11 Gift Exchange Pranks and Wrapping Gags  

You have a gift exchange but how do you make your gift exchange gift stand out, more fun and memorable. Well we’ve got some gift exchange gift pranks and fun things that will make your gift the most talked about and maybe stolen in the room.

Please know we stayed away from glitter bombs, explosions/popping noises and anything that had water or items falling/spilling out of the gift opener. We don’t want a mess or a dropped gift, we just wanted to add intrigue and fun to your gift exchange.

Watch Our Gift Exchange Pranks and Gift Wrapping Gags or Review the Gift Giving Gags Below


1. Sticky Fingers 
This gift exchange prank involves placing your “sticky fingers” gift inside a slightly larger box. The key to this gift exchange prank is using double side tape on the outside of the present. The tape creates a sticky and fun situation when the person opening the gift goes to pick it up and freaks out when they touch it. (You can see our example in the video)

We recommend placing the double-sided tape in a crossing pattern. That way, you don’t need to cover the entire gift, but you have most of it covered and it looks like it is part of the gift wrapping design.

The Double-Sided Tape Gift Exchange Prank is recommended for gifts that will be safe if it is dropped 1-5 inches. (Better safe than sorry.) Not recommended for fragile items.


2. Russian Nesting Gifts
Nesting Boxes - Gift Exchange GagPeople love Russian nesting dolls, but you may not get the same reaction when your gift exchange gift is placed in a box, inside a box inside a box, inside a box and maybe inside more boxes. This gift exchange gag works best if you have at least 3 boxes. The gift opener is likely to start getting annoyed at the third unwrapping, so any additional boxes just adds to the anticipation of discovering what the gift is. We say the more the merrier, so if you can do 7, 8, or even 9 gift boxes do it!

This gift exchange gift may create some gift opening frustration, but it is fun to watch.

Gifts for this prank tend to be small in size as that will allow for lots of boxes. We found a variety of Christmas nesting boxes on Amazon, one included 10 boxes! 


3. This is How Santa Rolls – Santa’s Toilet Paper 
Gift Exchange Gift Pranks Toilet PaperNothing is more fun than having someone open up their gift exchange gift and finding a roll of toilet paper! Now you can make toilet paper cool again by hiding gifts and a few surprises along the way.

How the prank works, take a roll of toilet paper that is already on the roll. You want a little less than half roll. You’ll need to unroll the entire roll to the end and then start layering in gifts. Tape the best gift at the end of the roll and start rolling the toilet paper back up and randomly tape gifts into the roll until it is fully re-rolled. Then tie a ribbon around the toilet paper for a festive touch.

Have some fun by adding in some already scratched lottery tickets that lost, write some fun comments, and even make the toilet paper look used (see below – skid marks).

Gifts for this gift grab party prank include lottery tickets, dollars bills, gift cards, movie tickets, maybe even individually wrapped tea bags, and any thin items that bend easily can be rolled into the toilet paper.

If you want to add some gross elements to your toilet paper, take a candy bar or chocolate and add skid marks to the toilet paper. It will look like Santa already used it!

Once you finish rolling up your gift exchange, tie a ribbon around it and label it Santa’s Roll.


4. High Flying – Balloon Surprise
Use this balloon inspired gift exchange prank can for lightweight and heavier items. Just don’t load the ribbon with gifts, as we found out when making the video, just a few items can weigh down a balloon.

Get a helium balloon with a long string of ribbon. Tie/tape lightweight items like lottery tickets of gift cards to the bottom of the balloon ribbon. If you are in a location with a high ceiling by sure to add a weight so the balloon does not float away. Also tie the ribbons around any heavy item, to use as an anchor.

How to stage your gift for best impact. Get a box large enough to fit your balloon and your gift. The best box for this gift is one with a single lid that they remove. Hence as soon as the lid comes off the balloon can rise up. Flap boxes, like those from Amazon, don’t work as well. I used one in the video and it wasn’t as impressive as it could have been.

Once you have your gift in the bottom of the box, place the balloon in the box and seal it. To add a little extra flair put a piece of tissue paper on top of the balloon. (If you put to many it slows the ascent of the balloon.)

Now when your gift is opened the tissue paper and balloon will (should) pop out and surprise them a little. A fun surprise to showcase your gift and they get a balloon too.




5. All Balled Up – Saran Wrap Ball
Saran Wrap Funny Gift Exchange PranksOh, the frustration the person who picks this gift from the gift pile will have when they realize that their gift or gifts are securely wrapped in a saran wrap ball. This tedious gift is entertaining to watch someone unwrap and work for the gift opener. The saran wrap ball can include one gift placed at the center of the ball or a variety gifts.

To make this gift, start with one item and begin wrapping in saran wrap. Then continue wrapping tightly until all the saran wrap is used. If you have multiple things to include in your ball, place a new item every 3- 7 wraps. It gets easier to add items as the saran wrap ball gets bigger.

If you use the entire roll of saran wrap and adding lots of items the ball can become quite heavy. Be aware of this if you plan to use this for kids 5 and under and adults over 70.

Gift Items that work well for the this gift exchange gift are small gifts in boxes, candy, beads, lottery tickets, party favors, gift cards, money, resin Christmas ornaments, travel size items (but no lotion bottles where the lotion cause squeeze out.) and small hand held items.

