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Instant Gift Wrap Ideas

Updated on January 9, 2017

Easy Creative and Unique Gift Wrap Ideas

It's easy and fun to wrap gifts with style and without a lot of money the instant gift wrap way. I love to wrap gifts without buying expensive papers and ribbons or overpriced money-holder cards.

I use the supplies I have on hand, work with recycled materials to create eco-friendly bags, boxes and packages, or design and print special papers, small boxes, goody bags, gift tags and money enclosures using my home computer and ink jet printer.

Even the simplest presents are special if you wrap them with style and creativity.

Try out a few of these frugal and green ideas at your next special gift-giving holiday or special event. You'll enjoy the "Wow" factor X2 because your specially wrapped package will be appreciated just as much as the gift inside. It really is the thought that counts - read on!

Photo credit: Gardener gift photo click,

Green Gift Wrapping Ideas

Creative Techniques for Wrapping Presents

My favorite (and easy) green instant gift wrap technique is to make the package part of the gift. You can present all sorts of gifts in baskets, tote bags, dishes, pots/pans, decorated boxes or any other suitable container related to your gift. It's environmentally friendly and makes the gift more memorable.

You can find many ideas and printable bags, gift tags, labels and even boxes to print, cut and fold on the internet. If you print your freebies on recycled paper - your own or purchased new - you're creating a DIY gift container that's green and frugal.

If you give a monetary present, you can create a unique folder or fold currency bills into a fun shape with money origami - give a heart shaped origami money gift for a Valentine's Day or wedding gift or try a folded shirt design for bachelor party, Father's Day or graduation gifts.

One interesting idea I've found to give cash is to attach paper money bills together end-to-end, roll them up and then put them into a recycled tissue box with one tissue fluffed out the top. Another green and fun idea for money gifts is to tape bills together and roll them up, then tuck the roll of paper money into a jar or decorated tin. Another way to give paper money as a gift is to slip bills into the pages of a book.

Step by Step Video - How To Wrap Gifts - It's not so difficult to wrap gifts

I was amazed to learn that my artist-husband who is an amazing sculptor, welder and carpenter has a real problem with gift wrapping. My mother actually worked a part time job in the gift wrap department of a local store, and I've always enjoyed wrapping gifts. It never occurred to me that wrapping a gift could be so daunting to some folks.

So, here's a video that will help anyone who's gift-wrap-challenged.

Creative Gift Wrap Suggestions - Recycled materials and ideas for easy gift wrap

Lots of great ideas for creative wraps, gifts in containers, bags and more.

Easy Green Gift Wraps

Simply Green Giving: Create Beautiful and Organic Wrappings, Tags, and Gifts from Everyday Materials
Simply Green Giving: Create Beautiful and Organic Wrappings, Tags, and Gifts from Everyday Materials

Green living guru Danny Seo and environmentalist offers some creative, lovely and eco-friendly gift giving ideas.


Low Cost Gift Wrap Ideas Using Recycled Materials

Make it a Green Celebration - Save Money and Help the Planet

If you're trying to save some pennies and also want to make a splash with gift wrap, try these creative and frugal ideas for using recycled materials to wrap up your gifts.

1. Newspaper Gift Wrap - wrap up a gift for someone special using a section of the newspaper that pertains to that person. Perhaps a page of stock listings for an up and coming executive, or the first page of the sports. Use the colored comics section for kids or just for fun. Tie it all up with a piece of bright ribbon, string or raffia.

2. Brown Paper Gift Wrap - you can decorate blank paper with clip art, cut out pictures from magazines, stickers, hand-written decorations or rubber stamp images with a theme for your recipient.

3. Fabric Gift Wrap - use left over pieces of colorful yard goods or purchase a colorful scarf, tablecloth or napkin. Place gift in the center, then draw up the corners together at the top and tie securely with ribbon, braid or rick rack. Try some fancy wraps with fabric using the art of furoshiki.

4. Bags as Gift Wrap - make a fabric bag, stitch around three sides, then tack a drawstring at one side near the top. Larger/faster bags: buy a colorful pillowcase and add a drawstring from grosgrain ribbon.

5. Recycled Packaging Gift Wrap - use those boxes and bags you carefully preserved from gifts you received previously.

6. Maps used as Gift Wrap - printed maps (new or antique) make wonderful gift wrap! They're colorful, HUGE pieces of heavy paper that work well to wrap travel or location related gifts.

