While very pretty, wrapping paper can be costly and is generally only used once. An alternative to the traditional gift paper is to wrap your gift in a reusable item such as a cloth tote, a baby blanket, or a flower pot; you get the idea. This is a guide about reusable gift wrap ideas.
I am really excited about this one and wanted to share this with my Thrifty Fun Family!
I have never heard of Furoshiki before and this is the absolute coolest! Not only is it a green way to wrap gifts (the cloth itself being an extra gift), but it can also be used as a purse/carrying case!
The tutorial says to use a piece of square fabric, but you can mold/fold even a rectangular piece in to a square. Hope you get as excited about this as me :-)
The first link is a video tutorial, the second link is a PDF file that gives several other gift item wrapping instructions and the third link is the history of Furoshiki
Source: A girlfriend sent me the video and I googled more about Furoshiki. Here's the video:
By Deeli from Richland, WA
Editor's Note: Two of the links did not work, so we have included a Wikipedia entry on Furoshiki
I've been collecting inexpensive cloth tote bags for gifts. I buy these tote bags at grocery stores and thrift shops. They cost $1 or $2. I put birthday and Christmas gifts inside the reusable tote, instead of a gift bag or wrapping paper. I'm saving money, recycling, and the recipient gets a handy cloth or recycled tote bag. I've picked up some really nifty tote bags over the summer.
By RuralAngel from Dover, DE
I love the holidays, but I really don't like wrapping gifts and bags can get expensive to buy.
So now I use cloth or Tyvek shopping bags (like the ones found in all stores' check outs) to wrap gifts.
Look for ones that have great designs (they are cheaper then buying paper gift bags and stronger too!)
I went to an online printer and purchased 5 of them, adding a photo of a painting I had painted, but you can even add a photo of a family member or pet for personalized bags. Great memories or laughs too!
You can use them again and again each year too.
A great holiday tip that became a tradition. Make a family box, box with separate lid, wrapped separate, for easy opening, fill with movies, games, new ornament, books, anything your family will share. It's great for video games.
Tie a wire ribbon into a bow on top, and open together after all the gifting on Christmas. Reuse every year just pack some Christmas stuff inside and put away till next year.
By 123helen from Senoia, GA
Because of our consumer society, wrapping paper can be a huge expense. We may want to consider "downgrading" the packaging and wrapping of the things we purchase in the coming year. I recently heard of a great idea: instead of wasting what amounts to tons (collectively) of wrap and ribbon, why not use seasonal dish clothes or towels to wrap some items? You could use place mats that have been rolled up and tied as a beautiful gift alone or with some kind of neat kitchen gizmo tucked inside. Use YOUR imagination! Editor's Note: What gift wrapping ideas have you used? Do you have any ideas to share with our readers?
I was helping an older lady pick up the gift wrap and get it ready to be tossed. I was middle aged at the time and she was probably the age I am now. After we filled up 2 toilet paper cartons, we both declared we would never spend another nickel on gift wrap.
You can use gift bags not directly related to the occasion with some ingenuity. I cut out candy images from an advertising mailing and put them on non-Christmas bags to make them more festive.
My daughter in law has been going through the granddaughter's toys and arranging them by type, like Barbie's, etc. She purchased some plastic bins of different sizes for this task.
Give your gifts in this huge wow factor container.
By Pretty cheap jewelry from California
Instead of purchasing shirt boxes for the holidays, use cereal boxes instead. They are just the right size to slide a shirt, pants, robe or anything else like that into. You can decorate the box with wrapping paper so that the cereal logos aren't seen. By Sandi
Why buy packaging boxes for money? Instead of throwing away packaging boxes (such as cereal boxes, cake boxes or any box that is clean on inside), I save them for use in gift wrapping any items that need boxes. I normally decoupage on top to make it special or wrap in newspaper and ribbon. But as an idea, why not let the children collage on top then use the box for great personalized packaging for $0.
By Caeridwen from Kent OH
We use them also but we take them apart at the seams and turn inside out for the plain brown side. You can then refold them and glue them as they were using the folds already there. You can still decorate as you want. Thanks for sharing. (11/05/2009)
I've been doing this for years. I use jello boxes for tiny items, of course cereal boxes. Also bath soap boxes. I also use the laundry detergent boxes which are very sturdy and have a handle. I just wrap them in wrapping paper and it's an instant gift bag and reusable for storage. (11/05/2009)
By Honey's mom
I thought every body did this! Look how many people you've enlightened! It's a great green way to go, too. (11/03/2010)
I cut up cereal boxes and use them to drain grease when frying food. (11/03/2010)
I am so in love with this idea! Thanks for posting, and I am going to personalize them for each child! I love this so much you and inspired me on to new heights!
By Robyn Fed
Besides birthdays and Christmas, there are lots of occasions for gift giving. (Easter, Valentines, St. Patty's, Anniversary, Baby Shower, Wedding, Halloween, 4th July, New Years, Sweetest day, Grandparents day, Thanksgiving, etc.). Instead of investing in paper gift bags, that are usually used one time, I purchase re-usable totes from various stores! These are generally $1.00 and can be re-used over and over and is a gift in itself to the recipient as well as Mother Earth!
Almost all major chain stores offer the Totes, therefore you can have various colors of totes! I use one of these totes in my car to organize necessities.
By Missy MM from Ohio
For baby showers, I have used receiving blankets or flat crib sheets and decorative ribbon to wrap other small baby items in. For other gifts, I have photo boxes or pretty baskets to hold gifts. (03/07/2010)
As I am not a gift wrapper, I usually buy my Christmas gift bags from the Dollar Store, and of course they are $1.00 each.
This year our local grocery store started selling re-usable grocery bags with seasonal motifs on them. They are 99 cents. So I decided that I would purchase the re-usable bags for my gift giving this year.
Environmentally conscious, these bags, regardless of motifs, are of year round use, still provide me (a horrendous gift wrapper) with my precious gift bags, and are ideal for those gift recipients to take home their gifts in.
These "Seasonal" re-usable grocery bags are available at IGA, Sobeys, Foodland, Walmart, Zellers and, I suspect, a multitude of other large stores.
By hedera from Ontario, Canada
I think this is a good idea. Thanks. (12/22/2009)
Excellent and environmentally friendly! My sister works at a Giant Eagle in Akron, so last time she was able to visit (for my younger daughter's wedding last August,) she brought three reusable bags from her store as a gift for hubby and me.
He occasionally forgets the reusable bags, of course, so we simply recycle the plastic and paper bags as trash bags, etc, as usual. (12/25/2009)
Instead of using wrapping paper or paper gift bags I use reusable grocery tote bags. I watch for bags which do not have printed advertisements on them.
For Christmas gift wrapping this year, I purchased some of the recycle bags that stores are selling now, canvas and usually green, the cost is usually a dollar.
Instead of paying for boxes to wrap presents in, I save boxes from cereal, oatmeal, crackers, microwave popcorn; just about any kind of box and put my presents in them.