11 Frugal & Unique Holiday Gift Wrapping Ideas

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writing "Merry Christmas" on gift

Need some easy and frugal gift wrapping inspiration this Christmas?

Whether you’re team gift wrap or team gift bag, sometimes it’s fun to wrap something special and put a little thought into it. I must admit I fall somewhere in between. And while I often just grab cute gift bags from Dollar Tree, there are other times when I’m in the mood to get a little more creative when wrapping a present.

hand-decorated and wrapped Christmas gifts

Stylish yet easy to create!

Here are a few festive and easy ideas to use as gift-wrapping inspiration this Christmas! I like that they’re inexpensive and simple to accomplish, too. I think pretty wrapping paper can make any gift, big or small, seem AMAZING!


1. Try this Washi Tape tree topper.

Christmas gift decorated with washi tape

Have a stash of decorative washi tape? Here’s a great opportunity to incorporate it into your Christmas gift wrapping!

To get this look:

  • Wrap your gift in a solid color wrapping paper. (I actually used my kids’ drawing paper roll.)
  • Simply place pieces of washi tape in varying lengths to form the shape of a Christmas tree on the top of the package.
  • Glue a little star sequin or button at the top!

2. Decorate with natural elements.

gift wrapped in brown paper, tied with twine, and decorated with pinecone and evergreen branch

Have a fresh Christmas tree or wreath? Clip some extra greenery from a wreath or fresh tree for a frugal and easy present topper that looks elegant!

To get this look:

  • Wrap your gift in kraft paper, solid color gift wrap, or you could even turn a paper grocery bag inside out and use that!
  • Tie pieces of fresh greenery to the top using baker’s twine.
  • Write on the package using a black Sharpie.

3. Re-purpose greeting cards as toppers/tags.

cut Christmas cards used as gift tags

Have pretty greeting cards from years past? The front of paper cards can be re-purposed into really cute tags or present toppers, especially the fun 3-dimensional cards with paper embellishments!

To get this look:

  • Wrap your gift in desired wrapping paper, and then remove the front of an old Christmas card to use as a present topper or gift tag.
  • Tape your repurposed gift tag to the front of the gift, or punch a hole in it and attach it with ribbon or twine.

4. Use a dish towel or fabric to wrap a gift.

holiday dish towel used to wrap wine bottle

Have any leftover fabric or a pretty dish towel? This is a beautiful and sustainable way to wrap a gift! Here’s a bottle of wine wrapped in a festive dishtowel, featured above. This would make a great hostess gift!

To get this look: 

  • Place your gift on top of a dishtowel.
  • Gather excess material around the top and secure with twine or ribbon.

5. Doodle using a Sharpie and add a bottle brush tree.

vehicles drawn on gifts tied with twine and topped with brush trees

Have some doodling skills? Don’t laugh at mine, featured above! HA. 😆 I love this cute bottle brush tree embellishment idea! So fun.

To get this look: 


6. Make kraft paper stapled shapes.

stocking gift wrap made from kraft paper

This is a great idea if you have a soft item like a scarf, socks, or other clothing to gift! Stapling two pieces of wrapping paper to make a shape is a fun and clever way to conceal the present inside!

To get this look: 

  • Cut two pieces of the same shape out of kraft paper.
  • Start stapling the edges together. Place a gift inside, and then continue placing staples around the edges. (Be careful not to staple into the gift itself!)
  • Embellish as desired.

7. Wrap a gift to look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

decorating gifts to look like reindeer

Get this super cute-looking Rudolph wrap by using a red craft pom and common household items you’re likely to have on hand already! I re-purposed my kids’ roll of drawing paper as gift wrap, but if you have a roll of kraft paper on hand that could work also.

To get this look: 

  • Wrap your gift in a solid color. Drawing paper, kraft paper, or even a plain brown paper bag would work great!
  • Use a Sharpie marker to draw simple reindeer features like eyes and antlers on the top of your gift.
  • Attach a red craft pom using a glue gun or other adhesive.

8. Place your gifts in a jar.

assembling a gift in a jar

Jumbo storage jars make excellent gift wrapping because you can fill them with whatever you’d like, just like a gift basket. They look so pretty when presented as a gift, and they can be used over and over by the recipient after Christmas too!

To get this look: 


9. Hide a Starbucks gift card inside a Frappuccino cup full of candy.

Starbucks cups filled with candy

If you love giving Starbucks gift cards, this is such a cute way to do it! I hid a gift card inside a Frappuccino cup filled with Hershey’s Almond Chocolate Kisses because they were sort of a coffee color, but you could definitely use any candy you think your recipient would like!

To get the cups, I told my barista what I was planning to do and she was happy to give me one free empty Frappuccino cup for every gift card I purchased. This may vary by location, so you might want to call ahead to your local Starbucks to see if they’ll be willing to send you home with a few empty cups!

To get this look: 

  • Fill an empty Starbucks Frappuccino cup halfway with candy.
  • Add a Starbucks gift card to the center, and finish filling the cup with candy, concealing the gift card inside.
  • Top it off with some white tissue paper so it looks like whipped cream inside the dome lid, put the lid on, and finish with a bow around the straw.

10. Candy Gift Toppers

wrapped gifts topped with candy

Know someone with a sweet tooth? Top a gift with their favorite candy for a sweet and easy gift topper that also makes a yummy bonus gift! If you struggle with tying ribbons as I do, try using curling ribbons and run your scissors along the ends to curl them. It looks festive, it’s super easy, and it hides the fact that you didn’t tie the perfect bow!

To get this look: 

  • Start by wrapping your gift as usual.
  • Use ribbon to tie a piece of candy at the top, or just slide your candy under the ribbon.

11. A paint can be a surprisingly pretty way to wrap your gifts!

gift wrapped paint can

Your local hardware store has a unique gift wrapping option to consider—empty paint cans! I got mine for around $3 each at The Home Depot and filled it with a couple of cute mugs and hot cocoa supplies for a friend. You can download the Merry & Bright printable image that I used here for free!

I just love how this gift idea turned out – so cute, easy, and festive!

To get this look: 

  • Simply decorate your paint can with wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, ribbon, or any other materials you may have on hand.
  • Grab a couple of paint chip cards at the hardware store while you’re there and cut them into a tree shape for a fun gift tag idea that keeps up with the paint theme!

BONUS IDEA! Zip Ties Gag Gift Wrapping 😂

present wrapped in zip ties

Need a funny/silly gift wrapping idea for that person who always has their gifts unwrapped in record time? Try wrapping their gift and then tying it up with some plastic zip ties! That ought to slow them down, and it’s one sure way to draw out the suspense of what’s inside! Ha! 😁


What are you wrapping this year? Check out these gift ideas for everyone on your list!

Join The Discussion

Comments 6

  1. judy

    I love the zip tie idea 😂 do that after covering the paper completely with packaging tape and it should keep them busy for a while!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      HAHA so great!

  2. Jen

    Love this post! I’m going to try the tree and reindeer wrapping ideas. Thanks.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure! So fun!!

  3. tracy

    We used to give the teens a box of poptarts or cereal with a gift card or cash inside. (open the box and then reglue it so it looks like it wasn’t tampered with) The kids always say “Is this really what you are giving me?”

    • Shoppingfan

      That’s classic! Darn, wish my kids ate items that came in boxes or something simple.

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