bbb craft sistersDIYdiy projectsholidays

diy project: gift toppers

by The BBB Craft Sisters

Our mother (the original BBB) set the bar pretty high with her gift wrapping each season and forever influenced the way that we paper, tape and top our presents. We admit to a little bit of (friendly) Blessing sister rivalry on the morning of December 25 when we eye each other’s creations under the tree, but this year we culled our resources and put together our favorite DIY present toppers, emptying our craft drawers and button jars to adorn each gift. We tend to recycle our papers and ribbon year after year, and if you get creative with what you use to decorate, you may not have to spend a dime! — bbbcraft sisters

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Greens and Feathers

Use branches from the bottom of your tree or swag you have from decorating (many tree lots discard their trimmings!)

1. Cut tiny pieces and put them in small boutonniere bunches.

2. Wire-wrap them together, then cut the wire, leaving two to three inches.

3. Rip 1/2-inch to 1-inch strips of muslin or fabric (old dress shirts and sheets work well; if you’re using a woven fabric like a t-shirt, it will work better to cut it).

4. Wrap muslin around the wire to hide.

5. Secure by bending the bottom of the wire.

6. Attach to a ribbon on package.

Reused Paper

Gather newspaper, magazines, paint swatches, last year’s wrapping paper, tin foil, magnolia leaves or anything you can think of to punch holes in!

1. Using a large punch (we used a 2 1/8-inch punch, but this will work with smaller punches as well), punch out anywhere from 5 to 10 circles.

2. Using a standard hole punch, punch a hole on the top and the bottom of the large circle.

3. Thread thin ribbon or twine through the holes.

4. Wrap around gift.

Vintage Pins, Hair Clips and Shoe Slips

Vintage shops and eBay are good resources for finding super inexpensive brooches and pins; pretty hair clips and vintage shoe clips work well, too.

Pin any of the above items onto scraps of ribbon or ribbed fabric and wrap around your gifts.

Old Cards

Last year’s tags and holiday cards, cut up and repurposed! If you collect letterpress cards and interesting papers, chances are you have a lot to work with. We made all of these with tags and cards we had collected over the years.

1. Cut out desired section of the card to create a “new” tag.

2. Using a standard hole punch, punch a hole on the top and the bottom of the tag.

3. Thread ribbon, string or twine through the holes and attach to a gift.

Beads and Buttons

We have a ton of buttons, as well as a bunch of beads from past craft endeavors, and they both make for great toppers.

Simply string buttons onto twine, waxed cords, embroidery thread, yarn or ribbon, or string a row of several beads in a pattern.


We used a variety of ornaments that we have collected over the years and don’t mind parting with — we love to change our tree every year anyway!

Just tie ornaments to the top of any gift!

Suggested For You


  • ohhhh just gave me some great ideas! My grandmother left a ton of broaches that I had no Idea what to do with them. My Christmas presents will look so pretty this year!

  • I love all of your gift wrapping ideas. It is so exciting to give and receive something that is so beautifully wrapped. Thank-you for sharing!

  • Yet another wonderful post!
    ps: Royal Selangor Pewter- what a great gift to give! They have excellent pewters!

  • cute! i love this. it makes the gifts look really chic by using things that you have laying around your house. definitely using this. at anthropologie they gave something similar to the circles on string, but made with felt and a shoelace like material when you bought a gift. i bet that those materials would be easy to make as well.

  • Inspiring! When we had a child our gift wrapping declined dramatically. My husband is actually an amazing gift wrapper, but this will give me the fodder to be back in the game. ;-) Just beautiful.

  • loooove love love these ideas. especially the hole-punched name tags. so much potential in so many un-taggy things!

  • Excellent presentation and I love the use of creativity around simple yet attractive looking daily use products…

    Truly inspired!

  • So cute! Love it. I enjoy doing different things with my gifts as well and usually like to include ornaments (which cost just as much as bows and ribbons) as an extra little something.

  • They are all SO lovely!! I adore what’s been done here! Thanks SO much for the inspiration, I can’t wait to try these techniques out!

  • So inspiring! Makes me think, I must repurpose all the “stray” pieces left-over from old craft projects, instead of wanting to buy new supplies…

  • Loved this post! I am definitely going to try some of these fantastic ideas this year when wrapping presents for under the tree!

  • Great ideas! Where did you get that glossy black wrapping paper? It looks so classy. This year I plan on repurposing some Trader Joe’s paper bags as wrapping paper (the Christmas-themed bags are so cute).

  • Very cool post. I inherited a box of costume jewelry last year and used several pieces to adorn all the gifts I gave. They looked really cool paired with simple craft paper wrapping. My favorite was separating clip-on costume earring pairs and using one on each gift.

  • i love it. i believe that i remember anthropologie doing something similar with the paper circles in the past but i’ve never thought of doing it myself. i’ve already started cutting my circles out. :-)

  • I love every single one of these ideas! I didn’t realize what a stock of wrapping treasures I had right in my studio!

  • Excellent ideas! I love the idea of threading ribbon through two holes punched in a tag, instead of the usual one. Looks very chic.

    Just a small thing: t-shirts are a knit fabric, not a woven. The dress shirts referred to in the previous sentence are woven. Woven would make fabric suitable for ripping, a knit/ jersey fabric would not.

  • I knew I kept all my past Christmas cards for a reason! Thanks for this! I love all the ideas and will feature it in my blog’s roundup of holiday DIY crafts very soon!

  • I love the little pieces of paper! They are so easy, unexpected and CUTE! All these ideas are so pretty and a great alternative to a tradition bow.

  • I simply adore your wrapping ideas! I’m trying some of these for sure!
    (I’ve got piles of clip-on earrings that could stand to find a purpose!)

  • I’ve been looking everywhere on how to tie knots on top of presents the way it’s shown in the last picture with the gold star- what is that knot called and where can I find a tutorial on how to tie one myself? Any help? Thanks!