1. Hand-print fabric for gift wrap that can be used over and over again:
Find out how here.
2. Or use fabric as ribbon:
What monster would want to cover up a box this pretty? Directions here.
3. Dip a box or gift bag in confetti:
After wrapping your present, cover one end in double-stick tape and dip it in confetti. Glitter would work too, although your friend or loved one might not forgive you if it means they’ll be covered in it for the rest of their earthly days. This idea comes from Tokketok.
5. Use chalkboard markers on black bags or paper:
Buy them here.
7. Use cereal boxes to make little gift boxes:
Find out how here.
8. Decorate a pouch for small presents:
Aww shucks! Directions here.
9. Wrap a plant in a square of pretty paper or fabric:
Just make sure you’re giving it to someone who won’t go away for a week and forget to water it, leaving it to shrivel and die on their window sill. (Not that I would know a thing about that.) Find out how here.
10. Slip a small plant under some twine to transform plain brown wrapping:
This idea comes from Sunday Suppers.
11. Wrap a gift using an old shirt:
This incredible tutorial was inspired by artist Jenn Playford, who wrote an entire book on wrapping gifts with fabric.
12. Dress up a brown box with a wax paper bow-snowball-fluffy-thing:
13. Uninflated balloons also make unique ribbons:
Surely you have some left over from that brief and ill-advised clown phase.
14. Make these easy pyramid gift boxes:
These would be great for tiny gifts. (BONUS: Hang them on your Christmas tree! Just make sure not to forget they’re there.) Directions here.
15. Use cupcake liners to make flower toppers for your gifts:
Directions from Martha Stewart.
16. You can do pretty much anything you’ve ever wanted with washi tape:
These ideas come from Tea For Joy.
17. This box is wrapped using the liners of security envelopes:
Crafters contain multitudes.
18. Store-bought wrapping paper is a social construct! Use something more fun, like sheet music:
Get it at a music store, thrift shop, or your little sister’s abandoned music binder from violin lessons.
20. And maps:
Find maps for really cheap in thrift stores, or just use the ones you’ve had in the glove compartment since 2007 when you kicked off your deep, meaningful, often contentious relationship with your GPS. This idea comes from Squidoo.
21. Or use them just for accents on brown paper:
22. If you’ve always wanted to try origami, this gift box is an easy way to learn:
23. Measuring tape pops against plain brown paper:
Use white ink (or a Wite-Out pen) for a simple, classy effect.
24. Make a personalized word-search:
You can buy this wrapping paper, or if you have access to an oversized printer, you can easily make it yourself on Word. (Don’t make fun of me, Internet, I really, really like Word.)