Bookish Wrapping Ideas + Tips!

December 20, 2012 2012, cassandra clare, crafts based on ya books, lauren oliver, patrick ness, Sangu Mandanna, Wendy 73

Are you finished with your holiday wrapping? I bet you’ve been too busy reading, my little chickadees! ;)

I always give a lot of book presents, and this year is no exception. Inspired by Book Riot’s post on cute ways to wrap book presents, I thought I’d share a few bookish present photos of my own! I’m a big believer in packaging being an important part of the gifting experience, so I love making presents feel special. And few gifts are more meaningful than a book you’ve chosen especially for a friend.

Here are some ideas from presents I’ve sent that might be useful as you head into the weekend. Some wrapping tips are listed below, too.

book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays vintage ribbon
Sequin ribbon + jingle bell and hand-glittered pine cone + vintage velvet ribbon (contains A Monster Calls and Liesl & Po)
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays present topper pipe cleaner handmade
handmade pipe cleaner present toppers
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays reprodepot
paper printed from Reprodepo’s Pattern Book + handmade tissue flower (contains The Golden Compass)
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays vintage paper moffats
Vintage book paper (The Moffats!) + yarn

book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays little house cracker jack charm
 Little House book paper (from damaged book) + yarn + vintage covered wagon Crackerjack charm
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays
Packaging books together
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays tissue paper flower moffats
More book paper as gift wrap + handmade tissue paper flower
handmade christmas presents wrapping books little house on the prairie laura ingalls wilder
handmade Christmas tags, with Little House quotes
handmade christmas presents wrapping books pooh milne
handmade Pooh tags
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays vintage maps charm
Vintage map + handmade tag + vintage anchor charm
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays ramona quimby beverly cleary
Ramona Quimby as wrapping paper (contains The Help)
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays valentine
Cut words & scrap images, from Bookish Valentines swap
book presents wrapping ideas christmas holidays sequin ribbon poinsetta floral
Sequin ribbon + Christmas floral (contains secret book for my husband this year–shh!)

I sent literally a dozen books out the door this Christmas, including The Lost Girl and the Necromancer books. Nothing makes me happier than sharing good books with friends and family.

How about you, did you give book presents for the holidays? And do you have good wrapping ideas to share? C’mon, don’t keep all your ideas to yourself!

A Few Book-Wrapping Tips:

— Try to make sure your corners and edges are neat. Pinch your thumb and index fingers loosely together and run the “v” along the outlines to crease the paper into sharp lines and tight corners. This is good to do with all presents, but clean edges make a big difference when you’re wrapping an uneven/bulky object like a book.

— If you are layering book pages for wrapping paper, lay out your design first so that the bulk of the appealing illustration/wording will show where you want it, which is on the top of the present. For big presents, bind your overlapping pages together with packing tape on the underside and reinforce as needed on the top. Using washi tape would be really cute for the top, too!

— Good sources for inexpensive gift toppers and ribbon: the craft store, a walk in the woods, eBay and Etsy for small charms in quantity, and your own printer, using thoughtfully-chosen images.

More wrapping/gift topper ideas: bookmarks (links to a free download for Cassandra Clare and Madeleine L’Engle bookmarks, by the way!), ornaments, candy canes, plain old kraft paper, tea towels, furoshiki with pretty fabric.

Look online for inspiration. I love what’s going on in the handmade community, and Martha Stewart always has great ideas for simple but beautiful gift wrap, too.

— Be creative with your embellishments! Even if you’re in a rush, simply using ribbon over pre-made bows can make help your presents stand out.

But in the end, it really is all about the book inside. I like getting books as gifts, no matter how they’re wrapped up–and most bibliophiles would probably agree.

73 Responses to “Bookish Wrapping Ideas + Tips!”

  1. Alexa Y.

    These are decidedly awesome, and are inspiring me to be more creative with my book giving and wrapping in the year ahead!

  2. knowsprose

    Eeek! (That was a good eek.) These are almost too pretty to unwrap! I wish I could give more book gifts, but apart from my immediate family so few of the people on my Christmas list read. It’s a sad sad world. My mom did wrap one of my presents in pages from one of the first drafts of the novel I’m writing (trying to write), which was so cool. Anyway, these are awesome.

  3. Small Review

    Wow, these are so pretty! I almost wouldn’t want to open them (except that I know there are books inside, and that’s a pretty big motivator). I am definitely keeping these tips in mind for future Christmases. Thank you!

