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Frugal Gift Wrapping Ideas

Category Gift Wrapping
It doesn't have to cost much to create attractive wrapping for presents. This is a guide about frugal gift wrapping ideas.
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December 10, 2009

After Christmas, I buy all the red, green, gold and silver paper and bags I can find at a very cheap price, sometimes at 75 to 90% off. They can be used for occasions all throughout the year. Red for Valentines Day, silver and gold for weddings, any of the colors for birthdays! Sure can save money this way.

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By dwedenoja from New Creek, WV

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By 7 found this helpful
November 12, 2008

This wrapping paper idea came from one of my friends years ago. Use outdated atlases and maps for colorful, cool-looking, and good quality wrapping paper. I use mostly for birthday gifts, but cut out a silhouette of Santa in his sleigh and/or reindeers and attach for Christmas gifts. If you like this idea but don't have any maps to use, pick up some free ones at travel and visitor's centers the next time you are traveling.

By Britt from Boston, MA

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August 3, 2011

Embellish a used book when passing it along to someone else. Here, I wrapped the book with a scrap of patterned paper and satin ribbon with silk flower on top.

By Maricel from Fairfax, VA

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May 23, 2011

I did this for my sister's bridal shower, but you could do this in a birthday or another fun holiday theme! For a wedding gift tower:

  1. Find 3 boxes that vary in size and stack well to look like a 3-tier cake.

  2. Put presents in each box with tissue paper.

  3. Then, wrap in white butcher-type paper (or a roll of white paper that isn't see-through).

  4. Secure tower together with double-stick tape and be careful handling it from here on out!

  5. Wrap white beaded parade necklaces around the tiers to look like a pretty cake trim - or - you could drape tulle and secure with dots of hot glue or double-stick tape.

  6. Top your gift box cake with a white monogram letter or another pretty "gift cake" topper such as silk or paper flowers or a white bow.

Optional: Match the wrapping paper and details to the wedding colors.

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For a birthday gift box cake use the same directions as above, but wrap boxes in celebratory or bold colors! Top with curling ribbon, candle or a fun toy!

By Erin813 from USA

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By 8 found this helpful
December 1, 2011

So much money can be saved by reusing, being inventive and being green on wrapping gifts. Christmas presents cost so much money. If you pay full price for wrapping, bags and bows, it may cost more than some of the things you are wrapping. Packages can be beautiful and not cost a fortune.

When they ask paper or plastic say "paper, please". Grocery brown bags work great. Cut them so you are using the (blank) underside of the bag. If you have stamps, colored pencils, pens, or stencils, use you imagination for a one of a kind package. The brown bag background gives you a neutral that all colors match. It can be quite pretty with a bow, bright stripes, and best of all it's free!

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Bags, ribbon, and bows can be bought at the Dollar Store. They may be last season's, but really who cares? Look be thrifty and get the most for you buck. This is the rule whatever store you are at.

Look on clearance items. Yes, it isn't Christmas merchandise. However all of the summer, Halloween, birthday, wedding, and baby shower items are on sale. It could be wonderful having pink, baby blue, or bright orange bags, tissue paper, and bows.

Tissue paper is very inexpensive and comes in many colors. It can be also reused over and over. Many times a sheet of tissue paper can work as wrapping. If you can purchase 24 sheets of tissue paper, double it and that's 12 gifts wrapped.

When I was young my parents wrapped packages with newspaper. It still works great. It's the thought that counts not the wrap. Recycling is an issue today. I hope someone reading this keeps that in mind.

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Going to a feed store is another really neat idea. They always they have free twine. Twine works well instead of ribbon. It can also be died with food coloring, tea or coffee. Put the twine in the colored water, let it soak up, and then let it dry. Very pretty if used up against the brown bag wrapping paper.

You can also use yarn and fabric when on sale. It's usually not a large amount, but great for a brightly wrapped gift. Fabric is nice; on those last chance racks at thrift store. May not be something you would want to wear, but how nice to wrap a present in. You can still keep a color theme, if that is important to you. Using texture is quite "trendy" in decorating. Look at all of the rags you will have afterwards.

I last purchased cheese cloth for dish towels in my kitchen it was $2.00 for a big roll of them. It great wrapping and it all coordinated. It also can be dyed what ever color you wish.

Saving boxes you may have now can work like empty Kleenex box, cereal boxes and check book boxes are great for small things. I have saved so many jewelry boxes, over the years. These can be used on a jewelry instead of purchasing another box. Earrings may be on a sale rack, but they look so good in a jewelry box. If you do have these boxes, don't ever throw them out; thrift stores love them as donations.

It doesn't have to say "Merry" anything if you are giving baked goods, or candy. They go very nice in containers you already have, brown bags or a gift bags you got on sale.

Shipping is very expensive, most of the time. It is cheaper to use the box they supply, because whatever you can fit in the box is at one cost. Go pick up the boxes (free at post office). Bring them home so you can pack everything safely, using as small a box as possible.

Buying the Styrofoam peanuts isn't necessary. You can use plastic bags, newspaper, rags, old socks, or stained clothes. If you receive a gift with peanuts as packing material, try saving them instead of throwing away.

If you can't use the boxes at the Post Office for shipping, try looking at the grocery, liquor and drug store. Boxes can be found free whether for shipping or wrapping. Ask every store, and catch them before they go into the machine that flattens them. I would spend the money I saved on boxes for shipping insurance, because I know that is well worth buying.

