How to Wrap Awkward Gifts

Here are several creative ways to wrap odd-shaped or awkward gifts such as bikes, scarves, coffee cups, travel mugs, money, socks, DVDs, and tickets. Those awkward gifts are hard to wrap, unless you rip up the wrapping paper.

When I searched for “how to wrap a bike”, the article said to put a bow on it. Not so creative, is it? That’s because it depends on the size of the bike. A tyke’s bike can be inserted into a large box, no problem. An adult’s bike is a difficult gift to wrap because…well, it’s big.

how to wrap a bicycleBefore we get to my idea on how to “wrap” a bike as a gift, you have to know that Wrapagami: The Art of Fabric Gift Wraps is one of the coolest ways to be creative and wrap all kinds of gifts. It’s the Japanese art of gift wrap, and surprisingly easy to learn.

Some gifts can’t go under the Christmas tree or on the breakfast table (birthday presents). All the better! One of the most creative ways to wrap a big, awkward gift like a bicycle is to plan a treasure hunt. Hide the bike in a room, a garage, behind a bush in the yard, or even in a vehicle. Create clues that will lead the gift recipient to the bike. It doesn’t have to be wrapped if it’s given in a creative, fun way.

Here are a few creative ideas for gift wrapping awkward or odd gifts. I’m passionate about NOT buying Christmas gift wrapping paper or birthday wrapping paper because I think it’s expensive and so bad for Mother Earth. Several years ago, I wrote an article on eco-friendly ways to wrap gifts. I’ll share some of the most creative gift wrapping tips here, and include suggestions on how to wrap awkward gifts such as money, opera tickets, coffee mugs, etc.

Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts

It’s crucial to plan ahead! If you leave things until the last minute, you’re more likely to rush out and buy glitzy, expensive, ugly gift wrapping paper. Instead, start early and make wrapping gifts part of the Christmas holiday experience.

Use mandarin orange boxes for small awkward gifts. Save your clementine boxes and reuse them to create gorgeous gift baskets or boxes for items such as money, coffee mugs, socks, or DVDs. Shred or rip up newspaper or paper bags to use as stuffing. Just top it off with a recycled bow from last Christmas and you have a creative box for an awkward gift. For a festive look, you can paint, colour, or paste natural decorations on the outside of the box.

When I use newspaper to wrap gifts (which I do all the time), I paste or tape old Christmas cards to the front. It looks very creative and artistic – like a mosaic of Christmas trees, ornaments, Santas, reindeer, words, etc! Don’t buy expensive gift wrap; recycle your newspaper and glossy advertisements.

Wrap awkward gifts inside other gifts. If you want to wrap a coffee mug, for example, stuff it inside a pair of socks or slippers. Fold a cookbook into an apron. Shawls, scarves, towels, and afghans – tied up with a pretty bow or ribbon – are creative, practical ways to enclose awkward gifts. Travel mugs, ceramic coffee cups, bicycle helmets, and beach or garden pails are also empty vessels to begging to be filled! For instance, you could hide a monetary gift inside a travel mug, or a pair of tickets inside a bike helmet.

Look in your kitchen cupboard for cereal boxes. One of the most creative ways to wrap any gift – awkward or odd-shaped or not – is to put it inside something else. How about a Cheerios cereal box for the travel mug, or a bulk cookie box for the opera tickets? Look around your house for boxes that will make your gift recipient think she’s getting a gift of a box of Pampers or dog biscuits.

Dig out your old maps, calendars, and comic books. Your calendar will be history soon, so put it to good use now! A creative way to wrap awkward gifts is to tape together an assortment of old calendars, outdated maps, glossy magazine pages, and newspapers.

Use hemp, silk, or cotton tote bags as wrapping paper. Creative cloth bags are great ways to wrap gifts of DVDs, coffee mugs, books, scarves, and mittens.  Plus, those bags can later be used for library books, groceries, and odds ‘n ends in the car (I keep a tote bag of full water bottles so we never drive thirsty). Or, make your own cloth tote bags out of red, white, and green material – my hubby even sews drawstrings into his.

Find exotic recycled paper to use as gift wrap. Mr. Ellie Pooh is an organization that recycles Sri Lankan elephant dung into stationery, crafts, and wrapping paper – without using toxic chemicals or depleting natural resources. Look in your local stores or Christmas craft fairs for recycled, sometimes handmade, ideas for wrapping gifts.

Use kids’ art projects as wrapping paper. This is one of my favorite ways to wrap gifts: children’s art projects. It’s sentimental yet simple Christmas gift wrap. If you don’t already have this “creative wrapping paper” taped up on your fridge, sit your kids down with recycled paper, paint, and crafts. Their Christmas chore is to make wrapping paper for the whole family…while you relax with a hot apple cider.

If you haven’t done all your Christmas shopping yet, read What to Give Your Husband for Christmas – 9 Creative Gift Tips.

And if you have any tips on how to wrap awkward gifts, please share below!

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