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Fun and Unique Gift Wrapping Ideas

Updated on December 10, 2013

Unique Gift Wrapping Ideas

From gift wrapping with textiles to eco-friendly ideas like using a piece of a colorful old sweater to wrap a bottle of wine, there are many different unique and fun ways to make your gifts look fun and beautiful.

Gift Wrapping with Textiles

This is how some do it in Japan

I have heard that it is customary, in Japanese culture, to put just as much effort into wrapping a gift as one might put into selecting the gift itself. How the gift is presented actually says a lot about how the gift giver feels for the recipient. The Japanese art of wrapping with cloth has been used for generations. There are many elegant ways to display a gift to let your recipient know just how much you care. A swatch cloth, also known as a furoshiki, can be used to wrapped many different types of gifts and the best part about using one of these is that if you make a mistake you can always untie it and start again. It is rather simple to master because there are three basic knots to work with.

Japanese Gift Wrapping

My favorite thing about this type of of gift wrapping is that it not only makes the gift look unique and special, many of the cloths are so very beautiful that they are like a gift themselves. I love to collect these beautiful textiles!

Gift Wrapping with Textiles: Stylish Ideas from Japan
Gift Wrapping with Textiles: Stylish Ideas from Japan

This is a great book to get you started on learning this style of wrapping.


The Red Envelope - A Chinese Tradition

Chinese New Year is the big holiday in China so their gift wrapping is quite different from here in the United States. Generally, a red envelope is used to give money and is typically unsigned when given at the Chinese New year holiday. Weddings, birthdays, and other holidays a four character expression might be found and signatures are optional. Chinese New Year isn't on the same date every year because the first day of Chinese New Year starts on the New Moon that falls closest to spring. These envelopes are not just used for this holiday, but throughout the year for many occasions. Red actually symbolizes good luck but other color envelopes can be used as well. No matter what color the envelope might be, I'm sure there is excitement when receiving one of these just from seeing it from the outside. This is a great tradition to start and might be a great idea to put a gift card inside and use as a stocking stuffer.

Another neat German tradition is the German Christmas Pickle Tradition. I had never heard of this until a few years ago when I got married. My husband and I went over to his mom's house to have Christmas dinner with his family. As soon as all the kids were there they all went to the tree and started looking for "The Pickle Ornament". As the legend goes, the parents would hide a pickle ornament deep in the branches of the tree and the first child to find it on Christmas morning would receive and extra special gift. This special Pickle ornament was usually hand blown from glass and hidden in a very difficult place to see. It was great to see my husband with his siblings, gathered around the tree, all reminiscing their old glory days of finding the pickle first.

German Gift Giving

In Germany, December 6th is known as St. Nicholas Day. German children put their shoes and boots outside in hopes that they will be filled with delicious sweet treats by good ole St. Nick. I can't imagine eating candy out of an old shoe but here's some ways to wrap it.

Use a mason jar to store the candy, tie a ribbon around the top, and slide it into the boot.

Tiny rattan baskets filled with chocolates will fit snuggly inside a boot. They even make these with lids.

Fill a colorful new pair of holiday socks with sweets. Use bright color shoe strings to tie the top closed.

A Gift For Everyone

Here is a list of some great ideas for items to wrap your gifts in. Don't forget you can use these ideas for shower gifts and baby shower gifts as well!

Map - for someone who loves to travel

Jumbo Coloring Pages colored by the kids - for grandparents


Seamstress Pattern

Magazine pages

Wall Calendar Pages, picture side or date side

Craft Paper - decorate with handprints, silhouette, etc.

Pillow Case - Great to wrap a small child's gift inside a pillow case with a favorite super hero

Plastic Table Cloths

Treasure Chest

Photo Collage Paper (There is no need for gift tags if their photo is on the box!)

Beer Cartons

Sheet Music


Backpack or Lunch Box

Use Crayons, Christmas Ornaments, Baking Cups or Bow Ties as the bow on a package

Use Hair Ties or Hair Bows to decorate a package

The Art of Japanese Gift Wrapping

What is your favorite way to wrap a gift? - It's a wrap!

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    • Laurahadges LM profile image

      Laurahadges LM 4 years ago

      The boys are going to love this!

    • christasquidoos profile image

      christasquidoos 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you so much! I'm new to this site!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I like to use something in the wrapping that can be reused later. Love your suggestions and customs!