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11 Hacks to Wrap a Gift Without Wrapping Paper

Trying to bolt out the door, only to realize you don’t have any wrapping paper to cover your present with? Here are some creative replacements that still look like you tried.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-2-lines-acrossCourtesy Lines Across

Pyramid giving

Slip jewelry, chocolates, and other little trinkets into a DIY folded gift box. As a bonus, these pyramid gift boxes can double as ornaments. Visit Lines Across to find out how to make your own. (Don’t miss these clever uses for leftover wrapping paper.)

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-3-lines-acrossCourtesy Lines Across

Reindeer face

With just a little creativity, a brown paper lunch bag transforms into a friendly reindeer for a gift presentation that even Santa would be proud of. Head over to Lines Across for the full instructions.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-1-lines-acrossCourtesy Lines Across

Fill in the blank

By taping on a few crayons, you can instantly turn plain white paper into a canvas to color. Learn more from Lines Across.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-Fair-IvyCourtesy Fair Ivy

Doodle box

An intricate-looking pattern is easy to make, but shows you put major effort into a brown paper wrap job. There’s no gift tag necessary either—just incorporate your message into your doodle design. Learn more about how to fashion one from Fair Ivy. (Here’s how doodling can make you smarter and more productive.)

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-my-life-and-kidsCourtesy My Life and Kids

Creative interactive

Cover plain paper with an interactive activity that makes the presentation part of the gift itself. Create a word search or Tic-Tac-Toe game to ease the anticipation of opening it. Find out more from My Life and Kids.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-Elsie-LarsonCourtesy Elsie Larson

Map it out

Wrap your gift with an old map—bonus points for somewhere you’ve been with the other person—for a funky way to hide what’s inside. A sparkly silver pipe cleaner makes it extra festive. Read the full instructions at A Beautiful Mess.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-Katrina-Tauchen,-Splash-of-somethingCourtesy Katrina Tauchen, Splash of something


You wouldn’t guess by looking at it, but this festive box is wrapped in fabric instead of paper for a sturdy covering that doesn’t have to go to a landfill. Head over to Splash of Something to learn more.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-Karey-Way,-Sew-many-waysCourtesy Karey Way, Sew many ways

Recycled wrapping

Decorate old chip or drink powder mix containers to create these whimsical gift tubes. Stacks of cookies or small trinkets will slide right in. Head over to Sew Many Ways to find out more.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-crafting-in-the-rainCourtesy Crafting in the Rain

Sweet tooth

Dress up plain paper with a little something sweet. A pack of candy cinched in the middle resembles a whimsical bow. Head over to Crafting in the Rain to find out more. (Take our quiz: Are you a candy “Smartie”?)

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-Sara-Albers-of-Alice-&-LoisCourtesy Sara Albers of Alice & Lois

Make your presents felt

If you’re feeling ambitious, craft some chic felt pouches for little trinkets. These ones use a sewing machine to hold them together, but you could use fabric glue to save time. Head over to Alice and Lois for the full instructions.

ways-wrap-gift-without-wrapping-who-artedCourtesy Who Arted?

News to you

Using a bit of newspaper is a classic wrapping paper replacement, and the funny pages are especially quirky. Add a bow made of magazine pages so it doesn’t look like you just forgot to wrap it. Find out more from Who Arted.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.

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