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A red scarf and a candy cane pin make this gift gorgeous.

Outside the Box DIY Gift Wrap

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Shoelaces and a bandanna make a fun, funky package.

These creative gift wrapping ideas rely on more than the usual paper and bows.

It’s often said that the wrapping is just as important as the gift. This year, instead of sticking to your routine, give everyone on your list a double surprise with gift wrap materials that serve as gifts themselves! We dare Santa to top these ideas:

For Kids

Kids will be extra appreciative of fashionable gift-wrapping, particularly as it means they’ll get more presents! Inexpensive bandannas are thin enough to double as wrapping paper, while a pair of brightly colored shoelaces can stand in for bows and give kids an alternative to their usual white laces. If your gift comes in a smaller box, try covering it with Silly Bandz bracelets instead of ribbon, use the comics from the weekend newspaper as your wrap or tie a pair of mittens on instead of a bow.

Skip the bow and opt for peppermint-striped socks instead.
Skip the bow and opt for peppermint-striped socks instead.

For Babies

Gifts for babies and toddlers present many opportunities for fun gift toppers. Instead of the usually premade bow, top a box with a pair of seasonal socks (like those above); other options include a bib, a pacifier or a rattle. For an even more elaborate DIY wrapping, fold a receiving blanket around your gift and secure it into place with diaper pins.

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A red scarf and a candy cane pin make this gift gorgeous.

For Adults

A chic and simple way to wrap winter gifts for the ladies on your list is to cover them in scarves. Try folding a pashmina-style shawl around a gift box and securing it with a festive Christmas pin, or simply tying a silk scarf around a box and knotting the ends. Scarf wrapping works for gents too: Use a money clip or a tie bar to keep the scarf in place instead of a pin. Alternately, holiday pillowcases make a great way to cover big gifts for grown-ups.

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Conceal hostess gifts in a holiday dish towel cover.

For Host/Hostess

A holiday dish towel makes the perfect wrap for a hostess gift, especially bottled presents like wine, spirits, olive oil or vinegar. Simply roll the gift in the towel and tie at the neck with a length of butcher’s twine. Another idea is to secure a Christmas ornament to the ribbon: A perfect secondary gift for your host! Bringing flowers? An inexpensive vase makes blossoms an even nicer gift and less of a headache for the host when you arrive.

So now that we’ve got your creative juices flowing, what unusual items can you think of to wrap holiday gifts? Share your ideas in the comments below!