A beautiful, neatly wrapped present actually enhances your enjoyment of a gift. It sounds a little silly because it’s what’s in the box that we’re excited about, but you’ve probably bought wine or some other product because of the packaging and what it looked like on the outside. It’s the same reason restaurants make food look so exquisite–we enjoy with our eyes first. Putting in that extra effort for quality wrapping paper, neat wrapping, and choosing paper colors that go together, makes a bigger difference than you think.
Wrapping paper tips and tricks.
Not everyone enjoys wrapping and many folks put it off until it’s a scrambled chaos of tape and ripped scraps. I used to be very wrapping-challenged and would use about half a roll of tape per present and they still looked like a mess. I’ve since learned some neat hacks to save you time and make the wrapping process a breeze.
Block out time. Wrapping gifts isn’t something you can really do in between other tasks. Trying to wrap a few gifts for the hour while dinner is in the oven is going to lead to rushing, frustration, and probably burnt food. Give yourself a few hours to do nothing but wrapping. Throw on some festive music and have fun with it.
Use the right tools. Make sure you’ve got sharp scissors. Dull ones will rip your paper and you’ll have ragged edges or end up wasting paper. It might seem unnecessary, but get a Pop-Up Tape Dispenser. It makes everything go faster, easier, and look neater in the long run.
Use a labeling system before you start wrapping. Once you’ve organized all your gifts, use post-it notes or taped scraps of paper to attach the name of the person the gift is going to on everything. Our memories aren’t perfect and piles can get shifted. Doing this little step ahead of time, saves you the time it takes to figure out what is going to whom.
If you don’t love labels, skip them. If you don’t like filling in gift labels, use a different color wrapping paper for each person. Just make sure you have it written down somewhere which color is whose, especially if you’re wrapping early in the season.
Store wrapping paper rolls in a garment bag. Garment bags are a perfect height for these long, awkward tubes and you can fit over a dozen rolls of paper in a bag. Then you can easily hang it up to store. This also keeps the paper from unrolling and becoming wrinkled.
Wrap quickly and efficiently. Check out this Japanese technique to wrap boxes in 15 seconds with only two pieces of tape.
The method takes a couple of tries to master, but once you’ve got it down, you can zip through gift wrapping and be done in no time. Here’s a video of the technique broken down into steps, because I certainly couldn’t tell how to do it from the first video.
I hope those tips were helpful! Now let’s take a look at the best Christmas wrapping paper out this year.
When deciding what gift wrap made the cut, I focused on appearance and cost-effectiveness. Gorgeous papers that give you 10 square feet of paper were beat out by gorgeous papers that give you 75 square feet for a similar price. Because it can be hard to compare value when all the rolls have different amounts of paper, I’ve included how much each wrapping paper costs per square foot so you can accurately compare what you’re getting for your money.
1. Best Rustic Christmas Wrapping Paper: Kraft Holiday Wrapping Paper Set (150 Square Feet)
Kraft paper style gift wrap stands out. It’s rustic, thick, and has a feel to it like no other wrapping paper. If you haven’t used it before, kraft paper is thicker than normal paper and has more of a paper-thin cardboard sort of texture. If a paper grocery bag and regular wrapping paper had a baby, it would be kraft paper. I love it because it’s easy to work with, tear-resistant, and holds a crisp fold. This set comes with six rolls of holiday kraft paper, each containing 25 square feet for a total of 150 square feet of paper. There’s a lot here. The rolls are extra long at 2.5 feet to handle even bulky presents. The six different colored patterns are festive enough to be used during the holiday, but not so specific that you couldn’t used them for birthdays or other occasions the rest of the year. With a value around $0.16 per square foot.
2. Best Unique Christmas Wrapping Paper: Birch Gift Wrap Jumbo Roll (72 Square Feet)
I’ve got a thing for ultra-realistic printing so I think this birch bark wrapping paper is pretty fantastic. This paper has a heavier weight to it than standard wrapping paper that’s not as thick as kraft paper. It feels sturdy, high quality, and, unlike some white wrapping papers, it’s completely opaque so no one will be able to sneak a peek through the paper. This highly detailed birch paper was printed in the United States and has a semi-gloss finish. The roll is 23 inches tall and 38 feet long for a total of 72 square feet which ought to be enough for about 18 shirt boxes. This works out to about $0.16 per square foot.
3. Most Cost-Effective Christmas Wrapping Paper: Jam Paper Lavish Gold Christmas Wrapping Paper Set (180 Square Feet)
This set of four rolls will gild your gifts this year with an opulent flare. All four patterns are foiled-paper, meaning that they have the visual shine of a foil wrapping paper, but behave like regular wrapping paper. You get the look of foil without dealing with how unwieldy it can be. One paper is a vintage burnished gold with antique marbling, and another says “Season’s Greetings” and “Noel” in ornate script against a metallic gold background. The snowflake pattern features intricate, flourishing snowflakes against gold and the reindeer pattern shows golden deer against a silvery, snowflake-covered background. Each roll is 45 square feet for a total of 180 square feet. At $0.14 per square foot, this is the most cost-effective wrapping paper on the list.
