No Need to Buy Gift Wrap, Redux - Live Like a Mensch
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No Need to Buy Gift Wrap, Redux

Just in time for my second post on gift wrapping alternatives, Bankrate posted this video on Friday. While they offer two of the usual options for gift wrapping without spending money--newspapers and shopping bags--I was intrigued by their third suggestion of wrapping presents in old potato chip bags. I found myself thinking that old Lays and Doritos bags could make for very festive, if somewhat greasy, wrapping paper. (To be fair to Bankrate, they did say that you need to wash out and dry the chip bags before using them as wrapping. I'm thinking the aroma of delicious greasy food might be a part of the gift presentation, but that might just be me.)

In any case, I have gotten some lovely gift wrapping ideas from readers, friends, and fellow bloggers. Here are their suggestions:

Reader Linda Mason suggests using tissue boxes for gift wrapping: "Once empty, some of the square decorator type facial tissue boxes make attractive gift boxes that need no wrap! I used one for my mother's birthday - it was a beautiful box covered with flowers. I slid her gift inside and covered the hole with a large silk rose of similar color that I already had:

"I also have two tissue boxes with Christmas designs. I will slide a small gift into each and cover the hole with a large Christmas bow. Of course, I keep and use bows over again! They don't end up in the trash until they look bad."
Linda also suggests using pretty bags from retail stores: "Another thing I have done is saved small attractively decorated sacks such as the ones I have bought cards in at Hallmarks.  These can work well to wrap small boxes like those that contain small pieces of jewelry.  I cut open the side of the sack and position the small box in the location where it will be covered by the best part of the paper design. Once I have cut the paper to size, I am ready to wrap!  I keep old ribbons to tie bows and also broken broaches that I have saved can be glued on instead of a bow for a nice presentation too."
My college friend and fellow quilter Emily actually makes fabric bags for gifting:  "For Christmas, I buy holiday fabric the day or two after Christmas when it is like 70% off. Some people give me the bags back right away, others use them to give other gifts, and some keep them and consider them part of the gift. I am totally fine with all options--I like seeing someone using the bags I know they got as gifts for something else.
"I use leftover fabric or my stash for non-Christmas gifts. The bags take me about 10 minutes a piece to make. Most are a standard size but I occasionally make one to fit an odd-shaped gift. I also know of people who wrap with fabric but don't make it into a bag first. And I've gotten gifts from my sister-in-law wrapped in scarves that I am sure came from thrift stores. Another case of a bonus present!"
The website Apartment Therapy gave me some great, unique ideas for gift wrap: Check out your kitchen cabinets and recycling bins. You could wrap a lovely gift using aluminum foil (recycled, of course--the purchase price of aluminum foil might make it more expensive than gift wrap) and some leftover ribbons. Alternatively, you could get some pretty autumn leaves or ribbons and iron them between two sheets of wax paper, which would fuse the three layers together. It will make for a completely different kind of gift wrap and help make for a beautiful gift presentation.
Are there any alternative gift wrapping ideas that I have missed?



frugal_fun said:

"Are there any alternative gift wrapping ideas that I have missed? "

Going to the dollar store and buying discount gift bags/wrap. ;)

These all sounds like a lot of work and a few of them don't save money at all (How much does the wax paper cost?) We don't buy tissues because we use washable hankies. We don't buy chips either, so that's out. The fabric bags might take 10 minutes to make if you're good, but I've made nice ones and those take about 1/2 hour. And they don't ever fit anything I've bought after the first item.

Compared to buying cheap wrapping paper (or reusing stuff given to you), I'm thinking that the hourly return on some of this stuff is less than $1 an hour in savings. Paper is also recyclable, so I'm okay(ish) on the environmental front.

December 12, 2012 8:18 PM

haverwench said:

Yeah, and we don't even get a newspaper, so we can't wrap gifts in newsprint either. I've been getting by for years with a combination of freebie paper (I used to get a few sheets each year from the National Wildlife Federation when they were trawling for donations) and reused paper from last year's presents. This year I eked out my supply with a couple of cheap, partly used rolls picked up from an estate sale. If my stash ever runs out completely, I'll look into the option of wrapping in fabric (I have lots of stuff in the rag bag I could cut apart for the purpose).

December 17, 2012 5:11 PM

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