When you’re spending money on gifts, decorations, special foods and travel, the least you could do for your budget is not spend money on wrapping paper. Here’s a slew of ideas to help make this a cheaper (and greener) Christmas:

  • Put your gifts in re-used gift bags.
  • Use cloth gift bags, these will hold up better than regular gift bags.
  • Wrap using old newspaper. Use the comics for a colorful gift or use the black and white sections for a more classic look.
  • Butcher paper can be used for wrapping gifts, especially nice if you decorate it.
  • You can even use aluminum foil to make a shiny present.
  • Paper from brown paper bags can be used, especially if you decorate it with stamps or drawings.
  • Maps work great as wrapping paper. I love to use my husbands old flight maps, which expire really quickly, so if you know a pilot, chances are they have some expired maps.

  • Tissue paper can be used to wrap with too, especially if its thick tissue paper. Depending on how see-through it is, you might have to double it up.
  • Reuse wrapping paper. I used to make fun of people who saved every ribbon and scrap of wrapping paper, but now I’m starting to do it! lol. You don’t have to save everything, but if something big was wrapped up and not torn when opening you could always save it for next year!
  • If it’s something too big to wrap, hide it somewhere and wrap a little gift with a note saying where it’s at. You could even get creative and make it into a treasure hunt.
  • Use decorative boxes. I bought 3 beautiful boxes for under a buck each on clearance. The best part is people can re-use them to put gifts in or find a use for them in their own home, but they won’t go in the trash like wrapping paper.
  • Another box idea is to take a box, like a shoe box with a lid and wrap the lid and box separately and tie with a ribbon. That box can be re-used for years to come!

Ribbon isn’t a must on gifts, but if you do really want to have some think about theseĀ  options:

  • Use twine for a country look.
  • Yarn works well in place of ribbon.

  • Scraps of fabric can be used to tie gifts too.

Name tags aren’t really a must either. You can just write the name on the gift, but if you want name tags to be fancier or so you can re-use that gift bag again next year then:

  • Make gift tags with scrap paper. Since gift tags don’t have to be big, this is a great way for scrap-bookers or card-makers to use up little pieces of paper.
  • Use last year’s Christmas cards to make gift tags.
  • Save your gift tags for next Christmas, this will give you one less thing to do next year.

Just think outside the box. For example, I had this old brown gift bag that I had tried to decorate up a long time ago by putting a snowflake stamp on it, but it didn’t really turn out how I wanted.

Instead of just throwing it away, I cut it up and was able to wrap these little, “brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!”

And I saved the handles just in case I need them in the future to tie on something or to replace broken handles on another gift bag.

6 Responses to “Gift Wrapping Alternatives”

  1. These are great ideas. Where do you store all these things? They would be moved from spot to spot in my apartment until tossed out of frustration.

    • I have 3 decorative boxes that are stored inside each other and on our shelf. I keep my wrapping paper and gift bags under our bed.

  2. Love this post! If you get a chance, I’d love to have you link up to my party at http://scrapbookingez.blogspot.com/2011/12/anything-goes-linky-party_15.html. Thanks for sharing!

  3. If you take those handles and un-twist them, you can iron the paper and use it to wrap something. It will have a nice “crinkled” texture, and make the gift look really cool.

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