Wrapping presents during the holiday season makes gift-giving more special and personalized, but if you have a number of people to purchase gifts for, it may not be within your budget to splurge on fancy, seasonal gift wrap, ribbons, bows or other decorative wrapping accessories. Luckily, there are many budget- and eco-friendly ways to wrap gifts using everyday items you might have laying around your apartment. You’ll save money, and your friends and family will appreciate your thoughtfulness and creativity.
Wrapping gifts with newspaper is probably the easiest and cheapest way to wrap presents. Choose the Sunday comics or a similarly brightly-colored page, pair it with some inexpensive twine and you have an eco-friendly wrapping solution.
If you’re a crafty person or someone who enjoys home decoration projects, chances are you might have scraps of fabric or wallpaper just laying around your apartment. Turn those scraps into something fabulous by repurposing them. Fabric or cloth swatches are great for wrapping up oddly shaped gifts, while you can coordinate old wallpaper leftovers to match up with the theme of your present.
Generally printed on sturdy paper meant to last a long time, maps are a colorful, unique, budget-friendly alternative to more expensive gift wrap. Head to the nearest tourist center and pick up several for free, or rummage through your glove compartment or basement for old maps that you haven’t used in a while.
Turn up the shabby chic factor this holiday by wrapping gifts in plain brown kraft paper and tying the gifts with simple twine. Or, use paper bags as DIY gift bags. Add a pretty, colorful ribbon as a finishing touch.
Many websites like gift-wrapit.com and familyshoppingbag.com offer free wrapping paper that you can print from your computer onto regular paper or cardstock using any printer. Simply type “printable wrapping paper” into your Internet browser, select the pattern you like best and print away.
Instead of spending money on a bag of gift bows that will just end up getting thrown out, it’s surprisingly easy to make your own gift bows out of old magazines that you have laying around the apartment. To get started, you’ll need a page per bow and some double-sided tape. Cut the page lengthwise into nine ¾-inch-thick strips at the following heights: three at 11 inches, three at 10 inches, two at nine inches and one at 3 ½ inches. Twist each strip to form loops at both ends, making a circle out of the smallest. Secure the ends with a piece of double-sided tape. Layer and stick the strips together, starting with the longest. End with the circle in the center.
Photo credit: iStockphoto/KristianSeptimiusKrogh