* This is a great gift exchange wrapping gag, but we don’t recommend it for groups where guests might have arthritis. The goal is not about causing pain, but rather creating fun.


6. Prank Boxes
Gift Exchange Prank BoxesMake them smile and wonder whether the gift is real. Christmas prank boxes are a great way to entertain and have guests question and wonder whether the item of real. You can easily place a variety of gifts inside these boxes and if you package it correctly the person opening the gift may not even open the box, thinking that the product is real.

Oh the disappointment they may have thinking they got a Pet Petter, Fart Fan, or a Roto Wipe!
We found Christmas prank boxes at Amazon, Target and other retailers.

Simple, fun and the easiest gift exchange present prank on our list.


7. Tissue, Tissue, Tissue
Hopefully, the person who picks this gift at your gift exchange won’t break into tears when they open it. All they need to do is pull out all the tissues to discover their gift!

How to pull this one off. Take a new tissue box and open the side using a knife or letter opener. Then pull out the stack of tissues, remove at least half or one-third of the stack. Then place your gift or gifts within the tissues, with the best gift or main gift being as the bottom of the box. (See video for example.)

Then slide the tissues back in the box. Make sure there is a good amount of tissues at the top, so it looks like the original package. Then take glue and seal the box back up. Now it looks like the gift is the tissue box!

The best part about this one is that if you glue it correctly and use a new unopened box, it looks like a regular tissue box and the person will think that is the gift. Once they figure out that they must open it, they will have fun pulling out the tissues until they get to the gift. Gifts can include money, lottery tickets, jewelry, gift cards, and small items that can fit in a tissue box.




8. Oh Blimey – This Gift is Slimy
Gift Exchange Gag Ideas SlimeGross but so much fun. Hide your gift in a bucket of slime!

Securely seal your gift in a small plastic container or wrap in a few layers of saran wrap and place in the slime. Gift cards appear to be safe when placed in slime, but you may want to take a precaution just in case.

The person who picks this gift from the gift exchange present pile must then go into the slime and get their gift or gifts. The bucket of slime is part of the gift too, so parents with kids may fight over this present it.

While it is a little gross, we found playing with the slime to be oddly satisfying, so you may have people playing with the slime bucket during your holiday gift exchange. We can see this being a success at the office, as it is a great stress reliever too!

We found a festive slime bucket with glitter, that is perfect for the holidays.


9. Zu-Zu – It’s Alive
It's Alive Zu-Zu Gift Exchange PrankA few years ago, Zu-Zu pets were everywhere. We continue to be reminded of our Zu-Zu pet when we open a specific drawer. It still chirps, squeaks, and moves around. Now it can be part of your gift exchange.

If you have gift shakers at your gift exchange, then consider placing a Zu-Zu pet or another motion activate toy in your gift! Test this before wrapping it, make sure it still works and the Zu-Zu responds to shaking. This works best if the bottom of the box is flat and you have pet has room to move around. The real gift should be taped to the top of the box or taped to the side of the box so that the Zu-Zu pet doesn’t get trapped.

Also be careful when carrying this gift as not to set it off. And if you do just hope it is loud inside.

Check out the video and learn that this prank doesn’t always work as expected. Be advised the Zu-Zu doesn’t always come to life when the gift is shaken, it is 50/50. However, when it does it is fun to watch people’s expressions.


10. Yarning for your Christmas Gift
Silly Gift Exchange Wrapping Ideas - Yarn Gift GagHere are two ways to use yarn in your Christmas gift exchange.

1. Tape the yarn to the bottom box of the box and then wrap it around the gift over and over again. Go under layers, switch directions and so on until all the yarn is gone. The yarn is used instead of wrapping paper. Works best on smaller boxes.

2. The other way to use yarn is similar to the saran wrap ball. Start with the gift and then wrap the yarn around and around the gift or gifts until the yarn is totally used. Easy to layer in flavored tea packets, gift gifts, gift cards and paper gifts.

When we did this in the video we learned a few things.
1. It takes a while to cover the gift with yarn.
2. We really liked how it looks.
3. The corners are hard to cover and are likely to show through, so be okay with that.
4. Knitters are likely to wan this gift if the yarn comes with it and the will be in horror if people use scissors and a knife to cut through the yarn. So try make sure there are no scissors around. 🙂


11. All Eyes are Glued on You 
Frustrating Gift Exchange Gift Wrapping PranksUnwrapping Christmas presents is simple and fun, until it isn’t. Just imagine, the joy of someone selecting a gift from the gift exchange present pile and their eyes light up with joy as they start to unwrap it. However instead of unwrapping it a little piece rips off, and they paper isn’t moving. As they try to keep their composure, everyone is waiting for them to unwrap the gift. Hence all eyes are glued on them, because you have glued the wrapping paper to the gift box!

Eventually they will open the gift, but is fun to watch them struggle just a little. Just be sure to have a great gift inside. 🙂

This wrapping prank is simple, but does take sometime as you want to make sure the glue every section. We did ours in sections and made sure we spread the glue out evenly on the wrapping paper.


We hope you enjoyed our 11 Gift Exchange Pranks and Gags. We had fun putting them together and making the video.

If you need ideas for your gift exchange or Christmas party be sure to check out our Gift Exchange Games and Printable Christmas Party Games.