How to wrap presents creatively,
using fragments of paper and
miscellaneous items from around your house


StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble


All you need are pieces of paper, tape, glue sticks, hot glue or double sided tape, and these three ideas.


Absorb these 3 ideas


You can use small fragments of paper.

You can use odd, non-wrapping materials, such as twigs, bottle caps or even colorful breakfast foods.


Focus on the front of the package.

The back of the package is backstage; it's ok to let it be messy.


Contrast of color.

Contrast of light and dark.

Contrast of texture or material.

Contrast of line (angled paper on rectangular boxes).


wrap art book

40 pages, 7"x7", full color, hardcover or paperback.


Gallery One: Two-piece Wraps

Two Fragments

Contrast Cap

The paper you have on hand may not fit the gift box. Take an even smaller piece of paper, like the red paper here, and wrap one end of the box. Then wrap the remaining part of the box. Finish with ribbon taped to the back, and a bow.

Contrast: the flat red contrasts with the fibrous green paper. The rough deckle edge contrast with smooth red paper. The green paper is light; the red paper is dark.

Easy: the gold ribbon tapes to the back.

Two Fragments

Ribbon Join

This wrap uses two pieces of typical wrapping paper. These fragments often have damaged parts. When you cut them away you are left with odd-shaped pieces. The fearless wrapper applies the striped piece first, then adds a second piece along the angled edge of the stripes.

Easy: A ribbon is applied along the edge where the two papers join. It precludes the need for a perfect cut along the join. The ribbon can be taped on the back of the box. If necessary you can use rolled-tape strips or glue gun to overcome challenges of ribbon placement.

Contrast: stripe/floral. Foil/flat.

Two Fragments

White Paper Subwrap

Some pieces of paper are too small for anything but this technique. Wrap the box in white paper. Apply small pieces using glue stick or double-stick tape.

Easy: the white subwrap offers its own form of ease and fun. It encourages improvisation. Do the white wrap first. Then decide what to apply to it.

Contrast: color (red/blue). Alignment (angled against the box).

Extra Credit: I added a small bit of green shiny ribbon along the edge of the red paper.

Two Fragments

Different Paper

While wrap art can be made with scraps of regular wrapping paper, I also save special papers. The yellow paper is an art paper. The checkered paper was a shopping back. Their contrast is a delight. The white bow brings it all back into the realm of gift wrapping.

Contrast: color/black & white. pattern/solid. The bow's shiny complexity/the yellow's flat simplicity.

Two Fragments

Small Package

The two-fragment technique is an obvious choice for little packages. It uses up small pieces of charming paper. Thus it justifies saving small pieces of charming paper.

Easy: The ribbon smoothly joins the two papers, hiding the papers' cut edges. Tape it on the back.

Contrast: bright color/dull color. Pattern/no pattern.

notecardsNotecards by John Boak— Drawings of Colorado & Utah