10 Ways to Dress Up Plain Wrapping Paper

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Do you have about 50 rolls of wrapping paper cluttering up a closet somewhere in your house?  I know I do.  And it always seems like I can never find what I need.  It's a boy birthday party, and all I have is Barbie birthday paper.  It's a bridal shower and I have tons of Christmas wrap, but nothing appropriate or helpful for that event.  And so I go out and buy more.  (You'd think at some point I'd have everything I need, but somehow that hasn't happened yet).

Instead, I've decided to pare down.  Get one or two solid colors of wrapping paper and make it look pretty in other creative ways.

I know, it looks intimidatingly lame with just the basic wrapping.  But I've been scouring the internet for fabulous, easy ways to make a plainly wrapped package look fabulous.

10 Ways to Embellish Plain Wrapping Paper

Number 1, A Stamped Tag:

Use a stamp directly on the wrapping paper instead of a tag!  Wouldn't this look adorable with a rainbow lollipop and a bit of colorful ribbon for a birthday present, too?  Spotted at Inspirations for the Home.

Number 2, Knotted Yarn:

LOVE this idea from Melanie Falick Books.  How easy is it to tie a bunch of colorful yarn around the present?  My girls would love to do this.  Craft activity and something useful accomplished all at once?  Yes, please!

Number 3, Silk Flowers and Twine:  

Twine or yarn and a silk flower.  Absolutely gorgeous, but how much more simple could it get?  Found at The Savvy Photographer.

Number 4, Real Greenery: 

I'm not sure I can properly express how much I love this idea from Odessa May Society.  The real greenery wreath, the baker's twine...swoon!  

Number 5, Yarn Pom Poms:

I used to make some pretty radical yarn pom poms for my roller skates, but I never thought of using them in creative gift-wrapping.  Yay, internet!  This bit of brilliance came from Domestifluff.  She has a lovely tutorial for making yarn poms, too.

Number 6, Paper Flowers:

How pretty are these simple paper roses made out of printed paper from Holly Mathis Interiors?  This would look gorgeous with white-on-white paper flowers like the ones I made for the Secret Garden Baby Shower.

Number 7, Lace and layers:

Love love love the lace over the plain kraft wrapping paper.  But what puts it over the top is the layering of satin ribbon on top of the lace!  Gorgeous, and it works for any occasion!  From White Aisle Weddings.

Number 8, Woven Ribbon:

Weave different colors and widths of ribbons round the package for a gorgeous, tailored, custom look.  From the ever-fabulous Martha Stewart.

Number 9, Fabric Ribbon:

Ribbon can get expensive awfully quickly.  But simple strips of fabric make gorgeous ribbon--and there are so many options out there!  I love this one from We Love Citrus.  I personally love the look of the frayed edges, and when I use this technique, I deliberately fray mine.  But you could certainly cut the fabric with pinking shears if you wanted a cleaner look.

Number 10, Balloons:

This one is my own humble addition to this collection.  After the Balloons party, I found myself with a lot of leftover balloons.  They're great for a quick summer activity for making the kids happy, but it only recently dawned on me that they'd make great decorations for presents!

It's like getting two presents in one, for the kid!  Here's a good tutorial for making a six-petal balloon flower like the one I made.

I love how you can change the style and theme in an instant, like how I customized this present with a balloon Tyrannosaurus Rex for a paleontology birthday party.  I followed this tutorial by my favorite balloon twisting tutorial guy, Mr. Fudge.  (Snicker.  Yes, evidently I'm 12 years old.)  I didn't know how to make a balloon T-Rex  until 10 minutes before we walked out the door to go to the party.  It's not hard, I promise, but it will make your present the coolest one in the pile!


I hope you'll find this roundup of creative ways to dress up plain presents.  If you want to see more of the ideas I've collected, check out my Packaging board on Pinterest.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido