Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas

February 2010 (Winter 2010 Semeseter) 040  n778515590_3134268_2644

Ever since I started college, I haven’t had access to my mother’s seemingly endless supply of gift wrap and gift bags nor do I feel I have the funds for such things. So, here is what I do:

  • I usually use brown paper bags…. I couldn’t find my photo or I’d show you. I take brown paper bags (ask for them at the grocery store), cut them on one edge and cut out the bottom  so it’s all one long piece. Then I cut up the paper to the size I need and wrap the gift. Afterwards, I decorated it with my own designs using colored pencils (or crayons/markers.) I really prefer/like this method… I think it creates a very homemade, thoughtful, earthy looking gift which can be lots of fun to create! 🙂
  • Another idea I have heard of, which I want to try sometime, is wrapping gifts in cartoons (from the Sunday paper) or even just newsprint.
  • Pictured in the first picture, I found some plain white dollar store (I think) gift wrap that someone didn’t want when I went through the items that all the students left behind last year. Anyway, I saved it to use. Although it wasn’t the greatest quality (and I found that I had to wrap it in regular paper first to make it so you couldn’t see through the gift-wrap), it still served the purpose well and I then decorated each one with some stickers I had on hand.
  • Another idea is what I used in the second picture. This is from my first year of college. I gave my roommate a homemade wedding gift- a cookbook I made (also frugal) wrapped in pink paper I got from the school (those huge rolls of paper you might remember from elementary school). I don’t know if they sell paper this way at craft stores or such, but if so, it is also I good option. I wrapped it in that and then added a cute ribbon I had lying around.
  • I have also taken those simple paper lunch sacs you can buy at the store and decorated them and placed gifts inside them too.
  • I have also reused gift wrap/tissue paper others have given me gifts in (what I can salvage of it).
  • I have also reused gift bags and tissue paper I have received gifts in to give gifts to others.
  • And for boxes to wrap gifts in that are awkwardly shaped, I use things I already have. The gifts (infant clothing) in the picture where wrapped in empty medicine boxes, empty fabric softener sheet boxes, empty postal boxes, etc. 🙂 Keep those on hand and you may find a use for them! 🙂


And there you have it!  8 (EIGHT) ways to make gift wrap more frugal! I hope you are able to use these options in your future gift wrapping efforts! Let me know if you have more ideas! 🙂



  1. We use to use the funnies growing up for gift wrap.

    I save the large chicken feed bags for the kids to use for craft projects. They have about three to four layers of brown paper per bag! We decorated some for Ben’s birthday and the kids wrapped his presents in them.

    I’ve also seen the idea of making fabric bags and then reusing them for Christmas/Birthdays etc.

    Happy wrapping! 🙂

  2. That’s cool that you can use the chicken bags. Do they smell funny? 🙂

    The fabric bags are a neat idea…guess you would just have to use those for your own families use though. 🙂

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