I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in my life I became nutty about cute gift wrapping. Combine that with an eternal love of crafting, upcycling, and generally being thrifty….and you have the perfect storm.
Part of my job here at Fair Ivy is to ensure that the gifts sent to our monthly surprise subscribers are wrapped in a cute and unique way. We know that a good chunk of the experience of getting a monthly surprise package is the actual unwrapping event—so the gift wrap is definitely an important part! However, a lot of our new favorite artists are facing gift wrapping handmade products for the first time, and it can seem like a daunting task.
But over the years, the great thing I’ve realized about gift wrapping is that the more mis-mashed, recycled, and made-up it is, the cuter and more personal it looks. Take the image below for example:
To make this, I started with the inside of a brown paper grocery bag. I found a piece of random scrap fabric and cut a strip, and used 5 pieces of blue/green string to go on top of it. I made the little white dots with paint, and plucked a small leaf from a plant outside. The tag I just cut out of a scrap of paper I rescued from my recycling bin.
I spent nothing on the wrapping whatsoever, yet it looks a lot more adorable than your generic wrapping paper job. It also feels a lot more like it contains some kind of quirky artisan bath product or handmade jewelry—in other words, it looks thoughtful. It took about 10 minutes, but most of that time was waiting for the white paint to dry.
Wouldn’t you squeal with delight if you received that as a gift from a friend? They probably would think it was wrapped by a fancy store, rather than recycled gift wrap from your own home!
Recycled Gift Wrap – A super straightforward DIY
So, using recycled gift wrap is a great way to gift wrap handmade products if you have a store (like on Etsy), or if you just want your personal gift to have an extra thoughtful vibe. There are a thousand ways to do something like this, but I’m going to do the absolute simplest version I can come up with—in the hopefully unlikely scenario that you are at home and literally have no crafting materials like ribbon or paint or even gardeners twine. In my opinion, it isn’t the absolute cutest way you could wrap something—but it takes a very bare-bones approach if you have no materials.
This style is best suited for a smaller gift, like jewelry.
- Brown paper (e.g. grocery bag)
- White paper strip
- Some sort of a piece of a plant—flowers, leaves, dead twigs
- Tape or glue
With your pen, create all kinds of linear floopity patterns (that’s a Lucy-ism) on the brown paper. You can really do anything, but if you know of something in particular that your gift recipient likes, include a line of some of those—like cats, for example. I included a line in cursive that says “Happy Birthday Sarah!”, since this gift is going to Sarah for her birthday.
This took a few minutes. Wrap it on up using tape or glue. I like the pattern to go diagonally across the box, but if you’re more of the straight-laced-variety, you can align it.
Add a white strip of paper around the thinner part of the box, and then a smaller strip of the same brown paper on top of that. Slip your plant piece underneath—and you’re done!
I hope you give it a shot—if so, tag a picture on Instagram or Twitter (@fairivy #HandmadeGiftWrap). You could probably even create this from random papers sitting in your car, if you’re seriously having a last-minute panic—I may give that a shot next and see what happens!
Anywho, wrap on!