So you found the perfect gift, huh? Good for you! But it’s so big. Wait, no, it’s huge.
It’s absolutely just right for your person this holiday season (or birthday, anniversary, etc.), but — now that it comes time to wrap it — you’re at a loss.
How to wrap oversized gifts? How do you package up large, odd-shaped presents? What if it’s a guitar, a car, or a simply massive thing-a-ma-bob?
Well, not to worry. At All Gifts Considered, we think through these things so you don’t have to. Toss aside that idea of returning your big-ole present and getting a small gift instead.
Read on for our list of creative ways to package up your oversized presents as well as our large gift wrapping ideas!
We’ll cover a wide range of ideas and gift sizes. Some will involve creative (and potentially super-cheap) do-it-yourself-isms, while other options are specialty gift wrap products designed specifically for your large gifts.
General size ranges include:
- Oversized (large toys and plug-in appliances)
- Extra-Large (carseats, strollers, bicycles, BBQs)
- Crazy Big (cars, kayaks, refrigerators)
We’ll use those terms to describe how big the gift can get, and where possible we’ll include actual physical dimensions.
Ready? Let’s go!
How to Wrap Large Gifts
Alrighty, how to wrap a big box is one question. How to wrap a four foot rubber ducky is another.
But we’re going to look at great ideas for wrapping everything from a massive box to the most oddly shaped and unique gift.
So sit back and scroll through these helpful and creative ideas to find a stress-free, simple solution to wrapping your extra large Christmas gift, birthday gift, etc.
XL Gift Bags
How to wrap oversized gifts: 18″ or less
Here are your basic, last minute gift bags in an “extra-large” size. These will hold any gift measuring up to about 17″ x 12″ x 5″.
The gift can be longer than 17″ if you cover it with tissue paper or a blanket/sheet.
Double Up & Overlap the Wrapping Paper
Oversized to XL gifts: Larger than 30″ (box-shaped)
Unless you have extra wide wrapping paper, most gift wrapping paper rolls are about 30″ wide. If you have a gift that is much larger than that, but still box-shaped, you can wrap it in multiple stages.
Roll the paper all the way around one half or one third of the gift. Cut and tape (double-sided tape is helpful), then move down and do it again until you reach the end.
It takes a bit of extra effort, but this method looks pretty good (apart from the seam(s)), and can be done using the wrapping paper you have on hand.
Upcycle Old Newspapers (or sheet music, books, etc.)
Oversized to XL gifts: any size, as long as you have enough newspaper
Reduce, reuse, and recycle that old newspaper. Just keep plastering on until the gift is covered.
Works best with gifts in a box, but you can really get creative with this creative gift wrapping idea.
And don’t feel limited to newspaper! You could also repurpose old book pages, sheet music, construction paper, brown paper bags from the grocery store, etc.
A little creativity goes a long way with this crafty idea.
Related: 9 Cute DIY Gift Wrap Ideas
Oversized to XL gifts: 48″ (or larger if you overlap)
This is the “go big or go home” option for how to wrap a big box or gift. These 48″ extra wide wrapping paper rolls go on and on for 200 feet, meaning that you’ll always have the right amount of wrapping paper.
Per foot, this is just about the cheapest wrap you can buy, and it presents a blank slate for you to decorate depending on the season, holiday, or occasion.
It’s conveniently available in all sorts of different colors, so add some festive ribbon and you’re all set!
Oversized Gift Sacks
XL gifts: 36″ x 56″ or less
These jumbo-sized gift bags measure 36″ x 56″ and are ideal for wrapping oversized presents like kitchen appliances, sporting goods, bedding sets, and much more.
Plus, they won’t set you back much more than about five bucks. For those awkwardly shaped gifts that are hard to wrap, these are a great way to go.
Garbage Bags or Sheet Plastic
Oversized to XL gifts: 2′ or less, more if you double-bag
Yes, the genius gift wrap technique perfected by broke college students. If you are even remotely open to this option, you’re probably already done wrapping your present and never laid eyes on this post. Well done.
