I don’t enjoy wrapping gifts. My corners are rarely crisp and clean, the tape and ribbons have minds of their own, and there is always a hunt for the right sized box.
But I really detest the results of that wrapping event. The paper, ribbons, bags, and boxes end up in a tangled mess in the garbage can.
Here are a few ways to make that gift-wrapping budget-friendly – and maybe more fun:
Recycle and Upcycle
Well of course you are collecting that gift wrap, patiently smoothing out its creases and storing it in a waterproof tote in your closet! I would expect nothing less from Cronies! But you could go up a level in saving. How about all those cardboard tubes from things like paper towels, toilet tissue, posters, etc.? Get creative! Roll smaller clothing items and put them in the tubes, or layer small gift items in a tube to be opened like an old-fashioned party cracker. Leave a bin or bag next to the gift-opening area so party-goers can deposit reusable wrapping paper and boxes.
Don’t run out and buy jars! Use those old jars with the flip rings – you know, the ones you love to look at but are pretty much useless when it comes to canning. And how about all those canning jars with micro-chips along the top? Or the dozens of pasta sauce jars, cute little pesto or olive jars, or mayonnaise jars that you can’t bear to throw out? Create jars of wonder: fill with snacks, toys, office supplies, or dog treats. Add a fabric topper or a bow for a quick and easy gift.
Towels or Fabric
Do you have a fabric stash? Have you collected old sheet sets or tablecloths? Check thrift stores or rummage sales for these often-beyond-cheap sources of fabric. Even a threadbare flat sheet can be cut to create colorful fabric covers, wine bags, or gift bags.
Ask or Trade
Post on social media that you are looking for old, unwanted gift wrapping materials. You’ll be surprised at the responses! People hoard these things and don’t know what to do with them. Or they tire of certain types of wrapping paper and stow them away. Consider having a trade party for gift wrap and accessories – a fun way to swap stuff!
Use a shopping bag with a cute handle, and cover the name with holiday stickers or gift cards. Or pull out a reusable grocery bag, and fill with fun food items.
Newspapers or Magazines
Ah, it’s been said before. But a gift wrapped in the funny papers is, well, fun! If you give money (it is always appreciated!) make colorful money envelopes out of magazines that fit the personality of the receiver.
Want to save some money? Stock up on white paper, or pick a signature color. You can go wild on coordinating bows and ribbon, or go all out on the statement with one color choice. White paper with a primary color ribbon can be used throughout the year, making your savings even greater.
Feature photo by Bench Accounting of Unsplash