Frugal Gift Wrapping Tips

Updated on December 7, 2017
Allain Christmas profile image

Christmas is a month-long state-of-mind for me. This festive time of loved ones, parties, gifts, and religious celebrations is so special.

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How Can You Save Money on Gift Wrapping?

If you are frugal by nature or have to be thrifty to make the budget stretch, then spending money on fancy gift wrap doesn't make sense. You can still have an attractive present without splurging big bucks on elaborate bows, decorated wrapping paper, and rolls of ribbon.

Another reason to go frugal with your gift wrapping is to reduce the amount of waste we create. Most gift wrap gets ripped off, crumpled up, and tossed in a very short time. What a waste.

I'll show you options that you may not have discovered yet. These include creative and fun ways to give a gift some pizzazz without spending much. Saving on the outer part might let you spend more on the gift itself.

Start the Tradition of a Santa Sack

Get each child a Santa Sack and use it year-after-year. Make sure it is big enough to hold most of their gifts. Put their name on it. Put the gifts inside without any further wrapping.
Get each child a Santa Sack and use it year-after-year. Make sure it is big enough to hold most of their gifts. Put their name on it. Put the gifts inside without any further wrapping. | Source

A Santa Sack Will Last for Years

The way these works is each child has their own Santa Sack. Embroider the name on each sack or have a tag on the drawstring with the name. On Christmas Eve, the children can place their Santa Sacks under the Christmas tree for the Jolly Old Elf to fill with gifts.

Once the children go to bed, the parents fill the bags with unwrapped gifts (think of all the wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows that won't be going into the trash). This custom also saves a lot of time for busy moms and dads.

In the morning, the children take turns reaching into their own sack and pulling out a gift. This creates suspense as they wait their turn to find out what is hidden in the bag. After the gifts have all been discovered, store the sacks away for next year.

Decorate Gift Packages with Old Christmas Cards

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Save the cards from earlier years and cut off the colorful pictures. You can use simple brown paper wrapping which sets off the holiday card nicely. For small gifts, reuse paper saved from last year, cut down to smaller size to remove the tape marks.
Save the cards from earlier years and cut off the colorful pictures. You can use simple brown paper wrapping which sets off the holiday card nicely. For small gifts, reuse paper saved from last year, cut down to smaller size to remove the tape marks.
Save the cards from earlier years and cut off the colorful pictures. You can use simple brown paper wrapping which sets off the holiday card nicely. For small gifts, reuse paper saved from last year, cut down to smaller size to remove the tape marks. | Source

Use Old Christmas Cards for Gift Tags Too

Brown Paper Wrapping

This isn't a new idea but it's worth reminding you of it. If you shop at a store that gives paper bags, save them to use for wrapping. Add decorative stickers or little drawings or simply let the ribbon say it all.
This isn't a new idea but it's worth reminding you of it. If you shop at a store that gives paper bags, save them to use for wrapping. Add decorative stickers or little drawings or simply let the ribbon say it all. | Source

Use Your Computer to Make Personalized Wrapping Paper

You can print out personalized wrapping paper using your computer printer. Works for a small gift. Type any message you want, then copy and paste to fill the whole page.
You can print out personalized wrapping paper using your computer printer. Works for a small gift. Type any message you want, then copy and paste to fill the whole page. | Source

Use Remnants of Yarn or Rickrack for Ribbon on a Present

Pick Up Rolls of Ribbon and Lace at Yard Sales

Usually I pay a quarter or maybe a little more if it's a large roll of ribbon. Gifts decorated with lace really look special. Often, I find vintage ribbon that's not the flimsy kind in the stores, but real woven ribbon.
Usually I pay a quarter or maybe a little more if it's a large roll of ribbon. Gifts decorated with lace really look special. Often, I find vintage ribbon that's not the flimsy kind in the stores, but real woven ribbon. | Source

Substitutes for Regular Wrapping Paper

  • Pages from magazines
  • Your kid's artwork
  • A roll of wallpaper from Goodwill
  • Decorative paper shopping bags
  • Potato chip bag washed and turned inside out (they are silver inside)
  • Brown paper used as filler in Amazon shipping boxes
  • White newsprint paper (get the roll end from a newspaper printing place for a small fee)
  • Pictures from expired calendars
  • White freezer paper
  • Road maps

Video Tutorial - Wrapping with Newspaper or the Funny Papers

Skip the Wrapping and Hide the Gift

This is especially good for a large or odd-shaped gift. Put it somewhere that it won't be seen. Put a photo of the item in an envelope and a clue for the person to find it.

There's no use trying to wrap a child's red wagon or some new golf clubs for the golfer in the family. Those are just too difficult and it would waste a huge amount of paper.

You can even make it complicated by hiding a series of clues so they have to go from spot to spot reading the clues to find the gift.

Questions & Answers

  • I like the Santa Sack as a thrifty way to give gifts. Where can I find those?

    You can make your own Santa sacks by getting a plain laundry bag and using fabric paints to decorate them with Christmas designs and the individual's name. For the non-crafty, you can buy decorated Santa sacks from Amazon as well.

© 2017 Virginia Allain

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      12 months ago from Orlando Florida

      These are wonderful ideas. I love the Santa sack. I too have used magazine, sometimes I cut out the pictures and glue them right onto the box the gift comes in. And I see we both like to use the Sunday comics pages. Sometimes for a small gift, I take a magazine cover and fold it into a cube shape. Cut the cover so that it is a square shape. Fold in thirds and then fold in thirds the other way. Cut on the lines, but leave the center square intact. Fold into a cube and tape the sides to stay in place. You can also buy decorative "shirt boxes" in the dollar store and use them over every year. Thanks for letting me add my 2-cents worth in

    • profile image

      Marsha Cooper 

      12 months ago

      I really like the idea of using old Christmas cards to decorate packages.

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