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I love putting in effort when wrapping a gift, but at the same time, I don't like spending money on gift wrap. The gift wrap usually ends up in the dustbin, so I will rather look at thrifty ways of wrapping a gift without having to spend too much on the wrapping itself.
I especially like making my own gift wrap. I find that using watercolors or acrylic paint still feels like a waste of money. I recently discovered that I can make beautiful gift wrap using food colorings. One needs only a drop or two, and the colors can be very bold and bright, depending on the amount of water used to thin the food coloring.
On the example in the photo, I drew designs with a stencil onto the paper. I used ordinary printer paper, as I wanted to wrap a small gift. I then applied a few melted wax drops with a candle, and painted the paper with food colorings. Afterwards I ironed the paper between two pieces of ordinary brown paper to get rid of the wax, and finished it off with some black and silver pen detail. Easy, yet cost effective.
I ran out of wrapping paper and only had a roll of brown 'kraft' paper left (similar to brown paper bags) so I had to get creative. I folded it (as shown) and cut out petals, taped them on and used magic marker. I think it looks nice and homey too! What do you think?
My kitty overlooked the whole project (as usual!)
I like to make inexpensive gift bags for year around use. Pillow cases from the thrift stores make great light weight bags, just fold down the top and run a drawstring through.
Yesterday I bought some flannel and felt for $1 a yard (bolt ends). I made up about 8 bags of various sizes and colors for $8, and used some yardage I had on hand (I first braided it) for the cording.
These can be used year after year, and saves the expense of wrapping paper.
We also use the funny papers for wrapping paper as well.
The kids like to take a brown paper grocery bag, cut it, turn it inside out and potato or rubber stamp holiday designs on the solid side, to make their own wrapping paper.
By April from Plattsburg, MO
There were a few years where money was very scarce, and I ran out of Christmas wrapping paper. I found white freezer paper, and made use of old Christmas cards and family pictures. I would also draw or paint on the packages. It was fun and creative, you can also add a poem or write something.
When I run out of Christmas labels now or just want to be creative, I will take a piece of the wrapping paper, cut it into a square, rectangle, or any shape and fold it over. I take pretty ribbon (wire ribbon works well), put a strip over the label, scissor a V at the end, and staple the top so it doesn't show, then put the name of the recipient inside the little card label. Makes a beautiful package and people enjoy the personalization as well.
Variation: Try this with feet too!
By Jayme from Harrisonburg, VA
We receive so many wonderful Christmas cards, that I thought it would be fun for those who are a tiny bit computer savvy to make their own custom Christmas wrapping paper from them for your special gifts.
Much of gift giving is in the PRESENTation so here's a way to wow your recipients. Instead of wrapping your gifts in generic wrapping paper, make your own out of meaningful photos.
With just a few sheets of waxed paper, one can give a personal touch to presents and make them look quite exceptional, without spending much money on gift wrap.
To make personalized gift wrap for moms, dads, and grandparents use a common brown grocery bag. Cut along one side in the corner crease to the bottom of the bag, then turn and finish cutting out the bottom of the bag leaving a nice rectangular sheet of paper.
When you just can't find that perfect wrapping paper, use tissue paper and add some stickers. You children will love this!
This is a guide about decorating plain brown paper for gift wrapping. Less expensive rolls of plain brown paper provide you with a canvas for creating your own unique gift wrapping paper.
This is a guide about making colorful children's birthday gift wrap. Using a cute rubber stamp and then coloring in the shapes you can make really nice gift wrapping paper.
This is a guide about stenciled gift wrap. Making your own stenciled gift wrap is a great way to customize your gifts.
This is a guide about making Santa gift wrapping newsprint. With blank newspaper and stamps you can create your own special wrapping paper.
I like to ask for paper bags at the grocery store. I have my daughter color or paint on the plain side, and use it for wrapping paper. It is an interesting effect. If you don't have paper bags, your local newspaper often has newsprint end rolls that you can purchase for $1.
Here's a way to personalize all your gifts in a way no one else can. Select your favorite photos or make photos that are meaningful to you (the giver) or the recipient.
Christmas Ads for Wrapping Paper. I find myself saving nice Christmas art from advertisements and special newspaper sections and brochures, etc. - which I can cut out and use for wrapping paper!