How to wrap a kids bike for Christmas

Child's bike with fairy lights wrapped around it near a Christmas tree with presents in the basket

Christmas is just around the corner, and while some are still doing last minute gift buying, others are getting started on the all-important job of wrapping. After all there's nothing more gratifying than watching our kids gleefully tearing open their presents on Christmas morning!

Wrapping smaller gifts can be a doddle for many, but what do you do when you're faced with a bike? Even the most confident wrappers might be left scratching their heads at the prospect. So if Father Christmas has tasked you with a challenge this year, we're here with a few tips for how to wrap a kids bike for Christmas.

These tips come from years of buying bikes for growing kids, as well as outsourcing ideas from other parents of cycling sprogs.

Whether you've got a couple of minutes or several hours we've got lots of great ideas on how to gift wrap your child's bike ready for Christmas Day.

If your bike is still in the box check out our guide about how to assemble a kid's bike first.

And if you're still looking for last minute stocking fillers or main event presents, check out our collection of Gifts for Cyclists guides.

How to wrap up a kids bike this Christmas - a guide for busy parents

We've all got different levels of artistic skill, patience and time so we've tried to cover lots of different ways of wrapping a kids bike.

We know most people are very hassled in the run up to Christmas, so we've tried to concentrate on quick, easy and cheap ways to wrap up a bike late on Christmas Eve, that have worked for real parents.

We're very grateful to followers of the Cycle Sprog Facebook page who have kindly shared their photos and advice on how they've covered up and wrapped their child's bike.

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Wrapping up a kids bike using wrapping paper

If you're anything like us, the first thing you've thought about is finding a way to wrap up your child's bike with wrapping paper. It's the most obvious way to do it, though it can actually be the most time-consuming and tricky method to get right.

So if you're going to attempt it, we'd recommend doing it right next to where you're planning to leave the bike in the morning, and do it late on Christmas Eve, otherwise carrying it around the house in its wrapped state could lead to tears in the paper and potentially tears for you! Trust us when we say, it's no fun trying to carry it around once it's wrapped.

You'll also need plenty of wrapping paper and sellotape, so this is a better option for smaller wheeled bikes and balance bikes, rather than for bigger bikes.

Several adults seen from above, attempting to wrap a balance bike with wrapping paper
  • The most precise method: Some people choose to wrap each individual piece of the bike separately (e.g. handlebars, pedals, wheels, saddle, etc.), which can lead to great success but is very time-consuming. Give yourself several hours if you choose to do it this way.
  • The least time-consuming method: A more time-effective way is to use wrapping paper to create a big bag around the bike, which will also disguise its shape. You can either do this with the bike standing upright and wrap the paper around it, or very carefully lie it flat on top of the paper before enveloping it
  • The middle ground method: A good compromise is to wrap each section of the bike separately (e.g. the front, middle and back). It does take a far bit of patience though! You may still need to break it down into individual parts in places, like the handlebars and saddle, but you could wrap around the whole middle section without bothering to wrap the cranks and pedals.
  • Top tip: Use good quality wrapping paper because really cheap and thin paper will tear easily.

Jodie told us on Facebook that one year her son's dad was determined to wrap his BMX up for him. He went for the middle ground method, and it was obviously worth the effort come Christmas morning!

If you're really going all out on the wrapping you can even order personalised bike wrapping paper.

How to wrap a kids bike for Christmas day

Easier ways to wrap a kids' bike this Christmas

If you don't have the patience, time or artistic flair to wrap the bike using wrapping paper, then here are lots of easier ways you can surprise your child with a new bike on Christmas morning.

Christmas bike bag

A much easier way to wrap a kids' bike is to present it in a Christmas bike bag. This is essentially a big plastic sack (with a festive theme!) which you slide the bike inside, so that it looks like a massive present under the tree.

If you're careful with it, you can save the bag for future years. This is extremely handy if your child outgrows their new bike, or you've got a younger child ready for their first bike the following year. The one pictured above is one we've had for almost a decade, and it comes out for use with large presents each year.

Alternatively, you can do as Cycle Sprog reader Dawn did and reuse your bike bag as a Christmas Day table cloth!

Buy Now Buy Local

Cycle Sprog reader Alice has a great homemade/eco-friendly alternative to the Christmas Bike Bag: a duvet cover!

She's used old cot duvet bed covers to hide a small bike in the past but says "Now that the boy child has entered the realms of an adult size bike, it might need to be a double!"

Easy ways to wrap a kids bike at Chrristmas
Environmentally friendly way to wrap a kids bike at Christmas avoiding a plastic bike bag

Use a blanket

One of the easiest and quickest ways is to cover the bike in blankets or sheets.

This is a particularly good idea if you're needing to wrap a larger bike, or are aiming for a low-waste Christmas.

If you've got a festive piece of material or a Christmas blanket then this is a great choice to use.

Just one handy hint: make sure you don't get oil all over your blanket or sheets - you can protect the chain and gearing mechanism with some bubble wrap or an old cloth.

An easy alternative to wrapping a kids bike

Cycle Sprog reader Lewis had a great idea - he used the handlebars of the bikes to hang the stockings on - a double dose of excitement in one!

And Sam did similar with his Sprog's balance bike - a simple tag on the handlebars was more than sufficient to create this lovely festive scene:

Ideas for easily wrapping a kids bike this Christmas
Do I need to wrap my child's bike, or can I just leave it under the Chriistmas tree?

Use lights instead of wrapping paper

Another good way to make the gifting of a bike special is to wrap it in fairy lights - if there's a basket you can even use this to store other presents too.

We think this would work particularly well if you have the lights off and curtains are drawn (let's face it, they'll be up before dawn anyway!). They'll come into the room and see the bike glowing in the dark - magical!

Child's bike with fairy lights wrapped around it near a Christmas tree with presents in the basket

Memorable alternatives to wrapping a kids bike

Here are a few lovely ideas from Cycle Sprog readers on how to create that perfect Christmas surprise.

Some are incredibly easy and others require a little bit more effort, but they all had the exact same result: huge smiles come Christmas morning.

They can be very useful if you aren't able to leave the bike beneath the Christmas tree.

"My step dad and mum in the 80s did the best thing!  They left arrows around the house from my bedroom together with Santa snow feet.

I followed them until I first found a bell and then a shiny new bike!  It didn't matter that it wasn't wrapped because it was such fun!" Sally

"We had a piece of ribbon attached to the bike which trailed from all the way up the stairs!" Anna

"My experience as a kid, and we’ve done the same with our kids, is to let them open all their tree presents first. 

Then when they are out of the room wheel the bike out from a place of hiding and act all innocent when they spot it. Don’t forget to have the mobile phone video going..." Stuart

Christmas trail leading to a new bike hidden in the shed

Don't forget to share your Christmas Cycle Sprog wrapping with us - you can tag @CycleSprog on Instagram or find us on Facebook. 

Before you go..... 

If you've also bought for your child a new bike helmet for Christmas, their safety is really important. Read our guide: Is your child’s bike helmet fitted correctly?


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