Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Have a plain brown paper package? Here's a few ideas how to dress it up! | Design Mom

Have a plain brown paper package? Here's a few ideas how to dress it up! | Design Mom

By Gabrielle. Photos by Amy Christie for Design Mom.

I’m in love with this post! It’s not really a how-to or a DIY post. Instead, it’s designed to inspire and spark ideas. It’s all about how to embellish simple brown wrapping paper, and it’s chock full of examples.

How to Dress Up a Brown Paper Package | Design Mom

Even if you don’t have any of the add-ons featured in the photos, you probably have something similar. Raid the junk drawer and the craft cupboard. Scour your yard and the recycling bin. There’s a good chance you’ve already got everything you need to wrap your gifts up gorgeously this year.

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Ribbons, paints, jingle bells, pom poms — dressing up the wrapped gift is almost as fun as giving it in the first place! Let’s get wrapping. This is going to be fun!

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The amazing Amy Christie put together this post and here’s what she has to say:

For all the colorful, fancy and beautiful wrapping paper I own, I find myself pulled towards plain, kraft wrapping paper (if you need help, here’s how to wrap them perfectly). I buying at least one roll of brown paper each season. A gift wrapped in plain brown paper is so full of potential! And a simple bow won’t do.

I use the paper to make my own stamped paper (which can be made for birthdays too) but there is much more.

Dress up a brown paper package | Design Mom

Below, I break down some of the ideas into categories to help spark your imagination. The ideas here are just the beginning; the possibilities are endless. I’m hoping the ideas are inspirational and a jumping off point for you.

How to Dress Up a Plain Brown Paper Package | Design Mom

Paint it

Even if you don’t have time (patience, space) for making rolls of hand-stamped paper, small paint detail can be added to an already wrapped gift. A design on top or a pattern to cover the whole thing.

Supplies: paint, paint brush, foam stamps, sponge

Design ideas: polka dots, brush strokes, plaid , Xs, Os, lines, herringbone pattern, splatter

Time: dry time makes this option take a little longer

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Tie it

Dig into that ribbon and trims drawer and tie it (or hot glue it) on the package.

Supplies: ribbon — all kinds, trim, twine, cotton string, streamers, fabric, paper punched ribbon

Ideas: big bows (here’s how to do it perfectly), continuous wrapping, a basket weave (as seen with the metallic streamers), mini box pattern, a multitude of bow

Time: depending on how quickly you move, this idea is good for last minute gifts

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Stick it

Sticky things add another fun dimension to a basic package.

Supplies: stickers, washi tape, glue stick/hot glue, confetti, glitter, pom poms, wooden shapes

Ideas: Use stickers to create a pattern. Take alphabet stickers and spell out a holiday message or just the name of the gift’s recipient. Form a pattern with washi tape (the holiday stuff is so fun!). Apply glue to one end of a package and dip it in glitter or add a blob to the top and sprinkle on confetti.

Time: count on this concept taking a bit of time and concentration with the spelling and pattern making

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Add to it

This variation is kind of my favorite. It’s kind of the kitchen-sink-bars of the gift-wrap world. From simple to complicated, add to it is all about, you guessed it, adding stuff on.

Supplies: All the random things you can find! Gift tags, wooden tags, laser-cut wood, homemade tags, evergreen shoots, Christmas baubles, jingle bells, mini clothespins and so much more.

Ideas: Think in layers. Start with the base — painted design, ribbon/trim. Add another layer — more ribbon, tags, baubles. And another — more ribbon, evergreen shoots, gift tags, laser-cut wood pieces. Keep adding until you love it.

Time: the more complicated, the longer it takes but I promise, it’s worth it.

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In the end, the gifts end up being little works of art. So much so that it’s a little sad when it’s opened and dismantled. The good news is, you can dress up more packages next year!

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See what I mean? So much inspiration! Thank you, Amy. I’m off to make a sweep of the house and gather a bin full of odds and ends that I can add to packages. I love this sort of thing!

Tell me, Friends. Do you get into wrapping? Or do you dread it — and maybe opt for gift bags whenever possible? : ) And if you do Santa at your house, does Santa wrap the gifts or leave them out, unwrapped? We do a combo — one present unwrapped for each kid, and the rest wrapped.

P.S. — Wrapping 101 and Bow-Tying 101. Also, 10 last-minute, thoughtful + stylish gifts you can get at the grocery store.

Credits: Images, styling & text by Amy Christie.

5 thoughts on “Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String”

  1. These are fabulous – thanks for the inspiration! I LOVE to wrap packages beautifully – mostly for girlfriends – we moms are often the last on the totem pole for being treated to beautiful things – a well wrapped gift is a gift in itself!

  2. I don’t purchase gift wrap, but I still try to wrap the presents in pretty ways. This year I used the packaging paper that came in our purchases to wrap our gifts, with bits of ribbon and lace that I’ve collected. Love these ideas!

  3. I love gift-wrapped gifts (versus gifts in gift bags with tissue paper). Thank you for all the great ideas and tips!

    (On a side note… I’m so glad I came here to do my last-minute, holiday-related research! You’re always my total lifesaver, Gabrielle! Thank you so! :-)

  4. Gabrielle, the Pin feature on the pics in all posts seems to have disappeared. Makes it tough to pin items. Please check & restore it? Thank you!

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