Homemade Gift Wrap Ideas for Any Occasion

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Making homemade gift wrap is very easy. Sometimes it’s even less work than buying gift wrap, because you can just use papers you already have on hand to wrap presents.

You might think it sounds cheap, but chances are you will get a lot of compliments on gifts with unique wrapping. Often times, people think you had it done at a store or wrapping kiosk. But these easy gift wrapping ideas don’t require any artistic skills or any particularly good sense of design to make a festive gift.

It’s also a fun way to personalize gifts and look like you put a lot of thought and effort into it. By keeping a few easy supplies on hand, you can make sure you never are without the right gift wrap for a present.

And you won’t find yourself buying duplicate rolls of gift wrap because you couldn’t remember what you already had at home. Plus, it’s a great way to reuse paper before it goes into a recycling bin. So how do you do it?

Gifts wrapped with homemade paper

Supplies to Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Instead of stocking various themed rolls of gift wrap for every occasion, these are the things you’ll need to keep on hand.

  • Rolls of newsprint and brown paper and/or pretty colored paper.
  • Repurpose the logo-free sides of grocery bags and other pieces of paper large enough to wrap a gift can be used. If the paper has wrinkles, no problem – gently iron it on a low setting. Just move the iron quickly and don’t let it sit in one spot for long. If you’re really concerned, put a towel over it and iron on the towel.
  • Ink stamps and ink.
  • Old magazines.
  • Yarn in pretty colors. And any other material that works as ribbons, including store-bought ribbon if you want.
  • Markers or colored pencils – any writing/drawing tool that dries quickly and won’t soak through the paper you’re using.

DIY Gift Wrap Ideas

With those supplies and a few creative gift wrap ideas on hand, you can transform any gift into a beautifully wrapped present for any occasion. It’s simple.

First, wrap your gift in an appropriate paper. Don’t worry about newsprint or kraft paper looking boring, because you’re going to dress it up. In fact, it doesn’t matter how boring the paper looks. All the decoration and festiveness goes into what’s on top of the paper.

Bows & Gift Toppers

A simple yarn ribbon can turn a plain paper wrapped box into a beautiful gift. You can make a fancy pom-pom of a bow, or just a simple knot. However you go, there’s just something about the contrast of pretty yarn against solid paper that works.

Jute, string, twine, and even twisted strips of paper can make beautiful bows. Flowers and sprigs of greenery can make a gift look amazing.

Gifts with greenery toppers

Ink Your DIY Wrapping Paper

Ink is a great way to make gorgeous gift wrap. An ink stamp kit can add all sorts of decorative touches. A gift for a child could have dragons or dinosaurs or butterflies stamped all over it in various colors.

A gift for a grownup could have a sophisticated-looking monogram or birthday cakes or silhouettes of couples or hearts for an anniversary. You can buy stamps with all sorts of images.

And if you’re more artistic than I am, you can also carve an appropriate image into a potato for use as a one-shot stamp.

A stencil basically works the same way. Just ink in the design.

Markers, colored pencils, paints and other artistic tools can be used to write notes or draw pictures on the package. It’s been my experience that just by writing the “to” and “from” on the gift paper in pretty ink (metallic Sharpies go over well)  instead of using a separate gift card, people think I’ve done something terribly clever.

For gifts to parents or grandparents, let kids doodle on the gift paper.

Use a Glue Stick

If you can print off a picture of your family, you can glue family photos onto your packages. Or glue images from old magazines onto packages, collage style or just by themselves.

Have the whole family write signed messages on the gift paper, like a year book.

Crafty Gift Tags

Homemade gift tag on package

If you want to use separate gift tags, just cut a little rectangle out of the paper that’s big enough to fold in half. Punch a hole through it and attach it to the yarn bow (or just tape it onto the package). For some reason, people think having a perfectly matching tag and paper is impressive.

Store-bought ribbons can also be gorgeous – they look even prettier against plain paper than against shiny patterned paper.

These things do all look terrible clever and lovely, but it feels like a cheat because it’s so easy. And so frugal. And it cuts down on so many last minute shopping trips to buy the perfect wrapping paper.