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 Nine

Tissue Rectangles

With Cutaway Label Reveal

The effect of this wrap was great. The gift box was wrapped first in white. A computer-generated label was placed in the center. I then gave it a tissue wrap. Two bands, red and gold, of tissue "ribbon" were added horizontally. Tissue ribbon is made by folding a wider piece of tissue in thirds, so that the edges are folds, not cuts. Next I added two strips of pale green ribbon. With scissors I made two slices (a "x" shape) in the tissue wrap, revealing the label below.

Lastly, I applied a ribbon around the edge of the box, and constructed a "ribbon candy" layered bow with the remaining length of ribbon.


Sculptural Trim

I placed a postcard onto a white wrap. I trimmed it with two shopping-bag handle strings and the glued four twigs onto the endss of the package.

Contrast: light/dark. Flat/dimensional. Glossy cord/flat printing/white paper/natural material.


Cord Trim

I continued my studies in cord gluing. I applied a fragment of a press-proof to a whitewrap. One could use almost anything for this fragment: magazine or mailer fragment, wrapping or wall paper fragment. I then glued decorative cord around the fragment, looping the remaining cord into a handle, useful when giving the gift to the recipient.

Contrast: light/dark. Flat/ dimensional. Colorful/white. Pattern/ blank.

Easy: Few pieces.


Diversity of Visual Textures

One page of a surf magazine. One page of a stamp flyer. Black and red fragments for labels. Gold Ribbon. And a fragment of chromed metal. This rap relies on this diversity of materials, all but ribbon alien to regular wrapping materials.

Contrast: Diverse materials.


Angled Bands

A white wrap was gradually cover with bands of paper: a calendar image, red metallic shopping bag, and a blue gradation. Then two dimensional elements were added: a white shopping-bag cord and a carved twig.

Contrast: abstract/ photographic. Red/green. Diversity of textures.


3 Bands plus Ribbon

The top piece of paper is the same mettalic red shoping bag you may have seen on a variety of wraps here. The second piece is something much harder to come by: a sheet of artist's palette paper covered with acrylic paints. And last of all, a piece of newsprint from Karachi. Then I added one band of green ribbon. And some office-supply dots for labels

Easy: This is easy. You just have to have the odd papers.

Contrast: diversity of textures. Red/green.


One Piece

The wrap began with a white wrap. As usual, I was improvising; I had no idea what direction I might go in. The gift was for an architect. I saw in my paper drawer this image, from a brochure, of the Frank Lloyd Wright Guggenheim Museum. On it went. I added complex gold ribbon on the two white ends. Done.

Easy: Yes, because I had the right piece of paper..

Contrast: silly gold ribbon/ serious art photo.

notecardsNotecards by John Boak— Drawings of Colorado & Utah