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Frugal Holiday Gift-Wrapping Tips

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Holiday Gift-Wrapping Tip (sent in by reader, Olivia)…

Wrapping paper and gift bags and tissue paper have always annoyed me. It’s wasteful and it’s money that literally goes in the trash. This year I decided that I wasn’t buying anything to wrap gifts in, I would use what I had.

So I have wrapped all my gifts in newspaper. A couponer is sure to have newspaper laying everywhere, right? I made gifts bags using cereal boxes, cracker boxes and oatmeal containers that I wrapped in newspaper. I made bows out of magazine pages, thanks to all of the free subscriptions! I also started asking for paper bags at the grocery and used paper bags to wrap the gifts for the little kids so that they wouldn’t get newspaper ink in their hands.

I did however break down and bought $3 worth of ribbon at CVS just so I could make handles in my bags. Next year I’ll use twine. Then I found small blocks of Sculpey baking clay at Walmart for $0.97 each and I made little gift tags out of them. So for all my gift wrapping this year, I only spent less than $5! Not too bad and I was being resourceful! It’s more work than just buying all the usual stuff but I love how it turned out!

Another Holiday Wrapping Tip (sent in by reader, Julie)

I, like many others, receive tons of packages in the mail throughout the year. Many of these packages are filled with plain brown paper. I hated the thought of wasting all that paper! I started saving it a few months ago with the intentions of wrapping all my Christmas gifts in it. My husband (the skeptic) thought I was nuts! The paper was fairly easy to store; I just folded it flat and tossed it into a storage container. I was shocked at how fast the container filled up!

When it came time to start wrapping, I took out the folded sheets and spritzed them just a bit with a water bottle and then ran a warm iron over the paper to smooth it a bit. The paper is still somewhat wrinkled but it is smoother for wrapping. To dress the packages up a bit, I bought a 50 yard roll of ribbon at Costco for $6.99.

I have wrapped ALL of our presents in the plain paper and made simple bows out of the ribbon. I love the simple homespun look! My 13 year old son says it’s the best paper ever. The present in the photo is a box of chocolate covered cherries; the skeptic’s favorite. πŸ˜‰

And Another Holiday Wrapping Tip (sent in by reader, Shannon)

Don’t have gift tags? Price of wrapping paper got you down? Here’s an affordable and super cute idea!

I buy rolls of the brown postal wrapping paper for $1 each at Dollar Tree. I like the way it looks as is, but you or your kiddos could easily make designs or cute little white dots with a white-out pen or silver/gold/whatever color sharpies.

In lieu of name tags, I like to purchase scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby for approximately $0.40/sheet and cut the name out in bubble letters. Simply paste the letters on to the postal paper wrapped gift and voila! It looks much better than a name tag and you can use the same sheet of paper for several names.
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Comments 97

  1. Olivia

    Well for me it wasn’t about being frugal this year it was about being wasteful. It actually took more time to make that wrapping paper then it did to just buy regular wrapping paper and bags. But everyone is definitely entitled to their own opinion. I definitely don’t expect everyone to love it. I just hate to see extra trash like wrapping paper, bags and gift boxes when I can turn boring newspaper, magazines and cereal boxes into something that people would enjoy. And my family has already celebrated Christmas and the wrapping was a hit! I enjoy making gifts for people, thinking outside the box and taking time out to personalize things for people so this was really fun for me.

    • Olivia

      Biggest bonus was that I didn’t have to go anywhere for my wrapping needs. It was all at home. Lol. Plus I did almost all my Christmas shopping online so I hardly had to fight any crowds for anything this holiday!

  2. Jody

    I save the Christmas cards we get each year and cut out the pictures to use as name tags the next year.

  3. Alex

    I use brown paper grocery bags! I also let my 3 yr old son decorate the paper after the gift is wrapped. My family often tells me the custom artwork wrapping is as special as the present πŸ™‚

  4. Bridget

    They all look so beautiful and thoughtfully wrapped, but at a fraction of the cost. I love it!! GO GREEN!

  5. Laura

    I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought gift bags…I just keep saving ones given to me and reusing them. The same goes for gift boxes (if I have to use them). In my house growing up we always used the comic section of the newspaper for birthday gift wrapping. I never thought anything of it until all of my friends kept telling me how cool of an idea it was. Cheap and cool?! I’ll keep that tradition going.

  6. Danielle W.

    I am totally going to start practicing making those bows at my desk because they are fantastic! I love the look of Julie’s gift, simple but classic. Newspaper isn’t my cup of tea but if I had children or was buying anything for kids, I think that would be fun and keep them distracted. I had the good fortune of being at an Old Navy when they were selling their shirt gift boxes, ten in a package with lids for 5 cents each. I bought ten packages and have been using those up over the past four years. They are great for books or DVD sets and that way, people aren’t able to guess what I got them.

  7. Rachel

    We also reuse brown paper, except once they’re wrapped, my 13, 6, and 2 yo girls paint on them. Simple polka dots (with the end of a pencil) or stamps work well and aren’t too messy. Handprints are also priceless… Grandparents love those packages!

  8. Holly-Marie

    I do this similarly, but instead of buying the brown paper I just use the packing paper that comes inside packages. They use the same stuff – it just gets wrinkled. But I like that look! At the holiday time I personally order most of my stuff online and at work we just throw the packing away, so I use the packing to wrap the gifts (the brown wrinkly paper) and then I use the cardboard to make tags. All of the wrapping is free! Just grab a pen or marker and write the to & from. IT’S SO EASY & it looks neat! πŸ™‚

  9. Amanda

    I love wrapping kids’ bday presents in the comics from newspapers. πŸ˜€ I always forget to put tags, so it’s kind of my signature LOL. I buy Christmas paper on clearance for the next year but LOVE the idea of the ornaments as gift tags!

  10. nicole Nickle

    My mother in law uses scrap fabric to wrap small gifts and sews her own gift bags that can be reused each year. She uses Joann’s 40% off coupons to buy her fabric. πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas!

  11. Andrea

    How do you make the bows?

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