home. It’s wonderfully practical and a great sustainable solution to keeping your trash or recycling from piling up with paper on Christmas day. Furoshiki is of course beautiful as well. Gather up vintage or found fabrics and follow this tutorial for everything you need to know to make your perfectly imperfect little bundle.
Trompe-l’oeil Your Bow
This is a great gift wrapping solution for the ribbon-tying averse. Create the optical illusion of a silky bow with a sharpie! We love this idea because not only is it just about as easy as it gets, but if you find yourself short on ribbons, you can pull out a permanent marker and get to work. Get the DIY Sharpie Bow Tutorial here.
Take it Tropical
This one’s for the maximalists among us. If you want a little (or a lot) of color, by all means, go for it. I love that the all-black boxes balance out the bold and bright colors of the flower toppers. And while they mimic nature, the flowers have a whimsical quality that’ll make anyone smile. These are also wayyyy easier than they look. So grab your scissors and supplies and get crafting.
Unleash Your Inner Matisse
Did you know how easy it is to make your own wrapping paper? Simply break out a big roll of kraft paper, set up your paints, and go for it. Of course, this project is going to require covering up anything you might get paint on (a drop cloth works perfectly), but once you do, there’s no reason to hold back. Paint your heart out, Pollock.
Make Your Own Stamps
I love a good hand-stamped paper, but did you know you can make it with things you already have in your house? This clever DIY uses everything from popsicle sticks to wine bottles to ice cube trays (yes, really!) to create one-of-a-kind patterns and designs. If it’s a lovingly homemade look you’re going for, try this.
Customize a Cute Message
While there’s a couple of steps needed to make these gift tags, they’re all easy to do. Type out a little message in Photoshop and print out your tags on peel and stick posters. Peel and stick onto your present, add a little ribbon and maybe some greenery, and you’re all good to go.
Layer on the Prints
This one’s all about mixing and matching coordinating patterns and prints. Layering on cut-out paper creates an interesting and eye-catching design. The wrapping alone will feel like a present and is seriously a sight to behold. Click into the post for even more DIY ideas. You can bet I’ll be trying all of them.
Nail it With Neon
While Christmas means there’s plenty of red, green, silver, and gold to go around, I’m into going for the unexpected and adding a pop of neon under the tree. These gift tags are the easiest way to customize your gift and will make anyone feel appreciated when they see the little bit of extra effort you put in to make their present special. You can color block your gift tags or add a polka dot pattern. For all the instructions, go ahead and click through.
This post was originally published on December 17, 2018, and has since been updated.
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