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Saving money on gift wrap

Posted Dec 14, 2011 by Janine Dorsey

Updated Dec 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Free and Cheap followers surely wouldn’t run out and purchase full-price wrapping paper with just a few weeks to go until all that stuff goes on sale for 75% off.

But what do you do if you run out of supplies or even just want to be frugal and green when wrapping your presents?

Gift tags

Cut up old Christmas cards to isolate a single image or word and make a hole with a hole punch. Make sure the reverse side where you would write the recipient’s name has not been written on.

Use leftover scrapbook or sticker letters from craft projects to stick a single initial of the person’s name on the box. This is a great way to use up those letters you had to buy for the display board for last year’s science fair assignment.

Wrapping paper

The website has free adorable printable pages with matching cards and gift tags. It’s searchable by theme and is great for occasions where you may not want to purchase an entire roll of paper for just one gift such as graduation or a new baby gift.

Scrutinize every shopping bag or box that comes into your house for potential gift wrap usefulness. The above shoebox only had small brand logos that were easily covered with cut-out designs from an old gift bag that had gotten a little too frayed.

Nordstrom, Talbots and Lucky Brand stores also have attractive shopping bags that can be easily converted.

Leverage the abundance of child labor you have at your disposal over the winter holidays. Everything looks more charming when drawn in a child’s hand.  The below paper examples were done in crayon on packing paper recycled from a box that was shipped to us. The thinner paper is easy to work with and comes in a good sized sheets of about 30 inches by 30 inches. It often can be found in handbags to hold their shape while on display.


If you only send a few greeting cards or just need one or two more, instead of buying another box you can print tasteful customizable ones at the Xerox website.


Take advantage of free gift wrapping offers. Even if it is for yourself, get it wrapped and carefully scavenge the materials. MAC Cosmetics offers free giftwrapping on their website and the standard style is a mylar silver bag which can be used again and again.

Bealls department stores have offered free gift wrap for years. A recent Twitter post from a fan was praising how pretty the paper was.

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