Even if you can’t judge a book – or a package – by its cover, some people still do. And when you’re giving someone a gift, the wrapping makes the first impression. The trouble is that the wrapping can cost almost as much as the gift (unless you’re giving diamonds…). Fortunately, there are a number of great no-cost or low-cost alternatives for wrapping paper, and many of them can be more creative and elegant than traditional store-bought paper.
Have Fun with Papers
You don’t have to wrap packages with wrapping paper. Any papers can create attractive packages: butcher paper, newsprint, construction paper, packing paper, tissue paper, contractor’s paper, old maps, old posters or prints, magazine pages, and even old wallpaper. Decorate plain papers with stamps, decoupage, or just some colorful ribbon or twine. Small items such as flowers or candy can also make nice embellishments.
Gift wrapping doesn’t have to be paper. Fabrics make for beautiful packages that will create a great impression. Try brightly colored or vintage fabrics found in your local craft store or thrift shop, and decorate them with complimentary ribbons. Scarves, tulle, towels, pillow cases, and fabric bags can make attractive gift wrappings.
Think Outside the Box
Gifts don’t have to come in tidy little boxes wrapped in pretty paper (or fabric). Baskets, tins, and decorative boxes can all be used for attractive gift packaging. You can find these items at local yard sales and thrift stores, or you can recycle them from gifts you have received in the past. No need to pay $14.99 for a small basket at the store! Mugs, jewelry baskets, pots, and other containers can also make lovely gift packages.
Reuse and Recycle
Even if you tear your wrapping paper to bits when you’re opening gifts, there are plenty of ways you can recycle the material. You can shred it for colorful stuffing for gift bags, you can piece it together for a unique gift wrap, or you can use it to create fun gift tags. Tissue paper, bows, and gift bags should all be saved for future gifts, as well. Recycle Christmas cards for gift tags or to accent your gift wrap.
If you are as creative with your gift wrap as you are with selecting your gift, you can find many ways to save money on beautiful packaging. These are just a few of the simplest ideas you can try. What other creative ways have you found to wrap gifts that cost little or no money?
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and recent graduate of Elon University. She is currently a resident blogger at online schools, where recently she’s been researching different exercise & nutrition programs and blogging about online business administration courses. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.