No-Cost Magazine Gift Wrap, Origami Box & Bow




Introduction: No-Cost Magazine Gift Wrap, Origami Box & Bow

About: Teacher, tutor, trainer, author, and creative person; if I can do it or make it myself, I will! Jewelry & websites at Oh, and I did an "instructable" on TV once, on …

It's gift giving season! Not just because of the upcoming holidays, but because both my brother and nephew have birthdays in November. So every Thanksgiving is prime time for gift giving.

In this piece I will show you how to make no-cost magazine gift wrap and an origami box and bow for creative and interesting gift giving, all made out of old magazines and tape.*

*Technically, the tape costs something, but the amount is so small that it is relatively nothing.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

To make this, you need:
  • an old magazine
  • tape
  • knife and ruler (optional)
  • paper cutter
  • gifts to wrap

Step 2: Wrapping Paper

To create the wrapping paper, select pages from the magazine that are appropriate for your subject. For my nephew, I chose pages with images that would appeal to a little boy. For my brother, I chose mostly text-filled pages that would contrast well with the ribbon and bow to be added later.

Cut or tear the pages out. Measure them to see how many pages you will need to wrap the gift. For the large gift, I needed nine; for the smaller gift, just four.

While you're tearing pages out, tear out a few that have strong, mostly solid colors on the page for the ribbons and bows.

Tape together the pages into a big sheet.

Step 3: Wrap the Gift and Add Ribbon

Use the sheet you have created to wrap the gift like you would wrap any gift.

To make the "ribbon," cut 1/2-inch strips of a strongly colored pages. Tape these end to end to create a ribbon. Tape them around the gift to form a cross around the box.

Step 4: Origami Bow

These instructions are adapted from There is a nice diagram on that site if you find the photos hard to follow.

First, to create a square, fold the page over into a triangle and cut off the extra rectangle.

To fold the bow, do the following:
  1. Fold the opposite corners together so you have two diagonal folds. The colorful part should be on the outside (photo 2).
  2. Fold all four corners into the center (photo 3).
  3. Fold all four new corners into the center again (photo 4).
  4. Turn the paper over (photo 5).
  5. Fold all four corners into the center one more time (photo 6).
  6. Fold out all four corners about 2/3 up from the point (photo 7.)
  7. Turn paper over.
  8. Fold out all four corners and allow to stand up (photo 8).
  9. Fold out all four corners again (photo 9).
Voila! Your origami bow is complete. Tape it to the center of the ribbon cross, and you're finished.

An alternative way to make a recycled paper bow can be found at

Step 5: Origami Gift Box

For the gift box, you will need two magazine pages. (You can increase the size of the box by taping magazine pages together.) I chose images that would match the gift inside, which is a necklace for my niece.

These instructions are inspired by instructions in the book Remake It!, but they are in my own words and pictures.

Using the same method as the previous step, create two squares from the magazine pages. One should be 1/2 inch less in length and width than the other. You will use the same folding method for both top and bottom, and the two parts will fit together in the end.

Folding instructions:
  1. You will already have one diagonal fold. Now fold the other corners together to get two diagonal folds. Keep the images you want on the outside (underneath, photo 3).
  2. Fold all four corners to the center, then unfold (photo 4).
  3. Fold a corner to the farthest fold, then unfold. (See photo 5.) Repeat with all four corners. You will end up with a pattern like on photo 6.
  4. Cut a slit in the fold shown in photo 7. It should go two folds in. Repeat two folds over to the left. Repeat on the other side as well. Now you should have four slits.
  5. On an uncut corner, fold the corner it so the point touches the first fold in (photo 8). Then fold the page over again (photo 9). Do the same on the other side. You can let these stand up if they want to; these are two of the box walls (photo 10).
  6. Fold the tip in on a cut side (photo 11), the fold the two wings in to form a wall (photo 12). Fold this part over the wall and firm up the fold. You can use tape if necessary (photo 13).
  7. Repeat the last step on the other side (photo 13).
When you have done this with the other piece of paper, put the two halves together, and your box will be complete.

Add a bow if you wish. This box worked better without it. I like how it came out.

Enjoy your "green" gift wrap!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    I like the red! Wish you the best! Thanks for sharing! I enjoy all your ibles!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! And there was an unintended positive side effect. The magazine paper is so thin that the children have an easy time unwrapping their gifts. They enjoyed the wrapping, but they loved the gifts even more.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I think I'll send this to my cuz, she likes making origami and stuff.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great reuse!

    (heads-up: check the text at the end of Step 4)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, Mike, it's fixed. One of those things that didn't show in my browser when I was creating it. :-)