Already have an account?
Get back to the
Life Hacks

No Tape? No Problem! 7 Clever Ways to Wrap a Present With Style

Instead of driving to a 24-hour drugstore in your pajamas, try these no-tape techniques!


Tape-free wrapping is trending. Its fans are motivated by practical needs (running out of tape while doing Santa’s bidding on Christmas Eve), aesthetic considerations (tape can mar the beauty of a thoughtfully wrapped gift) and environmental concerns (unlike paper, tape is impossible to reuse). But how exactly do you wrap a present without tape? Try these seven expert-approved techniques. They’re so fun and festive that you may be tempted to go tape-free for good!

1. Try the viral fold-and-tuck technique

After teacher-turned-blogger Kallie Branciforte’s first gift-wrapping video earned her 39 million views and guest spots on talk shows (Check it out here), she knew she needed to wow her audience the next time she tackled the topic. Enter the ultimate wrapping hack: making a package look beautiful with regular paper, scissors and no tape. The key, Kallie discovered, is starting with a perfectly square piece of paper and turning your gift at an angle. “I probably had to do it three times before I had it down,” she admits. But it’s worth powering through any initial fold frustration to add such a chic technique to your repertoire.

Check out her video here:

Note: Using this technique means your wrapping paper design will appear at an angle, which looks playful and modern.

Tip: TikTokers have created their own twists and turns on the “fold and tuck.” We especially appreciate Tracie Garrett of Bee and Blooms, who uses her wrist and forearm to make creases and hold down her folds as she wraps.

2. Wrap a gift in a tea towel

How to wrap a present without tape in a bag
Cindy at DIY Beautify

This wrapping idea thought up by Cindy at DIY Beautify is as practical as it is adorable, with no pesky tape in sight. “Slip your gift into an empty cardboard canister — the kind that holds coffee beans or rolled oats,” she says. Then center the canister on a large, thin tea towel (a thicker one will be too bulky) and pull the edges up tightly. “Secure the top with a rubber band and add whatever embellishment you like, whether it’s curling ribbon, bakers’ twine, a pretty tag or a gingerbread man made of cookie or clay.” For extra credit, match the embellishment to what’s inside. For example, if you’re gifting art supplies, tie on a crayon or small paintbrush. Wrapping yummy foodstuffs? Tie on a cookie cutter or miniature spoon, like Cindy did here.

3. Try the tissue paper “scrunch-under”

When you’re learning no-tape folding techniques, tissue paper can be more forgiving than regular wrapping paper. And it works especially well for soft items, like clothing, that don’t have sharp edges that can puncture the tissue. Watch retail merchandising expert and bestselling author Sophie Liard, aka The Folding Lady, wrap a shirt in seconds. “This is the first gift wrap I ever learnt,” she shares on her YouTube channel. “We didn’t have much tape in the shop so we taught ourselves to wrap with tissue paper and no tape.”

4. Slip it in a stocking

How to wrap a present without tape: Christmas sock with candy canes on a green background with copy space
Olga Shumytskaya/Getty

Everyone will be saying “aww” when they see this wrapping idea at the office Secret Santa exchange. For a presentation that’s equal parts sentimental and super-easy, slip a present into a stocking from the dollar store. For $1-$3 a piece, you can find stockings that range in size from 4-inch minis (perfect for small items like jewelry, toy cars, and gift cards) to 18-inch jumbos (ample enough for a new pair of gloves, a paperback or a bottle of wine). Worried that the recipient can see what’s inside? Add a bit of tissue or secure with a clothespin. Bonus: This wrapping hack is truly reusable and regiftable.

5. Go classic with taut twine

How to wrap a present without tape: Woman wrapping Christmas presents in a crafty way

He’s been called his generation’s Martha Stewart, so it’s no wonder actor and calligrapher Rajiv Surendra is an evangelist for one of the most timeless and beautiful wrapping techniques: brown paper packages tied up with string (yes, just like in the song). For him, going tape-free is all about the recipient’s experience. “There’s a beauty in the unwrapping of a present that takes place when there’s no tape used,” he shares. And it’s economical and eco-friendly, too, as brown paper is often recycled and always recyclable, and twine costs pennies per foot. Follow Surendra’s steps for wrapping gifts of various sizes and shapes in his just-posted video and take comfort in trying a technique your great-grandparents would have loved.

Make it even prettier: Follow Surendra’s lead and add a wax seal to your finished brown paper package. Dating back to Roman times, these personalized seals — made by melting a glob of wax and using a stamp to make an impression — are trendy again. Use a kit to do it the old way or take a modern shortcut with wax seal stickers. Some even feature Santa’s official seal!

6. Wrap your gift in fabric

How to wrap a present without tape: Wrapping a gift in eco friendly reusable fabric package furoshiki
Yummy pic/Getty

Professional gift wrapper Aleeta Ward, founder of AWard Wraps in Southern California, is known for her glamorous designs using lots of sparkle, metallics and, yes, quite a bit of hidden tape. But lately she’s fallen for a no-tape technique from Japan. “Furoshiki refers to a square-shaped Japanese traditional wrapping cloth that is both exquisite and eco-friendly,” she explains. “Select any pretty piece of cloth — a fabric remnant, a colorful bandana, a vintage handkerchief — and just wrap the gift in cloth and tie it up in a knot. It looks fancy but is super-easy to do.” Even Hallmark is getting in on the Furoshiki action, and independent stores sell hundreds of unique designs.

7. Fancy up a paper bag

How to wrap a present without tape: Children's hands pack holiday packages with Christmas gifts close-up.
Mariya Borisova/Getty

So you can’t find any tape, and you’re out of gift bags, but you do have some paper bags left over from grocery shopping or school lunches? Revamp them into adorable holiday gift bags by cutting the tops into roofs and drawing on windows and doors. Slip in your gift and secure it at the top with a sticker, staple, or clothespin.

For more gift-wrapping tips, click through the links below!

All Your Gift-Wrapping Hassles Solved — Pro Tricks Make It Easy and Stress-Free

8 Creative Ways to Wrap Gift Cards — So Easy and Fun!

5 Fun + Easy Ways to Gift-Wrap a Book Without Giving Away What’s Inside

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.