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.