No-Wrap Gift Boxes
Boxes for Travel, Surprises, Favors, Foodies, Multiparts
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.
Boxes for Multiples, Edibles, Storage, Blah Gifts
A Gift Series
Gift: One for each of the eight days of Hanukkah or the 12 days of Christmas.
Box: Wrap your gifts in matching boxes to set them apart (and make a pretty stack later).
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available, but find similar products at paper-source.com.
Gift: Home-baked treats you want to send to everyone in your far-flung fan base.
Box: These beribboned boxes don't have just fancy-chocolatier good looks going for them. There's an FDA-approved food-safe coating inside and out to protect your famous fudge. They come in sets of three, from 4 by 4 by 2 inches (shown, top center) to 6 by 6 by 3 inches.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available.
The Box That's a Gift to You
- Gift: Anything that requires a really big box―one you can reclaim later for storage.
- Box: This sturdy cotton-covered cardboard box's medium size (13¼ by 9 by 9¼ inches, shown, center) can hold a baseball cap and a stack of X-Box games one holiday season, then ornaments or wrapping supplies for those to come.
- To buy: Canvas-Covered Gift Box, $13, homegoods.com for store locations.
The Blah Gift
- Gift: One that needs something extra to elevate it from the mundane (like that anti-aging serum your sister can't do without).
- Box: She'll be happy before she even opens her gift if it's in a hand-painted wooden box with a silk ribbon attached.
- To buy: Bluedogz Designs Ribbon Box, $8, bluedogzdesign.com.
Hatboxes for Toys, Hand and Foot Warmers
Oddly Shaped Toys
Gift: Something offbeat for your young nephew with everything.
Box: Lay your offering inside a spacious hatbox. These come in sets of various sizes (shown, second from left).
To buy: Round hatboxes, $14 to $18, r-i-inc.com for store locations.
Socks, Slippers, Gloves
Gift: Hand and foot warmers are welcome gifts. If only wrapping them made you feel as warm and fuzzy.
Box: These oval hatboxes happen to be perfect for both: 8¾ by 5 by 3¾ inches (shown, second from right) or 10 by 5½ by 4½ inches.
To buy: Oval hatboxes, $7 to $9,
r-i-inc.com for store locations.