  4. Karen

    My husband’s family always wrapped their gifts with the comic section of the Sunday paper.

    For a few years we all wrapped using plain brown paper and adding stamped artwork and personal notes to find. That was always a lot of fun – the nieces and nephews enjoy fit because they could get creative.

    • Wendy Darling

      I love both those ideas! I have a friend who collects old Calvin and Hobbes books and uses them to wrap presents/decorate packages. Such a personal and inexpensive way to dress up a present.

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I’m always in awe of your creativity, Wendy! I really like the idea of sequined ribbons with jingle bells and the handmade tags which I think look adorable.

    I hope everyone at the Midnight Garden has a safe and happy holidays!

    • Wendy Darling

      I actually put jingle bells in a lot of things for the holidays–if I mail packages, there’s usually a couple in there. I like that it makes a festive sound when you shake the box.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season, too! :)

  6. Book Sake

    I love the yarn and pipe cleaners! I make tags for all my holiday gifts using last years holiday cards and the little punch (like the Pooh and Little House ones). Not reading related, but pretty and with no cost other than the punch I’ve used for years.

    – Jessica @ Book Sake

    • Wendy Darling

      I think a lot of people would be surprised to find how inexpensive doing up pretty packages can be. I invested in a tag punch, too, and it really does make things so much easier!

  7. Tanja - Tanychy

    Oh my! Those look lovely! If someone gave me something like this I’d never forget it. It doesn’t matter what’s inside! :) Thanks for this :)

  8. Rachel

    Oh I love all these ideas, Wendy! I agree with you, the wrapping and extra little touches can make someone feel special. Because you took the time. :)

  9. Joyous Reads

    Oh wow. These look so crafty, Miss Wendy. I, on the other hand, makes some pretty wicked, er crooked pleats. :)

    Have a nice Christmas, to everyone at the Midnight Garden and looking forward to reading more of your insightful reviews and bookish news.

  10. Jasprit

    Awwwww some of these book papers and tags are so adorable! I love sharing book gifts too! My sister isn’t a huge book person, so I normally exchange book gifts with my cousin. We normally give each other our Amazon wish lists, so at least we get something that the other person actually wants. Thanks for sharing these wrapping ideas with us! I hope you have a great Christmas! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I wish more people wanted to know what was on my Amazon wishlist, hah. Sounds like you and your cousin have a good system going. ;)

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too, Jasprit!

  11. Beverley

    WOW. Just WOW!!! How beautiful are these! Your friends must be incredibly lucky o.o My wrapping is simply atrocious – I’m terrible at presenting things nicely… Maybe I’ll give your tips a try next year?

    I rarely pick out books as presents for friends since they don’t really read so maybe I should wrap their gifts in book pages like you did instead! I especially adore the attention to detail in your packaging. The little trinkets and ribbons make it even more special <3 And the gift tags - how CUTE!!!

    I will definitely be bookmarking your post for next year when I shall try and be more organised! Thanks for sharing this, Wendy!

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, thanks Beverley–I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I think it’s fun to try new things with gift wrap, so I hope this is helpful the next time you’re wrapping presents. :) Happy holidays!

  12. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    Beautiful!! I have to admit, you are much more dedicated to gorgeous wrapping than I am. If I want a nice job done, I give the present to my husband to wrap. Perhaps I should have him look at this post…..

    Thanks for sharing, Wendy!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, that’s even better! Are you kidding me? Having a house elf who will wrap your gifts is ideal.

      Hope you have a lovely holiday weekend, Andrea!

  13. Vegan YA Nerds

    Ooh, snap! Right underneath Maree’s comment :D

    Wendy, your wrapping looks great! I really enjoy wrapping pressies but had forgotten about it until I wrapped Maree’s and some for another blogger :D

  14. Maree

    Gosh Wendy, these look gorgeous! I was very lucky to do a book swap with Mands from Vegan YA Nerds this year and got a box of awesomeness including The Raven Boys, What’s Left of Me and Eric Clapton’s autobiography! I sent her Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Being Billy, but my wrapping was nowhere near as good as this. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas, but I think I might have to wait until next Christmas. Merry Christmas Wendy, I hope you have a lovely time!

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, Maree + Mandee! How cute is that? I love that you wrapped each other’s books, too–I sent a box to K. earlier this year, and I was in such a hurry I didn’t do anything special with it at all. We just made a pact use more of our pretty supplies in the new year, though.

      Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas with your friend and family, sweetie. xo

  15. Annabelle Marie Veronica

    You were right, Wendy! This wrapping truly is adorable! Totally bookmarking this page. I might try my hand at some of these. It’s just the cutest! I love the sequins and the glitter pinecone as well as the vintage wrapping paper.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, did I toot my own horn hard enough?! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, it was really fun and surprisingly easy to do. I miss the kind of blogging that just flows out of your brain, instead of all these hours of weighing your eery word. *sigh*

      Let me know if you end up trying any of these. :)

  16. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Oh wow those are all so pretty! I have to admit I am probably the worlds worst wrapper, it actually really makes me sad because I love pretty presents. And I hate resorting to gift bags because those are just no fun for the person to open. I’ll be using some of these ideas when I get ready for the Book Blogger Secret Santa gift exchange in my city this year!

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, yay! Trying different things can be fun. But getting a gift is great no matter what, and gift bags can be plenty special. You don’t get a wrapped present at a fancy event or as a prize, after all. ;)

      Merry Christmas, Jenni! And how awesome that you have a blogger network in your home town!

  17. Bookworm1858

    These are amazing! So gorgeous-there are some lucky people out there. All I did was wrap my books-no embellishments at all but maybe next year!

    • Wendy Darling

      I feel like I’m lucky to have friends/family to share books with. :) I’m sure your recipients will appreciate the books you are giving, too. WHICH ONES are you giving, btw? Don’t leave us in the dark!

  18. K.

    I LOVE THIS POST! This has all things I love: books, paper, pretty things. I especially love the vintage paper and map covers. Never thought using a map before.

    I love sending out postcards, letters and packages. Unfortunately I either don’t have enough time or I get lazy…will do better this year. I promise. Thanks for the ideas ;)

    • Wendy Darling

      You and me both, K.–I have so many pretty postcards and stationery sets and oodles of rubber stamps and pens with beautiful inks, and I haven’t used any of them for over a year. Let’s make a pact we’ll do some fun stuff in 2013!

      I especially like the idea of using the map if you’re wrapping a travel guide or a coffee table book or, if you run with the champagne crowd, plane tickets. ;)

  19. Sarah (saz101)

    WENDY WENDY WENDY! I love love LOVE wrapping presents (and possibly mine are all already wrapped) but… uh… I’m considering re-wrapping them now?

    My mum worked in a library before I was born, and she taught me how to wrap all my school books in plastic the ‘proper’ way, which really transforms to wrapping a present neatly, as well. Poor hubby struggles with it so much ♥

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh Sarah! I should have known we would be LIKE THIS *crosses fingers so tightly no daylight can be seen between them* about this kind of thing.

      But do tell, what kind of plastic do you use to prewrap your presents? And do you use it for ALL gifts? I only do that if it’s a bulky/weirdly shaped item that I don’t have a box for.

      My husband is the artistic one in this household, but it wasn’t until me that he began paying attention to how he wraps things, hah. He does a really great job, though!

  20. Candace

    I love this! I am the world worst wrapper. I try my hardest but my packages always look lumpy and ugly. So I tend to use as many gift bags and boxes as possible. But everyone needs something to unwrap, so I need to try to get some skillz.
    I love the idea of using a ruined book but I don’t know if I could! Even if the book is ruined, ripping those pages out would be so hard!
    Thanks for the awesome tips and ideas!

    • Wendy Darling

      You know, what’s really most important is what’s inside–as well as the thought that went into it. :) It’s fun to experiment when you have some time, though–having a few supplies on hand can make all the difference.

      I know what you mean about ripping up books, but just think–you’re also rescuing them from the trash bin! This way someone gets to enjoy bits and pieces of the best parts.

  21. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    These are adorable! I wouldn’t want to open them if they were given to me and ruin it. I wish I was creative enough to do something like this. I love the pinecone embellishment and the handmade tags. Thank you so much for sharing these pics! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh man, I am the worst about opening up pretty presents–my mother taught me to unwrap everything carefully, not to tear into it, which can occasionally be frustrating for people I’m with! Hope you have a wonderful holiday, Sara. :)

  22. Liviania

    They look great! My mom used to gift wrap professionally, so I do mine pretty fancy. But I’ve never done the pipe cleaners before and thought that looked very nice. I’ll have to try it.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’ve wrapped gifts sort of in this way since I was in high school, but a couple of years ago I moonlighted as a part time giftwrapper at a boutique gift shop, where I got to play with lots and LOTS of ribbon. I love making really big bows with different kinds of ribbon, but I don’t do it as much at home now that I’m the one paying for it, hah.

