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


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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 Five: Collage


with Angles

Inspired by cubism, this design is an example of confident wrap art. Two fragments, black and green, are first laid on at an angle. The floral fragment follows, placed ninety degrees to the black-green join. The poppy-paper fragment introduces a new angle. And it is also trimmed with a small black piece with a wavy edge. I finish with the punctuation of three white office-supply dots

Contrast: pattern/solid. Red/green. Angles opposing the rectangle. Straight edges/ wavy edge. Line (cut edges)/ point (white dots).

Collage on Brown Wrap

Paper "Bow"

The basic wrap is brown paper. The collage is fragments of Christmas papers. The "bow" is made of thick red paper strips with a center of wadded red tissue, with one black dot inked in.

Contrast: many different papers.

Easy: This is a style for the aggressive wrap artist. The trick isto find an adhesive method that works for you. I use hot glue.

Paper "Bow"

2-Paper Wrap

The basic wrap is made with two very different papers. On the left is a scrap of white paper with large-text inkjet printed on it. On the right is a fragment of Christmas paper. They are bridged by a twist of green tissue. The "bow" is made of scraps of construction paper.

Easy: Two-scrap wraps are quick. The tissue twist is also easy and it hides hasty craft. The fragment bow is also very permisive.

Contrast: many different papers. Multiple different textures.


On a brown wrap, we have added a variety of textures, including foil paper, a piece of an art-print proof, a small round sticker, and a piece of a wine-bottle protective wrap.

Easy: .

Contrast: divergent materials and angles.

Banded Tissue-Ribbon Wrap

with triangular neck label

Tissue can be folded into puffy "ribbons". I wrap many of these around a small package. They are taped on the back. The cumulative effect is complex texture and pattern is strong. Against the repetitive horizontal form I bring in the triangle of red as a new form and it also serves as the label.

Contrast: variety of papers, textures and patterns. Intrusion of triangle in repeating horizontal bands

Easy: Because of the messy ribbon and the messy tape job on the back, this is a very easy wrap to make.

Simple Collage

Triangle Gambit

The square shape of the box suggested using the right triangle (one fourth of a square) as the guiding form for this three-piece collage. The triangle of red knitting is from a marketing brochure.

Contrast: shiny, wrinkly gold tissue/flat image of knitting.

Easy: The simplicity of the collage makes this one quick work.

Two Fragments

Minor Contrast

The soft contrast of two pinks makes this package very elegant. Red ribbon joins the two fragments.

notecardsNotecards by John Boak— Drawings of Colorado & Utah