The rest of you, move along.
Oversized to XL gifts: 50″ x 25″ or less (unless you are using multiple tablecloths)
Forget the gift boxes, wrapping paper, tissue paper, etc., and go to the dollar store and pick up a couple of plastic tablecloths.
They cover your table just fine, why not your oversized gift?
This is an easy way to quickly wrap your large gift without having to spring for expensive wrapping paper. All it takes is a couple bucks and a quick trip down the street.
Just don’t get sidetracked by the cheap candy isle…
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Drop Cloths and Tarps
XL to Crazy Big Gifts
Same idea as the tablecloth, but even bigger. You probably have something like this laying around the house.
Pull it out, cover your gift, and maybe tie some twine around it or put a large bow on top.
Thrift Store Sheets or Blankets
XL to Crazy Big Gifts
Once again, you probably have a set of bed sheets or a blanket lying around the house.
Gosh, I hope you have a set of sheets… If you don’t, what are you doing buying large and expensive gifts? Get your sheets together, people!
Just kidding. But if you don’t have extra sheets or blankets (or if you are worried they might get ruined), stop by a local thrift store and pick up a set of sheets for a few dollars.
Add a special touch by sprucing it up with a big bow or ribbon.
Oversized to XL gifts
Many sewing, craft, and fabric stores will have reams of inexpensive fabric on sale. Simply purchase a few yards of it and wrap it around the gift.
If your skill set includes sewing, it doesn’t take too much work to create a large gift bag.
You can theme the fabric, too! Christmas fabric for holiday gifts, sports themed for a birthday gift, etc.
XL gifts: 3-4″ x 20-48″
Long and narrow gifts can present a problem for the casual, non-professional gift wrapper.
Things like baseball bats, video stabilizers, javelins, golf clubs, and more have a unique shape that is difficult to wrap and hide. If this is your situation, consider using a mailing tube.
Cake Cover Style
XL to Crazy Big Gifts: 3′ x 6′ or so
Get an old box from an appliance store and cut off the top flaps. Place the box over the gift from the top, like you are covering a cake with a cake cover tin.
You can use just the box, wrap it, paste newspaper over it, or have kids draw on it for decoration. (They’ll want to use it afterwards for a house or fort anyways.)
Check it out: The WORST Gifts of All Time. Like, Ever.
This Is What I Think It Is Style
Sometimes it is fun to wrap a large and uniquely shaped object — like a guitar or kayak — with a tight wrap job that shows the exact shape of the gift inside.
Keep in mind that this wrapping technique requires a lot of time, patience, paper, and tape. But the effect is truly memorable!
Treasure Hunt (AKA Just Hide It)
XL to Crazy Big Gifts
If the gift is so stinkin’ big that you just give up on wrapping it, why, never fear — you can turn it into a game!
Hide the gift somewhere in your house, in the garage, outdoors (depending on time of year), in a shed, on the back porch, or even at a neighbor’s house.
Give them an envelope with a clue, which will lead them to another clue, and another and another…
Post It has a fun guide on how to do this here.
“Follow Me” String
XL to Crazy Big Gifts
Another one for when you are just done with all the wrapping.
Write “follow me” on a note and attach it to the end of a string. You can go directly to the gift, or make it a crazy adventure through a spiderweb maze of string.
The string will ultimately lead them to the gift, which will be in the garage, a closet, the backyard, etc.
Car Ribbons & Bows
Crazy Big Gifts
If your gift is super duper, extra jumbo sized (like a car or tractor) and none of these options fit…
Just put a bow on it, Bob. They’ll understand.
How to Wrap Large, Odd Shaped Gifts
Odd shaped gifts are the most fun to wrap! Kind of…
It takes the most creativity to hide what it is and uses up lots and lots of tape. And when you don’t have an extra large box to hide its ridiculous appearance, your creativity (along with these fun ideas) are all you have.
- Bag It Up. Use your favorite decorated bags filled with tissue or use the trash bag method like you read about above.
