Gift Wrapping with Buttons

These button gift wrap looks seriously stole the show in our booth last week at Unique LA. It seems nearly everyone who came by remarked on them. People wanted the buttons... They wanted to learn how to wrap with the buttons... They wanted to know where to buy the buttons... Since they were such a hit—and truly are a fun and unexpected way to embellish a gift—it was decided a blog post was in order.

 Gift wrapping tip: use colorful buttons as an unexpected gift topper.  "Nautilus/ Aloha Flower" wrapping paper  patterns designed by Jana Lam.

Gift wrapping tip: use colorful buttons as an unexpected gift topper. "Nautilus/ Aloha Flower" wrapping paper patterns designed by Jana Lam.

Of course, in doing this post, we are airing our dirty little secret—we horde craft supplies! Along with things like ribbon and washi tape, bags of mixed buttons often mysteriously find their way into our shopping carts, whether we are at the local craft store or scouting websites like Etsy.

As it turns out, it was a good thing we had them at our fingertips. When we styled the look book for our new Jana Lam collection this spring, they proved to be the perfect punch of color to help us create our gift wrap rainbow. (We totally knew we'd need them someday!)

Below are a few tips that we had in mind when we styled these wrappings, may they inspire you to get creative. Happy wrapping!


Keep it solo or go for a cluster.

 Orange  Aloha Flower : Wrapping paper patterns by textile designer Jana Lam

Orange Aloha Flower: Wrapping paper patterns by textile designer Jana Lam

 Purple  Sand Dollars : Wrapping paper patterns by textile designer Jana Lam

Purple Sand Dollars: Wrapping paper patterns by textile designer Jana Lam

Buttons add a nice focal point and pop of color to your gift wrapping. If you are wrapping multiple boxes, switch up using them solo or in colorful groupings. The size of your box, and button(s) for that matter, may affect this decision, too.

Grouped buttons pack a punch, creating a fun opportunity to play with color, shape, size and texture. We cut our twine to length determined by how many times we wanted it to wrap around the box. Then we threaded the buttons one at a time, wrapping the twine around the box once in between. When all were threaded, we tied off the twine and slid the buttons around until we were happy with their arrangement. If the cord doesn't make it around to the bottom of the box, you can easily hide the knot behind one of the buttons. 

Used as solo accents, they make an equally strong statement. Think of scale, playing the size of the box and button off each other.


Build texture by mixing and layering ribbons and twines

For texture and color we used a mix of ribbon, butcher's twine and colored raffia to create the looks you see here. You'll need thin cordages like these to thread through the buttons, but if you have a wider ribbon that matches perfectly, work it in as a base to layer on. In fact, we even used bands of tissue paper as "ribbons." A bit of a cheat as you can easily adjust it's width as you see fit, the tissue added a great pop of color.

Here's another tip: when skipping a bow, use tape to bind your ribbon rather than tying a knot. This allows you to keep a nice flat bottom to your box.


Have fun threading!

And this truly is the best part of using buttons as gift embellishments, it's just so versatile. 

Thread multiple twines through a single button or string multiple buttons on a single twine. Tie a bow on top of the button, tie a bow beneath the button. Wrap your threaded buttons in just one direction or add a cross thread. Bunch the buttons up or stack them neatly in a line.

What else can you think of? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below.


Eco-friendly and adorably chic, Wrappily uses neighborhood newspaper presses to print great patterns on 100% recyclable and compostable newsprint—an answer to the millions of tons of trash attributed to wrapping paper every year. This smart, new take on wrapping paper is an idea who's time has come. Our founder set out on her mission to green-up giving in 2013, a journey filled with marvelously talented people who are creating amazing patterns for our wrapping paper. After all, we believe in beautifully wrapped gifts, but not at the expense of the environment.