Christmas is a month-long state of mind for me. This festive time of loved ones, parties, gifts, and religious celebrations is so special.
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
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
You can use old Christmas cards for gift tags too.
Brown Paper Wrapping
Use Your Computer to Make Personalized Wrapping Paper
Use remnants of yarn or rickrack for ribbon on a present.
Pick Up Rolls of Ribbon and Lace at Yard Sales
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
Question: I like the Santa Sack as a thrifty way to give gifts. Where can I find those?
Answer: 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
Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on December 09, 2017:
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
Marsha Cooper on December 09, 2017:
I really like the idea of using old Christmas cards to decorate packages.