How to Wrap Presents Without Wrapping Paper

It’s the time of year that everyone is doing a lot of wrapping.  But what if you run out of wrapping paper, or just don’t want to buy any, or it’s not in the budget?  Let’s talk about how to wrap presents without wrapping paper.  There’s some pretty unique and creative ways you can do it.

creative ways to wrap a gift

While it IS gift wrapping season right now because Christmas is a month away, the truth is we all have other times of the year where we need a gift wrapped for another occasion. 

Now, we tend to buy a few rolls of wrapping paper at Christmas time from the dollar store.  But I don’t buy wrapping paper any other time of the year.  That means there’s no birthday, anniversary, or other kind of celebration wrapping paper lying around my house.

It has never been planned that way, it’s just been one of those things I never think to buy.  Until I’m about to head out to a celebration with a gift and I realize I have no wrapping paper in the house.

And we live out of town.  I’m not jumping into my vehicle and driving to town just for a roll of wrapping paper.  Because, any time I can avoid the stores, I do it.  That’s when I need to come up with creative ways to wrap a gift.

It’s nice to have a perfectly wrapped present, but let’s be honest – what people REALLY care about is what’s under the wrapping paper.

However, the good news is that you can have it both ways.  You can have a beautifully wrapped present without wrapping paper.  Read on to find some gift wrapping ideas that are creative and fun, and most importantly, cheap or even free!


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Grab some plain white paper and some tools to decorate it such as markers, glitter, stamps, and stickers.  If you have kids this is a really great project to have them do.   They’ll love it and you’ll get your present wrapped!


If the gift is small enough you can place it in a brown paper bag and decorate it as well, just like the white paper.  If your gift won’t fit into a brown paper bag you can cut the bags open and tape them together.


If you have fabric around you can use it to wrap a gift.  I had some tie dye fabric around that I wrapped a gift in once.  I used some twine I had to tie it up at the top where I bunched the ends all together.  You could also use safety pins or fabric tape to wrap the gift.


Gifts don’t always need to be wrapped with paper.  Gift bags you might have left over from gifts given to you are a perfect way to wrap gifts.  Just make sure you take the old tag off the handles.  You can use tissue paper in the bag if you have it, but if you don’t you can use regular paper or fabric to cover the top of the bag so your gift is hidden in there.


The comic strip from the newspaper is a little harder to come by these days with so much going digital, but if you are lucky enough to still get the newspaper comics this is a super fun way to wrap gifts.  I used to love wrapping gifts like this when I was a kid for all my friends.


You can decorate construction paper, or do some cutting and pasting onto the construction paper to wrap a gift creatively.  My daughter recently made some origami she stuck to the front of a construction paper card.  You could do the same kind of thing with construction paper you use to wrap the gift.


If you have some brown kraft paper lying around this can give the gifts a very rustic look.  You can decorate it like many of the above options with markers or other crafty supplies, or you can just tie some twine around it for an elegant look.


If you have a box lying around you can use this.  A cardboard box can be decorated.  Or you can use an old gift box.  If you have a bit of a practical joke kind of spirit, you can use a box of another product, such as a cereal box or a toothpaste box (for a small gift) to make them think it is one of those products.  They will be extra surprised when they open it up and find out that you actually got them something they want, instead of cheerios.


What if you also don’t have any tape?  Well, I’ve been known to use sticky tack (seriously, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do), twine, or duct tape in a pinch.  Okay, duct tape IS technically tape, but I’m sure it wasn’t the tape you were thinking about to use to wrap your gifts.  Duct tape is the more fun option anyways!

You could also use glue if you have some lying around, or some ribbon or yarn.  


Forgetting the wrapping paper doesn’t have to be embarrassing.  It can be a way for your gift giving adventure to stand out from the crowd and be memorable.  I always love fun, unique ways to do something and gift wrapping is no exception.

You may have so much fun with some of the above options that you will never go back to wrapping paper.  And really, the above list is not exhaustive.  Just look around your house and see what you have and what other things you can use to wrap all your presents.

I always think it’s great when we can reuse things for another purpose as well instead of always using items that just get thrown away in the end.  That being said I do have my times I use wrapping paper, but there are definitely other times I incorporate some of the other options into my gift wrapping.  

I’m curious, do you always use wrapping paper? Or are you a gift bag kind of person?  Or do you use another creative option that is not on the list? I’d love to hear about it below in the comments.



1 thought on “How to Wrap Presents Without Wrapping Paper”

  1. In essence, gift wrapping is a delightful way to express creativity and thoughtfulness. Whether it’s a simple, elegantly wrapped box or an intricately adorned package, the effort put into wrapping communicates the care and consideration behind the gift-giving gesture.

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