Gift Wrapping Tissue:
Great Features, a Thousand Uses

Gift wrapping tissue is so versatile,
it's in a class by itself... essential
for gift wrapping, plain or fancy!

Gift wrapping tissue in colors and prints.
Gift tissue comes in so many beautiful colors and prints that it's hard to resist buying more... so Diane and I don't even try.

We find that the more ways we use tissue wrapping paper, the more uses we find for it!

Consider the great features of gift wrapping tissue:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Very much reusable, even when wrinkled.
  • Easy to find in stores.
  • Solid colors or prints; solid colors are usually reversible.
  • Translucent - layer light color over dark for interesting effects.
  • Bunched ends can be fluffed.
  • Pliable - can be softly crumpled to fill space or provide a cushion.
  • Drapes like fabric (make a costume for your well-dressed gift).
  • Can be twisted or compressed, giving shape to gift disguises
  • Tissue paper crafts (flowers, e.g.) make pretty gift decorations
  • Stores flat in a box or drawer

Gift wrapping tissue does have a few disadvantages:

  • Tissue paper tears easily. When using tissue as a gift wrap, first smooth or cushion any sharp corners or rough spots on the package. One of those foam sheets used to pack dishes makes a good cushion.

  • Gift tissue loves tape! Tissue grabs onto tape and won't let go, even though the tug-of-war causes it pain and injury.

  • Tissue paper hates water! It puckers, spots and discolors under the tiniest drop of liquid.

  • Gift wrapping tissue is translucent. Yeah, that was a "great feature" too... but even dark-colored tissue paper requires extra layers to conceal a gift, or hide markings on the container.

  • Tissue wrapping paper is definitely shrinking. Most of my older sheets measure 20" x 30". None of the newer stuff is longer than 26", and most of it is either 18" x 20" or else 20" square.

    But wait... here's a source for 20" x 30" sheets of gift wrapping tissue! Dick Blick carries it in lots of colors at reasonable prices. And that extra 10"-12" can really, really matter!

The Perfect Gift Box Liner

Tissue wrapping paper is like an undergarment for your well-dressed gift. When a present is being opened, a tissue paper liner preserves the surprise to the very last moment. White tissue is always appropriate, or choose a colored tissue paper that coordinates with the gift or gift wrap, or a print to match the occasion.

Pleat the center of the gift wrapping tissue to fit the gift box.

But gift boxes (especially clothing boxes) come in so many sizes that it's rare for a standard sheet of gift wrapping tissue to fit perfectly. Here are some easy solutions:

  • If the tissue is too narrow for the box, overlap two pieces, side-by-side.

  • If the tissue is too short to extend around the gift, place two pieces end-to-end, overlapping beneath the gift in the box.

  • If your tissue paper is too wide for the box (as in the photo above), center the tissue over the box and make a horizontal pleat across the center. Adjust the pleat width until the the tissue fits into the box and covers the entire bottom.

  • If the tissue is too long after bringing the ends up and across the gift, simply fold under the excess.

  • If the tissue is way too big, fold it in half (or for a small box, cut a smaller piece) and use one of the above procedures.

Tissue Paper as Filler

NOTE: We do not recommend gift wrapping tissue as packing material for a shipping box containing a wrapped gift. If packed loosely, the gift box will shift, compress the tissue paper, and create space for more shifting and possible breakage ... but firm packing will use up too much of your pretty tissue wrapping paper.

Movers' packing paper is much better - it doesn't compress as tightly as tissue, so fewer sheets will do the job. Bubble wrap and foam popcorn are even better shipping fillers (though foam popcorn gets messy with static electricity) because they withstand compression and bounce back. And they weigh less than packing paper, so shipping costs less.

Tissue paper makes fine filler inside the gift box, to keep an odd-shaped or fragile gift from shifting. Tissue paper is a more gentle and attractive filler than newspaper or movers' packing paper; and upon opening the gift, tissue is tidier than foam popcorn.

Make a nest of tissue wrapping paper - crumpled just tightly enough to hold the gift in place. Position the gift in the nest, and cover with more crumpled tissue to fill the box. For extra protection, I like to roll an unboxed, fragile gift very loosely in a sheet of contrasting gift wrapping tissue before placing it in the tissue paper nest.

Recycle... and Save Those Scraps!

You can smooth lightly-used gift wrapping tissue to re-use as gift box filler or cushion (a fresh piece looks better for the liner). Even small pieces of colored gift tissue are worth saving, to accent costumes for your well dressed gifts. Often, just a little tissue is needed, and wrinkles do not matter.

Cardboard tube candle: the flame is made of gift wrapping tissue.For example, if you want to make a cardboard tube candle, the flame is made with a fairly small piece of yellow tissue paper. And because it's twisted to a point at the top, old wrinkles in the tissue are not noticeable.

Gift wrapping tissue can be used effectively for many interesting, beautiful and fun gift wrapping creations. Please visit us often as we add to our library of creative gift wrapping ideas with illustrated instructions.

It's OK to go a little wild buying
gift wrapping tissue! It's inexpensive,
and you'll find many ways to use it.

top of: Gift Wrapping Tissue
back to: Gift Wrapping Paper: What You Need to Know
back to: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas
Home Page

Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, courtesy of
Other photos courtesy of Libby Graphics, all rights reserved.