Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas for Boxes

Creative gift wrapping ideas for boxes:
they needn't all look alike. How to
give your boxed gifts a style all their own.

Does anyone get tired of receiving a wrapped gift box with a nice bow on top? Probably not. Like the legendary "little black dress," a wrapped

box with a bow never goes out of style. But a different take on the standard box can lead to really interesting gift wrapping ideas.

It all begins with a plain wrapped box. If you wish to review the basics, here's how to wrap a rectangular box and a round box. Note that many creative gift wrapping ideas are fine with patterned wraps, but white or solid-colored gift wrap is usually best when creating a costume or disguise.

Gift Towers

Gift towers - multiple (usually related) boxed gifts, stacked and tied together - are always intriguing. They're also nice for a shared Gift wrapping ideas for boxes: the gift to a couple or a family, as they give each recipient a box to open. You can wrap all the gift boxes in the same paper or use coordinating wraps.

To assemble a gift tower, stack the gift boxes by size and tie them firmly together to prevent them shifting or slipping out of the stack. Use ribbon or cord that's strong enough to lift and carry the whole tower. If a box gives you trouble, anchor it separately to the box beneath it before assembling the complete tower.

For boxes to be opened in a given order, here are a few gift wrapping ideas: use colored tape to label them with Roman numerals, which are written with straight lines all the way to 89 (for more than LXXXVIII boxes you should probably make several towers!).

Or, affix numbered birthday candles to the sides of the boxes, positioned where the tie won’t disturb them. You can also use self-stick numbers available in art and craft supply stores, or a magic marker - either on a tag for each box or directly on the gift wrap.

Box Within a Box

This is one of those gift wrapping ideas that's been around for ages, but it's still fun, and it heightens the suspense. Each wrapped box holds a smaller wrapped box, and the smallest contains the gift.

Diane recalls receiving a watch this way and observes, "box-in-a-box illustrates that great things come in small packages, and it's a good way to disguise the telltale size and shape of jewelry and watch boxes."

For added fun, include a note of encouragement on each box, or perhaps a hint about what’s to come - for example, hints for a wristwatch:

  • Do not open until the time is right…
  • We're eagerly watching, and hope you’ll love this gift…
  • Would you like another pair of hands for all this unwrapping?…
  • This gift is taking hours to open…
  • Face it: great things come in small packages…
  • Finally! The mystery becomes crystal clear!

A Different Point of View

A certain orientation may give a more pleasing look to your gift wrap - e.g., an up-and-down pattern often looks best pointing the tall way on a gift box.

Stand the box on end or on its side, and other gift wrapping ideas will occur to you. If it reminds you of a building, cover it with plain paper (or a brick, stone or wood pattern) and add cut-out windows and doors (for Christmas, add a wreath, or candles in the windows). A tall and skinny box (e.g., a liquor box), makes a dandy clocktower.

On its side, a shallow gift box could be a wall - cover it with brick-design paper and make a Humpty Dumpty out of a plastic egg. On end, the box could be a giant domino.

A round box is a natural for creative gift wrapping ideas. It could be a birthday cake, a hat (add a brim), a trampoline, a backyard swimming pool, or a drum. A shallow round box, balanced on its side, could be a wheel with a fancy hub cap, or a clock, or a giant diamond ring. You can make a tall round box into a lighthouse or a coffee mug, or...

Thinking in Themes

Let the occasion guide your thinking - make your box into a church for a christening gift, or a textbook for a graduation gift. Most holidays have plenty of symbols to use for creative gift wrapping themes.

Let the gift itself suggest the presentation. Use a gift wrap and tag whose design hints at the gift, or create a costume that relates to the gift within; for example:

  • Clock or watch: Decorate the box like a sun dial. Or use a tall box and build a grandfather clock costume.

  • Linens: Decorate the gift box to look like a bed (for bedding), a table or place setting (for tablecloth or placemats), or a pool (for towels).

  • Auto or travel accessories: Use roadmaps for wrapping paper. Write the "To" and From" on a luggage tag, or tie a label onto a key ring or (packaged) automobile air freshener. Or wrap in green/grass paper and place a toy car on a construction paper roadway.

Your recipient's personality and interests are important sources of gift wrapping ideas. A plain flat box is the perfect foundation for:

  • Sports fan: design a playing field on the box. Use wood grained paper for a basketball court, green or grass-patterned paper for outdoor sports, with painted field/court lines. Silver foil or mylar makes a cool skating rink or pond.

  • Railroad enthusiast: Drinking straws and toothpicks make a railroad track; then add a toy locomotive.

  • Musician: Plain white wrapping paper makes the background for a musical staff… use buttons or pennies to make the notes for Happy Birthday, Jingle Bells, or your recipient's favorite song.

  • Art lover: Dress a flat box like a painting – cover the top with a picture (spray adhesive works great), then mat it with colored paper and make a frame from wood-grain or foil paper. Fashion a stand on the back, to prop it up like an easel.

  • Knitter: Cut a pair of mittens or socks out of construction paper to use as the gift tag, and tie on two or three balls of yarn in place of a bow, held together with knitting needles set at an angle to each other.

Thoughts About Used Boxes

Gift wrapping ideas for boxes: used box.Do you ever need to settle for a used box (in clean condition, of course!) with printing or pictures of its original product? Our family has been circulating one for years that originated with a favorite auntie. It pictures a covered vegetable dish. In bold marker, Aunt Connie added “This is not a” in front of the product name.

Now it's a family tradition for all such recycled boxes – we write “This is not a covered vegetable dish” on the tag as a heads-up that the gift is not what the box indicates. We get a chuckle and a nice remembrance of Aunt Connie too.

You can hide small markings on a recycled box with marker, white-out, or pretty stickers; larger unsightly areas can be spray-painted. Or, scan some photos or kids' artwork and print them onto full-page self-stick labels for a creative gift box to circulate among your family.

Or, you can always boldly write "This is not a ..." on the box!

You'll become known for
creative gift wrapping ideas when you
let your imagination be your guide!

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