Gift Wrapping Ideas Without Buying Wrapping Paper
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Gift Wrapping Ideas Without Buying Wrapping Paper

With a little artistic ingenuity, you are sure to find ordinary items around your home to make extraordinary gift wrapping. Think outside the box and consider these solutions when you need to package and wrap a gift. Without spending additional money, and another trip to the store, work with common household items and a little craftsmanship. Remember, recycle, re-purpose, reuse!

How many times have you been caught needing to wrap a present but realizing that: One, you have no wrapping paper, two, you have no ribbon, and three, you really don’t want to spend another $5 to $10 to buy wrapping paper. Before you bite the bullet and rush out to the store, consider these ideas for wrapping a gift.

Brown Paper Sack

Cut open the sack down one side and cut off the bottom. Wrap the gift in the plain paper and tie around the package with a single strip of fabric or tear several narrow strips and use them all together ending in a knotted bow on top. If you have any beads, slip them over the ends of the strips of fabric and knot the ends so the beads won’t slip off. Consider a small cluster of evergreen clippings for ornamentation.

Decorate the brown paper with a light spritz of spray paint if you have any in the garage or basement. Just be sure to go very lightly. You may want to lay a few tree leaves or strips of paper on the bag before spraying it for a reverse stencil effect. If you have a ball of twine or string you may want to hit that with another spray of paint of a different color.


Somewhere in the back of a closet you may have something that you have been meaning to donate or toss; an old dress or skirt, a pair of slacks, a jacket or an old tablecloth that has a hole. These things can easily be cut into large pieces of fabric. Perhaps you already have a stash of fabric that you never used from a project in which you lost interest.

Instead of using tape to secure the fabric, cut slits or holes along the edges of the fabric and lace up the package with a coordinating strip of fabric or thread.

Butcher Paper

Butcher paper is ideal because it can easily be stamped with rubber stamps and colorful inks or decorated with crayon.

For a contemporary or tech look, use electrical tape instead of scotch tape. You may want to even complete the tech look using ornaments of nuts and washers strung onto a cord and tied around the package.

Newspaper, Books and Magazines

The funny papers make excellent wrapping paper tied off with a colorful piece of string, ribbon or even taped with duct tape.

Use pages from old magazines to collage pictures of food, flowers or other thematic decorations onto butcher paper or brown paper. 

Cut words and letters from any kind of print media to spell out fun expressions of affection or the name of the person to whom you are giving the gift.

Think Outside the Box

Think outside the box, and look around you house, garage, basement and closets for unique ideas to wrap a gift. Consider cigar boxes, baskets, an old jewelry case, a cookie tin or even a cotton laundry bag to use as a gift box. Decorate it, spray paint it, embellish it with items that match the theme of the gift or occasion.

Now, I am not suggesting that you just throw these things together helter skelter, but rather use some imagination and a little artistic ingenuity along with good craftsmanship in your gift packaging technique. You are sure to please the receiver with the extra effort and thought that went in to wrapping their gift.

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Comments (5)

thank you, thank you, thank you. Excellent and valuable info!

Excellent!! +1ed since I am out of votes today.

Ranked #1 in Frugal Living

Great ideas!

Fabric is a great way to use up old scraps and make a gift look very nice!

Lovely ideas -- voted.