Save on Gift Wrapping & Trimmings

Many Ways to Save Time & Money on Gift Wrapping!

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This Gift Wrapping and Trimmings Super Page contains a growing number of money saving ideas for cutting costs on Gifts!

Artistic Wrapping Paper

Child painting with a paint brush

A child’s painting can be used for creating awesome wrapping paper.

Saw your tips on the Today Show for gift wrap. I have a similar idea. When my boys were young (now 19 and 16) they loved to paint pictures so I bought them the paper from office supply stores that comes in easel pads and when they were done with the pictures we used it for wrapping paper. They loved telling everyone that they had made the paper.   Lisa – Adena, OH

Party Clean Up Earns Free Wrapping Supplies

Leftover tissue paper, wrapping, bows and ribbons.

Leftover tissue paper, wrapping, bows, and ribbons can be reused for other presents.

When I’m invited to a birthday party, I usually volunteer to help clean up the “after unwrapping the gifts” mess. The hostess usually wants to keep the gift bags, but I gather the tissue paper and ribbons. The colorful paper and ribbons can be ironed and reused. The bows can be re-used also. Doing this will give you a great selection of wrapping tissue and bows with no cost for gift wrap supplies. Most people welcome the cleanup help and don’t care about the tissue and ribbons and bows! This also works at Christmas. Pam Estes – Alexandria, VA

Gift Tags from Recycled Cards

I often reuse kids’ birthday cards by cutting out the artwork from the front of the card (often a car, dragon, princess, etc). This artwork becomes a large, decorative name-tag for a child’s birthday gift. Because I have four children this saves me money and time. I no longer shop for birthday cards every time one of our children is invited to a birthday party. I simply use the cut-out artwork as a homemade gift tag/card. C.E. – Lansdale, PA

 Wrapping with Brown Grocery Bags

I save paper grocery bags and use them for wrapping packages to mail. I also use them for anything that needs to be wrapped in heavy paper and if you’re creative you can even add a colorful bow or raffia to make a present look great! Marie Davis – Pendleton, SC

Kid Friendly Christmas Tags

Instead of buying tags for our gifts this year, I scanned a photo of each family member and printed out several 2×3 copies on regular paper for each person. I cut these out and used them as tags, writing on the plain side. Our younger children could easily help pass out gifts without having to read, and it was fun seeing all those smiling faces under the tree! But best of all, for the low price of 5 pieces of paper and some ink, we had custom tags for all of our gifts.
 Allison W. – Castle Rock, CO

Wrapping Paper for Every Occasion

Blue Present

I buy Christmas wrapping paper when it’s 50% to 75% off, but I look for the solid color prints or the wrapping paper that doesn’t look like Christmas. I use the wrapping paper for birthdays, weddings or whatever comes up. This is a big savings. I stocked up two years ago and still have plenty for another year or two. Another way of using this paper is when mailing through the post office and your package needs to be wrapped, just turn the paper inside out to wrap your package and then write directly on the paper for your mailing address.
 Allison Savoy – Lake Charles, LA

Comical Present Wrapping

2 presents wrapped in the Sunday comics.

I save the Sunday colored comics to wrap kids birthday presents in them. They’re bright and colorful, always available and the kids love them.   Kathy W. – Scottsdale, AZ

Wrapping It Up In Brown Paper

I had just completed a quilt for our friend’s wedding shower. Looking around the house, we didn’t have a box big enough to nicely wrap the quilt. I thought, “Why not wrap the quilt in one of those plastic storage bins? They’re relatively inexpensive, AND who couldn’t use a storage bin?” So she ended up getting a nice, sturdy storage bin with lid for $3.89. And rather than use rolls of expensive store-bought wrapping paper, Linda used a yard or so of brown Kraft paper, and wrapped the box to resemble an old-fashioned suitcase.

I added some “travel labels” (Paris, Rome, Venice…), fashioned a handle from pipe cleaners and attached a “luggage tag” (made from a file folder and brown duct tape) wishing the soon to be wed couple, “May the rest of your life be as wonderful as a sunny day in Paris”. The package AND the quilt were a big hit, and there was hardly anything to throw away.    Linda & Mike L. – South Holland, IL 

 Filled Tins for Wrapping Gifts

Colorful holiday tins used for wrapping presents.

