Lighted Christmas Tree Gift Wrap

Light up someone's holiday with this one-of-a-kind gift wrap project. On the lid of the gift box is a paper accordion-fold Christmas tree that actually lights up. It could be the brightest idea of the season.

Want to see the wrapping in action? View it here!

Things You'll Need

  • Two-piece gift box
  • Wrapping paper
  • Battery-operated string of fairy lights
  • Duct tape
  • Cardstock
  • Stapler
  • Hot glue gun
Illuminated Christmas tree gift wrap.
Illuminated Christmas tree gift wrap. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

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Step 1

To create the illuminated tree effect, you will need a two-piece gift box that has a lid. Wrap both pieces separately, like in television shows or movies where the gifts can be easily opened without tearing any paper.

Wrap the lid and box separately.
Wrap the lid and box separately. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

The light source for this gift wrap is a battery-operated string of Christmas lights. Look for "fairy lights" or "moon lights," as opposed to regular Christmas lights. Fairy lights are smaller and more easily hidden. If they are not available in your local crafts store, you can find them at online retailers. Duct tape the battery back to the inside of the lid. Punch a hole in the middle of the box and thread the lights through the hole.

Duct tape battery back to the lid.
Duct tape battery back to the lid. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

Cut a 12 inch x 8-inch piece of cardstock and make 1-inch accordion folds. The paper here was creased with a scoring board for exact 1-inch pleats, but you can also eyeball it.

Accordion-fold the cardstock.
Accordion-fold the cardstock. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

Staple the top edge of the accordion-folded paper to create a tree shape.

Staple the top.
Staple the top. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

Punch small holes in the paper tree with a hole punch and insert the individual fairy lights from the string of lights. There is a set distance between each light on the string, so be sure you do not space your holes farther than that distance.

Punch holes and insert lights.
Punch holes and insert lights. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

Hot glue the tree to the lid, applying glue to the folds so they stick to the box when they make contact. Hot glue a paper star to the top of the tree. Now, because the lid is wrapped separately, you can open the gift box to turn on the lights right before you present your gift.

Glue the tree to the lid.
Glue the tree to the lid. (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Tips & Warnings

  • It is helpful to turn on the battery back when you fit the lights through the holes in the tree so you can see the individual bulbs.
  • Be careful when using a hot glue gun, and always keep it away from children.
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