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3 Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas (bonus: they’re green too!)

IMG_7707-1On Monday, after many requests, I told you all that I’d devote a post to this topic, and I’m here to deliver on that promise.

Gift wrap is one of those many areas where saving money and being green intersect…I love it when that happens. There are quite a few different options for wrapping gifts on the cheaply and greenly (I know that is not a word), but here are a few of my favorites, which, in my opinion, don’t cross the line between frugal and cheap. Unlike some frugal people, I do place a somewhat high value on having my gifts look pretty. So I am sort of picky about which money saving wrap methods I will use….they have to be inexpensive AND visually pleasing.

Cloth Gift Bags

I’ve already linked you to this post once this week, but in case you missed it, you can check out my cloth bag tutorial from last December.

I usually only use these for exchanging gifts within our family because after I spend the time making them, I’d sort of prefer to keep them!

I don’t have nearly enough of these to use for all of our presents, though my collection is slowly growing.

Gift Boxes


I own several of these adorable little boxes, which make great “wrapping” material for small presents like jewelry. I got some of them when I purchased some 70% off jewelry (clearance, of course!), and I kept the boxes because I thought they were so cute. The green sparkly ones (I have two) came from our church’s Sharing Closet (which is like freecycle in a room).

These are really tempting for small children to open, so to keep the present safe and to dress the box up a bit, I like to tie ribbon around the boxes. If you want to be really green (not to mention classy), you can use real ribbon.


But curling ribbon is a good option too (of course, you’ll want to purchase it in January when it’s on clearance.).


Paper Gift Bags


These are not a great option for wrapping children’s presents, at least not at our house, because the children cannot be trusted to resist peeking inside the bag! But for adult presents or for presents going to people outside of our home, these are a great option. They’re so easy to use, and as long as they are stored properly, they can be re-used multiple times.

Tissue paper is sort of necessary for gift bags, but it can be found for $.25-$.50 after Christmas with very little effort, and if you’re patient enough to fold it, it can be stored and re-used.


Of course, if you’re not super duper concerned about disposable wrapping, you can often pick up rolls of wrapping paper at very low prices after Christmas. I usually do that because there’s inevitably a handful of presents that will not work with a gift bag or a gift box. Since we recycle the wrapping paper most of the time, I don’t feel particularly guilty about it.

What about you? What are your inexpensive gift wrap ideas? I know some of you have written blog posts on this topic this month, so if you have, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

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Thursday 25th of February 2010

I buy a large roll of white freezer paper (Walmart or groc store) and my daughter uses it for painting, stamping, and for wrapping gifts! I use craft paint and she decorates the white paper with her handprints or footprints for a personal touch for family. Now my almost-4 month old added his little handprint to a gift just the other day! It is awesome to decorate gifts together and add our personal touch to them! =) Love your blog topics, you have amazing ideas and beautiful photos!


Tuesday 23rd of February 2010

As a newly married couple my husband and I were still trying to figure out how to budget. Christmas was definitely important to both of us and we had set aside money for gifts for each other, but a few days before we both realized that we hadn't bought wrapping paper and had used up our budgeted money on stocking stuffers. We did however have a stack of newspapers next to our door(we got the subscription at a discounted price). Anyway old newspapers combined with green and red ribbon from the dollar store made for some very cute presents, and e v e r y t h i n g was wrapped for one dollar( the cost of the ribbon)

Just Gai

Saturday 19th of December 2009

Newspaper makes good wrapping paper, jazzed up with ribbon or bows. Also, pages from magazines (selotaped together for larger presents).


Saturday 19th of December 2009

This year I made gift bags for a bunch of people. Mine weren't nearly as fancy as yours, but they were super easy to make. I took burlap, cut it to size and sewed up two sides to make the bag. I frayed the top a bit and then added checked ribbon and jingle bells. I was able to get 20 bags of varying size out of 3 yards of fabric.


Friday 18th of December 2009

The green boxes are to-die-for!!! I want them so bad, I don't even want a present in them :) They are probably not too hard to make/decorate yourself if you can find some small boxes!

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