Last Minute Gift Wrap Ideas

I’m rushing around today wrapping gifts but wanted to stop for a moment to share some creative gift wrapping ideas using items you may already have around your home. No need to run to the store for gift wrap, ribbons and  bows and then add it all to your local landfill the next day. You have all you need to wrap your gifts right around your home. Some of these ideas are old standbys but having it all listed in one post can help save your sanity when you’re running around with an unwrapped gift in one hand, a piece of twine hanging over your shoulder and a wallpaper remnant in the other hand.

Simple Gift Wrap

  • newspaper
  • comics
  • magazine pages
  • wallpaper sample pages
  • leftover wallpaper
  • contact paper
  • colored saran wrap
  • tissue paper (I have tons of white tissue paper that can be layered for a luxurious looking gift wrap.)
  • pretty shopping bags (use stickers or glue on pictures to cover up any areas you don’t want visible)
  • trash bag – tie with gorgeous bow, decorate with stickers or glued on pictures from magazines or copies of family photos
  • paper bags – use shipping tape or hot glue to secure
  • fabric remnants
  • linens with stains or holes – cut away the stain or hole or cover with an iron-on applique made from another piece of linen or fabric

Not As Simple But Still Quite Easy Gift Wrap Ideas

With a little more effort you can come up with some fantastically creative gift wrapping.

Photo Wrap

Enlarge a favorite photo on a copy machine and use the resulting page to wrap a small gift. For a larger gift tape together several photo copied pages arranged so that the ribbon covers the seams.

Fabric Gift Wrap

Cut fabric to the appropriate size to wrap your gift. Leave the edges of the fabric raw, trim with pinking shears or fringe them.

Wrap fabric around gift in the same manner as you would if you were using wrapping paper. Secure with diaper pins, small gold safety pins, stitch with needle & thread, secure with double stick tape or use the ribbon you wrap around the package to secure the fabric.

Or set the gift inside the fabric piece. Gather the fabric up around the gift & secure the gather with any of the items listed under CARDBOARD TUBES.

Wax Paper Wrap

Waxed paper and leftover craft supplies can be combined for a truly unique gift wrap. Cover your ironing board with a sheet of newspaper or a large piece of cloth. Lay a sheet of waxed paper flat on top of the paper or cloth. Place real or silk flower petals, dried leaves, confetti, small photos, anything that is relatively flat on top of the waxed paper. Place another piece of waxed paper on top of your arrangement. Place a second sheet of newspaper or cloth on top of the waxed paper and run a hot iron over the whole thing. The heat will seal the edges together and when it’s cool you can wrap your gift.

Wallpaper Gift Bags

Oh Happy Day has a beautiful tutorial on how to make all sizes of gift bags using wallpaper remnants. You could also use stiff paper.


No need to stop at gift wrap for creative gift wrapping ideas. Ribbon deserves it’s place in your green wrapping party.

Embroidery Floss

If you’re like me you have hanks of embroidery floss left over from projects completed or abandoned long ago? Well dust them off  for an easy and elegant way to wrap your gifts. Use generous strands of floss to wrap small gifts & tie into a bow on top or wrap the gift several times with different colored strands and leave the ends hanging free.

Or braid the embroidery floss to use as ribbon to wrap gifts.

You can even use the floss to make tassels for gift toppers.

Fabric Scraps

Fold scraps of fabric into ½ to l-inch wide strips. Use in place of ribbon when wrapping a gift. A bow can be made out of these strips also.

Small scraps can be sewn, glued or ironed together with iron-on webbing to make strips long enough to be used as a ribbon for a package. Frayed edges left showing make the gift look especially “country”.

Other Ribbon Ideas

  • hairbands, scrunchies, pony tail holders work great for small gifts
  • twine or string
  • a pine garland works well for larger gifts
  • string of lights which no longer work
  • colored wire
  • belt- the buckle becomes the gift topper
  • necklace or bracelet which you no longer want
  • clear or colored saran wrap twisted into width of ribbon you desire
  • buttons – string together with elastic thread, fishing line or dental floss
  • feathers, glued around the circumference of the gift

Bow or Gift Topper

  • silk flowers – great way to use a tired bouquet or single flowers that have fallen off
  • dried flowers
  • pretty leaves
  • sand dollars
  • Christmas ornament
  • belt buckle from belt you no longer use
  • keys
  • jewelry or hair accessories you no longer use
  • feather – use one or a group of them
  • sea shells
  • buttons (glue on or string together and bundle on top)
  • small toy


Spray wrapped gift lightly with glue and sprinkle with glitter or confetti. You can even make your own confetti using scrap paper, magazine pages or comic pages.

Cut out the front of a used greeting card and glue it to the top and/or sides of your wrapped gift.

Glue the cards from a deck of cards or other game cards that are no longer useable to the top and/or sides of a wrapped gift.

Okay, break’s over – get up and get wrapping 🙂


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About Kat

I started this blog to share with you all the results of years of turning trash into treasures. Hopefully I'll spark some new creative thoughts and if that happens I hope that you'll share your discoveries and together we’ll build a blog that will singlehandedly reduce global warming and save the world! Okay, maybe that’s a grand goal but we should be able to at least downsize our own trash output.

3 thoughts on “Last Minute Gift Wrap Ideas

  1. These are some really great ideas!!! We used Vogue pattern paper from our local Op Shop with thrifted red ribbon!! Everything looked amazing and people who received our gifts didn’t want to open them… hehe

    xo Steph

  2. So glad to see you getting on the “we won’t spend big bucks on wrapping paper, ribbon and gift cards” bandwagon 🙂
    Keep on keeping on!

  3. Love your ideas! I have one to add. I’ve used scented drawer liners as gift wrap. Essentially I’m regifting, because the drawer liners were a gift to me and I didn’t use them, but I thought it was a great way to pass them on.

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