When I was a little girl, I loved to wrap. I would spend hours curling and crafting ribbon around a gift. I don’t have as much time these days, but when I do, I love making gifts look unique with a personal touch. Other times, I just throw it in a bag. I find myself doing that last-minute and justifying why a Congrats it’s a Girl bag could easily pass for a birthday bag. But really, with the holidays approaching, sometimes gift-wrapping is the last thing on our minds. Or, we’re simply dreading the last-minute marathon to wrap up all those hours shopping.
Start a “recycle” stockpile of items to use for gift boxes, wrapping and tissue so your ready when the gift arises. If you find some time on your hands, start making some gift boxes. You may have fun, you’ll definitely save money, and you can pat yourself on the back for being extra green this holiday.
1. Wrap with the gift itself or an accessory.
Use scarves, clothing or blankets to wrap a gift for two gifts in one. Or just add a ribbon to a blanket for a stylish touch. Give a cute, stylish shopping tote for an extra convenient gift that’s better than a gift bag.
2. Boxes gone gift bags for the ultimate gift box makeover.
You can take plain cardboard boxes, cut the flaps and create a handle (optional) with ribbon, wire or cloth. Decorate boxes with paper, wrapping paper scraps, markers, stickers or anything you have to add a unique sparkle.
3. Have you heard the news? Let’s ‘wrap’ about it.
Yes, you’ve heard this one, but there’s a twist. Newspapers and brown bags work well for wrapping (aside from getting your hands inked.) Switch it up a little and add a personal touch. Make your own front page headline as the card and paste it on top of the newspaper wrapping.
4. It’s time to wrap up the year.
Not sure what to do with old calendars? Recycle them creatively by using pictures from old calendars. Or, use the calendar page, and mark the special day with a personalized note.
5. Pop a surprise into a 2-liter soda bottle.
Cut a small flap opening (that will still close) into the side of the bottle and place gift. Decorate the outside of the bottle or put stuffing or tissue on the inside. You could even have a flower, balloon or decorative gift coming out of the top of the bottle. There are many different possibilities, get creative.
6. Turn old greetings into miniature gift boxes.
Do you hold on to old greeting cards? Some have a special meaning, so make it last longer by turning it into a gift box. From birthdays, anniversaries, blank cards and Christmas cards, use the pictures and messages for a unique way to wrap a little something special. Find out how to make your own card boxes.
7. Recycle used wrapping paper, shred and surprise—beautiful tissue!
Use old wrapping paper that’s been sitting or been through the ringer in storage. Recycle paper you receive from birthdays, Christmas and other holidays for colorful shredded stuffing. Use in gift boxes, baskets and protecting fragile items.
8. Artwork that has lost its shelf life.
Recycle artwork you can’t hold on to anymore. Display those beautiful, learning to stay within the lines, coloring pages in a new way or wrap a child’s gift with coloring book pages for them to color.
9. Give books that have seen better days a new story.
If the book isn’t salvageable, has missing or ripped pages, recycle it. Wrap an adult book or present in pages of a novel. Or, those children’s books that were loved dearly, wrap a children’s gift with beloved characters and illustrations.
10. Reverse roles and make it a stocking wrapper.
It’s like giving stocking stuffers without hanging it on the mantle. Use old Christmas stockings to wrap tiny gifts. Or, stockings are perfect for a bottle of wine or a cute touch to wrap items in a themed gift basket.
Don’t stop at the gift, and take some of these ideas to inspire you and top off the gift with cool packaging. Another great deal, aside from recycling gift wrap, is to buy gift bags in bulk for better savings. For example, check out Joann Fabrics and find bulk gift bags (13 bags) for $4.89, use 10% coupon code: JGM294 and get 4% cash back. That’s 13 gift bags for around $0.32 a bag!
Thrifty Tip: Keep your eye out at craft stores and big brand stores, and stock up on supplies, wrapping paper and bags on clearance and after-holiday sales..