Flexible, forgiving, and just a few dollars per extra-long roll, crepe paper is the versatile and enthusiastic wunderkind of gift wrapping. Pick up some eye-catching colors like tomato, fuchsia, and emerald; throw in a fun metallic; then use our ideas to creatively package any shape to your heart's delight.
Photography: Addie Juell1 of 9
Boxes and Bows
Stripe it rich (top): Fold back the edge of two-tone crepe paper and affix it with double-sided tape to create a band—and accentuate the seam you usually hide. Tie a bon-bon (second from top): Position a wide band of solid crepe paper over patterned and cinch the ends to dress up a cylinder. Weave it (second from bottom): Tape three streamers in place around the width of a box, then thread two pieces over and under them lengthwise. Point it out (bottom right): Rather than tamping down the ends, crimp the excess into peaks.
Photography: Addie Juell2 of 9
Show us a gift-wrapping conundrum—a present that's too big, quirky, floppy, or fragile—and we'll give you a crepe-paper solution. Here's how we tackle the trickier tasks and fashion cheerful accents: Make quick work of XL-size objects with two strategically placed sheets in a pair of vivid colors. Cut them as wide as the box, and long enough to cover its top and bottom. Lay them out in a plus-sign shape, and place the box where they overlap. Pull each strip up and over, align the edges at the corners, seal with tape, and accent with strips in varying widths. For the ribbon on top, make a loop from a matching swatch, cinch the center, and tuck tails into the knot.
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Instead of just sticking a bow on top of a present that's unwieldy or awkwardly shaped, embrace its silhouette by winding streamers around it from head to toe. We used thick gold crepe paper to mummify this you-know-what, tuning pegs included. While the contents underneath aren't exactly a mystery, the endlessly entertaining act of unspooling the paper only amps up the suspense.
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To neatly package loose items like socks and tees, think like a sushi chef and start rolling. Tuck the item inside a guessproof cardboard tube, clean coffee canister, or cylinder you've made from card stock by taping the edges together. Cover it with crepe paper, and twist and tie the ends. Add mini bows, ribbons, or a wide stripe in a contrasting color to finish the fake-out.
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Give quaffables the couture treatment with metallic crepe paper. Roll a vessel up in a piece that's six inches longer than it is tall, fold and secure the bottom, and gather the top into a pouf (left and center), or fold it down into a flap (right). To add a pinwheel (left), pleat a streamer accordion-style, tape the ends together, and affix with an adhesive dot. For the bow tie (center), form a loop with one piece of crepe paper, cinch it in the center with another, attach it to a ribbon with double-sided tape, and secure it around the neck.
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Think way outside of the box—and bow—with this clever idea: Little hands will love unfurling this mini-evergreen party favor. Stick slender surprises (like temporary tattoos) on a cardboard cone, and cover them with an emerald streamer. Keep wrapping and tucking in other thin presents, such as barrettes or fortune fish. Finally, stuff the cone with candy, tape a card-stock circle on the base, and decorate your giving tree with tinsel-and-pipe-cleaner ornaments.
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Make it a light show: Glue half of a packing peanut onto a miniature egg form to create a bulb shape, then wrap the base in emerald and the top in a bright color. Attach them to a green string with craft glue.
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Cut petal shapes out of a scarlet sheet and attach them to a "stamen" (floral wire wrapped in crepe paper). To emulate this rare speckled cultivar, use white craft paint to "Jack Pollock" the paper first. Then use the single-petal method: as its name implies, its used to build a flower petal by petal.
Photography: Addie Juell9 of 9
Twin-Tassel Gift Topper
Use scissors to fringe one side of a 7-inch-long streamer. Roll it up, tape the end, and secure the top with a thin strip in a contrasting color. Repeat, then fasten the pair to a shoestring by dipping each end in glue and pushing them into the tops of the tassels.