They say it’s better to give than to receive, and that’s especially true at Christmas! The best gifts of all are ones from the heart—shouldn’t that be true of gift wrapping, too? That’s why instead of buying all your wrapping supplies this year, we’re going the handcrafted route. After all, wrapping presents isn’t just about hiding what’s inside; the care you put into wrapping them just-so is like an extension of the gift that shows the recipient just how much you care.
So we came up with three DIY ideas for wrapping presents that are just as special as what’s inside. Whether you tie on a homemade ornament or make your own wrapping paper, these heartfelt wrapping ideas are guaranteed to make your gifts even more personal and special to the recipient.
Idea 1: Tie Something On
You know the scene in Love Actually when the store clerk offers to gift wrap the gold necklace? It’s just a quick little nine-step combo of a gift box, gold ribbon, gift bag, dried roses and lavender, cinnamon sticks, more ribbon, “The Christmas Box,” a pair of pruning gloves, and some fresh holly leaves.
And sure, that’s one way to go! But when it comes to dressing up our gift boxes, we like to keep things a little simpler. Our go-to trick when a present needs a little extra something is to tie on an extra—like an ornament, cookie cutters, or candy canes—that’s part trimming, part present. That’s it! Just a little something to take the look of a gift up a notch.
What You’ll Need:
- Small object (such as an ornament, candy cane or cookie cutter)
- Attach item to a piece of ribbon—string it through a hole in the ornament or cookie cutter, or knot it around the crook of a candy cane
- Tie on to your wrapped gift. You can add it to a gift bow or curled ribbon, or hang from the handle of a gift bag.
Idea 2: Make Wrapping Paper with Your Kids’ Artwork
We all know people who save all their wrapping paper (even ironing it!). Get ready to join the club, because your kids’ artwork is a sweet addition to Christmas gifts that you’ll want to cherish for years to come.
Spare yourself the expense of the gift wrap aisle this year—sometimes the wrapping paper can cost as much as the presents. Instead, get a roll of brown craft paper (often found near mail/shipping supplies) and commission your little ones’ artistic skills to turn it into a work of wrapping paper art as meaningful as the gifts you’ll wrap it in. Your kids will love seeing their artwork take a place of pride on the gifts you exchange this year, and who wouldn’t be delighted to receive a present wrapped in your kids’ sweet drawings?
What You’ll Need:
- Roll of brown craft paper
- Assorted washable markers
- Masking tape
- Unroll paper on a hard surface like a wood floor or a long table or countertop and fix in place with masking tape (it’s easy to peel off later without tearing the paper).
- Provide lots of markers, and let your kids go wild as they channel their inner artists. (We like markers better than crayons, because wax makes it harder for tape to stick when you’re wrapping presents.)
- Unroll a long length (10 feet or more) and decorate the whole thing at once, or commission smaller designs on a one-off basis as you wrap presents throughout the season.
Idea 3: Pretty Up Some Paper Plates
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Pillsbury team always loves giving and receiving cookies at Christmas. And there are so many ways to package them up—from special treat bags to Christmas tins to disposable food containers. But this year, we’ve really fallen for these simple paper plate DIYs. They’re easy, they’re pretty, and best of all, you probably already have all the supplies required, so you can save yourself a run to the craft store for more cookie tins.
What You’ll Need:
- Paper plates
- Single-hole punch
- Ribbon, twine or yarn
- Zip-top food storage bag
- Permanent marker (optional)
- Punch holes around the border of a paper plate. Space them closer together or farther apart to create different looks.
- Weave gift ribbon through the holes and tie the ends with a bow.
- Seal treats inside a zip-top food storage bag to keep them fresh. Quart-sized bags work well for smaller side plates, and gallon-sized is best for dinner plates.
- Optional: Write the recipient’s name right on the bag in permanent marker—no gift tags required!
Cozy Slow-Cooker Recipes That Cook While You Wrap
You’ll be busy wrapping presents all day—so treat yourself to a slow-cooker dinner that cooks itself while you make Christmas magic. These are a few of our cozy favorites: