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How to make ZIA gift wrap, bags, and boxes, a tutorial by Cyndi Knapp

ZIA gift wrap tutorialHi everyone, thanks so much for keeping me company on this fine November Saturday morning.

Today I’m dropping in to visit with a perfectly-timed seasonal tutorial from Canadian tangler Cyndi Knapp.

Not only does Cyndi have over 20 great tangles on the site but she also recently shared a tutorial on How to make beautiful ZIA travertine coasters. Today she shares tips and ideas on how to make your own seasonal Zentangle®-inspired gift wrap as well as bags, boxes and envelopes.

Here’s Cyndi …


I always have kraft paper and bags on hand because it’s easy to transform them into ZIA gift wrap when you need it. It’s a simple way to further personalize gift giving and people love that you’ve taken the time to create something unique for them. Plus, if the person isn’t already familiar with Zentangle, it’s a good introduction!

These ZIA gift wrap ideas are being presented more as a visual because they’re so simple they really don’t require instruction. That said, instructions are included for several of the ideas, along with a few tips.

General Tips

  • Choose patterns that are suitable and easily adapted to the size of your project – the more detailed the pattern(s), the longer it will take to complete.
  • Add a little glitter to make your gift wrap sparkle!
  • I have the following card making supplies on hand but others would work well too:
    a) Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist – adds a very subtle micro dusting of glitter all over.
    b) Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust pens – add subtle glitter.
    c) Sakura Gelly Roll Silver Shadow/Gold Shadow pens – add colour along with the silver or gold.
    d) Ranger Stickles – adds obvious glitter and has a raised effect once dry.

Gift Bag

Bags are always great for gifts and can be one of the quickest ZIA gift wrap projects because they look great no matter how many sides you tangle. For my example, I chose a kraft bag that had been lightly used before it came into my hands. In the past, I threw away bags with logos but this time I decided to try revamping it for reuse.

Note – the supplies and directions listed below reflect this project, not a new kraft bag.


    1. recycled Kraft gift bag
    2. Zentangle Sakura Micron pens and pencils
    3. Kraft paper
    4. Scissors
    5. Craft glue or double-sided tape

ZIA Gift bag supplies


1. Lightly wipe the bag with a sanitary wipe and let it dry.

2. Determine which Zentangle tile to use as a template: a) the shape large enough to cover a logo. b) the desired shape.

3. With the Zentangle tile face down, trace around it on the kraft paper.

4. Tangle within the perimeter of the created shape.

Step 5

5. Cut out the ZIA and attach it over the logo using either craft glue or double sided tape.

6. Repeat Steps 3-5 for the opposite side of the bag. (optional)

7. Tangle on the bag around the ZIA(s) where desired. (optional) – Note how Step 7 lessens kraft paper colour variations.

Step 7

Gift Box

A great little gift in itself!

Gift Box - Outer lid tangled with Zonked

Gift Box – Outer lid tangled with Zonked


    1. Blank gift box (available at Craft stores)
    2. Regular Zentangle pens and pencils
    3. Matte Spray Varathene (optional)


  • Because the paper of kraft and black coloured boxes has more tooth, they’re better for tangling on than the smooth paper of white boxes.
  • If using graphite or white pencils, several light coats of Matte Spray Varathane will prevent smudging and help preserve the box.

Inside Bottom of Gift Box:

Gift Box - bottom inside tangled with Kazuma & Chard

Gift Box – bottom inside tangled with Kazuma & Chard

Inside Lid of Gift Box:

Inside Bottom of Gift Box:

Gift Box – lid inside tangled with Facets & Bateek

Personalize Envelopes

Often for special occasions and holiday cards, I like to give a small hint on the envelope of the nature of the card inside. In the example below, the colour and pattern shape reminded me of my Christmas card.

J’Loop” border using Gellyroll Silver Shadow Green

Gift Wrap

Out of the ordinary wrap for any occasion and any gift size.


    1. Roll of Kraft Paper
    2. Pens and pencils (Zentangle and otherwise)


If you intend to have a focal pattern(s), do a trial wrap first – lightly crease the paper along the edges of the gift. As you tangle, the crease lines will give you a better idea of where to place a focal pattern(s).

#1 Country Wedding Gift Wrap

The patterns for this wrap were chosen because they were perfect for a wedding and adapted well to the size of the project. At an overall length of 5 ft/1.524 m (a little ambitious for a first attempt), it required pens with a larger tip size than Microns to make the focal patterns stand out and to finish the project. I had a medium black Sharpie, black & brown Tombows and Fabrico grey marker on hand so I used them along with a white Gellyroll pen and a white pencil.

Country Wedding Gift Wrap

Country Wedding Gift Wrap- tangled with Mooka, Printemps and Florz

The wrapped gift …

#2 Christmas Gift Wrap

The pattern for this wrap was chosen because the shape reminded me of a vintage glass Christmas ornament. Since this was a small project (20″ x 13″/51 cm x 33 cm) and a simple pattern, more time was taken to add fill.


    1. Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Red pen
    2. Sakura Gelly Roll White pen
    3. Zentangle White charcoal pencil in Derwent Pencil Extender
    4. Ranger Stickles XM Red


1. Draw the pattern outlines with Stardust Red pen.

Christmas Gift Wrap - begin with Allium

Christmas Gift Wrap – begin with Allium

2. Systematically use Stickles over some or all of the lines in Step 1 and let dry.

3. Fill as desired with White and Stardust Red pens and a white pencil.

Christmas Gift Wrap – Allium filled with Printemps

Matching gift tag made using kraft cardstock:


Many thanks to Cyndi for her attention to detail and hard work in putting together this great tutorial for jump-starting our imaginations about making ZIA gift wrap!

Check out the tag cyndik for Cyndi’s tangles and tutorials on


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4 comments to How to make ZIA gift wrap, bags, and boxes, a tutorial by Cyndi Knapp

  • Sally Lepley

    What wonderful ideas! Thank you and Cyndi for the “kick start” for some tangling fun!

  • Virginie bergar bebedesiles

    Those are some great ideas I will made my own zentangled gift paper wrap for this Christmas
    Thank you very much for your website and all those Sunday’s newsletters. That’s always a pleasure to open them every weeks.

  • Nina

    Amazing! You always make my day but Cyndi’s work really made me forget everything but getting ahold of paper bags + pens! Thank you both for helping us get through this tough time!

  • LLS

    Thank You Cindi! Those are wonderful designs and ideas of how to share your art and Zentangle with friends and loved ones! I never thought of doing the tiles for coasters! Merry Christmas!

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