16 Creative Ways to Wrap Presents Without Wrapping Paper

New-sew gift packaging
We Are Scout

The holidays are officially here. For a lot of us, this means plans are being made, preparations are underway, and holiday decorations are infusing homes with all kinds of festive flair.

Of course, the holidays also mean that a season of merry gift-giving is before us. While a lot of folks are fine going the traditional wrapping paper and gift tag route, others are seeking more creative alternatives.

Perhaps you want to save some trees and are looking for a more sustainable option, or maybe you’re simply tired of the same ol’-same ol’ and want to spice things up a bit this year. Either way, the alternatives to traditional wrapping paper listed below are sure to inspire you to approach your gift-wrapping game from a whole new angle this year.

  • 01 of 16

    Make Homemade Stamps

    How to make your own DIY wrapping paper
    Lovely Indeed

    Use kraft paper or regular brown paper bags as your base for this easy, customizable DIY. All you need is a big pink eraser to carve into the holiday symbol of your choice. Use that to stamp a pattern onto your paper and you've got extra-special gifts to place under the tree this year!

    DIY Stamped Wrapping Paper from The Spruce

  • 02 of 16

    Get Ultra Creative With Crayons

    Sisters What

    Who knew that melted crayons could make such stunning gift wrap? Fortunately for us all, the design folks at Sisters What were well aware of the magic that can be made with this idea and are sharing it with the world. A paper bag, a few crayons in your favorite colors, and a free afternoon will leave you with the most creative presents out there.

    DIY Melted Crayon Wrapping Paper from Sisters What

  • 03 of 16

    Customize Your Presents With Chalkboard Paper

    Lia Griffith

    If you’re in the mood to get creative and customized with your gift wrapping this season, then check out this printable chalkboard paper from Lia Griffith. Simply print and decorate with your favorite designs, and you’re good to go!

    Chalkboard Paper Gift Wrap from Lia Griffith

  • 04 of 16

    Work With a Whimsical Word Search

    Grasping for Objectivity

    This cute idea is perfect for those you want to send a special message to. Print a customized word search on paper and circle the messages you want to send that special someone.

    DIY Word Search by Grasping for Objectivity

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • 05 of 16

    Make a Few No-Sew Fabric Bags

    We Are Scout

    Don't let the idea of making your own fabric gift bag intimidate you! DIY fabric gift bags are a great option for when you want to wrap a big gift without wrapping paper. This step-by-step tutorial will show you exactly how to make gorgeous, professional-looking fabric bags in a cinch—no needles required. 

    DIY No-Sew Fabric Bags from We Are Scout

  • 06 of 16

    Repurpose Scrap Paper With a Few Stamps

    Assemble Shop

    If you’re a craft enthusiast, then no doubt you have a ton of scrap paper piling up. Instead of throwing it out or leaving it to collect dust, make it into cute gift wrap with a few of your favorite festive stamps. Let this simple tutorial guide your way.

    DIY Scrap Paper Wrap from Assemble Shop

  • 07 of 16

    Get Colorful With Duct Tape

    Lines Across

    Duct tape has come a long way from being all-silver, all-the-time. These days, it comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns that can instantly transform a bland wrapping job into an awesome one.

    DIY Duct Tape Ribbons & Bows from Lines Across

  • 08 of 16

    Say Yes to Yarn

    Abrams Craft

    Whether you’re pressed for time or you’re simply as in love with this idea as we are, using yarn scraps as gift decor is an easy, colorful way to present striking gifts.

    DIY Yarn Wrap from Abrams Craft

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Add Photo Gift Tags

    Gifts wrapped in white with photo gift tags.

    A Beautiful Mess

    Customize and personalize your presents this year by embellishing them with a cute photo of you and the recipient. Wrapping the entire gift with photo paper may damage the photo, so make a small DIY photo tag for your gifts instead of going that route. Just print out your favorite photo and punch a hole in it to attach it to the present with string.

    Gift Wrapping With Photos from A Beautiful Mess

  • 10 of 16

    Keep It Simple With Butcher Paper

    A present wrapped in brown butcher paper and baker's twine.

    Maison de Pax

    Something about butcher paper is so reminiscent of elementary school. While it’s excellent for decorating dioramas and making paper snowflakes, butcher paper has a wide variety of purposes. It’s extremely versatile in paper crafting, so having some on hand is a must if you’re crafty.