Name tags are the biggest rip in my opinion. Cut off a piece of the wrapping paper, fold it in half like a card. You can cut 3x5 inch recipes cards, used envelopes or a piece of paper cut into a heart, all works great. If you use post its make sure they don't fall off. Whatever you use, do a double ring of scotch tape to hold securely.

If you use your stockings, then you really don't need to spend extra money on wrapping paper.

Be inventive. If you do use on sale new paper, recycle it. This year after Christmas everything will be on sale again, so stock up. I think your family would be happier having the money go into the present, instead of what it's wrapped in.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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By 7 found this helpful
December 20, 2014

Use colored masking tape instead of ribbon to wrap gifts.

Colored Tape Instead of Ribbons

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December 23, 2009

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.

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November 13, 20040 found this helpful

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?

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October 18, 20042 found this helpful

After running out of tape during a Christmas present wrapping marathon I decided to try hot glue. It worked so well I haven't used tape since.

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December 8, 2010

Use silk flowers instead of a bow on gifts. When ribbon streamers are added to a silk flower and it is tied on a gift, it becomes a gift in and of itself, and can be kept and placed in a decorative vase.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 16, 2016

These plastic gift bags are so nice! I bought this one because it was so colorful. I plan on buying a matching blue fleece throw and adding a little stuffed Olaf character.

Fill Plastic Gift Bags for Christmas Gifts

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January 9, 2017

This time of the year, after Christmas, the stores all have Christmas throws on sale. I got several from a dollar store for $2 each last year. This year I gave a few for gifts, and took 2 of them and sewed them together on 3 sides, making a large bag (like a large pillowcase).

Make Gift Bags from Seasonal Throws - closeup of the drawstring for bag

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By 0 found this helpful
February 23, 2006

When wrapping gifts, for whatever event or occasion, instead of using a obvious gift bow, think of using something else, that would be more useful to the recipient...

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January 14, 20171 found this helpful

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.

Decorating Plain Brown Paper for Gift Wrapping - two rolls of plain brown wrapping paper

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November 11, 20040 found this helpful

Many companies are now using crumpled plain brown paper instead of styrofoam peanuts when they ship merchandise. Instead of putting the brown paper in the recycling bin make Christmas gift wrap. Iron the wrinkles out of the paper, using the highest setting.

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November 17, 20110 found this helpful

Instead of buying rolls of preprinted wrapping paper, why not make your own. This is a great way to add a special personal touch to any birthday, wedding or Christmas gift. This is a guide about making homemade wrapping paper.

Homemade wrapping paper made with different colored handprints in paint.

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

This is a guide about recycled gift wrap ideas. Reusing gift wrap or wrapping gifts in recycled paper is a great way to not add more paper to the landfill. Share your ideas for using recycled or reusing gift wrap.

Recycled Wrapping Paper

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By 0 found this helpful
December 20, 2007

When wrapping Christmas gifts there are always those smaller items that you don't have a box the right size for. Last year I used White Lunch Sacks. You can get these at most dollar stores and they work great to wrap a bunch of stuff.

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Cyndi Roberts0 found this helpful
December 17, 2004

Opening all those packages under the tree is one of the most enjoyable parts of a holiday celebration--a part that everyone enjoys, from youngsters to oldsters!

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October 22, 20040 found this helpful

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

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January 16, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a matching bow for your wrapped package. By using strips of your wrapping paper, you can make an attractive matching bow for your gift.

A finished bow from your wrapping paper

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January 15, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about use newspaper comics for gift wrap. If you still receive a copy of the newspaper, the colorful comics pages make fun recycled gift wrap paper.

Newspaper Comics for Gift Wrap - comic pages

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about recycled tin can gift wrap. Repurpose your cans into great little gift containers.

Can with gift wrap and a bow.

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about putting a small gift inside a big box. One fun way to keep a small gift a surprise until it is opened is to place it in a much larger box or container.

A huge wrapped gift with pink wrapping paper and a bow on top.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 12, 2016

If you are lucky enough to receive flowers, save the outer cellophane wrapping and use it to wrap gifts. You will be recycling and saving money as well.

Save Cellophane for Gift Wrapping

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

This is a guide about reusable gift wrap ideas. 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.

Reusable Gift Wrap Ideas, Decorated flower pot as gift container.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 17, 2007

Free Gift Wrap, especially if you have a sense of humour and like to travel! For wrapping gifts, at the holidays, or more especially souvenirs you bring home to friends and family from your vacation, collect the unused "barf" bags from the back pocket of your airplane seat.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 11, 2006

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).

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October 29, 20040 found this helpful

Save your kids artwork to use as frugal holiday wrapping paper. We did this last year and the kids were thrilled that everyone saw what they had made and it cut down on a lot of clutter for me! By Katie in NY

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In This Guide
Row of Wrapped Gifts
Saving Money on Wrapping Paper
Categories
Holidays and Parties Gifts Gift WrappingMay 27, 2014
Guides
Recycled Wrapping Paper
Recycled Wrapping Paper Ideas
Decorating Plain Brown Paper for Gift Wrapping - two rolls of plain brown wrapping paper
Decorating Plain Brown Paper for Gift Wrapping
Newspaper Comics for Gift Wrap - comic pages
Use Newspaper Comics for Gift Wrap
Homemade wrapping paper made with different colored handprints in paint.
Homemade Wrapping Paper Ideas
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