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Gift Wrapping Ideas: 25 Ways To Wrap Ribbon and Bows on Gifts

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When you put a present on a gift table, does it blend in with all the rest in predictable-themed wrapping paper or a gift bag? 

Or does your gift have a little something extra, a creative twist, that makes it stand out and shows you put a lot of thought and effort into it?

Here are 25 creative gift-wrapping ideas for ribbons and bows that will give your present a fun and classy visual appeal.

Tie a unique bow

1. Big bow: You don’t have to be a gift-wrapping professional to top your gift with a large, fluffy bow. Here’s a quick and easy guide for the perfect pom-pom bow that will make a big impression.

2. Curly strings: Do you remember when you first learned how to use scissors to turn ribbons into tight curls? Create curly strings with several ribbons, then tie them together for an eye-catching present topper.

Shoelace bow (above)

3. Shoelace bow: We call this the shoelace bow because it has two loops and two strings. But if you use this tutorial, the bows on top of your gifts will look beautiful (and nothing like a shoelace).

4. Layered bow: This bow looks like it was bought in a store. You’d never guess that it’s super easy to make on your own with ribbon and some tape.

5. Bow tie: Simply tie a ribbon around a present like you’re tying a necktie, and you’ll have a cleverly wrapped gift for Father’s Day.

Incorporate unconventional ribbon materials

6. Fabric: Use cloth instead of ribbon on your gift. You can find creative and fun patterns, and it’s a unique way to upcycle old clothes or sheets. Consider making a statement with fabric like leather or lace.

7. Chains and Beads: Wrap a nice chain or strain of beads around a gift instead of using ribbon. It adds dimension and texture you won’t get from fabric. You can find these materials at most craft stores.

8. Paper: One of the joys of using paper is that you can decorate it however you want, then use it for a ribbon. Better yet, let a child do some artwork for a sentimental twist on one of these two easy paper bows.

9. Marker: If you’re feeling artsy and witty, don’t add ribbon or a bow at all. Just use some marker to draw one onto your wrapping paper. Dark wrapping paper? No worries, just pick up a white paint marker for a similar effect.

10. String and yarn: You can create a rustic or artsy feel to your gift wrapping by using string, yarn, or twine instead of conventional ribbon. After all, sometimes simple is better.

11. Lights: A strand of battery-powered fairy lights is an unexpected yet illuminating (get it?) material to use for a ribbon around a present. Plus, the gift recipient can reuse the strand as a decoration.

Add items to the ribbon or bow

12. Small gifts: Use your ribbon and bow to tie a small gift, like a holiday ornament or tiny toy, right onto the wrapped gift.

13. Pictures: Memories are a wonderful gift. Tuck or tape photographs onto your ribbon for a beautiful and personalized wrapping job. Use small frames so the pictures will last after the gift is opened.

14. Plants or herbs: Flowers, small pine branches, or even herbs like rosemary can be tied onto a gift for a fragrant and lovely surprise. As a caution, holly is beautiful, but the berries are poisonous to people and animals, so a fake bough of holly is probably best.

15. Jewelry: Rings, bracelets, necklaces, and even some earrings can easily loop through ribbons and bows for an elegant and (maybe) expensive twist. Keep an eye on the gift opening, though, so your purchase doesn’t get lost.

16. Treats: If you’re wrapping presents for a child’s birthday, consider tying a candy bar or lollypop onto the outside of the gift. The birthday boy or girl won’t be able to wait to see what’s inside their neat package.

Create patterns and designs on the gift wrapping

17. Christmas tree: Around the holidays, use a thin green ribbon to make a Christmas tree right on a package. Simply tape it in a zig-zag pattern, wider at the base and narrow at the top.

18. Words: Use ribbon and tape to spell someone’s name right on their present. You won’t even need a gift tag. (We recommend saving this for short names unless you have a lot of time and patience.)

19. Weaving and Plaid: Follow this tutorial to create a beautiful woven design with ribbon. By using ribbons in different colors and sizes, you can turn a wrapped gift into a work of art.

20: Slant, v-shape, and off-cross: If you like the traditional look of using ribbon to bind gifts, try these slight variations. Your gift wrapping will look unique, and you’ll learn a few new techniques for tying ribbons.

Make ribbon useful

21. Tie gifts together: If you have several gifts to give to one person, stack them up and then use a long ribbon to tie them all together. The large stack will look impressive and all your gifts will stay with each other.

22. Create handles: This gift-wrapping hack lets you incorporate some ribbon as a handle. Now your present will be practical and easy to carry.

23. Hide wrapping paper overlap: You know that part of your gift wrap where the two sides of the wrapping paper overlap? It’s completely normal, but if you want to hide it, make your ribbon useful by putting it along the seam.

24: Use as the gift tag: Instead of putting an extra piece of paper or a sticker on your present, let the gift wrapping do the job. Write out your “to” and “from” on any visible area of the ribbon.

25: Use by itself: Sometimes, a gift doesn’t need any gift wrap. All it needs is some ribbon or a bow. A bottle of wine or liquor is the perfect example of a present where the biggest impact is also the simplest.

Struggling to wrap an odd-shaped gift? Check out our handy wrapping guide that just might get you unstuck.

Happy wrapping!

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