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By: John Adams, author of, LinkedIn Changemaker, and dad of two young daughters
Posted on: Dec 16, 2020

Clever Ideas for Gift Wrapping

As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. An individually-wrapped gift can say as much as the gift itself.

The holiday season is a busy time. It’s easy to get distracted, caught up with other things, and quickly throw shop-bought wrapping paper on gifts at the very last minute.

With a little imagination and just a little time, you can make a real impression by wrapping your gifts uniquely. I’ve come up with some clever ideas to make gift wrapping this holiday season that bit easier for you.

A quick side-note before I continue...

Whatever we do these days, we all have a responsibility to the environment. Wherever possible, do try and use recycled materials and recycle or re-use materials that are leftover. It’s also best to avoid glitter as it’s very often made of micro-plastics. With that introduction out of the way, here are some gift wrapping ideas that will help you rock Christmas and the holidays.

Chalkboard effect

I’ll start with a very simple yet devastatingly effective idea. You will need a white, chalk-writing pen and black wrapping paper. You simply wrap your gifts in the black paper and then write an individual message to the gift’s recipient on the paper. You can go further still by drawing a simple, seasonal illustration on the paper such as a bow or a snowman.

Tea towel: two presents in one!

If you are giving someone a kitchen-related gift or something in a bottle, wrap the item up in a new tea towel. It’s very simple to do using a little ribbon to tie the towel in place. There’s an added bonus if you are giving someone a bottled gift. Bottles can be quite difficult to wrap but a tea towel makes it very simple!

Gingerbread gift tags

If you enjoy baking, you can make gingerbread biscuits (cookies) and turn them into gift tags. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough so it’s in the shape of a Christmas tree or snowman, and be sure to leave a hole in the biscuit large enough to feed through a piece of ribbon. When the cookie has baked and cooled down, you can write a message on the cookies using white icing. You then feed the ribbon through the hole and secure it to the gift.

Tip: Make sure you bake large cookies as you will need the space to write your message.

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Washi tape

Washi tape is popular in the US, but not so well known in my home country of the United Kingdom. Originating in Japan, this is a low tack crafting tape that can be used in a variety of ways. Some washi tape has patterns printed on it while other tapes come in plain colours. If you wrap gifts in plain brown paper, you can decorate the paper using washi tape. You can do stripes in different directions, do random patterns, or even make a ‘washi weave’ using a couple of different tapes. Again, this is a very simple idea and washi tape is widely available from Amazon and other retailers.

Add greenery

Add some greenery to your wrapping to make it stand out. There are many ways to do this. The simplest method is to tie a small sprig of evergreen on the top of your gift using ribbon. A further similar option is to tie a small spring of holly to the top of the gift using ribbon. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can add a sprig of greenery to the gift and glue a small pinecone to the top of it. All these ideas look amazing and if you have an evergreen bush or holly plant in your garden, it doesn’t have to cost you anything.

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Stencil some patterns

This is another simple idea and one that’s easy to involve your children in. If you use plain wrapping paper, you can use a stencil to add a pattern to the paper. If you can get stencils that show seasonal patterns like baubles, Santa Claus, or Christmas trees, all the better. The results will look great and everyone will be impressed at the time you have invested into the wrapping paper.

Other sources for clever gift-wrapping ideas

I hope the ideas I have provided here inspire you. If you want some further ideas, there are some amazing ones on the Oprah Mag website. The Shutterfly website also features some great suggestions. No matter how much effort you want to make or how tight your budget is, I’m sure you’ll find a few ideas that appeal to you.

All that remains is for me to wish you the very best for the holidays and New Year. I think we can all agree 2020 has been a tough year and we all need to round it off with a little festive cheer. See you in 2021!