Picture of Decoy Gift Wrapping

The western world's Winter chill is just beginning to strengthen its clutches throughtout, and with the holiday season just around the corner, as is the secret sinister sweater's league, gift giving from all around is about to sky rocket into overdrive.

You know the drill, Wrap, rip, repeat. With the occasional ear shattering, molar cracking scream evey now and again... But whomever would think to give no more than a second thought to that massive ball of colorful paper, shiny bows and adheasive tape left occupying half the room by mornings end? After all, a present's wrapping is but a flame beneath it's pyre, right? Wrong.

Enter, decoy wrapping. Poised to look the part of an innocently wrapped, absolutely and tremendously terrible gift, all while it's diabolical interior, is anything but!

Likewise, the technique used was perfect for, yet not limited to a power drill. Experiment with it yourself; find the most perfectly imperfect and terribly tremendous decoy that is sure to make that special someone squeal!

Step 1: Materials & Supplies

Picture of Materials & Supplies

Besides the actual gift itself, All the materials used in the project will most likely be found already lying around your house. As far as the fake present, I personally decided on a power drill, not only did it work well with the shape of the iPod case, I also found it's form quite recognizable; and, unless you're the crafty type person like me, I'd find it to be rather unusual. (Then again, this is instructables.... Dammit!)

List of supplies:

  • A fake gift (for molding the decoy)
  • The real gift
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper (ordinary computer paper should suffice as well)
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Duct tape/Scotch tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Utility knife
  • Wrapping paper
  • A bow (optional)
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Terranan4 days ago

This is jus beautiful... Though, being instructables, I think a lot of us would be disappointed that it wasn't a drill. ;p

Haunted Spider made it!8 months ago

I made this for my father this year. He always guesses his gifts. I am hoping this one gets him. I used aluminum foil around the drill and coated it with clear packaging tape(the heavy duty stuff). It takes about 6 layers to make a form that stays, without the mache mess. I filled it with dried pinto beans for weight. It isn't quite heavy enough but it will work. The Bass Pro gift card is taped to the base. I swear it was more difficult to wrap the darn thing than to coat it in tape and cut it out, fill it with beans and tape back together.

Stryker8 months ago

Thanks for posting. I made mine out of insulation board and hollowed out the "battery" area to put the gift. It's the same thickness as the drill but less work. Also cut out a wood saw shape from coroboard.

kouraf168 months ago

When I was in the university, in a class we had to wrap plushies in plastic wrap, then with simple transparent tape. The resulting "cocoon" was surprisingly durable and it was much easier to make than papier-mache. You should try that as well. Also you shouldn't ask why I was making plushie cocoons in university. To this day, I wonder myself.

Ymerej88 made it!8 months ago

Awesomeful idea!!

I decided to skip the paper mache and just put the present inside my drill's battery instead. The case holds together just fine without its screws in. I put part of a cardboard tube around the front end and the handle to make it easier to wrap.

My sister will be so excited! I think she saw me looking at this Instructable, so she totally won't be expecting it to be an actual drill :D

Decoy Present.jpg
gogglecrab (author)  Ymerej888 months ago

Thanks! Great idea too, it's one thing to be surprised by a seemingly
obvious gift, but it's a whole other to be expecting the
unexpected and in turn, receive the expected, which in fact in itself,
is something unexpected!

It's like some evil crisscross double flop
diabolical mind game! Nice work!

cdstudioNH made it!8 months ago

I was so inspired by your awesome idea. My twist on it got a LOT of laughs!

Here is the instructables, which also includes a movie of the guy unwrapping the "gift".


FIELWM6I3PRQ2GX.jpegYankee Swap prank - So Bad!
gogglecrab (author)  cdstudioNH8 months ago

Love the idea of the contrast in presents! And besides the misconstrued drug bust, it looks like it all went over pretty well. ;) Excellent work, glad I could inspire!

Haha, this is such a funny idea!

jtmcdole8 months ago

This is genius. I usually hide gifts inside of other gifts, al'la russian nesting dolls, but this is just fun 'evil' that I will employ in future gifting. Thanks!

videogame578 months ago

I can't help but ask, why are you giving someone an iPod touch 2G with no touch panel/glass?

gogglecrab (author)  videogame578 months ago

Psst. Just between you, me and the entire internet... It actually wasn't a real gift, I just used an old broken one I found buried in a drawer as stand in to demonstrate the process; I don't think I could actually be that evilto someone!

bremus gogglecrab8 months ago


NickiC8 months ago


gogglecrab (author)  NickiC8 months ago

I see Haha, thanks for pointing that out!

cdstudioNH8 months ago

This is so cool! I'm going to use this as inspiration for a Yankee Swap that I am going to this weekend!

canida8 months ago

You can also sub duct tape for the paper mache. It's a lot faster and less messy, but requires stuffing to keep its shape.