    Wrap your gifts with a sheet of butcher paper in whatever color you prefer. You can either keep it simple and leave it plain with no decorations or add your own embellishments. 

    How to Wrap a Gift Easily and Beautifully from Maison de Pax

  • 11 of 16

    Place Gifts in Jars

    S'mores mix in a decorated glass jar.

    A Night Owl

    Glass jars are versatile and reusable, making them gifts in and of themselves. Place your gift in a glass jar (with the lid included) and decorate it with ribbons, gift tags, and more to personalize it. Your recipient can then reuse the jar to hold bulk goods, fresh-cut flowers, or even drinking water.

    In the same vein, you can also package your gifts in reusable tins or cans. It’s like two gifts in one!

    S’mores Mason Jar Gifts from A Night Owl

  • 12 of 16

    Use Up Old Maps

    Gifts wrapped in vintage maps and bows.

    DIY Mommy

    Dig out your old road maps and atlases and put them to good use by wrapping gifts in them. Not only will this help you save money on wrapping paper, but it will also give you a reason to clean out your attic and downsize a bit. And unless your recipient tears them when they open their gift, they can reuse the maps a second time to wrap presents next year.

    DIY Vintage Map Christmas Gift Wrap and Gift Bags from DIY Mommy

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Try Furoshiki

    Fabric, string and scissors laid out on a white surface.

    The Spruce Crafts / Caylin Harris

    Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in cloth. Traditionally, furoshiki involves square-shaped cloths to wrap items for transport. The cloths usually have hemmed edges and sometimes even hand-painted designs. 

    Don’t feel limited if you don’t have a nice, square cloth, though. Use any fabric available to you. A simple bandana would work. If you sew, you can use your fabric scraps. If not, find inexpensive fabric scraps at your local thrift store.

    How to Do Furoshiki from The Spruce Crafts

  • 14 of 16

    Get Artsy and Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

    Three decorated hand-painted gifts surrounded by pine sprigs.

    Threadbare Cloak

    Between gifts, decorations, and all that delicious food, celebrations can get expensive. Save yourself a few bucks by skipping the decorative wrapping paper and opting to make your own. All you need is some large sheets of paper (white, tan, or another relatively light color) and some paints, markers, or Crayons.

    Once you have your supplies, which you can find at any craft store, it’s time to get creative. Get the whole family involved and draw a masterpiece together. It can be anything—a pretty landscape, a portrait of Santa Claus, or something more abstract. Make a bunch and wrap your gifts with them. Anyone who sees your work of art is guaranteed to smile.

    DIY GIFTS | Make Your Own Wrapping Paper from Threadbare Cloak

  • 15 of 16

    Think Green and Place Gifts in Reusable Bags

    A gift wrapped in a white reusable bag and tied with a black ribbon.

    neatntiny

    No matter who you’re gifting to this year, there’s no doubt that they will appreciate a reusable shopping bag. Not only do reusable bags make grocery shopping much more eco-friendly (goodbye, single-use plastics!), but they’re also extremely versatile. You can use reusable bags to store almost anything around the house, including more reusable shopping bags! 

    How to Wrap A Gift In A Reusable Bag from neatntiny

  • 16 of 16

    Go Rustic With Burlap

    Festive Christmas gifts under a Christmas tree.

    Love Create Celebrate

    Burlap is a strong, woven material made from natural fibers. It’s pretty rough and scratchy, so it isn’t ideal for clothing, but it’s great for a wide variety of crafts. It’s a natural brown color that adds a nice rustic and natural look to any project.

    Use strips of burlap as rustic accents on your gifts this year. Because of its rough surface, burlap is not the easiest surface to draw or paint on. Not to worry, though, because burlap is decorative enough on its own. Consider adding a decorative ribbon to tie in natural pieces, like pine sprigs or maple leaves, to kick it up a notch. You can also add cute chalkboard gift tags like the ones in this tutorial.

    Burlap Christmas Gift Wrap from Love Create Celebrate

Watch Now: 6 Clever Ways to Wrap Gifts

Updated by
Lauren Murphy
Lauren Murphy
Lauren Murphy is a crafting expert and writer with experience creating unusual but highly useful DIY projects. She shares her love of crafting projects ranging from DIY heating pads and cupcake stands to Ouija boards, cat scratching posts, stress balls, and more.
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