Decorative tins can be purchased at the flea market, garage sales, etc. I fill them with homemade cookies or other treats to be given as gifts. Most of the tins are so pretty they require no wrapping at all. Ann Nieser – Pittsburgh, PA

Wrapping Paper for Pennies

I purchase wrapping paper and ribbons at garage sales for pennies. A large plastic container (wastebasket size) filled with ribbon I got for $1. I’m still using the ribbon. And the container holds magazines and newspapers in the bathroom. Ann Nieser – Pittsburgh, PA

Wrapping Paper Alternatives

So, you missed the 75 percent off wrapping paper sales last year, what do you do? Running out and paying full price just hurts too much. Try a few of these ideas for inexpensive and happy wrapping.

Brown paper wrapping paper stamped with red stars and green Christmas trees.

1) AAA Wrap

Do you have an auto club membership where you can get maps for free? Maybe it’s time to replace all of your old road maps and send them off packing for Christmas. Presents wrapped with maps and a little ribbon or bow make a darling presentation.

2) Gift Bags

 If you’re like us, you collect all the gift bags you can. Well, it’s time to reorganize that box of gift bags and see how many are appropriate for Christmas. Remember that solid green, red or dark blue could work just as well.

3) Crafty Wrap

If you have a roll of brown craft paper and some old sponges you’re in luck. Just cut the sponges into festive shapes — bells, stars, Christmas trees, wreaths. If you have a collection of holiday cookie cutters these make great templates. Dip the sponge shapes in red or green acrylic paint and stamp away. The kids will love to help make this wrapping paper festive and fun.

4) Tissue Wrap

Tissue paper is usually on sale this time of year at drug stores — a good price is three packs for $1. If you save your old tissue paper, try letting the kids iron the less wrinkly sheets — no steam. Presents double or triple wrapped in tissue with a gold ribbon will look elegant.

5) Wall Wrap

We trash picked some old wallpaper — it was a little thick, but it made really cute looking wrapping paper. Dress it up with ribbon and bow and you’ll be a star.

There are always treasures to be found at garage sales and church rummage sales this time of year. Go with your list in hand and your eyes peeled — if you don’t see what you’re hunting for, don’t be too shy to ask. Look all around your house and you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with. It won’t take as much time as you think and you’ll be extra proud of your creation in the end — plus you can always write it down and send it in for use in the back fence column!

If you have a tip for saving money on holiday decor and wrapping please leave it in the comments below and we’ll review it for posting on this page.

21 thoughts on “Save on Gift Wrapping & Trimmings

  1. CarolynEPCMM

    Hi! I am hitchhiking onto others’ ideas.
    1) For bows I watch paper folding bows and flowers on YouTube.
    2) I have a bestie and we re-use the same gift bag AND birthday cards annually—-just writing a new note!

  2. Rhonda Grice

    Although it’s April when reading this article it gave me some great ideas for when I go thrifting or to yard sales. Will pick up uniique wrapping supplies this summer for sure. I found this website by actually hearing about your Youtube videos on a Frugal Forum I belong to.

    I watched the Christmas gift wrapping one this morning and loved it, and your husband is such a great partner with you two working together.
    Thanks for all you do!

    1. Steve Economides

      Thanks for your kind words Rhonda! Glad you stopped by and commented. Love the idea of looking for wrapping supplies at thrift stores and garage sales. They’re a gold mine!

  3. Carol

    I take an empty chip/snack food bag that has silver on the inside and trim the seams off, then wash the flat sheet. I keep them with my gift wrap. When Christmas comes the silver looks nice under the tree.
    Carol P

  4. Kristin Fry

    Years ago I used a bunch of fabric scraps and retired clothing to make several cloth bags in a variety of sizes. I finished the tops with lace or gold stitching, and then used bits of trim–laces, braids, cloth riboon, etc. to tie them closed–I found that 3″ ribon with a stiff- edge is the easiest and the prettiest. They were simple and fast to make, are fast to use to wrap, are reusable in the family setting, and can be a lovely part of a gift if you give to friends.

