Christmas Projects / Inspiration

fabric wrapped Christmas presents: year 2!

I’m so excited – this is the second year that I’ve wrapped our Christmas presents in fabric!!

(If you have no idea what i’m talking about here’s last years post)

Now that this is my second year, i thought I might share some tips for those who might want to do the same.

What supplies do you need? It’s pretty simple really – you’ll need some cute Christmas fabric, ribbons for wrapping up and optional masking tape or washi tape to help with your wrapping. That’s it :) I got my fabric from JoAnns fabric just before last Christmas while they were having their Christmas sales. This is a great time to stock up as so much of it is on sale. Size wise, my pieces range between just over 1m wide by 1m long to up to 3m long. I have about 15 different pieces, and the same amount of ribbon. The great thing about this is that it really doesn’t mater if they match – if you stick with a colour palette they will all co-ordinate no matter the pattern. I decided to stick with the classic green, red and gold.

I’ve had a lot of questions about how to wrap neatly with fabric. Lets be honest, you really can’t get it as perfectly neat and slimline as with paper. But I also don’t think it really matters in this case. You would not believe how many compliments i’ve received on how nice our Christmas presents look. I think the cuteness and quirkiness of the fabric+ribbons really compensates for any lack in finesse if you know what i mean. It also survived the mom’s group critique (which is pretty much the harshest critique your home will ever come under hehehe)

I’ve found the real trick to wrapping with fabric, is to secure the fabric in at least one place with tape, basting stitches or a safety pin (though the safety pin may make unwrapping a bit harder). I find masking tape or washi tape works the best. You don’t need a lot, and it will come off easily when you want it to – but that little strip of tape will help tonnes. Once you’ve secured with tape, use your ribbon to finish up.

With respect to size of fabric – i don’t cut the fabric down, ever. My pieces range between just over 1m wide by 1m long to up to 3m long. If i have small presents i just tend to fold the fabric till its the right size, or i use a few drawstring bags i’ve made. The reason i don’t cut my pieces down for small presents is that if i keep doing that over the years, i won’t be able to wrap my presents anymore! i’ll just have a pile of scraps :) which kind of defeats the purpose of reusing the fabric.

I wouldn’t really suggest doing this for anyone who isn’t in your immediate family. Just because you want to wrap your presents with fabric doesn’t mean someone else with appreciate that you were trying to be sustainable and cute. You’ll probably just be hurt by either their confused facial expression or the fact that they just threw your pretty fabric in the trash. Though i’m wrapping with fabric for my immediate family (chris and the kids and i), i’ll still be using paper for the grandparents, aunts and uncles etc.

I’ve had some queries on cost – i’m not 100% on this, but i think i spent close to $100 on fabric and ribbons last year. I know that sounds like a lot. But i don’t plan on ever buying wrapping paper for our family again, i’m done. Also, i’d rather spend more on something i’ll reuse than a little on something thats just going into land fill. but thats me :)

My favourite part! Once Christmas is over, clean up is easy! Fold up the fabric, roll up the ribbons, pack it away and you’re ready for next year! No trash bags – whoop whooop!

I hope that helps!! Please let me know if you have any more questions – I’m still loving this idea and i’m so excited to keep doing this for years to come!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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11 years ago

What an absolutely fabulous idea! I love that it’s a totally re-usable method of wrapping too, as well as beautiful!

11 years ago

Love this idea! I am in for anything that will be reused. One year I wrapped my mom’s gift is cute gingham red and white tea towels. She loved it, and uses those towels every Christmas.

Veronika (Girl & Closet)

Oooh, just love this! I need to do the same the end result is so pretty, and it’s a great paper alternative… lovely fabrics you’ve chosen too! xo

Trina B
Trina B
11 years ago

I love this idea! I bought some fabric last year intending to make some drawstring bags but stalled when I couldn’t work out which size would be the best to make – leave the fabric WHOLE – duh, brilliant!! I think I might pink the edges just to be safe :) I love your mix of fabrics – so festive!

11 years ago

great idea! thanks for all the tips from experience. i like the idea of making drawstring bags for smaller things and not cutting the fabric.


[…] building on from my fabric wrapped presents (follow up tips here)- i hit one tiny snag last year. I found it really hard to keep track of whose package was whose! I […]

10 years ago

This is a great idea! I also hate the waste of wrapping paper. I usually resort to using gift bags, but those don’t look as nice.