No-Wrap Gift Boxes
Make paper and scissors the ghosts of presents past with these decorative boxes.
The Gift You Pack
Gift: One you're traveling with.
Box: To be sure your wrapping arrives uncrumpled, choose this retro-mod cutie, which comes flat (with a bow, tissue paper, and a tag) in an envelope that slips into a suitcase or a laptop case. It pops into shape with a few tucks and folds. In three sizes, from 6 by 3 by 4½ inches to 11 by 4 by 7 inches (shown, far left).
To buy: containerstore.com for other gift box ideas.
The Disguised Gift
Gift: Anything you want the recipient to think is wine but isn't.
Box: This 13-inch-tall cylinder (shown, second from left) has "bottle of wine" written all over it―so fill it instead with a rolled-up cashmere sweater, a canister of tennis balls, a snazzy travel umbrella, or a flask of balsamic vinegar or extra-virgin olive oil. Or, in a pinch, wine.
To buy: Wine Holder, $5, homegoods.com for store locations.
The Party Favor
Gift: Something small to distribute to party guests, book-club members, classmates, or extended family.
Box: This pillow-shaped treasure box comes in 2½-inch (shown, third from left) and 1½-inch sizes. For ornaments with a bonus, thread ribbons or cords through the holes in the top tabs and hang the boxes for friends to pluck off your tree.
To buy: Bayley's Boxes Trinket Box, 70 cents or $1, bayleysboxes.com.
The Foodie Treat
Gift: Something for your favorite epicurean.
Box: Pop a mini kitchen gadget or two into this quart-size faux Chinese-food container (shown, second from right), along with a rolled or folded gift certificate to a hot restaurant, a food shop, or a wine merchant―takeout with a twist. (For an extra little wink, throw in a fortune cookie, too.)
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available, but find similar products at plumparty.com.
The Multipart Gift
Gift: One for a niece who loves Snickers bars, J. D. Salinger, micro-minis, and Coldplay.
Box: This sturdy vinyl-coated cardboard valise (the kind used as a lunch box by kids in France and Belgium) has room for all your gifts and makes a colorful storage case post-holidays. In three sizes, from 8 by 6 by 3½ inches to 12 by 8 1/5 by 3½ inches (shown, far right).
To buy: Child's Valise, $10 to $14, Joseph Beth Booksellers, 800-396-8960.