The holiday season will be here before you know it! 

With the holiday season comes an influx of new customers that you need to impress. 

While it may seem too late to start thinking about your seasonal packaging, you can still gather inspiration for 2023! 

Brands around the world have to plan for the holiday rush in advance as manufacturing and shipping of your final product packaging needs to be factored in to ensure consumers are getting seasonal products and packaging at the right time. 

Read more about how to meet the deadlines for this holiday season rush! 

The unboxing experience becomes the main contributor to your sales as customers look for striking and ready-to-give gifts for their friends and family. 

Here we’ve laid out our top 19 design ideas for you to use as inspiration for your product packaging in the coming year.

Expanding on Festive Colors

  1. Black and White

Take a modern twist on holiday packaging. 

Black and white are classic, and are typically used year-round for brands to showcase minimalism and luxury.  

Why not switch it up and use black and white for your holiday packaging designs this year? 

Example of black and white holiday packaging
Source: Travelshopa

While it may seem counterintuitive to pick colors that aren’t on the traditional holiday color scheme, black and white packaging is timeless, and for good reason. 

In a sea of red and green packaging, black and white may just be the competitive edge your brand needs to stand out this year. 

2. Frosted

Rather than go full-blown Christmas, why not celebrate the winter season instead? 

Frosted packaging is a subtle and unique way to pay homage to frosty winter mornings. 

This packaging design idea is ideal if you’re looking to make minimal changes to your design for the holiday season. 

Many brands focus on Christmas-themed packaging designs, with little paying attention to the winter season. 

Focusing a little more on the season rather than the holiday could be what sets your brand apart from the rest on the shelf. 

Especially with so many different holidays on the horizon like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, there is a demographic of consumers who are looking for gift options that aren’t specific to Christmas festivities. 

Frosted packaging is the perfect option for brands who are looking to be more inclusive during the holiday season and offer designs that fit in with a range of different holidays this season. 

3. A Touch of Christmas

We all know that the primary colors for the Christmas season are red, green, and gold. 

While many brands will choose to plaster these colors across their packaging designs, we recommend a more modest approach to these colors. 

Rather than opting for busy designs that feature all the Christmas colors at once, why not sprinkle one color throughout your design for a more subtle and sophisticated holiday feel? 

Example of using touches of red
Source: Cosmopolitan

Adding festive colored ribbons, tissue paper, or minimalist designs, make customers feel less overwhelmed by the noisy shelves. 

Designs that feature empty space but still feature a holiday feel will allow customers to spot your product on shelves that feature busy and over-the-top holiday designs. 

It’s like taking a breath of fresh air in a crowded mall, be that breath of fresh air! 

  1. Metallics

As briefly touched on, golds and silvers also fall under the festive color scheme. 

Foil stamping is a wonderful way to add a little shimmer to any packaging design this holiday season. 

The great thing about foil stamping is that you don’t necessarily have to opt for classic holiday designs for it to exude a high end, festive feel. 

Example of gold foil stamping
Source: The Dieline

Foil stamping is typically used to enhance brand logos, text and aspects of designs. However, for the holiday season, many brands decide to go all out and embellish their packaging with metallic designs using foil stamping. 

It takes half a step away from your cliché holiday packaging designs and elevates them to create sophisticated designs on shelves that feature reindeer, snowmen, and santa. 

Design Styles

  1. Rustic designs

Rustic designs have played an integral role in holiday packaging designs over the years. 

Especially in the wake of eco-conscious consumers, brands around the world are tailoring their packaging designs to not only spark a festive spirit but still enhance sustainable initiatives. 

Kraft paper packaging does a wonderful job at creating an organic warmth in the wake of the holiday festivities. 

Natural earthy brown tones, while not in the traditional holiday design scheme, create a cozy feel that is perfect for the winter season. 

Example of rustic kraft holiday packaging
Festive Wrapping (26th April 2016)

The great thing about rustic designs is that you can really make them your own. 

Kraft paper works flawlessly with monochromatic colors, adding a pop of green, red or gold really brings the holiday season to the forefront. 

The rustic style is incredibly versatile and almost any product type can benefit from this style for the holiday season! 

  1. The Ugly Christmas Sweater

While the ugly christmas sweater is out of fashion, packaging designs this year can still benefit from these classic patterns. 

Simply put, it’s the most straightforward way to announce your exclusive holiday packaging. It’s extremely recognizable and appeals to the holiday feel consumers are looking for.