Great idea!

gogglecrab (author)  canida8 months ago

I never would have thought of that, great idea!

ysabet8 months ago

I've done things like this! It's a blast, and this is one fine instructable. One of my absolute favorite things to do for small gifts is to find odd containers at thrift shops, cut a hatch in them, stuff the gift inside and wrap the whole thing. I once gave a silk scarf stuffed inside a plastic banana.

aethersquall8 months ago

This. Is. Hilarious.

I simply cannot *wait* to try this out! A simple concept, great result! Thanks for the idea!

gogglecrab (author)  aethersquall8 months ago

Thanks and no problem, glad I could inspire!

FunkyNutbar8 months ago

What a simple and evil idea! Well executed, I'd love some suggestions for other good decoy items too. Bottles of wine are a very easily recognisable shape, that could be good for stashing smaller gifts in.

gogglecrab (author)  FunkyNutbar8 months ago

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! And yes, a wine bottle would make
make a great decoy! As far as some others, let's see, just off the top
of my head,

High heels

An iron

A guitar (Although I'm not quite sure of anyone who'd be particularly disappointed by this.)

A variety of tools have distinct shapes, e.g., hammer, wrench, screwdriver, a power drill... (Cross promo!), hand saw, etc.

Cleaning supplies, e.g., a vacuum (Big reveal!), spray bottle, broom, etc.

Pots, pans and kitchen equipment

Fitness equipment, e.g., weights, medicine ball, resistance bands, etc.

Garden supplies, e.g., watering can, shovel, rake, etc.

a lot of things to decoy really! Maybe try taking a look around the
house as well. Just be sure to make it something they hate! *cue sinister laugh & diabolical thunder*

Some people use a glue and water solution for paper mache... I think it just dries up instead of spoiling, which the flour kind can if you leave it out too long.

Great idea! I love it. Thanks

djyorkie2 years ago
before seeing this, i had actually planned on taping my wifes best small presents to an ironing board, and then wrapping that up for under the tree... i can imagine her face on seeing it. come on... who gives their mrs an ironing board for christmas. i may even use this technique to make a "wrapped iron" for her too lmao.

great decoy object :)

kewpiedoll998 months ago

i'm a long time fan of decoy gift wrapping. this is a great choice for decoy object. p.s. love the squash in the background of the pictures :)

gammerguy8 months ago

Wow that's amazing thx for the idea I have to go to THREE White Elephants. Talk about a lot of gifts.

Joint compound would work great for the extra weight. Just mix it up and glop it into one or both halves of the object mold until it weighs about the same as the original. FUN!

gkearney1 year ago

I did this for my wife phone this Christmas :)
gogglecrab (author)  gkearney1 year ago
Nicely done, be sure to let me know how it goes! ;)
waggy1011 year ago
Cool i like to do things like that. One year my cousin wanted to try coconut so i got her one and put it in a dishwasher box with a ton of rocks.
This is an amazing idea, and very well executed. Bravo
poofrabbit2 years ago
HA!! I love this I now must start making decoy boxes for this year thanks for the great idea!
gogglecrab (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
No problem, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
DrJase2 years ago
Brilliant ible!

I once gave my brother-in-law a DVD where I'd replaced the inlay card with one I created in Photoshop so I looked like a porn film! His face was a picture as he tried to hide it from my sister!!!
Frederbee3 years ago
I like to put a (well-sealed) box of broken glass inside these- they shake it and I say, "Uh-oh..." Best reactions ever
pie popper3 years ago
haha, I love doing this! I had gotten my brother MW3 for Christmas, and I knew as soon as he felt it through the paper he would know what it was, so I stripped an old book of its cover, taped the case inside and wrapped it up. Because the book cover was a bit bigger then the case, it felt just like a book. It was priceless.
e-spiv3 years ago
Excellent instructable, it inspired me to think creatively about my friend's birthday party. A little cardboard and wok becomes turtle!
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