Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frugal Gift Wrapping Ideas

The truth is, I know you must be very proud of yourself because you've done so well on your Christmas shopping. You got some great deals and you even came in under budget. That's great! Now you've got to wrap all those presents.

Unfortunately, I also know something else. You opened your closet where you usually keep the gift wrap and you found...tumbleweeds. Believe it or not, it happens to us all. Fear not, there is hope.

Next year, you'll be able to avoid this situation with a little preparation and creativity. Until then-these ideas may inspire you.

Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas:

Comics: Tried and true and predictable, but effective. You get the newspaper delivered to your home at a discount every week if you are any kind of frugal-ite, so save those comics and put them to good use.

Tissue paper and tulle: Inexpensive and it lends itself to coverage of odd shaped gifts. Just wrap the gift in tissue paper, surround with tulle and tie it off with a ribbon. Cute!

Small paper bags: If you have small gifts, you can put them into small paper bags. You can find the patterned and printed ones on sale for less than 15 cents each, or you can buy a package of lunch sacks and embellish them with stickers. Here's an idea: Use a hole punch and weave ribbon through the top for a nice touch.

Recycled boxes: Yes, I already know you knew about this one. But it is kind of fun to see the recipient's face when they are led to believe that their present is what is pictured on the box.
I am aware this could go either way-but 'tis one of the joys of Christmas! One of my personal favorites is a teenage girl thinking she's getting a toaster when it's really her favorite cosmetics. The face-morph is truly something special to witness.

Tins: You will receive food gifts in tins. It's a guarantee. Clean them out and recycle them by using them as gift receptacles for others.

Fabric Remnants: You can get some really cute fabrics in the remnant section of your craft store for under $1 per yard. Use some pinking sheers to trim a piece of fabric down to the size you need and wrap away. Finish it off with ribbon (which you can also find in the remnant section-true story).

Dish towels: You got it. I fear nothing. This is an especially great wrapping option when you are gifting kitchen themed items or food gifts. Everyone can use dish towels. Not only does it serve as the wrapping, but it's also part of the present. No worries, because if the recipient personally finds the towel unattractive for use in the kitchen-it can be used as a cleaning rag. Everybody wins.

Large paper bags from the grocery store. You might have to ask for them, and they still exist. They are not but in fairy tales. All you need to do to turn them into wrapping paper is to cut them and turn them inside out if they are printed and then you can embellish with paint, crayons, stickers or you can even stamp them. Here's where is gets fun: If you don't have children of your own, borrow some-and let them paint, stamp, glitter, hand print, fingerprint and splatter paint away. Who said you had to do your own dirty work? The kids will have so much fun, they will never equate it to child labor. Besides, if you borrowed the children, you gave their parents a much needed reprieve. This is an especially notable fact should you return them in a state of less than pristine cleanliness.

Now that you've had your fun, let's be practical:

Keep these tips in mind:

Buy clearance gift wrap after Christmas. Set aside $10 solely to purchase clearanced gift wrap. Wait until it goes to 75% off or better and get a few rolls. You can also pick up ribbon and bows at a great discount too.

Use Artificial flowers. Flowers make a nice embellishment, and will dress up even the most modest wrapping job. So add a few to your collection when you find them on sale at different times of year.

Holiday Clearance. It doesn't have to be Christmas themed. You can find red boxes and bags after Valentine's day and purple, green and gold items after Mardi Gras and green items after St. Patrick's Day. If you find a couple of items (boxes, bags, tissue paper, ribbon) at other times of year that would be suitable for gift wrapping-then add it to your stash.

Recycle gift bags, bows and ribbon. Statistics show that you will receive at least one gift with a borderline ridiculous amount of bunched ribbon attached to it. This will adorn many, many presents in the future. Guard it with your life. This highly esteemed type of ribbon possesses the superpower of multiplicity when activated with scissors, just so you know.

Many gifts you receive will come in gift bags, most of which will be in perfect condition after your gift has been removed. Save them for later use. Hopefully the gift-giver has not gotten excited with a permanent marker and written your name boldly upon the bag...if so, a large sticker over the hieroglyphics would serve as the perfect remedy. There have been less effective cover-ups in our history.

No, the special built-in “sticky stuff” on gift bows won't work twice. But I heard tape has sticky stuff, too. So don't be afraid to give those bows a second chance, they just need a little help-I assure you it will all work out.

The possibilities are endless now! Well, maybe not endless-but at least at this point, you have a few new options, right?

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