Opt for classic holiday patterns like pine trees, reindeer and snowflakes to really play into the ugly christmas sweater feel.  

To further play into the cozy warm feel of the ugly Christmas sweater, brands have been emphasizing texture in their designs, making it look like the packaging is wrapped in your favorite material for the holidays. 

The sweater texture creates depth and enhances this classic design even further this year. 

7. Minimalism

Minimalism has long been the safest way to go, anytime of the year. 

But this holiday season, minimalism is a necessity for many brands. 

It’s predictable that most brands will opt for classic christmas patterns, tones and images. 

So, why not set yourself apart with minimalist designs featuring elegant fonts and prints.

Example of minimalist holiday packaging design
Source: Vend HQ

The holiday season is stressful for both consumers and businesses.

Consumers are looking for the perfect gift in stores while brands compete to catch consumers’ wandering eyes. 

Minimalist designs may just be the breath of fresh air your customer needs on the busy and often suffocating shelves of retail stores.  

Packaging Styles

8. Tubes

Packaging tubes are often overlooked by brands during the holiday season. 

However, tubes can be a unique way to package your products for the holidays. 

Ideal for stocking stuffers, tube packaging can hold a wide variety of product types. 

Example of tube packaging for the holidays
Source: PakFactory

Anything from apparel, fashion, candy and jewelry, tube packaging is a unique way to offer your customers a gift-like unboxing experience without any additional wrapping paper or ribbons! 

It’s convenient, beautiful and unique which gives any brand a competitive edge this holiday season. 

9. Magnetic Rigid Boxes

Magnetic rigid boxes have long been the superior choice for gift packaging, and rightly so. 

Magnetic rigid boxes create a luxurious unboxing experience from the get go, making them ideal for gift giving during the holiday season. 

Popular for packaging exclusive holiday gifts in the cosmetics and skincare industries, rigid magnetic boxes are a convenient way to showcase the quality of your brand during the holidays. 

Example of magnetic rigid box
Source: PakFactory

Overall, rigid boxes of all types feature a gift-like unboxing experience, making them ideal for the holiday season. 

However, the magnetic rigid box sets itself apart as they are easily resealable allowing customers or gift receivers to enjoy the packaging time and time again with many keeping this type of box for home decor or storage. 

While a little pricier than your average packaging options, rigid boxes pay for themselves during the holiday season with many brands season an increase of sales of up to 80% during the winter months. 

Additional Materials

10. Gift tags

Adding a gift tag to packaging of any type, is cost effective as well as personal and consistently creates holiday packaging that your customers will appreciate time and time again. 

It’s a classic way to give your holiday packaging a purpose. 

Similar to promotional inserts, gift tags can be used to offer discounts, gift cards and greetings that make your packaging feel more personalized and ready for the gift giving occasion. 

Your gift tag doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to your brand persay. 

Adding “To:” and “From:” or a simple “Happy Holidays” can also significantly add to the holiday cheer of your product packaging. 

It also further plays into the purpose of your packaging, it essentially maked it a ready-to-give gift on it’s own! 

11. Printed Packing Tape

As we’ve seen, e-commerce businesses have taken the retail world by storm, especially during the pandemic. 

Making the holiday season that much more important for online retailers. 

Custom packing tape is the subtle touch that sets e-commerce packaging apart from a mail room of brown boxes. 

While the unboxing experience lied within the packaging itself, the initial interaction with should spark anticipation and excitement for the holiday season. 

Packing tape is something you’ll most likely have to use to secure your packaging efficiently for shipping anyway, so why not add a little cheer to even the simplest of things. 

Not only is it cost effective, but it also communicates the purpose of your packaging should customers mail them out to friends and family for the holidays! 

Themed packing tape adds extra branding elements to your packaging that can enhance the overall customer experience, especially during the holiday season. 

12. Stickers

Probably the easiest way to spice up any packaging design is to opt for some custom stickers

This is an incredibly convenient way for small businesses who can’t necessarily afford a whole redesign for the season. 

Bought in bulk, custom stickers are extremely cost effective and communicate a whole lot. 

You can use stickers to showcase holiday designs, patterns or messages that help your customers get in the holiday spirit. 

Example of holiday stickers
Source: World Label

Gold detailing on stickers do exceptionally well for the holidays as it adds that glimmer of holiday cheer in a subtle yet elegant way. 

