Home Decorating 8 Fresh Ways to Decorate with Leftover Wrapping Paper

8 Fresh Ways to Decorate with Leftover Wrapping Paper

Nothing gives us the holiday happies faster than a gift box wrapped in beautiful paper and tied up with colorful fabric ribbons. We almost (almost!) feel guilty unwrapping these little bundles of joy, and it’s twice as heartbreaking to discard all the gorgeousness afterward. So that got us thinking: what can we make out of all that leftover wrapping paper? We scoured the Web for the best crafts and decorating ideas made from gift wrap. Which ones will you be trying this weekend?

1. Switch up your wall outlets and light-switch covers. Who says you have to settle for generic plastic or vinyl light-switch and outlet covers? Make these in a snap, with just a pair of scissors, and X-Acto knife, and some Mod Podge. Get the full DIY here.

wrapping paper light switch cover Fresh American Annie Selke

2. Give a tray a bit of personalized pizzazz by topping it with your favorite wrapping paper. This DIY uses metallic paper and a rectangle of acrylic cut to match the inner dimension of the tray—which makes it easy to interchange the paper, depending on your mood or color palette—but, for a more permanent result, you could easily swap in a more colorful paper and decoupage it in place with Mod Podge.

wrapping paper lined tray View Along the Way

Photo via A View Along the Way 

3. Create all-new party decorations. You’ve got a few options here. You could simply cut the wrapping paper into circles, squares, or triangles, or a mix of the three, gluing a back and front to each, and then stringing them from fishing lines to create garlands or streamers. Or you could make simple bunting from triangles of cut wrapping paper. But we’re smitten with these stunning paper medallion stars—perfect for New Year’s Eve, and any festive occasion throughout the year.

PaperMedallionsDIY leftover gift wrap Lia Griffith

Photo via Lia Griffith

4. Shred it into confetti. This is the perfect way to repurpose torn or wrinkled-beyond-recognition pieces of wrapping paper. Not only does it make an inexpensive decoration for strewing over tables and tossing into the air at weddings and graduations, but it also makes great packing material for gift boxes.

Wrapping paper shreds leftover gift wrap One Good Thing Jillee

Photo via One Good Thing by Jillee

5. Combine them with a bit of felt to make festive napkin rings. Cut your leftover wrapping paper into bands, glue it onto felt backing, smooth it down, and wrap it around your table linens. Does it get any easier?

gift wrap napking rings Made by Molu

Photo via Made by Molu

6. Craft a DIY lampshade. Boring lampshades, beware: this wrapping paper DIY requires a steady hand and a slightly larger piece of paper, but the results are cheeky-fabulous.

DIY lampshade 8 wrapping paper Oh Oh Blog

Photo via Oh Oh Blog

7. Add a bit of pattern and personality to the back of a bookcase, medicine cabinet, or pantry cabinet. Pam at Simple Details created this look for—no joke—$6. We love it with the matched pattern, and we’d also love it with two complementary patterns on alternating shelves.

wrapping paper lined bookcase Simple Details

Photo via Simple Details

8. Make wrapping paper coasters. How fun are these coasters? Grab some inexpensive tiles from the hardware store; cut the paper to fit; fix it in place with Mod Podge, glue, and an acrylic sealer for water protection; wrap it up with some ribbon; and you’ve got a terrific handmade hostess gift.

wrapping paper coasters

Photo via The Cottage Mama

Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite ways to repurpose or craft with wrapping paper?

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kevin jones February 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm


I came across your website and really enjoyed reading through it. I wanted to see if you were open to guest contributions? I work for Modernize.com and we’re looking to contribute articles about home improvement and decor and think your website would be a great fit!
Here are a couple examples of recent articles our writers have written:
Let me know if you have a topic in mind and we can get started right away.



Fresh American February 18, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Hi, Kevin! Thanks so much for touching base with us. At the moment, all of our content is created by our talented in-house staff, plus a few stylish friends from around the blogosphere. But we love these posts, and wish you continued success with your blog!


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