Gift wrapping without paper

Gift wrapping

Blogger and illustrator Lisa Manuels gave us in Issue 25 some tips on how to wrap your gifts in a special and unique way. You can even do it without using paper.

Small glass jar

Nice for small gifts. If you don’t want the receiver to see what is inside straight away, then cut a rectangle out of paper that is just a bit smaller than the circumference of the jar itself and pop it inside. Or make a pretty label to stick to the outside of the jar. Tie a piece of fabric around the lid and hang a gift tag onto it. If you have more than one small gift, then wrap each gift separately, put them into the jar, and fill it with confetti.


Flat gifts (money or gift cards, for example) often go into an envelope. It is, of course, a bit more personal if you make it yourself. Start with the stencil: Carefully unfold an ordinary envelope, trace its silhouette onto a piece of thick card and cut it out. Now make your own envelope, with paper from books or magazines, for example.

Surprise parcel

You can hide one or more gifts inside a package of crêpe paper, shaped like a ball for example. Start with the biggest present and first try to see if you can make a round shape around it. You can be sneaky: Place some bubble wrap around your gift to shape it into a ball.

Then wrap pieces of crêpe paper around it and fasten it with a rubber band or masking tape. Pop a small gift in between the layers so that during the unwrapping more and more things appear. Make the ball as big or as small as you like. Then you can decorate it or finish it off with stickers.


Look for pretty fabric that someone can use again for a creative project afterward. Or use a vintage shawl. Then the wrapping is also a gift in itself.

Wooden box or vintage tin

Place your gift in a wooden box (like an old cigar box) or a beautiful tin from a ea market. Decorate it with
paper or masking tape if you want. You can also stick old postage stamps or photos all over it. Tie a ribbon around it and you’re done.

DIY mini piñata

First make a basic shape from cardboard or use some sort of food carton. Place your gift inside, along with candy or a whole bunch of confetti. You can now form the piñata into anything, from a cute little animal to a geometric shape. Stick strips of crêpe paper all over the basic shape. Work from the bottom to the top so that all of the layers of paper fall over each other.

  • More tips for gift wrapping can be found in Issue 25.

Text Lisa Manuels Photography Dmitry Mashkin