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5 Crafty Ways to Spruce Up Kraft Paper Packages

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Holiday gift wrap—what a world of possibilities! I recommend a simple and fun approach to my favorite facet of holiday prep: kraft paper. There's so much you can do to dress up this simple and affordable-in-bulk type of paper, which can also be recycled with ease. No more tears over tearing through and destroying gorgeous gift wrap.

I recommend buying two rolls of the good stuff (you can never have enough!). Container Store calls it "postal wrap," and you can snag a large roll there for a modest $2.99. Once you've got your kraft paper, ribbon and label combinations abound. Five of my favorite cheap and quick kraft wrap ideas are below. Happy Holidays!

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Photo by James Ransom

Adhesive letters

Michaels has a great variety of adhesive vinyl letters and alphabet stickers in fun colors and sizes. Stick on the recipient's initials, their full name—if you can fit it—or nickname so they can be easily identified (above, left). It's a fun, graphic approach to wrapping. Be sure to press letters firmly (I run a finger over each a few times once they've been stuck to the paper) so they don't fall off.

Honeycomb balls

The best honeycomb ball colors are available at the relatively new Oh Happy Day party shop, though you can also get them from IKEA in black and white or multi-colored.

Unfolded, they typically form a sphere (with cutesy adhesive stickers to hold them in place), but I like them opened 50% of the way and adhered flat to the top of a package (above, right). They add a big burst of color and texture and are reusable, too! Just cover the sticky bands after use or replace them with a line of double-stick tape.

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5" Honeycomb Ball

5" Honeycomb Ball

1.5" Paper Punch

1.5" Paper Punch

Circle punch garland

An inch circle punch (like this one) is your best friend around the holidays. Using it, punch out lots of circles in different colors and use them as tags and labels (jot down recipients initials on top), stick them all over the box like a snowy, polka-dotted wonderland, or string them together to form garland. I like the punches that are in the 3/4- to 2-inch range. You will not be able to stop using this punch once you start—I can promise you that.

Photo by James Ransom

Cut-out shape topper

Celebrate each night of Hanukkah with a simply cut-out Star of David—or Christmas tree, or jingle bells, or whatever symbol you like—topper adorning your gift. Affix with twine and wrap around kraft paper (or cut out a lighter start to use on a darker paper—above, left).

Photo toppers

Print Instagram photos—I love Social Print Studio and Artifact Uprising for this—and adhere them to kraft-wrapped packages with double-stick or washi tape (above, right). Packages get a personal touch if the photo is of the recipient, you and the recipient, or just a beautiful shot worth holding onto.

What are your favorite ways to embellish kraft-papered packages? Tell us in the comments.

Tags: presents, wrapping, holiday, birthdays