4. Best Funny Christmas Wrapping Paper: Christmas Vacation Jumbo Rolled Gift Wrap (72 Square Feet)
Watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a holiday tradition in my house which is all I can think of when I see this paper. It features vintage-style cars all hauling their big Christmas trees home from the lot, some looking a little more precarious than others. It’s a cute, funny paper with great details. This heavy paper is thick and opaque for easy, secure wrapping. The roll is 23 inches tall and 38 feet long. This works out to 72 square feet or about $0.16 per square foot.
5. Best Reversible Christmas Wrapping Paper: Hallmark Reversible Christmas Wrapping Paper 3 Pack (60 Square Feet)
Reversible paper is genius. You get double the pattern options with fewer rolls you need to find storage for. In this set you get three foil accented sides and three brightly colored matte sides. On the foiled sides there are adorable cartoon reindeer, jolly Santas, and cute penguins all bundled up in winter hats. On the reverse, you get a chevron pattern in red and bright green and a cheery snowflake pattern over blue. Because it has a foiled side, the paper has a nice weight to it and is thick enough to be easy to work with without tearing. The rolls are extra tall at 2.5 feet and are eight feet long, which doesn’t give you as much as the jumbo rolls we’ve been looking at. With 20 square feet per roll, you get 60 square feet total. This is a value of $0.20 per square foot, making it one of the most expensive papers on the list, likely because it’s a reversible wrapping paper.
6. Best Abstract Christmas Wrapping Paper: Woodland Plaid Holiday Gift Wrap Paper (36 Square Feet)
This wrapping paper has a good, sturdy weight to it in a pattern of abstracted branches with festive red berries. The paper is printed in the United States and is thick enough to be safely opaque. The design might not be as obviously Christmas-y as some may like, but I think the subtle look to is classic. It’s a shorter roll at only two feet tall and 18 feet long, which gives you 36 square feet. At $0.36 per square foot, this is the most expensive paper on the list.
7. Best Glittery Christmas Wrapping Paper: Jam Paper Christmas Wrapping Paper Set (60 Square Feet)
I couldn’t, in good conscience, pull together this list without including something with some real sparkle to it. This set of wrapping paper has a high gloss to it and a silver holographic finish on two of the rolls that glitters in the light. This type of finish will reflect and refract light, making the gifts look absolutely stunning underneath the lights of your Christmas tree. If you follow me, you know I have a special place in my heart for glitter and especially holographics. (For more sparkles read my guides to the best holographic nail polish, best glitter nail polish, and best shimmer body lotion.)
This set of four wrapping paper patterns includes green and red polka dots on a prismatic holographic background, red paper with Christmas trees and doves with silver holographic accents, metallic silver snowflakes against royal blue, and a bright, multicolored honeycomb pattern covered in silver snowflakes. The paper itself has a nice thickness to it that won’t tear while you’re wrapping. With 15 square feet on each roll, you don’t get a lot of each color but end up with a total of 60 square feet for the set. That’s $0.19 per square foot, so it’s not the most cost-effective, but think of the glitter.
8. Best Christmas Wrapping Paper for Nature Lovers: Botanical Windows Jumbo Rolled Gift Wrap (72 Square Feet)
The detailed illustrations on this jumbo roll of wrapping paper depict some of the most festive plants of the holiday including white pine, American holly, and juniper. These drawings are gorgeous and will delight any nature lover. The images are boxed off with a border of green that’s reminiscent of ribbon, so if you’re not the type to pull together fancy bows for your presents, this paper can give you a similar look. Plus, it’s a nice thick, opaque gift wrap that’s easy to work with. As a jumbo roll, you get 72 square feet which works out to around $0.16 per square foot.
9. Best Vintage Christmas Wrapping Paper: Retro Mid-Century Modern Christmas Wrapping Paper (112.5 Square Feet)
If you’re into mid-century modern design or just want to stand out this year, there’s a Christmas wrapping paper set for you. Mid-century modern refers to the design style popular during the 1940’s and 1950’s. We’re talking clean lines, scoop chairs, and hairpin legs. Paper with a mid-century modern aesthetic gives your gifts a unique retro look to it. These designs are printed on white kraft paper which has a sturdy weight that allows for crisp, easy folding. Two of the rolls have interesting, stylized representations of Christmas trees and wrapped gifts. The other has festive typographic against black which will certainly stand out against more traditional wrapping paper colors. Each roll is extra tall at 2.5 feet and 15 feet long for a total of 112.5 square feet. This works out to around $0.15 per square foot.
10. Best Cute Christmas Wrapping Paper: Festive Penguins Jumbo Rolled Gift Wrap (72 Square Feet)
These cartoon penguins are adorably goofy and are sure to earn you a smile. I sort of wish it was more than three penguin characters repeated, but it’s worth it for the silly one in the middle who is all tangled up in Christmas lights. The paper itself has a nice heavy weight to it that is completely opaque and tear-resistant. You get 72 square feet on a roll that is just under two feet tall and 38 feet long so you’re looking at about $0.16 per square foot.