gift wrappingContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

This Christmas, why not make the outsides of your gifts as special as what’s inside? A little thinking outside of the box, some creative inspiration and a few supplies, and you could be on your way.

Here are a few ideas to get you started. Forget the curling ribbon and rolls of Santa paper. Here are some wonderful and usual Christmas gift wrap ideas to make your holidays prettier.

10. Use old hardware, fasteners as trim

top 10 unique gift wrap ideas recycled hardware

This one comes from HGTV’s blog. Using old hardware, washers and keys as package decorations is a great idea for wrapping tools, how-to books, art supplies and home decor gifts.

9. The wrapping paper that’s delivered daily

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas newspaper with flower

Wrapping gifts in newspapers isn’t new, but combining that wrap with an oversized newspaper flower is a different twist. And the ribbon inside adds the perfect burst of color.

8. Turn gift wrap into a black board

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas blackboard paper

Who knew you could wrap things in a black board? Well, not exactly, but using black craft paper and a chalk-style marker can give you the look of a chalkboard. A plus … no need for gift tags with this cool idea!

7. Which to open first?

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas a box of boxes

If you have a lot of little gifts to give someone, why not build a cube of boxes? You could use almost any light-weight colorful cardboard, like cereal boxes, cookie boxes or pasta boxes. Create or download a cube template, then cut out your boxes. As you fill each one, attach it to the next one with two-sided tape. Once you have your cube completed, add a bow and wait for the fun.

6. Catalogs become wrapping paper

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas catalogs

Finished with your catalog shopping for the season? Turn those holiday catalogs into eco-friendly, artsy wrapping paper! Watch this video from Mr.Kate for your inspiration and step-by-step instructions for this and other earth-friendly ideas.

5. Paint cans, sans paint

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas paint cans

Instead of wrapping lots of little gifts separately, or trying to find the perfect box for that odd shaped little item, why not turn an empty paint can into a gift box? That’s what Nichole Heady from Papertrey Ink did. You can get empty, new cans in a variety of sizes at most home improvement stores, so all you have to do is add embellishments like scrapbook paper and ribbon and it’s ready for the gift.

4. Can you say furoshiki?

>top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas furoshiki

Even if you can’t say it, you can probably learn this traditional Japanese art of wrapping and tying cloth to create lovely, paper-free packaging. Sustainable Baby Steps, a blog focused on taking little steps towards a greener lifestyle shows you how to wrap and fold a t-shirt, scarf or sweater into completely trash-free gift wrap for another present.

3. Magazine pages make great bows?

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas bow made from magazines

Yes, it’s true! You don’t have to pay $3.00 or more for each colorful bow for your holiday presents if you have some extra magazines or catalogs sitting around. Seriously! Apartment Therapy has a tutorial for making bows that out glam the card store variety.

2. The gift wrap that tells a story

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap ideas old photos

If you have old photos of family members or friends, why not those as part of your gift wrap? Make color copies of the pictures, and tuck them under the ribbon like they did on the Odessa May Society blog. Or use them as gift tags instead of writing names.

No family photos? Buy a stack of old photos at a thrift store and use them to decorate packages – you could even assign one photo to each person as an “instant ancestor” — anything with that photo on it is theirs!

1. Reuse old fabric as wrapping “paper”

top 10 unusual Christmas gift wrap old clothes

The winner of a creative wrapping contest on Mochatini used old clothes to create new wrapping paper. Reusing old jeans, silk blouses, sweaters and lace to build one-of-a-kind packages not only saves money, it saves the planet, too.