40+ Unique Ways to Personalize Your Gift Wrap, Toppers and Cards

By Melissa Woo and Kelly Castor on August 31st, 2021
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You’ve already spent time picking out the perfect gift, so why not personalize your gift wrap and make it even more meaningful? You can customize your wrapping paper, handpick a few add-ons or turn a card into a gift tag…and it’s clear before it’s open that you’ve put lots of extra thought into the gift.

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Ways to add meaningful gift toppers and add-ons

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Choosing a personalized gift topper? Try picking something that relates to your gift or an add-on that would be particularly meaningful to the person receiving it. Here’s a list of suggestions by category.

Well-being or self-care add-ons for someone who could use some me-time

  • Vial of essential oil
  • Tea bags
  • Santal sticks
  • Individually wrapped facial mask
  • Bubble bath packet
  • Bath bomb
  • Bath scrub sponge
  • Lip balm in a favourite flavour or scent
  • Packet of soap leaves

Nostalgic toppers that offer a trip down memory lane

  • Photo of a favourite memory you share
  • Meaningful flea market finds: trinkets, ornaments, jewelry
  • Retro baby toys
  • Vintage postcards, booklets or ephemera

Pet treats and toys for anyone who loves their fur babies

  • Collar or bandana
  • Little bag of treats or catnip
  • Small toys
  • Sketch or photo of the goodest doggo or bestest kitty
  • Ornament frame with a snapshot or paw print

Fun extras to bring a smile to someone’s face

  • Hallmark itty bitty featuring a favourite character
  • Ornament that celebrates your friend’s hobby or interest
  • Homemade coupon (like, “This coupon is good for one movie night at my place. You choose the movie!”)
  • Favourite candy bar or snack
  • Socks with a cute pattern or funny saying

Big surprises—when they deserve a present on top of their present

  • Gift card to a favourite restaurant, bakery, coffee shop, etc.
  • Tickets to an experience that also relates to the gift (for example, pick up a plant, wrap tissue paper around the pot, tie with a grosgrain ribbon and clip on a passes to a garden show)
  • Gorgeous, shiny things (a vintage broach, bejewelled barrettes or pretty pendant)

Pro tips

A few things you can use to attach add-ons and gift toppers—either directly to the gift or to a ribbon wrapped around it:

  • Double-stick tape
  • Stickers or gift tags https://www.hallmark.com/gift-wrap/seals-and-gift-tags/
  • Washi tape (for little things) or gaffer’s tape (for heavier stuff)
  • Clothespins
  • Binder clips
  • Wire
  • Great big safety pin
  • Rubber bands
  • Twine

How to personalize your wrapping paper or bag

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There are infinite ways to customize gift wrap to create a perfectly personal present. Some supplies you’ll need:

  • Wrapping paper or bags in a solid colour or a super-simple pattern
  • Permanent markers or paint pens—pick contrasting colors or try metallic or glitter ink
  • Stickers, seals and washi tape
  • Stamps and ink
  • Printed photos and images (your own or found online) or a stack of magazines, plus scissors and glue sticks
  • Inspiration from this free lettering download created by a Hallmark lettering artist

Pro tips:

For best results:

  • Wrap the gift before you write or draw on the gift wrap to make sure everything you create shows.
  • OR wrap the gift but don’t tape it shut. Add sticky notes to the parts that show—then remove the wrap and only personalize the visible parts.
  • If you’re using a gift bag, decorate it before you fill it.

Hand-letter words and messages on the top or all over the box.
And after you’ve wrapped the present, use a permanent marker to write all over it. (Make it pop with a metallic paint pen, chalk marker on dark paper or glitter pen.)

Things to hand letter:

  • The recipient’s name and/or nicknames (over and over) or try descriptions, like “The Nice One” or “The One Who Brings the Good Snacks”
  • Favourite quotes—inspiring ones, song lyrics, lines from movies and TV shows
  • Inside jokes or things your friend says all the time

Draw and doodle on boxes or bags.
You don’t have to be a fabulous artist to add your own artwork on wrap or bags with simple designs or solid colours. Grab a permanent marker or paint pen in a contrasting colour and start doodling.

What to doodle:

  • Simple and thoughtful designs that relate to the recipient, like flowers or veggies for a gardener, stars and planets for a future astronomer, kitty faces and paw-prints for a cat lover, etc.
  • A simple map of your area that includes their house and favourite places to go—from playgrounds and friends’ houses to restaurants and retreats
  • Word balloons or thought bubbles filled with simple images of the things they think, love and dream about
  • All their most frequently used emojis

Create a collage of their favourite things.
Use stickers, stamps, washi tape, printed images and/or magazines to create a custom collage. Consider:

  • A single theme—favourite food, places to go, pop culture, crush-worthy celebs.
  • A “vision box/bag”—inspirational words or sayings, bucket-list items, dream getaways.
  • Hints about the gifts—what it’s for, why you’re giving it, how to use it.

Tips for making cards the ultimate gift tag

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Cards do more than just say who a gift is for and who it’s from. They tell the recipient about your wishes for them…how much they matter to you…the story behind the gift…your memories of your friendship.

And as the final touch for a present, they make excellent gift tags.

Have fun with hand-lettering the name.
Fancy pens and markers make it easy.

Use peel-and-stick letters to add names, initials or messages.
Don’t want to rely on your own penmanship? Try peel-and-stick letters.

Put your craft skills to work for a Mother’s Day card.
Instead of spelling out MOM on a band around a gift, try putting it on an envelope.

Make a graduation cap envelope.
Top a graduation gift with a card in a handcrafted mortarboard. Want extra credit? Use school colours.

Sometimes numbers are more important than names.
Milestone birthdays are a big deal—use washi tape to decorate an envelope with the big birthday.

Recycle greeting cards to decorate a gift.
We know some people don’t keep every card. (We don’t understand it, but we’ve heard it’s true.) Use card artwork to give a gift a one-of-a-kind look.

Pro tips:

There are plenty of ways to attach a card to a gift. Try these:

  • Attach with double-stick poster tape. (It won’t tear the envelope.)
  • Stick on with self-adhesive photo corners.
  • Wrap a gift and make a card pocket using the wrapping paper.
  • Slide under a sassy sash.
  • Make it easy with a gift bag featuring a built-in card pocket.
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We have a feeling thoughtfulness comes naturally to you. (You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t your thing.) So we’re sure that no matter how you decide to wrap or top your gift, it’ll be perfect, memorable and so very appreciated.