Amy Clark

Becoming a (Gift) Wrap Superstar

There have been times in my life where I have relied on a gigantic roll of pretty wrapping paper and sticky bows to complete my wrapping, but those days are long gone now. I find wrapping gifts to be a fun and inexpensive challenge! There are so many unique ways that you can wrap your gifts and none of them have to cost a lot to accomplish.

Here are some budget-friendly ways to wrap those gifts and make you look like a total wrap superstar:

  • I love to hunt for wallpaper when I do my thrift shopping because it is such a beautiful (and durable) way to wrap your gifts. Hunt for patterns that can double for your holiday wrapping and for all of those other special occasions. I can usually find huge rolls of wallpaper for a dollar or less and it lasts me forever. You can make each gift unique by switching the colors and styles of your bows and use this paper for years to come.
  • Wallpaper borders are also a wonderful way to wrap your gifts, particularly for the small jewelry boxes or for recovering small gift tins. This size is perfect and is much easier to handle when wrapping these tiny packages.
  • Maps can be a really unique way to wrap those gifts. When visiting in different cities and areas, be sure to pick up some maps from the visitor’s bureau and save them for wrapping your presents. To make gifts more personal, save maps from your special trips or places that you would like to remember. Likewise, you can save maps from the recipient’s local area and wrap them in that. Maps can also be printed for free from places like Google Maps or MapQuest.
  • Save your paper grocery bags and use these to wrap your gifts. You can leave the packages plain or use rubberstamps and stamp up the paper with the holiday theme.  I find loads of great stamps from local yard sales and you can also find these cute stamps in the dollar section of craft stores.  Tie the gift with jute twine or with some raffia to make the gift look complete.
  • Newspaper is a great way to wrap gifts and can also be tailored to the recipient. For example, I love to wrap children’s gifts in the comics section of the paper.  This is a fun and frugal way to wrap their gifts and, let’s face it; kids do not care about the expensive gift wrap anyway. Likewise, you can use different sections of the paper to go along with that person’s particular interests.  For my favorite finance guy, I love to wrap the gifts in the Business section and add a Monopoly Money gift tag. Similarly, a foodie might enjoy a gift wrapped in the Food section and a whisk tied to her gift. Go nuts with the themes- it makes your gifts completely unique and more interesting to open.
  • If you have children, have them get in on the decorating fun. Let them decorate computer paper or large sheets of construction paper to wrap your gifts in. Have them help make a cute gift tag to go along with the gift. These are fun for grandparents and make them feel even more special when they receive a gift like this. Sometimes little things like this show more of the involvement from the entire family, then just the adult handing them a gift. Consider it your child’s contribution and bask in the grandparent’s glowing compliments!
  • A deck of cards are great for making cute gift tags. Is your dad the prankster in the family? Give him the Joker card! Does your mom think she is the queen of the castle? Give her the Queen card!  Take a hole punch and loop the tag through some ribbon to attach it. These are much more fun than a premade tag and can be fashioned to your family member’s personalities.
  • Save the greeting cards that you receive and make new gift tags out of them. I save cards that I receive that have interesting pictures on them for these kinds of occasions. You can hole punch them and loop them through with ribbon or mount them to cardstock and add an extra layer with stamps around it.
  • Gift tags can also just be handmade with a pair of jagged scissors and cardstock. Use different stamps and colored markers to make your messages.  These are much cheaper than buying those sticky gift tags and make your gifts stand out a little bit from the rest.
  • Gifts can also be wrapped in fabric that you might have lying around or can be purchased from the thrift store for mere quarters.  You can easily make a no-sew bag using hot glue and the fabric. Leave the top of the bag open and tie it up with a little bit of ribbon. This would be a great way to wrap items that tend to be more difficult to wrap because of their odd shapes.
  • Don’t forget that your gift itself can also be used to wrap your present. For example, a pretty scarf can be used to wrap a new pair of gloves or an apron can used to wrap a new dishtowel set.  Look at your gifts as wrapping elements and see how you can use them.
  • Add a special element to finish off your gift that you have found when doing your thrift shopping or when you visit the dollar store. For Christmas, I love to find mini-ornaments to use to decorate my gifts. For other occasions, you can tie something little that goes along with the theme of the party. Be creative and it can add another dimension to your gift. Binkies and rattles, for example, can be a cute on the outside of the gift, and can double as an additional present.

There are so many great and fun ways that you can wrap your gifts and once you learn to become more creative with your wrapping, the possibilities are endless!

Published December 09, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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