7. Posters used as Gift Wrap - if you have an old poster you don't need or want anymore, use it to wrap a gift. The paper is heavy and printing is usually quite good.

8. Use a Can or Jar as Gift Wrap - Start with a clean coffee can, plastic pretzel container, cookie tin or even cleaned and washed jars from mayo, pickles and pasta sauces. Paint the lids if they have advertising on them. Add a "belly band" of printed paper, clip art or sticky paper with printed design or use a bandana or length of fabric around the midsection. Drape a piece of fabric or lace over the lid and tie on with ribbon or string and add a decorative tag.

9. Wrap up a Gift Card Dress up a retail store gift card with a hand made presentation folder. Use cardstock to create a unique shaped folder to hold the card. Cut slots to secure the card inside.

10. Recycle Soda Bottles - If you have a source for clear, glass soda bottles (these let the goodies shine through), recycle them to hold small snacks for Valentine's Day, Father's Day or any special occasion. Clean, dry and fill with candy, nuts, sunflower seeds or some other small dry goodies, then decorate each bottle with a cute label, ribbon tie tag and fresh new bottle cap. Pack them back into the redecorated 6-pack caddy and you're good to go.

11. Wrap a Tube with Scraps - If you have a gift that will fit into a cardboard paper roll/mailing tube or recycled shoe box, you can use up bits and pieces of gift wrap and ribbon to decorate the tube or gift box package.

12. Reuse Gift Bags, Paper and Bows - Before it was trendy to recycle and reuse, lots of people frowned upon those of us who saved gift wrap, ribbon, boxes and bows to use again for future gift wrapping. Not these days! At the very least we can usually recycle stick-on bows and cute gift bags and they'll be just as nice as the first time 'round.

Recycled Gift Wrap Ideas - Threadbanger Video Tutorial

Save money and help save the planet with recycled gift wrap materials.

Do You Recycle Gift Wrap? - ... how 'bout bows, boxes, tags or bags?

I confess that I do recycle gift wrap materials of all types. I don't always use them for wrapping up another gift - sometimes I use gift wrap papers for collage or to line dresser drawers. But I do try to avoid tossing any gift wrap goodies into the trash. If they're totally destroyed, they go into the recycle bin or the woodstove (depending on what they're made from).

Do you recycle gift wrap materials?

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Who Does Your Gift Wrapping ? - Do you wrap gifts or delegate the task to someone else?

Some folks love to buy gifts but really don't have time or patience to wrap them. So they either have the store gift wrap their presents or they delegate the task to another family member or friend

Who wraps the gifts you give?

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Make Your Own Fast and Frugal Gift Tags

Gift tags and small enclosure cards are easy to make from many materials. The simplest gift tags are made by cutting an interesting shape from the gift wrap you're using, then folding to make a small card and writing inside.

To take this technique up a notch, try making small fold over gift tags from card stock, then decorate the outside with bits of pretty paper, fabric, clip art pictures or glitter.

Variations: use decorative edge scissors to make the borders interesting. Punch a hole in the corner to add a string or ribbon.

Printable Bookmark Gift Tags

Use a printable bookmark as a jumbo gift tag. Write your greeting on the back of the bookmark, then attach to your gift for a tag that becomes part of your gift.

Make a money folder quickly from a printable bookmark: instead of cutting bookmarks apart, cut them into sets of two and fold along the long side. Insert your bills or check inside.

Printable Labels can be used to make gift tags or as decorations for recycled containers. Attach the label to a clean jar, add matching ribbon around the lid and tie on a few sprigs of dried or silk flowers. You can also stick the label to a piece of card stock cut slightly larger than the label.

Imagine Minibook Gift Card Presentation Folder

Lovely Way to Present a Gift Card and Special Thoughts

Nice way to dress up a gift card presented inside a special folder. Imagine booklet with own words of wisdom and a gift card holder inside.

More than a greeting card, this booklet includes a special place to add a gift card and words of wisdom for your recipient.

Printable heart shaped gift box template
Printable heart shaped gift box template | Source

Printable Gift Wrap Boxes

I just love a special package for a tiny gift. It makes a big statement for a small treasure when you present it in a very special container.

Special little boxes and gift wrap containers for special gifts. Print, cut and fold to make a unique present holder for your gift recipient.

