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Surprise! Gift Wrapping Ideas You Never Thought Of

You could buy patterned wrapping paper—but why do that when you can easily make your own winsome designs? We show you how to use everyday party-store finds (think paper cupcake liners, silver garlands, and colorful confetti) to spread mirth and merriment—even before the boxes are opened!

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Don’t restrict yourself to reds and greens this holiday season. Add in a few other colors, both bright and muted, for a celebratory but sophisticated palette. Once you have a color scheme, stick with it—and let it be your signature!

1. Baking Cups

Liners for muffins, cupcakes, and candies come in a whole slew of sizes and a multitude of colors. It’s no wonder they make delightful gift toppers.

 

1. Tassels

Cut a piece of waxed twine long enough to go around a wrapped box several times. Pinch liner at its center to form a conical shape; knot pinched end with twine to close. Wrap around box, then repeat to make another tassel on other side.

 

2. Dots

With a glue stick, adhere flattened cupcake liners directly onto a wrapped box or envelope, layering smaller circles over larger ones and folding designs over edges.

 

3. Tags

Flatten 6 or so liners; fold a few, if you desire. Then layer them and glue them together. Using a craft knife, cut 2 slits in center and thread a ribbon through.

 

Sources

Baking cups, from $2 for 100, partycity.com
Mini top-open and gift-card envelopes, $4.75 for 25, paperpresentation.com
Tight- and loose-weave cotton ribbon, $10 for 5 yd., shopangelaliguori.com

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Decorate a present with loop-the-loops of shiny, starry wire garland, held in place with silver tape.

2. Silver embellishments

Make your presentation really pop with inexpensive metallic accents (hint: think inside the bow). They add a wonderful three-dimensional element to boxed gifts.

 

1. Bold bands

Center a strip of paper-fringe garland on top of a wrapped gift; tie down with silver ribbon, as shown, top left. Or stick a line of self-adhesive mini bows down center of box, as shown, top right.

 

2. Star box

Glue the bottom of a small gift box on top of a store-bought star-shaped tag. Then glue another star tag on top of lid.

 

3. Bow boxes

Nestle a tiny box inside an oversize metallic bow.

 

4. Tassels

To make bow tassels, bottom center, first adhere two mini bows together, flat side to flat side, with one end of a length of bakers’ twine in between. Wrap around a wrapped box, then repeat on other end of length of twine.

 

Sources

Silver-star wire garland, $1 for 12'; small silver-star cutouts, 5", $2 for 5; and silver gift bow, 13", $8, partycity.com
Silver metallic mini star bows, 1", $4 for 100, papermart.com
Metallic line cotton ribbon, in Silver, $9 for 5 yd.; and metallic loose-weave ribbon, $9 for 3 yd., shopangelaliguori.com
Fringe garland, by Martha Stewart Crafts, $10, michaels.com

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Use a combination of solid and translucent confetti to create new shades where they overlap.

3. Confetti

Instead of tossing the bright paper cutouts, use them to dress up your holiday presents. These happy circles, sold in every color in the rainbow, provide endless cheer.

 

1. Like glitter

With a small hole punch, punch out tiny bits of confetti from colorful paper. Adhere double-sided tape to an envelope flap and trim to fit; cover with confetti. Or simply place one strip of double-sided tape on a gift tag, then cover with confetti.

 

2. Under cellophane

Put a handful of store-bought and mini DIY confetti in a small cellophane bag (trim as needed to turn it into an envelope), and slip a gift card inside. Or cover a wrapped box with cellophane and toss in confetti before taping up final flap.

 

3. On wrapping paper

Adhere a strip of double-sided tape down the side of a gift box, and cover with confetti in different sizes and colors to create a fun band of circles.

 

Sources

Custom tissue-paper confetti, ¾", 1", and 1½", in Red, Orange, Tangerine, Carnation Pink, Hot Pink, and Silver Mylar, $10 a bag, shopsweetlulu.com
Cellophane roll, $1.50 for 5', containerstore.com
Clear treat bags, from $3 for 25, partycity.com

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