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A few years ago my husband and I decided we were not wasting any more wrapping paper at Christmas time. It seems such a waste of money and natural resources to be throwing all that wrap out. So, I went to Costco and bought a big package of gift bags and tissue paper. We use these bags over and over again, year after year.
There is just the two of us at home so we use those bags for gifts to each other and then carefully fold them back up for another year. We also have gotten the family into it and we pass around gift bags for birthdays that have been going back and forth for years now. I love not having the big garbage bag of wrap and the guilt over wasting so much. It now costs us nothing to wrap our gifts too!
By justanothercowgirl from Ontario, Canada
I had done this for years without thinking about it and then, when I had to move out of state, I decided to dispose of the fairly large collection of used gift paper I had and boy, did I miss it last year! This is why I have decided to start again, and maybe tell y'all about it too.
You don't think about it from looking at it, but 90% or so of all gift wrapping paper is perfectly reusable. We all know that 3 out of 10 gifts (especially for items such as books and clothes) can be eased out of the wrapping with no visible damage to the paper, and that then one can ease a similar sized book or object and reuse the paper in that instance. But that figure quickly goes up when we go through the trouble of salvaging as much of the wrapping paper as one possibly can from one's gifts.
Besides the technique mentioned above, a thrifty person can use an Exacto knife and carefully cut out the tape when opening the package, and salvaging most or all of the wrapping paper on said gift. One can also tell one's family members to save the paper and be respectful of it when opening the gift. One can easily even salvage a lot of paper that has been abused by cutting out the intact bits. Think of the many small gifts we are apt to give, a gift card, lipstick, a box of Whitman's Samplers - for which that small but nice scrap is good!
At the end of the gifting event (ie. Christmas or baby shower) I take it all home, put a fun DVD in the player, get scissors, Exacto knife, and a box. As seen in the diagram, I undo all tape, straighten the paper out as much a I can, put like with like: large together, small together, Santa's together, etc. and roll them up for storage.
This practice saves a significant amount of money, but is also to me more respectful of paper and gift giving in general.
Use the funny papers for wrapping Christmas presents. My mom and dad did this at Christmas. We all enjoyed reading the funnies after we opened our presents.
By Darlooney from Carriere, MS
By Chris A from Syracuse, NY
By Betty G.
This wrapping method is especially good if you find yourself wrapping gifts at the last minute anyway; then your flowers still look fresh when you present your gift. (It doesn't work so great for mailing, unless you dry the flowers first.)
The only cost is ribbon; I get fabric ribbon on clearance from fabric or craft stores (the skinny kind is extremely affordable even at regular price). It ends up looking very fancy even though I'm really wrapping it in a garbage bag and then sticking weeds into it.
Of course if kids or pets will be around, you might want to avoid poisonous plants like mistletoe. And if you're lucky enough to have a rose blooming, make sure to break off the thorns (just bend them sideways).
When we were growing up, we had VERY little money for extra things. In fact, Santa gifts were never even wrapped, but the gifts that we exchanged with each other were wrapped in flyers (circulars) from stores like Kmart, Zellers (Canadian, eh?) and other places that had toys in the flyer. My siblings and I used to spend a lot of time figuring out what was in the packages, since we were sure that the gift in the box was on the paper it was wrapped in.
I cannot convince my hubby that we should do this because his family always did things differently. Maybe when the kids are a little older, I will be able to get him to go along with this, because it is still one of my favorite Christmas memories!
Another good idea I've found is to save last year's Christmas cards to make gift tags with for the next year.
By Harlean from Arkansas
Another idea is packaging paper. I'm so frugal I use things that come my way but don't cost anything at all. A friend recently moved to my town and had a four foot stack of clean newsprint she had bought and used to move. What a gold mine! Wrapping paper never got cheaper than free!
If you have a fireplace or wood stove though, remember not to burn commercial wrapping paper as some of the dyes still use lead and can be toxic when burned.
By Becki in Indiana
Another thing we do for wrapping paper, is use paper bags that have been decorated by drawing pictures on them using crayons or by rubbings with a leaf or other things under them! Wrapping papers are decorative and fun and at Christmas, children should be able to do more than just unwrap their presents!!
By Kay N
I have not tried this with strips from a paper shredder. It might be too thin and would break easily.
By Terri H.
I make simple cloth bags from fabric remnants or clothes that have seen better days, curtains, sheets, even pant legs, and cloth napkins. Kids recognize a favorite flannel shirt every birthday or Christmas, forever!
Use freezer paper for gift wrap, you can stencil it, put cute stickers on it, or just leave it plain.
You get a gift that is wrapped with beautiful paper or a beautifully decorated gift bag with lovely tissue paper and you would like to save and reuse the gift paper or the tissue paper, but it's all crumpled and creased.
Don't buy new Christmas wrapping paper if at all possible. There are lots of things you can use instead; try to recycle and reuse instead.
This is a guide about using butcher paper for gift wrap. Butcher paper makes simple classic looking gift wrap and is easy to decorate if you want a more personalized style.
This is a guide about using wallpaper for wrapping presents. Wallpaper is sturdy and comes in many colors and motifs, making it a nice alternative to ordinary wrapping paper. Use leftovers from your last project or remnants found at thrift stores or yard sales.
This is a guide about frugal gift wrapping ideas. It doesn't have to cost much to create attractive wrapping for presents.
Ikea Art Paper For Gift Wrap. I found a large roll of paper, designed to be used with a child's art easel at Ikea. It has a wonderful vellum texture and does not rip easily.
My family thinks I am crazy when it comes to wrapping paper. One of my biggest pet peeves is when they cut out a small section and toss the roll back into the bin. then the remaining "tail" gets snagged and ripped and it ends up getting cut off anyway and thrown away; or worse, ends up tearing more paper and wasting more than they used in the first place. I have gotten them in the habit of measuring the package, cutting off the whole width of paper and then cutting the length that they need.
I buy wrapping paper on sale, so there are a lot of patterns in the bin at a time. Once the paper roll has been opened, I loosen the paper on the roll by twisting the paper backwards and pull the tube out. then I wind the remaining paper tighter by holding the paper on the inside with one finger and rolling the paper back until it is slightly smaller than the tube. I insert the paper into the tube and roll the paper back the opposite way to make it tight to the tube. I roll the scraps and place them inside the tube as well.
I use a small scrap to cover the bottom end because I store my paper in a vertical organizer . I write on the outside of the tube at the top what the paper is "kids b-day", "over the hill", "wedding", "baby", etc.
Now if there is a small package, everyone knows to check the inside of the rolls and it may save them time if there is a small piece they can use already waiting.
Source: My own frugal mind
By jwheeler from Stockton, IA