Stickers can also be used to seal packaging and wrapping paper. 

Functional and beautiful! 

13. Printed Tissue Paper

Printed tissue paper or wrapping paper was quite literally made for the holidays. 

Many brands choose to gift wrap their products for the holiday season, once again playing into the ready-to-give gift aspect of any packaging design for the holidays. 

Use tissue paper or wrapping paper to wrap apparel, cosmetics or electronics for an ultimate gifting experience. 

Wrapping paper is probably the most common way people like to receive gifts. 

While this may not necessarily be the most efficient way for brands to package their products, tissue paper and wrapping paper is popularly used within product packaging to enhance the unboxing experience. 

Example of printed gift paper
Source: Hike N Dip

Commonly paired with rigid boxes or corrugated boxes, both e-commerce and retail packaging can benefit from tissue and wrapping paper to create a festive unboxing experience. 

14. Ribbons

Another classic holiday gift accessory: ribbons. 

Ribbons are the ultimate indicator that “this box contains a gift”. 

Brands have been using ribbons in unique ways for the holidays to complement and showcase their branding and product during the holiday season. 

Make sure you strategically place your ribbons to compliment rather than cover the design of your product packaging, even if it isn’t necessarily the most festive!

15. Box Inserts

While custom box inserts may seem like a useless component to customize, they actually add a lot of value to your overall unboxing experience. 

Afterall, it’s the inside that counts! 

While it’s not common to print text on box inserts, you can still create a festive interior to your packaging using color and pattern. 

Bring the exterior into the interior by replicating any patterns or designs you feature on the exterior of your packaging to create an overall festive unboxing experience. 

Example of box insert
Source: Style Minds

Box inserts carry a real ‘wow factor’, although subtle, it elevates and adds value to the quality of your products and brand. 

Read more about product packaging inserts

16. Wood Wool Paper Shred

Wood wool paper shred is a great way to showcase your sustainability efforts, but also add a little fun to the unboxing experience of your products. 

Wood wool paper is a cost effective alternative to custom inserts, as they still offer cushioning and protection to products but doesn’t necessarily need to be custom fit. 

example of wood wool paper shred
Source: Koch

The best part? You can get them in all different types of colors to match both your branding and festive occasion! 

Ideal for creating sharable packaging, using gold, red or green wood wool paper shred creates an instagrammable moment from every angle. 

Specialty Printing and Finishing

17. Inside-the-Box 

E-commerce businesses heavily rely on the unboxing experience to create impactful first impressions on customers. 

That’s why printing personalized messages or designs on the interior of your product packaging can create a festive experience for any e-commerce brand. 

Ideally you’ll want to spark excitement for your products, offer a personalized experience and enhance the experience of your products. 

Source: Metrilo

Many brands create sharable packaging this way using quirky quotes or sayings on the interior of the box that appeals to the holiday feel. 

Adding something as simple as “happy holidays!” adds an element of personalization that customers will appreciate regardless of how cheesy or generic it is. 

The holidays is all about getting close and personal! 

18. Window Patching

Is your product already holiday themed? 

Showcase them with custom window patching and let your products create holiday cheer! 

Window patching is a popular way to showcase products. The packaging is die cut and overlaid with a plastic sheet to create a window for your products to peep out of. 

example of die cut christmas packaging
Source: Hero Arts

Customers love to know exactly what they are shopping for. Window patching is the most straightforward way to show your customers exactly what they’ll be getting. 

Ideal for food, cosmetics and apparel, custom window patching is the ultimate way to showcase your products clearly amongst the christmas clutter on shelves. 

19. Embossing

Possibly the most subtle way to create holiday packaging, embossing creates raised  designs on the surface of cards and paperboard packaging. 

Ideal for monochrome themed packaging, embossing brings the holiday cheer to life without shoving it in your face. 

Embossing is elegant, subtle and quite impactful as it gives your product packaging a 3D element customers can interact with before opening it for the holidays! 

Inviting customers in to interact with the packaging allows your product to stand out on shelves with more customers looking to shop in stores now. 

Embossing can enhance visual aspects of your branding like logos and artwork designs, but most of all it can create some pretty spectacular designs that customers will feel drawn to! 

There are many more ways to design and create some spicy holiday packaging designs. 

With so many options and capabilities at our disposal it can feel quite overwhelming to create packaging designs that will stand out in the most competitive season of the year. 

Lucky for you, we’re here to help!


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