      The pipe cleaner toppers are so easy–I didn’t even set out to do them, I was sitting down to watch tv and idly picked them up. I bet yours will turn out great!

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, it’s a shame you don’t have bookish friends who live close by! Although truthfully, my husband is the only person here that I’d really buy books for; everything else gets shipped to other places. I am lucky that my nieces and nephews are reading some of the same books I am, though!

      Thanks for stopping by, Mel.

  23. Ashley

    I’m so glad that you’re my Little House partner in crime now! And now I wish I had presents left to wrap.

    • Wendy Darling

      Ah yes, join the Little House love Ashley! I talk about Laura a lot on my old craft blog (linked above), though I don’t get a chance to do it nearly as often here. Look how sneakily I worked her into this blog, though, hee hee.

  24. readingdate

    Wow, these are some gorgeously wrapped books! I’m totally inspired and eager to try some of these ideas. My friends and family are receiving books too (yay!) but I feel like a slacker with my wrap job :)
    You are such a thoughtful gift giver – thanks for sharing! Sending happy holiday wishes to you, Wendy.

    • Wendy Darling

      Honestly, I think just the book with a great big beautiful bow is so pretty, too. :) Thanks for stopping by, Lucy, and happy holidays!

  25. Precious

    Hi there Wendy! Wow, just in time. Me and my fellow filipino YA book bloggers are having a christmas party on the 22nd. :) Will share this post to them!

  26. starryeyedjen

    I love these ideas, Wendy! By the time I get around to wrapping my presents, though, it’s too late to worry about most of this. They’re lucky it’s wrapped at all! You’re making me want to stop procrastinating so much so I can make pretty packages, too. Maybe I’ll give it a go this weekend if the hubs takes the kiddo out for a bit while I wrap everything. :)

    Merry Christmas, Wendy! And I wish you the most peaceful, drama-free New Year ever! :D

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, we have such a big family that shopping months ahead of time is a necessity–and I have a closet bursting with paper and ribbon, which helps! Definitely hard if you are pressed for time, though.

      Hope you have a crazy wonderful Christmas, Jen–and thank you for the drama-free 2013 wish, hah. xo

  27. Rebecca

    WOW! These are so so pretty. My favorite are the handmade Pooh tags. I will have to do something like this next year:)

    • Wendy Darling

      Handmade tags are so easy to do, too! They take a bit of time, but you can do a whole bunch at once while you’re watching tv. :)

  28. Julie@My5monkeys

    OMG I am in awe of all these such creative book ideas…I am crafty at times but wow your stuff is amazing..:)

    I bought all my kids some books for christmas

    • Wendy Darling

      Which books did you buy them, Julie?! Inquiring minds want to know…

      And thanks, I love pretty packaging, so I enjoy wrapping presents for other people. Merry Christmas, Julie!

  29. April (BooksandWine)


    Seriously those are beautifully wrapped presents. I’m lazy in that I just wrap using ribbon and premade bows.

    BUT! I did buy books for my sister for Christmas, and I will say what I bought but not tweet so she doesn’t read this and know!

    Okay so, I went to a Libba Bray signing and Libba is one of her favorite authors so I picked up signed copies of —
    The Diviners, A Great And Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels because she loves those books. I also bought her: Speechless by Hannah Harrington, Shatter Me because she loves dystopia, and another book but the title totally is slipping my mind ha ha.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hee hee, THANK YOU.

      Those are awesome presents for your sister! I wish mine were able to pick out books for me, but I’m the one picking out books for her kids, hah. Signed copies are always great gifts, and I loved SPEECHLESS and DIVINERS, too.

  30. Christina

    You are so crafty. I could not do any of these things. They’re simply lovely, though!

    And, I agree, when it comes down to it, what’s inside is more important than the wrapping. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah, thanks. I’m kind of a nut about the gift-wrapping thing; a lot of people don’t enjoy it, but I do!

      But absolutely–contents are always more important than pretty packaging. :)

  31. Ashleigh Paige

    Those look fantastic, Wendy! If only I were half as creative or crafty. I can barely get presents wrapped normally as it is!

    I haven’t given any books out this year, sadly. I’ve been pushing my creative boundaries to make a giant, sparkly pillow for my mother and embroidering “I love you” in Spanish on it. Then she can squeeze it to death when I’m gone for spring semester!

    • Wendy Darling

      Whoa, that sounds like an amazing gift, Asheleigh Paige! So crafty and thoughtful, I’m sure she’ll love it. Thanks for stopping by, and Merry Christmas to you!