Monday, December 19, 2011

Mail Friendly Gift Wrapping Tips

Brown paper wrapping has been all over the craft blogs this year, so in my quest to wrap gifts more creatively, I've jumped on the bandwagon.  I bought a roll of Kraft Paper (it's a brand name I think) from Wal-Mart.  I found it on the aisle with the mailing envelopes and other packing/mailing supplies for around $4.   It's about the thickness of a brown paper grocery bag.

I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with it.

I had a lot of gifts to get ready to mail last week.  Since there is probably lots of gift wrapping going on this week, I thought I'd give a few more details on how I did it.  Wrapping gifts to mail can be tough because they often end up looking squished and it can be difficult to fit a bunch of boxes into another box for mailing and still keep the shipping costs down to a reasonable level.  Because the Kraft paper is do thick and durable I've found that it provided enough of it's own structure that gifts didn't need boxes as much and I came up with several great ways to wrap "squishable packages" that would survive the trip.

There are so many ways to use brown paper wrapping that there's no one way to do it.  Some things you'll probably want to have on hand though besides the Kraft paper is a glue gun, sewing machine, pinking shears, hole punch, fabric scraps, and string.

Here's one of my favorites.  The Candy Striped Tube Wrapping.  I had some gifts that were best wrapped in a roll.  I started by wrapping the paper around them to create a roll.

Then I squished the ends...
...and sewed a zigzag stitch, catching a fabric scrap at an angle in the seam.

Trim the ends with pinking shears. (Okay, so I forgot to take a pinking shears picture with the fabric...this one was a first try that didn't turn out as well.)
Then take the rest of your fabric strip and wrap it around your tube.

If you run out of fabric before you run out of tube, don't worry.  Just put a dab of hot glue on the back to hold it down.

Add another dab of hot glue on top, and continue wrapping with a second fabric scrap.

When you get to the end, squish your tube and sew it closed, catching the fabric strip in the seam.

And that's it...
These can either be slipped inside a manilla envelope for mailing (if your tubes are short enough) or tucked into a box where they can bend a squish a bit to fit in amongst other gifts.

As an alternative, you can hole punch two holes in the end, lace a bow through them, and tie.

Some of the other fun ways I packaged gifts to be mailed included these little Sewn Brown Bags, inspired by this tutorial at The Red Kitchen.

And for a larger variation of the sewn brown bag, I used more holes, wove the fabric through, and knotted the ends.

One gift was wrapped in a little flat box, so I used a Yarn Wrap (inspired by one of the packages here.)  For this one, I hot glued the yarn to the back of the box, wrapped it around until I was happy, and hot glued the other end to the back.

Edit to add...I've now posted the tutorial for those little packages with the wire and beads.  Or this tutorial on how to use beads and wire as embellishment on smaller packages.

Before you know it, you'll have a big pile of creatively wrapped gifts...(more details on some of the others in another post...)

And because I was in a hurry to finish, I didn't print off cute tags for them.  I also didn't want to ruin the by writing on I wrote on the steps toward classy wrapping right?

Dropped them into some boxes...
...Yes, those went into a flimsy ripped up box...that I wrapped again with the same brown paper for durability in mailing.
Then I sent Hubby off to the Post Office...

And my sister, just posted how her gifts looked after being pulled out of the I'd say they held up pretty well.

And Katie has a lot of other neat ideas for brown paper wrapping, you can find her post about them here.


  1. Nice! I just opened up the box you mailed us and we love the wrapping. :)

  2. cute ideas! love getting fun packages in the mail and sending them :)

  3. Ho my gosh! I Just love it! Please come and link up @ my Christmas Party. @
    Thanks Rose and Heather

  4. Okay your are just BEYOND super dooper AMAZING!!! You need to link this one up at

  5. This is such a great idea! I would even use this under the tree! Come link up with Creative Me Monday, if you haven't already. Each link is an entry in the Pick Your Plum giveaway! Here's the link:

    Hope to see you there!

  6. I'm loving the brown paper idea. You did some really cute things there!

  7. These are so cute. I love the idea of sewing the brown paper! I'm so glad I found your blog... I'm a little in love!

    I'm pinning this at

  8. Great idea. Wrapping gift in different styles also give extra curiosity in anyone's mind. I like this idea of gift wrapping.


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