55 Gift Wrapping Ideas for 2021 — How to Wrap a Christmas Present – Reader’s Digest

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There are a lot of answers to the question “What is Christmas?” but our favorite is this: Christmas is a time of giving. That doesn’t just mean poring over gift ideas, of course—there’s also giving of spirit, kindness, and warmth—but no one can deny that seeing all those presents under a tree beautifully trimmed with DIY Christmas decorations is a thrill we just don’t get at other times of the year. And that’s why Christmas is also a time to break out your best gift wrapping ideas.

Whether you’re the type to wrap things weeks in advance or you’re more of a last-minute shopper, you’re no doubt focused on two things: finding the perfect gifts and wrapping them with care. Once you’ve bought those gifts for her, gifts for him, and gifts for kids, it’s time to gussy them up for the season. There are a ton of gorgeous options for Christmas gift wrapping paper, but after you’ve gone to all the trouble of decorating your home, why not decorate your gifts, too?

These incredible gift wrapping ideas will help your presents stand out under the tree. There are lots of options for recycling things you have lying around the house, as well as simple decorations that make a thoughtful gift that much more special. After all, the true value of a gift is the thought and time you put into it.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Cinnamon Stick Gift Wrapping Idea

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Cinnamon stick gift wrapping idea

The only thing better than a gift that looks good is a gift that smells good, too. Tie together a couple of fragrant cinnamon sticks and your brown paper package will become a piece of decor. That way, even if you’re rocking around one of the best artificial Christmas trees this year, your home will still smell amazing.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Poinsettia Tutorial

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Paper poinsettias

One of the only flowers to bloom in the winter is the gorgeous poinsettia, and by using paper, you can make them any color you like. This tutorial from Paula at Frog Prince Paperie makes gorgeous poinsettia gift toppers to brighten up all your presents. That’s just one reason crafting is one of the best Christmas activities.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Book Baubles

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Book baubles

This is the perfect upcycling idea for that novel you’ve dropped in the bath one too many times. Cut out different-sized circles from some particularly compelling pages and glue them to plain wrapping paper. Adding a sweet string bow will elevate what’s under your tree to the level of the best Christmas decoration ideas.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Starry Night

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Starry night gift wrap

All you need is some starry paper, gold spray paint, and cuttings from the garden to create this festive effect. Spray a few leaves or vines gold and glue them to the tops of your wrapped gifts. If anyone asks, they’re not from Santa; they’re from King Midas. You may just start a new Christmas tradition!

Paper straw stars

We all know that paper straws are better for the environment, but did you know they’re amazing for gift wrapping ideas as well? The way the string and straws color-coordinate in this super cute tutorial from Splash of Something is especially clever. Turns out great decor is written in the stars. Here’s how to decorate for the holidays, according to your zodiac.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Letter Stamps

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Letter stamps

If you have kids, you probably already have a full alphabet of stamps in a cupboard somewhere. Now you can use them to make perfectly cute gift labels. Vary the ink colors, and stamp out each person’s name letter by letter—or write a festive message. These also work well for personalized Christmas stockings.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas String Art

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String art

What looks better than a stack of presents? Only a stack of presents with standout string wrapping. Gather the strings with a bow so they fan out over the package, or contrast layers of horizontal string with a single vertical line. No matter where your creativity takes you, the result is simple and striking. These Christmas wreath ideas should give you some inspiration for the rest of your holiday decor.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Natural Elements

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Natural elements

Nothing says Christmas like a bit of evergreen. Tucking some nice sprigs or pine cones into your rustic brown paper packages (tied up with string, of course) gives them a festive air. Plus, the green pops against the plain background. Pro tip: Make wrapping more fun with a soundtrack of funny Christmas songs.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Folded Paper 2

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Folded paper gift wrapping idea

This elegant gift wrapping idea comes from the DIY queen herself, Cara at Never Skip Brunch. It only takes a few minutes, but the effect is truly elegant, especially when paired with a sparkly gift topper. Plus, there are a million ways to fold, so you can get creative. Jump-start your creativity in another way with inspiration for what to write in a Christmas card.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Brightly Colored

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Brightly colored wrapping paper and bows

Sick of wrapping paper covered in snowmen and penguins? Let some color into the cold months with these wonderfully bright ideas. When teamed up with a contrasting ribbon, orange, hot pink, and fire engine red paper makes these presents pop under any tree. As for the items that will go inside, consider these Disney gifts.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Black Paper

