Upcycled Flannel Holiday Gift Wrap

Start saving those empty dry-good containers now to upcycle into festive fabric-clad packages that can be used again and again.

Photo by: Derek Trimble; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Derek Trimble; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Materials Needed

  • clean, empty dry food container with a lid (like for oatmeal, granola, nuts, cocoa or coffee)
  • clean flannel shirt (or any other holiday-themed fabric)
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • utility or craft knife
  • velvet ribbon
  • faux or fresh-cut evergreens

Cut Out Shirt's Back

To create the largest section of usable fabric from a flannel shirt, cut along the shirt's sides (Image 1) and around the arms (Image 2).

Loosely Measure for Fabric Panel

Roll your chosen empty food container (I used a family-size oatmeal container) across the cutout section of fabric to roughly determine how much you'll need (Image 1). Visually note (or mark) how much you need, then cut (Image 2) the fabric panel down to a workable size (Image 3). Tip: Use lines in the flannel's pattern to keep your cuts straight.

Wrap Container in Fabric

Cover the food container's existing seam with a thick layer of glue from the glue stick (Image 1), then cover with one edge of the fabric being sure that the fabric panel's top is flush with the top of the container (Image 2). Press the fabric into place, shifting it to ensure the plaid pattern is straight. Give the glue a minute or two to set up, then roll the container (Image 3), wrapping the fabric halfway around the container before securing with another line of glue.

Create Tidy Seam

Continue rolling the container while wrapping it in fabric till you reach the seam (Image 1). Determine how much fabric you'll need to create a clean overlap and cut off the excess (Image 2). Apply another thick line of glue (Image 3), then press the fabric into place (Image 4).

Cut Off Excess Fabric at Bottom

Use scissors to remove the excess fabric around the container's bottom.

Photo by: Derek R. Trimble

Derek R. Trimble

Add Ribbon to Lid

Using a craft or utility knife, cut 2 slits, spaced about an inch or so apart, in the center of the lid's top (Image 1). Starting on the lid's underside, feed ribbon through the slits (Images 2-4), then tie in a bow (Image 5).

Finishing Touches and Other Project Ideas

Insert a few sprigs of faux or fresh-cut greenery for added woodsy color (Image 1). Use the same fabric-wrapping techniques to cover leftover lidded boxes (like thicker hat, coat or candy boxes) with holiday-themed fabric from closet castoffs, like old men's shirts or even vintage fabrics that may have some areas of damage, like hand-me-down tablecloths (Image 2). Also, consider covering other clean, leftover dry food containers in flannel, like plastic cocoa boxes (Image 3) or coffee tins.

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