12 Cheap and Free Gift Wrap Ideas
When you think about it, gift wrap is a waste of money. Meant to do nothing more than conceal the contents within, some people can get nevertheless get jaw-droppingly creative with it: hand-stamping, Cricut-cut gift cards, pop dots, ribbon-making machines and origami-complicated folding techniques.
Here’s the hard truth: once it’s all ripped open, 90 to 100 percent of the presentation is unusable again. It’s a single-serving visual delight.
If you’re into that level of Pinterest-perfect present wrapping, the rest of us bow down to you; but if you are on a budget and just want a delivery system that’s easy on the eyes, here are a dozen cheap or free gift wrap ideas. A few just might brand you as a clever giver!
- One-dollar stores such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree have a large gift-wrap section in stores and online. You may not get an excessive amount in a roll, or the sturdiest wrap, but you will certainly save money.
- Paper shopping bags, with or without handles, can be decorated them with stickers, doilies, glitter glue or art stamps: maybe a snowflake pattern for the holidays, hearts for Valentine’s Day, or a free-form pattern in favorite colors for a birthday. Kids love helping with this task.
- Get a signature paper for all your gifts and buy it in quantity. Keep a stock of blue for males, pink for females or a gender-neutral color like lime green that works for almost any gift-giving occasion. Just change out the bows.
- Skip ribbon and fancy bows altogether, or keep them after holidays and reuse them. Fashion ribbons out of thin strips of contrasting gift wrap or use a colorful twine.
- Leftover wallpaper can make impressive and sturdy wrapping for presents.
- Newspaper as wrapping paper gets a bad rap! Given the right images (the sports section, comics, classifieds) and adding bold-colored ribbon, stickers or stamps can create a clever presentation
- Buying in bulk is another good way to save. Check after-holiday specials and look for Hallmark coupon codes for gift wrap. It usually goes on sale after Christmas, and into the Clearance section after January 2.
- Paper maps are hardly used anymore, but they make some creative wrap, especially for travel gifts.
- Small presents can be wrapped in pretty magazine or catalog pages. Ask friends to save you old ones or pick them up from a recycling bin.
- Used gift wrap. Open a present carefully and save what’s left to wrap smaller packages.
- Buy brown paper, the kind used at pack-and-ship stores, and decorate it yourself.
- Use colored tissue paper to wrap small gifts. It costs less to buy than paper or can be repurposed from other gifts or department store boxes.
There’s no shame in going cheap on wrapping paper anymore. It’s gone in a moment anyway, and most people will appreciate your eco-friendly spirit. After all, it is the thought that counts!