Everything you need for wrapping and presenting gifts with a touch of personal flair is on this list.
With a little “know-how”, anyone can wrap a package so that even the most inexpensive and insignificant gift will take on a glamorous appearance.
When preparing to wrap your packages, have all equipment in readiness–plenty of ribbon, scissors, spool wire or needle and thread, paste, Scotch tape, and a flat surface on which to work.
With Christmas peeping from around the next corner, affording numerous opportunities for self-expression, get out your thinking cap, put it on and see what beautiful decoration ideas might develop for your gift packages.
*Excerpts from 1952 magazine, complete article at page bottom
With so many free holiday goodies available online, it’s almost impossible to narrow things down to a reasonable amount–but I think I’ve done it here.
Everything should be completely free and ready for immediate download (no email submissions or memberships required). If that has changed since being added to this collection, please let me know in the comments section below so I can remove it.
New Collection Update: March, 2022
I’ve organized the freebies into a few different galleries for easier browsing:
- Christmas Tags & Labels: Printables / DIY
- How To Make Bags, Wraps & Boxes
- Gift Card & Money Holders
- Bows, Toppers & Embellishments
- Food & Beverage Packaging
All external links will open in a new browser tab so don’t worry about losing your spot here as you go through the list.
Christmas Gift Tags & Labels: Free Printables / DIY
I selected a nice mix of everything: full color, black & white, red & white, Kraft paper, seasonal objects & characters, plain text/script, retro/vintage, contemporary, singles, sets, and all kinds of shapes and sizes.
I made sure to include the standard must-haves: Santa, elves, reindeer, holly, snowflakes and snowmen.
There really should be something here for everyone :).
All files are in pdf format or images (jpg mainly). For best results, download the file to your computer desktop first before printing.
How To Make Bags, Wraps & Boxes
This section is not as intense as the above, but I’d like to build it up a bit more yet. Full instructions are provided and when a template is needed, it’s free to download. Have fun!
Gift Card & Money Holders
Nearly everyone appreciates receiving an envelope of cash but here are a few packaging ideas to make it a little more festive & fun. I’ll be building up this section in the near future too.
Bows, Toppers & Embellishments
Even the plainest wrapped parcel can be transformed into a show stopper with the right embellishments. Here are several ideas to get you started. P.S. Don’t miss the tips at the bottom of this page from an old magazine article (1952) I clipped & saved.
Food & Beverage Packaging
Nearly everyone loves receiving bundles of food and baking, here are several ways to make things extra-special without breaking the budget.
Wrapping Tips & Ideas
The knack of doing up attractive Christmas packages always has a simple system back of it.
A twist of ribbon here, loops back and forth, and a crisp multiple bow grows in the fingers.
Top it off with a red rosebud or some silver stars and presto! You’ve got a charming gift-wrapped box.
Why not follow these step-by-step directions and see what you can do?
Be sure to approach tie-ribbons with the idea that you want perky, crisp bows. I have found that the best is a fairly stiff ribbon–and I always favor the versatile satin; for it has more body, more “swish,” and richer colors.
But you may like the Cellophane ribbons. If so, here is a hint to prevent this type from cutting in two when tied: Moisten slightly the section of ribbon actually used in make the tie or knot.
Another thing, don’t skimp on ribbon; but don’t overdo it either.
Bows do a great deal to add that finished look to a parcel. Each type is different in width, weight, and texture; and its purpose determines to some extent how it’s tied.
The first step in making a package beautiful is to wrap it neatly and tightly in paper:
- The method for a square or oblong box is to cut paper long enough to go around the box and overlap about 1 1/2 inches. Cut the paper as wide as the box is long plus depth of box, and allow 1 inch extra. Wrap paper around box skin tight and secure with tab of Scotch tape. Next, fold end in from sides, creasing edges with fingers. Fold top flap down, bottom flap up. Fasten flaps with Scotch tape.
- Round boxes are a bit more tedious. You cut the paper according to size of box just as you did for square box. Wrap paper around box, securing it skin tight with a tab of Scotch tape. Then, crease paper at both ends of box into pleats. Press down firmly with your fingers, facing the pleats in one direction. Hold them in center with paste or Scotch tape.
How To Transform Ribbons Into Beautiful Bows
Now for the trim. Make your bows first. These are for beauty–not service. So always put your bow where it looks prettiest on the box. There are four basic types–and from these grow ideas unlimited.
Here are some easy to follow directions for making them:
- Holding the ribbon in left hand, form a loop between thumb and forefinger, gathering it at center as shown in Fig. 1.
- Form another loop in opposite direction, gathering it at center, too.
- Make upward and downward loops until bow reaches desired size (20 loops in all of 5/8-inch ribbon makes a rosette 4 inches across).
- Next, tie it around center, using a short piece of ribbon, strong thread, or spool wire.
- Spread out loops.
The Tailored Bow
- This is very simple to make. Cut a piece of ribbon twice the length planned for bow, as shown in Fig. 2.
- Scotch tape ends down at center to form loop.
- Make shorter loops in similar manner.
- Stack them (usually three to a bow).
- Wind a short piece of ribbon around center and fasten it with paste.
- Using a long length of ribbon, fold a series of loops one on top of the other (see Fig. 3).
- When you have six or more, wind a short length of ribbon around center.
- Overlap and paste down ends.
- To fasten this bow to box, stand loops on edge and paste down at center.
- Spread out loops.
- Using a fairly stiff ribbon about 5/8-inch wide, lay your loops on flat surface in folds with right side up as shown in Fig. 4.
- Cover with open hand and gather folds between first and second fingers.
- Wind thread around the ribbon two or three times and draw it tightly, then fasten off.
- The simplest way to beribbon your box after it is papered and you have made your bows, is to start where you intend to place the bow. Leave a 4-inch end of ribbon at starting place. Wind ribbon around box. Cut off surplus, leaving a 4-inch end. Tie (but don’t knot if you can avoid it) or fasten together with a tab of Scotch tape. Place the bow, or bows, on the package, using the 4-inch ends to tie bow firmly in place.
- Pretty to tie in with bows: either a red rosebud or some silver stars. How do you do this? Lay a rosebud on top of a double loop bow and tie firmly with ribbon ends. As for the stars! Stick two silver stars together over each end of a 4-inch length of spool wire, place wire between two rosette bows and fasten to package, bending wires so stars appear to be shooting up from ribbon loops. A few loops of metallic added to whatever color bow you make, is another nice “tie-in.” To keep metallic ribbon right side up, turn it under thumb and fingers as each loop is made.
This year the trend is away from the too-commercial Christmas package that has been in vogue.
How much more Christmas-like is a gift that has been wrapped by you especially for the recipient; and how much more appreciated it is.
Yes, everyone loves presents that are different and which carry with them a real touch of the donor’s personality.
Perhaps you may surprise yourself–what’s more you will probably surprise someone else, too.
Source: The Workbasket (1952)