Monday, June 23, 2014

fun gift wrapping ideas that will make them say WTF {"who's this from?"}

A friend of mine bullied me asked if I'd teach a gift wrapping class for the lady folk at church. Of course I responded with hemming and hawing, and when that didn't work, the gnashing of teeth. It's not that I don't LOVE talking about packaging (hello), but because I have serious issues with talking in FRONT of people. Inevitably I get way too enthusiastic (cue TV performance), go blank, or make an suggestive comment before my unreliable filter can catch it. Not to mention sweat straight through my shirt before it's over.

It's just as lovely as it sounds.

But, as per usual, the guilt of saying no was too much to bear and the madness began.

The lowest quality phone photo possible as we tried to make everything fit on the table. I PACK HEAVY.

The awesome thing about this group of women was that most of them are self proclaimed non-crafters. Good. I love a challenge. Before each class started the excuses would trickle in:

"I'm just not talented in that way."

"It's easier to just go to the store and buy a bag."

"I don't have anything in my house that I can use, and I don't wanna drag my kids to the craft store."

Here's the thing: I don't buy it. You don't have to have any extra money, mad skillz, or a toddler meltdown on aisle 12 to have a WTF {who's this from?} gift. You just need the seed planted that it's okay to look outside your comfort zone, and embrace the rock star that you already are. A few ideas to get you on your way can't hurt either.

After it was over, a follow-up handout was promised as a reminder for when they "went blank", and here we are TWO MONTHS LATER and I'm making good on my word.

Easy Packaging Ideas for the Wrapping Impaired

#1. The recycling bin is your friend.

Don't have any wrapping paper? Paper bags and magazine pages taped together work just as well.

Paper Source bag; a catalog cover with a few rhinestones glued onto the bow because I had to

another paper bag with (Costco holiday) ribbon; a colored paper bag sporting a recycled topper

There wasn't anyone "non-crafty" enough that they couldn't successfully bust out a lusciously scrunched and perfectly wrinkled FREE topper. All that's needed is pile of square-ish scraps cut from magazines (I used 8), a stapler, and about a minute of your time. Ready?

You know what also works splendidly? Old calendar pages.

(side note: while looking for other examples using calendars, I stumbled upon this, which is the hands down winner for Most Seductive Gift Wrap Ever)

via colonel unicorn on tumblr

#2: Scraps of fabric can take the place of ribbon

And if you rip the material, it's not only straight, but also creates these rustic fraying edges which adds to the charm. The tag is a random letter sticker on a piece of black construction paper, hot glued on a frozen apple juice concentrate lid.

A dollar store headband stretches snugly over a box, and becomes part of the gift too. Have an old phone book laying around? You've got everything you need for a "paper pom" topper (same technique as this newspaper one, just smaller).

#3: The Dollar Spot ALWAYS has character stuff to plop on top

Oh Target. My dearest frenemy. They always have some sort of markers/pencils/notebooks that are the ideal size to dress up a package. The same idea can be used both for girls,

OR for boys.

#4: Stacking boxes and mixing patterns adds flavor

"But I don't have two kinds of paper."

Yes, you do.

That red and white chevron? Christmas paper bought at the Dollar Spot on clearance for 30 cents. Who says it can only come out to play in December?

I also use red and pink together - NO RULES.

Do you have a solid paper that is kinda dull by himself? Let him hitch a ride on top and suddenly he's not such a drag.

{skunk image from here, words added using Picasa}

More holiday paper on the bottom, gamer magazine pages on top, all wrapped up in leftover yarn.

#5 Pinwheels make everyone happy

Plus they're EASY, and can be made from anything, whether it's paper,

{there's that solid black again...}

 or a 6 inch square of felt. Simple directions here.

#6 Snatch up those holiday ornaments when they go on clearance

This World Market owl was 75 cents. Perhaps nobody wanted pink on their tree? Sure looks darling with some clearance Valentine paper for your favorite tween.

After using this guy way back here, you KNOW I was first in line come mark down time. Why should Christmas Tree branches have all the fun?

#7 Loopy paper bows make everything look fancy

The sky is the limit, and you can change the mood by changing up your pattern. Damask and an old button sit happily on top of scrap of burlap my go-to dollar store disposable tin.

Meanwhile construction paper and (another) juice can lid scream HAPPY on top of simple stripes. You can find the step-by-step directions here.

#8 Old birthday cards are great for embellishments (and another reminder that holiday paper doesn't have to be holiday paper) 

Remember this jing-a-ling?

By adding some color and card that got it's back ripped off (yikes), the same paper transforms from Fancy Formal to Funky Fresh.

#9 Pick up cute little bowls when you see them

First of all, they're cheap.

Secondly, they are the perfect size for a birthday treat.

*Spoon not included

#10 Gifts are supposed to make people happy. HAVE FUN.

We've talked ad nauseum about lighthearted gifting (here, here, here...), but there are few things I am so passionate about. If you love them, make them smile.


  1. You always have the BEST wrapping posts!! I always feel so inspired by your posts.

  2. You are "da Bomb!" when it comes to gifting and wrapping. Thanks for all the fantastic ideas!

  3. These are great ideas! This post has me excited about wrapping the next gift I give someone :) Time to spoil my nieces and nephews with something so I can have fun with the packaging!

    1. You'll solidify your title of "Coolest Aunt" for sure!!

  4. Love this post! Always a pleasure to read your blog.

  5. First of all -- brilliant ideas. Brilliant. Secondly, the title of this post made me laugh out loud. Perfection. :)

  6. I really love ALL of your gift wrapping ideas. Especially the pinwheels are cute (and easy :-D).
    I always enjoy reading your blog! Greetings from Germany

    Her Cakeness

  7. You have endlessly creative ideas--I'm in awe!

    1. Don't be. It just means that my craft room is perpetually a disaster ;)

  8. Another fun gift wrapping post. I always love to see what great ideas you have for us. Thanks! I have a bridal shower coming up and I could use some of these ideas for wrapping prizes. Always fun on your blog!

    1. Bridal Showers are so fun to wrap for! I'm not a fuffy and fancy girl by nature, but weddings are the perfect time to play around with a little elegance :) Whatever you do, it'll be just perfect.


  9. Nice blog here! Additionally your web site so much up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol
    Best Cccam Server

  10. WOW! I am just starting to blog and yours is an inspiration! Your ideas and pictures are great. Thanks for the motivation

    1. Congratulations!! Use me as an example of what NOT to do :)

    2. That's funny, your's is one of the best I've seen! And any words of wisdom you might have would be GREATLY appreciated ;)

  11. Come out, come out wherever you are!

    Miss you Rebecca!

    ~ Carrie

    1. Totally read that as Glenda singing in "The Wizard of Oz". Has is really been two months? Man, I suck. The crew started back to school today, so I'll be back soon :)

    2. I figured you were buried with summer, kids and work! Just wanted you to know you're missed! :)

      And, glad to not be the bad witch!! haha!

      ~ Carrie

  12. I think I lost my genius in posting comments or blogger just didn't care to have me write you. ;)
    That's the bowl and ice cream that you gave meeeee!! It was the best gift ever. Perfect and sweet. Just like you!
    I also ate it all in one sitting.
    Absolutely divine. :)

    1. I had to show some serious restraint to not buy all those bowls today for you. JUST THINK OF ALL THE ICE CREAM THAT WOULD FIT IN THERE.

  13. Haha! The Robert Downey Jr wrapping paper is so funny!
    yahoo mail login


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.