If you’re like me, you’re counting the days till Christmas, hoping you can wrap your gifts without having to run to the store for extra gift tags, ribbon and paper—or heaven forbid! a last-minute gift for someone on your shopping list. There are a few shortcuts you can take that will help you simplify the packaging process, yet still have attractively wrapped gifts.

Bag it. Use simple brown or white lunch bags for small items, round up some solid color bags, or re-use paper shopping bags. Cover store logos with cutouts from last year’s Christmas cards, paste a design on a bag that you have cut out from wrapping paper, or use double-sided tape to adhere a family photo (two gifts in one!).

Use yarn instead of ribbon to embellish your gifts. It’s inexpensive, doesn’t crush during shipping as ribbons do, and is available in an endless array of colors. If you knit or crochet (or know someone who does), there are always leftover balls of yarn, just waiting to be used in some way.

Make a small box in 3 minutes or less. Need a quick jewelry box for a pair of earrings or something tiny? Make a triangle box that needs only a piece of card stock measuring 3 inches x 9 inches and a length of ribbon, yarn or lace to tie it together. Watch the video below, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can make this box that’s a real standout. Your gift tag is the only embellishment you’ll need.

Clean out your cupboards of onesies. We all have plates, cups and saucers in our cupboards that don’t match anything else. Give them away, filled with items that will please the recipient. Fill a plate with home-baked cookies for your brother, bury a necklace or earrings inside a cup filled with sweet treats for your sister, stuff a mug with brushes and markers for your artistic friend, or tuck a bookmark and gift card to a local bookstore inside the mug  for your favorite bookworm.

Invest in a hole punch and card stock for tags. You can run up a daunting total at the check register with tags you purchase in retail stores. The alternative is the Internet, where there are many free sources for gift tags that are unique and appealing. Print them on plain card stock, cut them out with scissors, and either tie them or tape them to your package. All the tags in this post were free Internet printables, with the exception of the tag used for the triangle box. Here is a list of 10 sources for free gift tags to get you started:

  1. We Love to Illustrate for Children, FREE Holiday tag PRINTABLES
  2. Digital Antiques: Big Brown Dog Primitives, Free Christmas Tags
  3. Karla Dornacher, Free Christmas Tags Download
  4. LollyChops, Holiday Tags: With Birds-n-Stuff
  5. Gooseberry Patch Blog: New (Free) Christmas Tags!
  6. Debbie Mumm, To & From
  7. Mary Engelbreit, Holiday Gift Tags
  8. Design Sponge, Merry Christmas: Downloadable Holiday Tags
  9. B. Nute Productions Party Place, Free Printable Father Christmas Tags and Simple DIY Christmas Crackers
  10. Arian Armstrong, Free Gift Tags . . . And Stay Tuned

What simple solutions have you discovered to make your wrapping process easier?

© 2011 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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10 thoughts on “Five simple ways to wrap your holiday gifts”

  1. From the time I was little, we made all our gift tags out of the Christmas cards from the years before. It is fun to go through the cards to see where potential tags can be found. In the process, card messages and greetings were read again. I have also use old cards to make some ornaments.

  2. Terrific ideas. My only tip is to wrap a gift that’s a strange size like a tootsie roll, with ribbon (or yard) at the 2 ends.

  3. Love your idea about using old christmas cards to cover logos on resuable shopping bags! We have a tradition of cutting up old christmas cards on Thanksgiving weekend to use for tags. But since family has left home, there aren’t so many packages anymore. Lots of gift cards etc. So, I can use the cards for bags bag logo coverage! Yay!

  4. Awesome tips, Judy! I used card stock scraps from other projects for my tags this year. I have a couple rolls of bulk present wrapping ribbon so I used that to tie the tags on my gift bags.

    Thanks for the list of holiday gift tags! I am excited that Mary Engelbreit is on there. I love her work.

  5. great ideas! I need to look at that triangle box – I’m always looking for small boxes to put things it!
    Thanks! {:-D

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