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Black wrapping paper

If you want your gifts to be all class, you can’t go wrong with black wrapping paper. Choosing a luxe paper finish like linen and combining it with a contrasting white string makes them even more gorgeous.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Buttons And Stars

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Buttons and stars

We love the gorgeous red wrapping paper on these gifts, but the individual buttons truly take it up a notch. For a similar effect, cut stars from red paper and slightly smaller ones from patterned paper. Glue them together with a button on top, then glue that to a clothespin you can clip to your string. A modified version of these would be perfect for Hanukkah gifts.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Felted Gift Wrappingvia satsumadesigns.com

Felt pinwheel topper

This cute craft only takes a minute, but it makes a festive gift topper. Jennifer at Satsuma Designs has the tutorial for these felt pinwheels, which are perfect for the holiday gift-giving season (and any other gift-giving time you like).

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Polka Dots And Berries

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Polka dots and berries

You can make your own polka dot wrapping paper by using large sequins as stamps. They won’t be as shiny, but the paper will be able to bend without dislodging sequins onto your floor, so that’s a win. A sprig of bright red berries tucked into candy cane string is as festive as the “12 Days of Christmas” song.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Winter Mint

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Winter mint color scheme

The holiday season is all about warmth of heart, home, and spirit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use cool colors to create a beautifully wrapped gift. Snowflakes and white ribbons really pop against the minty green on these boxes. Sometimes, sticking to a limited color palette makes you look like a design genius.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Holly Berries And Leaves

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Holly berries and leaves

When it comes to gift wrapping ideas, there’s nothing quite like brown paper for a rustic, homemade vibe. Adding a holly sprig (real or fake) with a green or red ribbon makes even those oddly shaped gifts look gorgeous. In all of your shopping and wrapping, don’t forget to buy thoughtful gifts for your coworkers.

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Kitschy Fabric Trims

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Kitschy fabric trim

If you’re the crafty type, you probably (definitely) have a bag or basket full of fabric scraps, trims, pom-poms, and more. Well, the clever gals over at A Beautiful Mess have the perfect solution to clear some space in that basket with this kitschy gift wrap. And don’t worry: If you don’t have fabric trimmings sitting around the house, you can order some online.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Snowflakes

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Paper snowflakes

Remember making paper snowflakes in school? Perhaps it’s still something you do with your kids from time to time. Well, get out the scissors and construction paper because a paper snowflake makes a great gift topper for the unique gifts under your tree. Every flake is different!

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Ombre

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Glitter ombré boxes

One of the easiest ways to wrap your gifts is to not wrap your gifts. Hear us out! You can turn plain boxes into gorgeous gift boxes with this tutorial, and they’ll look stunning beneath your tree. Even better, you can use them again and again, making them an eco-friendly gifting choice.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Burned Wooden Tags

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Burned wooden tags

As long as you’re careful, wood burners are surprisingly easy to use. They also make relatively simple things, like these cute gift tags, look really great. You can write each person’s name or draw a sweet design. Keep younger kids away, but older kids (and adults) can have fun with it. Follow up your crafting session with one of these must-watch kids’ Christmas movies on Netflix.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Fruits And Leaves

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Fruits and leaves

The simplicity of this wrapping idea is what makes it so striking. Plain white or brown paper, standard kitchen twine, beautiful evergreen sprigs, and dried orange slices make these gifts look deliciously inviting.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Hand Painted Gift Wrap

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Hand-painted wrapping paper

You don’t need to be an artist to get this effect. These sweet winter trees are simple to paint, and the snowfall is fun to dot on. For best results, use acrylic paint on craft paper to create your holiday designs. Stay in the holiday spirit with these Christmas books for kids.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Fabric Gift Wrap

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Fabric wrap

For a nearly zero-waste holiday season, wrap your gifts in fabric. Not only do they look great with a couple of sprigs and leaves tucked into the knot, but they also won’t tear on the corners of boxes. If you don’t have fabric on hand, you can buy cloth made for wrapping.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Pink And Gold

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Pink and gold color scheme

Pastels never go out of style, and warming up blushing pink with a gold ribbon or shiny gold star will make everyone’s gift dreams come true. This combination is an especially gorgeous choice for gifts for your sister.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Hand Stamped

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Hand-stamped gift wrapping idea

There’s something incredibly charming about a hand-stamped look, which doesn’t hinge on perfection. Get the kids set up with some Christmas stamps and brown paper, and add a bright ribbon or two when it’s time to wrap.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Dried Flowers

