Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re wrapping the last few items in your stack of holiday gifts when you reach the end of the wrapping paper roll. Dang. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably doing this late at night and aren’t in the mood to go to the store, so it’s time to get crafty. On the other hand, you may not have purchased any wrapping paper on purpose—a noble commitment to keeping things low-waste.
There are lots of ways you can create a lovely wrapped gift using random items you have lying around the house, with zero need to rush back out to the store in the 11th hour. Here are 10 of our favorite new ways to do just that.
Need a last-minute gift bag? Dig into that pile of clothes headed to the donation bin and pull out any sweaters. A Homemade Living explains you can create a beautiful, unique bag by simply cutting off a sweater sleeve, turning it inside out, and sewing up the opening. Flip it right-side out, put the gift inside, and tie it closed with a ribbon. Upcycling, for the win!
Have a minimalistic holiday with these paper lunch bag gifts. The Beauty Dojo has the great idea of stamping or writing cute phrases on paper lunch bags, then folding them shut and tying them closed with a little bit of twine. So sweet.
If you ever want to get lost in a Pinterest hole, try searching for furoshiki, the Japanese art of fabric wrapping. This no-waste wrapping technique uses squares of fabric to create quaint, picturesque gifts, and you can find tutorials on how to wrap gifts of all shapes and sizes. The end result is so beautiful you may want to exclusively use fabric instead of wrapping paper from now on.
Wrapping gifts in newspaper may seem like a cop-out, but it can be quite lovely if you do it correctly. Try using thick ribbon, twine, and sprigs of seasonal greenery to jazz up your front-page wrapping job.
If you can bear to part with one of your kitchen towels, they make a great DIY wine bag. The Everygirl shows two simple ways you can wrap up a wine bottle in a tea towel, creating the perfect little present to place under the tree. And hey, now you have an excuse to buy those new kitchen towels you’ve been eyeing.
You might do a little double-take here, because these gift boxes are just so cute. No way they could be made from toilet paper rolls…but they are. Just fold the ends in and wrap ribbon around the bitty box for an unbelievably pretty presentation that doubles as an easy recycling opportunity.
A long-sleeved shirt is actually the perfect thing to tie a gift up in, since the sleeves act as their own built-in ribbon to keep the whole thing together. It doesn’t hurt, too, that flannels are synonymous with cozy holiday times. This method would work with an old flannel just as well as a new one you’d gift.
We love this idea from community member, Connie, who says, “I use scarves I pick up at thrift shops or estate sales to wrap gifts. Often $1 or less each! And it’s another gift!”
Anyone remember the days of the Hagstrom road atlas? Since you’re much more likely to rely on your phone’s GPS now, those map pages are just begging to be reused. And if you haven’t hung onto those spiral-bound classics, maps from museums, cities, and transportation lines work just as well.
Even for the most novice sewer among us, these fabric wine bags are a quick fix, and double as gift wrap for the recipient to pass along the next time.