- Flat Bottom, Folded Top. Simply follow this cool guide to making your own make-shift bag around your gift. Works perfect on any item!
- Wrap It Up. Take your gift and some ribbon (or lights if your festive) and just wrap it around until the full gift is covered! Who cares if it looks weird, that’s half the fun. Don’t forget to add your bow.
How to Wrap a Large Gift Without Wrapping Paper
Sometimes you don’t have time to run to store for wrapping paper and that’s okay! We have some alternatives that will work like a charm:
- Trash Bag Method. Simply tie it up in a garbage bag or any oversized gift/shopping/tote bag. Make it unique by adding bows or taping drawings to the bag. Creative, fast, and personal!
- Clothes. Add on an extra gift, like a bed sheet, t-shirt, or scarf (depending on the gift size), and wrap it up in that.
- Newspaper. We all have a memory of a gift being wrapped in the funnies section from the newspaper. Carry on the tradition by wrapping their gift in newspaper! Never fails and they’ll get some good laughs out of it.
How to Wrap a Long, Skinny Gift
Luckily, this problem isn’t too hard to solve! All we need is a little ingenuity and these ideas:
- Candy Method. Take your gift and roll it up as much as you’d like in a wrapping paper of your choice, then simple twist the excess ends of the paper and wrap them in ribbon. Ta-da! Now your gifts looks like a piece of wrapped candy!
- Mailing Tubes. Tubes are perfect for long skinny gifts. Just be sure to check the size before you buy! You might also consider old wrapping paper tubes, or document/poster tubes, if you have them available.
- Wrap It Up. This is the same trick for wrapping large, odd-shaped gifts. Take your gift and some ribbon (or lights if you’re feeling festive) and wrap it around until the full thing is covered. Add a bow, ribbon, and gift tag and you’re done.
How to Wrap a Big Gift Without a Box
We’ve all been there before. Go to wrap and you are completely box-less. That’s why it’s helpful to know these tricks to wrapping big gifts when you’re missing a box:
- Bags, Bags, Bags. What can I say? This method works for everything. Simply wrap/tie it up in a garbage bag or oversized gift bag! Make it unique by adding bows or evening sewing your own bag together with cloth. If it’s really big, tape bags together to create your own trash-bag wrapping paper.
- Hide It. Make this a game of hide-and-seek or surprise it with them right when they walk through the front door! After all, not everything needs wrapped.
- Add Duct Tape. We have all heard the phrase “duct tape fixes everything” right? When you don’t have a box, add some layers of your trusted duct tape to the wrapping paper and it will create a sturdy structure. Warning if your gift is truly oversized, XL, or crazy big, this may take a lot of duct tape!
Unique Wrapping Ideas
These fun, out-of-the-ordinary gift wrap ideas have us saying, “why didn’t we think of that?”
Oh wait, we did…
Don’t Wrap It, Map It
Use an old map or pages from an outdated atlas for a beautiful and adventurous twist on classic gift wrap.
You remember cellophane? You know, cling wrap’s colorful, less sticky cousin? Cellophane is a fun, relatively inexpensive alternative for gift wrap.
And it’s just so shiny…
This is such a simple and effective idea. Pillowcases are basically just oversized, fabric gift bags if you think about it.
Pick a cute one and tie it off with a ribbon. Wah-lah!
Lace is so beautiful, and can be sourced from a variety of places. Old handkerchiefs, doilies, tablecloths (for bigger items), craft stores, online…
Especially great for wedding or anniversary gifts, or for those lovely ladies in your life. Just wrap or roll it up and secure with twine or a ribbon.
Pick out a neat scarf to go along with their present, and wrap up the main gift inside!
Perfect for fall birthdays, anniversaries, or around Christmas time when they’ll be needing to keep toasty.
Decorated Butcher Paper
You can get rolls of white butcher paper online or at the store, then decorate it with drawings, quotes, well wishes, jokes… The sky is the limit!
If it’s for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, have the kids decorate it or a fun touch.
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