Gift Wrap for the Broke and Uninspired

21 Dec

My Grandpa made these.

You may have thought the ride was over because you finished buying or making your gifts for the season. Oh no (haughty laugh). Think of your gifts as you would an old cat pee stain or that muffin top hanging over your pants: You gotta cover that s*** up.

In this case, though, it’s not as easy as moving the couch over a few inches or borrowing your mom’s tankini. The ten minutes between the time you walk into your family’s house and the moment you cut the small talk and get to the goodies can cost you. Depending on the wrapping paper you chose and if you’ve embellished with ribbons, bows, and gift tags, you can end up paying almost as much for the covering part as the actual gift. Also something you can ponder while you wander: even if you had the cash to burn, do you want to spend it on something that is thrown away so quickly? Thankfully, there are ways to get around this without making your present the sad clown equivalent of the gift table. Here are a few gifts I gussied up with junk that was lying around my house:

These are both old jewelry boxes that I saved from past purchases. I covered the first box with a magazine page and hot-glued a pretty bead. The second box is collaged with pages from different old books from the local library’s Free Table.

This gift is wrapped in a plastic bag from a record store near my house. I cut the bottom and the top off of the bag and wrapped the box it as I would with paper. Then I remembered I have a stamp that looks similar and used that for the gift tag. Good wrap for the menfolk if you can fit a barbecue grill in there…

I found this beautiful picture of leaves in a magazine and wrapped a book with it, then took some of my pressed leaves from fall and stamped them to use as a gift tag. Bad thing about this is that the leaves are fragile so they tend to break if you’re traveling and stuffing all your gifts in a sack (You can stuff you sorries in a sack, mister!, remember that Seinfeld episode?).

Since I’m constantly convincing myself I’m going to learn to sew amazing dresses…and never following through, I have a lot of cut up or even unused dress patterns that make great wrapping paper. A few magazine clippings added some fancy schmancy embellishments.

An empty oatmeal can and an old wedding invitation don’t seem like a likely pair but actually make a great canister to present a gift in.

This summer, I saved those pretty little cardboard things my peaches come in and used them to package ornaments. I used things like yarn, dried leaves, newspaper and chopped up old wrapping paper for stuffing.

My crowning achievement: a broken down cereal box, flipped inside out and glued back together (surprisingly easy!), then decoupaged with leftover wrapping paper and pages of an old book.

The total cost for all this gift wrap: $0. Take that Hoarders.


6 Responses to “Gift Wrap for the Broke and Uninspired”

  1. Rick Roche December 21, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    What you do amazes me. Turning boxes inside out! Wow!

  2. pattijeane December 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    This is great and all, but I have one question. Why didn’t you stick around to wrap all my presents for me? You’d be so sad… I bought paper at Target. =(

  3. Amy Webb December 22, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    And this is why I call you “Awesome Annie”! 🙂

  4. Eunice Robertson April 19, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    You are an inspiration to the economically-challenged, as well to the “crafter” in all of us. Thanks for all the lovely ideas.

    • anniee April 19, 2010 at 8:48 am #

      Thank you! And thanks for reading!


  1. Care Enough to Give the Very Cheapest: DIY Gift Tags « Thriftfulness - December 22, 2011

    […] OR you can find creative gift wrapping solutions here and look below at my the gift tags I made out of the paper […]

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