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Dried flowers

Dried flowers have a romantic air about them. Whether you purchase them or dry them yourself, they’ll look fantastic tucked under some twine on top of your gifts. A few autumn leaves added to your dried bouquet complement the romantic vibe. It’s perfect for those gifts for your wife.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas No Tape

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No-tape gift wrapping idea

Usually when we’re wrapping gifts, we try to cover up the side that shows all the wrapping. But without the messy addition of tape, wrapping folds become a feature. This gift is held together with a tightly tied string, and the simplicity is what makes it beautiful. With the paper folded like an envelope, aren’t you just dying to see what’s inside?

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Doily

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Doily toppers

Your gifts for Grandma aren’t complete without this quaint wrapping idea. A simple paper doily turns even the most basic gift wrap into something special. It’s perfect for Christmas because the lace edging looks just like a snowflake.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Candy Cane String

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Candy cane string

Simple twine in Christmas colors makes this one of the easiest gift wrapping ideas to accomplish. The repetition of string around the package and the clever way gift tags are incorporated help create a striking presentation.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Word Search Gift

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Word search wrapping paper

This is one of the best gift wrapping ideas we’ve seen: a word search! This particular one is perfect for wishing your German friends “Merry Christmas,” but for the Anglophiles out there, the alphabet is your oyster when it comes to festive messages.

Gift Wrapped In Pink Paper And Tied With A Brown Rope, Decor From A Green Spruce Branch

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Matchy-matchy gift wrapping idea

Here’s a cute idea: Match your package topper with your gift wrap’s print. Here, it’s real spruce branches sprucing up (sorry) wrapping paper printed with the same. But you can also top snowmen-covered paper with a snowman ornament, add a Santa figurine to Santa-covered wrap, or include a mini stocking on top of paper with a stocking print. If you think that’s funny, wait until you see these Christmas memes.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Painted String

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Painted string

If your style leans towards edgy and arty, this gift wrapping idea is for you. Dip some string in paint, hold it taut, and press it onto plain paper in whatever patterns you like. When it dries, it has a street art vibe perfect for your cool presents.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Doily Cone

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Doily cone filled with surprises

Here’s another amazing use for doilies. We love the idea of tucking candy, small toys, or pretty greenery between the folds. You can use it to hold a small card with best wishes for the season or a cheap Christmas gift (no one has to know!).

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Soft Bags

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Soft bags

One of the most difficult things about wrapping gifts is the great variety of shapes and textures those gifts come in. You can use a box or gift bag when wrapping irregularly shaped or soft items, or you can try this trick. Simply place the item in a plain brown bag, nip it in at the waist with a red string or ribbon, and add a sprig of greenery for a festive touch.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Chalkboard Wrapping Paper

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Chalkboard wrapping paper

Are you the artsy type who likes to doodle on everything? Then you need this chalkboard wrapping paper, which will let you personalize each gift with drawings, messages, quotes, or the recipient’s name. You’ll never wonder how to wrap a Christmas present again. Though you may wonder whether you can recycle gift wrap.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Snowy White Gift

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Snowy white wrapping paper

If you want your gifts to pop under the tree, pick a matte-finish paper as white as the driven snow. Add a pop of color through a ribbon or greenery sprig.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Christmas Ornaments

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Christmas ornament ties

Every Christmas tree gets to a point where it simply cannot hold any more ornaments. But what to do with the leftovers? Turns out, they look just as good under your tree as on it. Tie shiny baubles to your gifts for an extra-festive feel. Next, check out the best self-care gifts.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Vase Of Flowers

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Vase of flowers

Who doesn’t love getting flowers? Combine a small bouquet with a gift package by drawing a vase onto plain wrapping paper and fasten flower stems with tape. Real flowers would look gorgeous, but faux flowers stand the test of time.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Gingerbread Men

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Gingerbread men

These package toppers aren’t just cute—they’re edible, too! When you’re making gingerbread cookies, punch a couple holes with a skewer so you can thread the string through them. If you’re feeling extra creative, you could decorate each one to look like the gift’s recipient. A mustache made of frosting for those gifts for Dad, perhaps?

