Sweet Little Packages Tied Up With String: Reviving The Lost Art of Gift Wrapping

In the 1980s, a new phenomenon came about that would change gift wrapping forever.  Gift bags were introduced and the need for wrapping paper and ribbons started to slowly go by the wayside.  No longer did you have to worry about finding a box for that awkward toy, wrapping the gift or cutting and tying the ribbon.  You could pull the gift right out of the store bag with the tissue paper and the gift bag and stuff it all together while in the car 2 minutes before walking into the party!  (Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about!!! =)

Today, gift bags are so popular that their sales are bypassing the sale of traditional gift wrap! Although I love the convenience of gift bags, I am afraid that the tradition of gift wrapping may become a lost art!

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pin for post: package with crochet ribbon, pink bow and distressed initial


Today, there are many beautiful options in gift bags, and I do use them fairly often.  But every so often I want to wrap a gift in away that shows the recipient how much I appreciate them.  You know, for a really special occasion like when your niece is graduating from college with honors and you want to package her gift in a sweet and memorable way!

Plan Ahead For Your Gift Wrapping

I love beautifully wrapped gifts!  And there are so many ways to make a gift beautiful, almost like a work of art!!  You lay a solid foundation and add a little pizzazz!  This is likely something that you will want to plan ahead for, instead of scrambling at the last minute!  Planning will go a long way in reducing your stress and increasing enjoyment of the process!

Any wrapped gift is special to me, because it shows me that the giver cared enough to take the time to hand wrap (or have it wrapped) the gift in addition to taking the time to pick it out! Since this isn’t as common as it once was, it does feel a little extra special on it’s own!  I think of it like a handwritten card.  A text or e-mail may get the job done, but we are much more likely to keep and treasure a handwritten note for years to come!

There are many ways to wrap a gift to make it extra special.  Here are just a few ideas that you can use to get started!

Laying A Great Foundation for Wrapping Your Gift: Finding the Perfect Container

Sometimes finding a box for wrapping a gift can be difficult.  If I’m going to take the time to wrap a gift, I would prefer the box have a lid that can be removed and put back on without damaging the wrapping!  This is not always possible, but I like to be on the lookout for great gift boxes to stock up on!

  • a cardboard box with shallow lid (similar to a hat box),

    I have got some great boxed thru subscriptions such as Birchbox or Fit Fab Fun boxes.

simply wrapped box with a silk ribbon and bow

  • gift box or shirt box

    You can wrap the lid of the box and it can be unwrapped without undoing all of your hard work!

  • a tin

  • simple wrapping paper

    Butcher paper, solid paper, simple paper with polka dots or stripes are all great ways to start out!  You don’t want your foundation too busy because you won’t be able to see all of the pretty embellishments that you are going to add!

Tie it Up: Ribbons and Beyond!

There are so many options to use to pull a gift together without having to resort to the regular stick-on bows or ribbons!  The ribbon (or whatever you choose to use, is what starts to bring your gift together.  And there are SO MANY options (this is when is starts getting fun)!!! Here are just a few!

  • Fabric Ribbon

    Satin, grosgrain, thick, thin, layered, or criss-crossed… there are many things that you can do with beautiful ribbons!

  • String or Yarn

    Any kind that strikes your fancy!

Gift box wrapped with decorative string and embellished with beautiful paper crafted butterflies.

  • Raffia

    Unique with so many colors!

  • Twine

    Rustic and really cute on a package!

  • Tulle Ribbon

    Like the material but about a 6 inch wide spool, so many colors and they make BEAUTIFUL (easy-to-make) bows!!!

  • Wired Ribbon

Ribbon with wired edges will help you make beautiful and full bows!

  • Pom Poms or Small Bunting

    Or any kind of cute garland

gift box wrapped with a strip of fabric, a tulle bow and artificial berries for embellishment

  • Fabric

    A little strip of cute fabric adds a sweet touch.  You could tear the fabric on each side for a more casual look, or carefully cut it to give it a more polished look.

  • Washi Tape

I love washi tape, but I never really know what to do with it!  Well, I’ve now found a great use for it…. embellishing my gift wrapping!

Gift wrapping: a simple gift box decorated with washi tape and brightly colored yarn.


If you stopped now, your package would still be beautiful, but if you REALLY want to make it awesome, add some embellishments! And if you thought there were a lot of options for ways to tie up your sweet package, your imagination is the only limit when adding extras!

  • Paper Crafts

    You don’t have to DIY these, there a so many options in your local craft store!  Look for something that ties in with the season, like flowers or butterflies for Spring. Or you could look for something that you know that the recipient loves, maybe a cute frog for a frog collector?

  • Small Wooden Initial or Word

You can also find many inexpensive wooden letters and words in a variety of sizes at any craft store, or even at the craft section of your big box store!

pink box with quote attached by clothespins

  • A Photo, Postcard, Quote, etc.

    Put an old black and white photo of your grandparents on a gift to your mom, or add a postcard from your trip to Italy onto the vase that you brought back for your sister. Download this free printable quote to add a beautiful touch to your next package!

  • Twigs, Leaves or Flowers

    Real or beautiful artificial flowers or greenery can add a fresh look to your gift wrapping. Just stick it loosely under the string or raffia that you use, Perfect!!!

packages wrapped with decorative string and tree branches added for embellishment

  • Candy

    So I’m not saying stick a Dum-Dum in the package and be done (although if you want to, go for it)!  But, for a wow factor, think of a large, bright lollipop on a child’s gift!  You could also do a small bag of chocolates tied up and attached to the bow for an adult!

  • Clothespins

    Glue a dainty clothespin to your wrapped box and clip on a note, paper initial or any other kind of cute paper.

  •  Sneak Peak

    Tie on a spatula to the box that contains a set of turquoise mixing bowls for a wedding gift.  It’s cute AND useful for the recipient!

Gift Wrapping Basics

There are a few thing that you can keep on hand to make wrapping easier.  This way, you don’t have to run to the store every time you start to wrap!

  • Boxes of all sizes
  • Simple wrapping paper
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon, twine, raffia, etc.
  • Any of the extras listed above

If you are like me, you have many of these things on hand already.  Just look thru your own crafts and you might come up this all kinds of inspiration!

Simple gift box wrapped with bright colored yarn and embellished with wooden bunting.

Real Life Gift Wrapping

So let’s bring back this beautiful art of hand wrapping gifts!  It can be a lot of fun and it doesn’t have to take a long time.  Who has time to spend an hour wrapping a gift!?!  However, if you have everything ready, you can have your gift wrapped in less than 10 minutes!  What a sweet way to let someone know how much they mean to you.  It’s just a little extra thought… Now, wouldn’t you be excited to receive such a thoughtful gift like this!?!

Have you ever received a gift that was wrapped so beautifully that you hated to open it?  What beautiful embellishment would you add to your package to make it even more beautiful? Please share your ideas with us in the comments below!  

Want to save these fun gift wrapping ideas?  Pin this post to your favorite Pinterest board!


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