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Easy Gift Wrapping Ideas Using Everyday Items

You’ve bought the perfect gift for your loved one, best friend or Secret Santa gift recipient, but there’s just one thing missing: the gift wrap! Perhaps you forgot to pick up that roll of holiday wrapping paper at the store, or maybe the spare gift bag you thought was in the closet somehow got away. Or your budget simply didn’t allow for anything extra. Don’t fret! You can craft lovely gift wrapping using everyday items. Printer paper, shopping bags and old envelopes are the perfect blank canvases for hand-drawn, retro-style patterns. Below we’ll show you how it’s done…


The theme of today’s DIY project is using what you have! Feel free to grab whatever is on hand. Here are some specific ideas:

  • white copy paper
  • envelopes
  • shopping bags 
  • paint pens, markers or craft paint
  • gift bows, ribbon or baker’s twine
  • fresh greenery

Raid your cabinets for spare gift bows and ribbon, and don’t hesitate to take some scissors to the evergreen tree outside for a small snip of seasonal foliage!

Turn Copy Paper into Gift Wrap

Copy paper/printer paper makes great wrapping paper! The thickness is ideal for easy wrapping, and if you’re concerned about being able to see through the paper, simply use two sheets when wrapping. The downside: copy paper isn’t very large. You may need to use more than one piece to cover larger items.

To get the look below, use a paint pen or marker to draw designs on the paper. The New Memphis movement is all about bold retro patterns, such as sprinkles, dots and curves. The hand-drawn look is “in” this season, so use it to your advantage! There’s no pressure to be perfect. Let Memphis-Milano style be your inspiration…

Once you’ve decorated your the paper, wrap your gift, and top it off with a bow:

Baker’s twine and greenery add a traditional twist to the modern motif of the paper, creating an interesting mix of styles, as shown below…

Envelopes Become Gift Card Holders

This next gift wrap idea couldn’t be easier! Decorate an envelope with a sprinkle pattern (use a paint pen, marker or craft paint). Once the design is dry, top it all off with a bow! Simple and undeniably festive:

Transform Kraft Paper Shopping Bags into Wrapping Paper

Shopping bags are a great source of wrapping paper, and the look that results is classic and chic! If you don’t want to use grocery bags, focus on shopping bags from other retailers (especially larger bags, which give you big sections of paper to work with). In fact, shopping bags of any color will work here.

Simply cut “sheets” of paper from the bag, taking care to turn the paper so logos and other designs are not visible. Wrap your gift, and decorate it with embellishments such as ribbon, twine and greenery:

You can also decorate the paper with designs, such as the berry and branch motif shown below:

Gift Styling

Have fun styling your gifts, enhancing them with any supplies you have on hand. A red and white theme works well for groups of presents, and your gift recipients will appreciate the creativity you put into these packages. As today’s post has proven, sometimes the most interesting gift wrap ideas come from repurposing items you have around the house!

We at Decoist wish you and yours the Happiest of Holidays!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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