  5. Lovay

    I recycle old maps ~ they are always a hit with the recipient. Also, make my own gift bags from my fabric stash and they can be used over and over. I pick up ribbon from the clearance rack and use it to tie the packages ~ it too, can be reused again.

  6. Sarah

    I buy wrapping paper at Christmas that has simple designs and colors that can last all year. Last year I bought red,green, yellow and blue striped paper at Hobby Lobby for less than $3 for about 200 feet! I can use those colors for just about anything.
    I’m also a great helper at parties. It may sound a bit strange, but I always stick around to help clean up after a birthday party, baby shower, etc. When they throw away a really nice gift bag, I just set it aside and take it home. It’s not for everyone, but I love that I helped them and they helped me save a little money!

  7. Sarah Pickering

    I grew up doing the comic wrap with curling ribbon or bows and using brown kraft paper. I use a few times a year and buy flat wrap or tissue paper and ribbon when its a good sale price. Then everything goes in 2 bags, one for Christmas and another for year around, i also buy greeting cards from there for cheap, the nice part is most of their paper products are all made in the usa.

  8. Angela

    Make the wrapping part of the gift. Wrap new kitchen utensils in a nice dishtowel, wrap mom’s new earrings in a pretty new scarf, wrap your brother’s new DVD in a colorful bandana. Any of these can be tied up with ribbon, a colorful elastic hairband from the dollar store, or any kind of yarn or string. A plain brown box with colorful images stamped on it works great. Or let the kids find pretty holiday images in old magazines and glue them on the box. Another money saver is to make “goodie boxes or bags” . Combine several gifts into one package. You can even do a theme for the goodie package if you like. Combining several gits into one package also saves time, which is something else we are always trying to save.

    1. Steve Economides

      Angela, Wow, making the wrapping part of the gift is a super creative solution – and it produces less waste. Love it. Thanks for sharing your gift wrap idea.

  9. diane

    I buy gift bags at thrift stores and yard sales that look new. I buy rolls of curling ribbon and then curl the ribbon myself to give the finished gift presentation a real professional look.

    1. Steve Economides

      Diane – you are so right – you can find great gift bags at thrift stores and yard sales. They make great wrapping for presents and cost so little – and the bonus with gift bags is that they are usually reusable over and over . . . provided the recipient lets you have it back!

  10. Beth Price

    We do Amazon subscribe and save. Usually the boxes are packed with that sturdy brown packing paper which can be used as instant gift wrap! This allows my family and I to get creative and personalize it for the recipient!

    1. Steve Economides

      Beth – great idea to reuse the packing paper as customized wrapping paper – you’re right, you can color it with crayons, markers, paint or use rubber stamps! Most kids love helping with the decorating.

  11. Jennifer M

    Most people know to hit the after Christmas clearance section for deeply discounted rolls of holiday themed wrapping paper, but minor holidays are a great time to stock up too! The week after Valentine’s Day, stores like Target usually have a huge supply of clearance wrapping paper and trimmings. The best part is that you can usually find paper in patterns and colors that work well for any occasion! Last year my girls found some (admittedly messy) glittery paper covered in pictures of candy hearts. It was regularly $8 a roll, but we got it for less than $1! It has become their favorite wrapping paper for their friends’ birthday gifts.

    1. Steve Economides

      Woo Hoo – got to love the after holiday clearance prices – $1 for fancy wrapping paper is definitely a “buy price” and time to stock up. Way to go!

  12. Heather

    I purchased some discounted after-Christmas, holiday-themed flannel and sewed really basic bags in a variety of sizes several years ago. We reuse our “Santa Sacks” each year. No waste, super cheap, and easy to make 🙂

    1. Steve Economides

      Wow Heather – the Santa Sack idea is genius!!! It’s durable, cute and super easy to make. Do you have any photos you could share?

  13. Meg

    I buy holiday related wrapping paper after Christmas when it is deeply discounted. Also dollar tree sells gift bags and wrapping paper and nice gift boxes that don’t require any wrapping. I also reuse gift bags.

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