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Green And Gold

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Green and gold color scheme

Green and gold are gorgeous together, and using these two colors as a base for all your gift wrapping ideas lends the base of your tree an elegantly uniform look. No green-and-gold paper around? Get crafty by decorating plain green paper with a gold pen in dots or swirls. You can gild pine cones and stick them on top or add fir branches for a more rustic look.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Jingle Bells

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Jingle bells

Instead of using ribbon to wrap your gifts, tie a string of festive jingle bells around them. A bonus: Anyone who shakes that gift won’t have a clue what’s inside. Still trying to sort out those holiday gifts? Don’t miss these gifts for brothers.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Fabric Ribbon

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Fabric ribbon

There should always be one element of your gift wrap that really pops: a color, a gift topper, or a really gorgeous piece of fabric ribbon. This is a great place to use up random scraps of fabric, though you can go with beautiful burlap for a rustic chic look.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Harvest Gift

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Harvest gift wrapping idea

We love the contrast between rustic and elegant on this gift, with its dried apple, walnut, pine cone, and cinnamon stick bunch topped with a sweet lace bow. Wrap gifts for your best friends like this and they’ll never forget your thoughtfulness.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Holly Garland

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Holly garland

We love the way each package’s decorations stand out against snowy wrapping paper. All you need for this tutorial from Michael’s is some white wrapping paper, a garland decoration or festive ribbon, and scissors.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Sheet Music

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Sheet music wrapping paper

As far as gift wrapping ideas for musicians go, this one can’t be beat. You can pick up a music book at a thrift store or recycle one of your own. Pair the sheet music wrapping with a bright red ribbon, and your gift recipients will be singing your praises. Another reason they’ll love you: They’re receiving one of these amazing stocking stuffers for women.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Monochromatic

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Monochromatic boxes

Match bold wrapping paper with a bow of the same color for a modern and monochrome effect. If you color-code the members of your family, there’ll be no confusion about whose gift is whose.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Gettyimages 117957456

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Newspaper gift wrapping idea

Even if you’re into zero-waste living, you might think wrapping a gift in newspaper is a step too far. But with the right newspaper and a festive tag on top, you’ll take your gift wrap from amateur to pro. Pick pages that highlight uplifting news or holiday event listings. And yes, you can even use this neat idea when wrapping those gifts for Mom!

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Tied In Lights

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String of lights

String? Not shiny enough. Ribbon? Too dim. Christmas lights? Perfect for lighting up your gift! All you need are some battery- or solar-powered string lights and a flair for the dramatic.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Personalized Cookies

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Personalized cookie gift tags

Personalized gifts are great, but edible personalized gifts take the cake. If you don’t have a piping bag, just snip the corner off a plastic ziplock bag before filling with icing. Long names might need an extra cookie (or a monogram). Keep the rest of the wrapping simple; the cookie is the important thing.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Burlap Gift Wrapping

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Burlap wrap

Did someone say rustic chic? Your gifts will when you wrap them in burlap and tie them with twine and leaves.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Deck The Gift

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Mini ornaments

It only takes a few mini ornaments and some sturdy twine to give your gift that fa-la-la vibe. Don’t go overboard stringing the decorations on—you just need a few to achieve the Christmas tree effect. Speaking of fa-la-la, give your gift-wrapping session some added spirit by playing the best Christmas songs.

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50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Ribbon Corners

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Ribbon corners

Sometimes, making your presents stand out under the tree is as simple as tweaking a traditional design. Take the classic ribbon-wrapped gift, for example. By wrapping the ribbon around the corners instead of around the sides, you’ll give gifts a totally new look. We recommend gluing the ribbon to help it stay flat.

50 Christmas Wrapping Ideas Tassel Ties

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Tassel ties

This cute gift tie looks like something you’d buy in stores. Just wrap yarn around a square of cardboard or a book, snip the end, and cinch the top with another string of yarn. Carefully remove it from the cardboard, cut the bottom of the loop, and tie a piece of yarn around the top, leaving a couple of strings with which you’ll attach it to the gift. It’d look super cute tied to one of these Secret Santa gifts.

Santa Face Gift Wrap Tutorial

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Santa face

Which gifts are from Santa? The ones with his face on them, of course! This tutorial will put the ho ho ho in your homemade gift wrap. You don’t need much more than some decent scissors and a pom-pom for the hat.

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Rhinestone patterns

This gorgeous DIY gift wrap from Alice & Lois is a master class in making gifts for people who adore anything and everything bejeweled. If you’re looking for a gift that will mail straight to your loved one, give one of these beloved subscription boxes a try.

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Originally Published: November 10, 2021

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