December 21, 2010

Cheapo's Guide to Wrapping

I absolutely hate buying things to wrap other things in. Wrapping and tissue paper and bags and bows are expensive! I'm going to spend all my money finding you a gift you'll love, so no complaining if it's wrapped in newspaper, alright?

That said, I do love to make a good looking package that has people eying it under the tree. It builds the anticipation and makes the recipient feel that touch more special. Definitely worth it ...where "it" isn't money but creativity! For you last minute wrappers, here are a few tips and tricks for spending nothing to very little on wrapping!

1. Reuse! I'm totally going to become my Nana and spend 10 minutes unwrapping my presents to keep the paper as intact as possible, all the while oohing and aahing over how beautiful the paper is. Also, boxes, tissue paper, bows, bags, etc are all easy to keep and reuse. This is my preferred method because it requires extremely little energy or thought. Until you get them home and have to organize them in the 'wrap' section of your crafting room.
What?  You don't have half of your house dedicated to ridiculous amounts of wrapping?

2. Upcycle! Brown paper bags can be used as wrapping paper and actually look pretty trendy with a few spiffy touches.  Add some ribbons, bows, paint, sparkles, or some twiggy stuff from outside shoved under some raffia ribbon and it's sure to make a festive mark! Other great upcycle candidates are newspapers (especially the comic sections or slightly awkward advertisements), magazines, maps, old t-shirts, books from the free table, or leftover wedding craft fabric. Also, here is a sweet and easy looking tutorial for how to make a bow.
Look how trendy and M. Stew worthy that is!  Photo via
Or you can do like my lady friend Rachel did and paint a portrait on their present!
(me on the left turning red with giggles)

3. Make sure part of their gift is a reusable bag. Sure, we may all have twenty reusable bags by now, but one more makes us so much more sustainable, right? Right? No? Whatever. Maybe they need a lunch box? A fanny pack? A tote? Or normally shops give you a bag when you buy something, so just use that.
Or wrap it up like this and gift them the gift of a fashion turban!
So in right now.

4. When we're going to my parent's house for Christmas, I bring my gift wrapped very plainly in whatever we have laying around. Then, I sneakily sneak into the basement and dive into their bow collection! They get a wonderful present, topped with a bow, and then they get their bow back for triple reuse!  Don't worry, Mother Earth, you can thank me later.

5. For a truly Red Green Christmas vibe, duct tape now comes in festive colors and patterns. Wrapping has never been so easy!
Just make sure you have a knife ready to get into this sucker!

6. The decoy box method is very handy and will keep the recipient guessing! Grab any box you have laying around and stuff the gift inside. Tape it shut and voila! Is it a pair of shoes? Ventilator tubes?* Cereal!? What could it beee!?!?!?
In case you haven't eaten cereal in a while, get your very own decoy boxes here!

7. If you're working on a super low budget/energy/caring, then may I suggest the close-your-eyes-and-hold-out-your-hands method? Absolutely nothing necessary except someone who can follow directions.

Merry wrapping to all and to all a cheapo Christmas!

*Both my parents work as respiratory therapists. We have very exciting decoy boxes!

1 comment:

  1. good tips & happy belated christmas! I meant to make stocking this year so I wouldn't have to buy packaging. But I ran out of time and used gift basg I had done cellar so it was kind of green of me!