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After putting a lot of time and effort into finding the perfect gift for someone, I like to make the gift wrapping special too. I think great gift wrap helps to build anticipation and shows the recipient that their gift was well planned and not an afterthought.
With that being said, we are all busy and don't want to spend a lot of money to make the gift wrap look amazing. After all, it does just get crumpled up and thrown away. So here are some gift wrapping ideas that are creative, simple and inexpensive too!
First tip - use brown kraft paper to wrap gifts. It's versatile and can be dressed up or down. If you don't have room to store a lot of different wrapping papers, just keep kraft paper on hand and you can use it for Christmas, birthday and even wedding gifts!
You can buy 36" x 15' of brown kraft paper at Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, a dollar! If you want a bigger roll, this one at Amazon is a great deal. The above example is a fun one for kids. Attach a couple of crayons and stickers and let them decorate their gift any way they want. How fun to stick this under the Christmas tree and let the recipient decorate it before Christmas.
Second, there has been a huge trend toward everything chalkboard the last few years, even chalkboard gift wrap. I found a roll of chalkboard paper at a local store for $9.99! I decided to recreate the look with black butcher paper from Zurchers (.69 a yard). After drawing a few designs with chalk, we lightly sprayed the design and paper with hairspray to set the design. (That step isn't necessary but it is a great "hack" if you are worried about it getting smeared.)
One of our favorite ways to wrap gifts is by using newspaper. It's free and a great way to reuse something you already have around. Our second trick is to decorate your packages with tapes instead of ribbon. This red duct tape is from Dollar Tree. It's becoming easier to find cute duct, washi and masking tapes in all colors and designs. A roll of tape runs between $1-$4 dollars. The same amount of ribbon runs between $3-6.
Another tip is to think outside of the box, literally. Using things like empty toilet paper rolls, Pringles cans and oatmeal containers is good for the earth and can help to disguise a gift so that it's less likely to be guessed! This paper towel roll was the perfect container for a necklace. Just cover the container and tie off the ends, just like a piece of candy.
A fun and frugal way to decorate a package is with free paint chips from the home improvement store. On this package we punched stars and snowflakes out of the paint chips but paint chips also make great gift tags.
One of my favorite money saving gift wrap ideas is to use brown or white paper lunch sacks. These brown paper lunch bags come as cheap as 40 for $1.00! That is 2.5 cents a bag! You can't find a gift bag cheaper than that. Check out this tutorial for printing on the front of a paper bag. I love the way it looks and it's such a fast way to personalize a gift.
You don't have to be crafty to make a great looking gift wrap with craft paint. If you have a pencil eraser and some paint you can add paint polka dots to any plain paper for a fun, festive look.
The next tip to save time and money is to not "wrap" your gifts at all. A plain white box can be easily decorated with things you already have around the house. Consider yarn, fabric scraps, strips of wrapping paper or stamp a design with rubber stamps. On this package we chose to use a strip of red ribbon and black masking tape to make Santa's Belt. This fun package took about 1 minute to create!
It seems like I am always wrapping Christmas gifts just a few days before Christmas when the kids are already out of school. It can be tricky to be left alone long enough to get the gifts wrapped. Why not get the kids involved by having them cut a bunch of snowflakes that you can use to decorate your packages. It's a win win!
Last, but certainly not least, is our favorite way to gift a gift card is to use an empty, clean, pull top can . Just open the bottom of the can using a smooth edge can opener. Empty the contents and clean and dry it thoroughly. Decorate the can and put gift card inside. Then glue the bottom back on using super glue or E6000. It will look just like you never opened it. Opening the pull top on the can will reveal the gift and have everyone wondering how you got the gift card inside.
These inexpensive gift wrapping ideas will make your gifts look like a million bucks without spending a million bucks!
Check out this post here for a tutorial on how to make our family favorite Santa in the Box.