Express Yourself with Unconventional Gift Wrap

Image: Garland of Grace

I love wrapping paper! No, seriously. I love wrapping paper. In fact, I’ve probably had the closest you can get to a giftwrap apprenticeship. Years ago, I worked at a stationery store where creating fabulous packages was part of the job description. The store’s manager was a set designer, illustrator, and generally artsy guy. He could whip up a beautiful bow in seconds, turning the most mundane gift into something spectacular.

Though my training was largely in traditional methods—perfectly creased paper bound with a bow—it’s always fun to experiment! And the holidays present a perfect time to think outside the box (pun intended). Here are five unconventional ideas to help your gifts stand out from the crowd.

1. Non-Traditional Patterned Paper

Express Yourself with Unconventional Gift Wrap on the Interior CollectiveImage: One Kings Lane

Perhaps the easiest approach is to simply ignore the rules and wrap with paper that you truly love, no matter the palette or pattern. Red and green, blue and silver, stars and snowflakes… Yes, traditional themes can be fun, but why not venture outside the norm?

2. Reusable Wrapping Cloth

Express Yourself with Unconventional Gift Wrap on the Interior CollectiveImage: The Souvenir Society

Okay. So now that we’re thinking beyond the status quo, ditch paper altogether with reusable wrapping cloth. It essentially becomes an extra gift that keeps on giving! Try premade cloths, like the one above, or create your own with unfinished fabric or a fabulous scarf.

3. Fashion-Inspired DIY

Express Yourself with Unconventional Gift Wrap on the Interior CollectiveImage: The Artful Desperado

If you follow me here on the Interior Collective, you already know that I love anything fashion-inspired. This giftwrap idea by the Artful Desperado uses various fabrics and trimmings to recreate fashionable motifs. It’s as if he’s designing each package, not simply wrapping it. What could be better?

4. Brown Packing Paper and Just About Anything

Express Yourself with Unconventional Gift Wrap on the Interior CollectiveImage: Garland of Grace

Brown packing paper is truly a win-win. Not only is it incredibly cost effective, but it’s a great foundation for oodles of giftwrap ideas. I once used brown paper, twine, and holly leaves from my neighbor’s yard. Lesson learned: holly leaves hurt! I recommend of sprig of greenery like the above.

5. Chalkboard-Inspired Doodles

Express Yourself with Unconventional Gift Wrap on the Interior CollectiveImage: Going Home to Roost

This last idea combines two my favorite things: gift wrap and doodling. Who needs ribbon or doodads when you can draw on everything? I love the chalkboard theme above, but of course, it works with any plain paper.

How are you wrapping your gifts this year?

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About The Author

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Desiré Greene
Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.