Home made heart shaped gift box - print, cut and glue together
Home made heart shaped gift box - print, cut and glue together | Source

Pin Ball Wizard Gift Card Holder - Creative Gift Card or Money Gift Box

Give a gift of money, a check or a gift card inside a miniature pinball game that really works.

Money Maze - Cosmic Pinball for Cash and Certificates - By Bilz.
Money Maze - Cosmic Pinball for Cash and Certificates - By Bilz.

Add to the fun of your gift-giving with this authentic pinball maze money/card holder.


Unique Gift Wrap Ideas - Cute, clever, frugal gift wrap how-to

It's always a joy to receive a gift that's wrapped with creative love - it gives the giver joy to be crafty and sometimes green (and no doubt frugal, too) while making the receiver squeal with delight over the special attention paid to the unique wrapping technique.

Fabulous Origami Gift Boxes - How to fold small origami gift and trinket boxes

From a master of origami comes this book of diagrams that teach you to create creative attractive gift boxes using folded paper origami techiniques.

Origami Boxes
Origami Boxes

Highly recommended by many readers at Amazon, from older children through adults, who enjoy origami. Not for a novice or young child, these origami box designs create high fashion containers from paper or paper scraps.


Teach Me How to Do It ... Origami Box Videos

Tutorials for making Origami gift boxes, bags and creative gift wraps.

Origami Box 1 Start with a square paper sheet.

First you crease the paper. And again, on diagonals. And open. Each corner fold towards the center, using the crease as a guide. Fold in half. And in quarters towards the outside. Open.

Fold the quarter sections upward. And pull the corner, like so, following along the crease lines. Do the same. And fold inward. At this point, touch the center. And that's the last step in the origami square box.

Origami Box 2 - Here's another origami box tutorial, this one with pictures and step by step folding instructions.

Photo by steevithak on Flickr

Goodie and Gift Bag Gift Wrap Crafts - Party loot, gift bags, grab bags and treasure bags.

Quick Party Bags Design and decorate your own personalized designer gift bags. Transform humble paper lunch bags into custom treat bags for parties, Trick or Treat and gift giving. Run the bags right run through your printer one at a time, or decorate them with stamped designs, stickers or printed cutouts made from clip art.

Origami Heart Made With Money - Fold a Dollar or a Fifty into a Heart

Make a gift of money a bit less awkward by folding the bill into a creative heart shape - or another cool folded design.

Quick & Creative Gift Wrap

With more than 40 projects, this guide has something for every style, sentiment, and gift. The materials range from purchased and handmade papers to patterned fabric and ribbon, and an introductory section covers all the wrapping basics.

Make It in Minutes: Quick & Clever Gift Wraps
Make It in Minutes: Quick & Clever Gift Wraps

Make your own boxes, embellish gift bags, personalize gift cards and tags, and create signature wraps using stamping, painting, or combinations of natural materials.


How to Wrap Pretty Presents - Creative Gift Wrap Video How to

Baggu Totes and Gift Wrap Bags

Baggu bags are almost indestructible and come with their own little carry pouches. Watch the video to learn how to use a Baggu tote as an instant gift wrap bag.

Furoshiki Fabric Gift Wrapping

How to cleverly wrap gifts enclosed in a colorful length of fabric (or a shawl, towel or other suitable square of cloth).

Gift Cards - Good Gift or Easy Out? - What's your opinion of gift cards instead of a "real" present?

Gift cards are more popular than ever these days. You can buy a gift card for a favorite store or restaurant no matter where you live. In my community I can buy gift cards for nationwide stores at my local grocer or drug store. Amazon offers gift cards for many merchants, not just the Amazon site.

Do you like to receive a gift card as a gift?

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Folded Fabric Gift Boxes - Easy gift wrap made with fat quarters

Home sewers and quilters love gifts wrapped in fabric! Even if you don't sew, a fat quarter makes a nice napkin, scarf or dust cloth.

Fun with Folded Fabric Boxes: All No-Sew Projects  Fat-Quarter Friendly  Elegance in Minutes
Fun with Folded Fabric Boxes: All No-Sew Projects Fat-Quarter Friendly Elegance in Minutes

No sew fabric gift wrap instructions - the "fat quarter" fabric size is ready-cut and available in thousands of colors and patterns at local fabric, quilting and craft stores. Or, buy a quarter yard of fabric and you'll have enough to wrap several gifts.


© 2007 Lee Hansen

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