Instead of pretty (but impersonal) store bought wrapping paper, you can use brown paper bags cut to size. Then draw on them, or use stickers of the recepient's favorite character (i.e. scooby doo, peanuts--and you can find those at dollar stores).
Also, if you can find it, butcher paper not only makes great wrapping paper, but wonderful coloring paper for kids.
An elegant (but transparent) wrapping idea is to use the tissue you find in boxes. Then place holiday stickers at strategic points.
For the funky teen, use alunimum foil with gold bows.
Kris from NC
I have gotten free "end rolls" of newsprint from the local newspaper. It is similar to the white butcher paper except it is not so thick and is cream colored. You can decorate it any number of ways: potato print stamping, kid's handprints in paint, kid's crayon coloring, a fancy gold pen and write the recipient's name over and over, sponge painting with craft paint, or a small foam roller with a design cut with scissors.
By Paula from Christmas, MI
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