SOS Mom Saver: Creative Gift Wrapping

I can't tell you the number of times I've cringed when I go to purchase wrapping paper or a gift bag. I don't like paying for things that are just going to be thrown away. Even if I did spend "just" $1 for that bag or roll of wrapping paper.   In addition to that $1 for the bag or wrapping paper, you have to buy tissue paper, ribbons, or bows.  Suddenly, that $1 is no longer just a dollar...and ALL of it has been spent on trash...items that will likely be thrown away after use and have no long-term or residual value.

This won't necessarily save you huge sums of money...at least not at first.  Once you've determined that you're going to live this way, then you can watch for items on clearance and buy them in advance of an event instead of at the last minute.  What this WILL do, is allow you to quit wasting your money on useless trash.  It will transform your gift-giving into something new and original...and completely useful to the person receiving the gift!

There are several completely use-able ideas for "wrapping" gifts:
  • A Blanket: Whether you're giving a baby-shower gift or a gift to a young child, a blanket is a fantastic, original way to wrap your gift.  "Tie" it together with a cloth-diaper pin, a snappi, or a reusable ribbon.  These receiving blankets are $1.67 each including shipping. I recently used this idea for a baby shower gift.  I'll show you two different options for how to apply the "blanket" wrapping paper.  Each has its own unique, fun look.
    • Blanket "Wrapping" Style One ('Cause I'm creative with names that way.  Don't judge.  At least I didn't name my kids "Kid 1, 2, & 3"...or Dweezel. I expended all of my creative energy naming my children. But I digress.)  This is the easiest way to wrap.  You put the gift in the blanket and pull the ends of the blanket up.  
    • That's a matching brown ponytail holder holding it in the center.
      (FYI: You can get ponytail holders for FREE this week at Walgreens!) 
      I simply added a real-ribbon bow to "pretty" this one up!
    • Blanket "Wrapping" Style Two (I know.  Again with my brilliance at naming things.):

    Place everything in the blanket and fold it nicely in the center.

    Pin the blanket in the center to hold it in place.

    Fold the ends in like you would with "regular" paper.

    Pull the folded end up.

    Pull the other side up and pin it connecting both pulled up ends.

    Both sides are now pinned up securely.

    You can add ribbon to "present" it on the front side.

    Or you could make the ribbon "present" on the back side where it's pinned.
    • A Towel: If you're giving a gift to an older boy or girl, a towel is a GREAT idea!  Every child likes to have their "own" towel.  Why not use it to wrap their gift? (After summer is a FANTASTIC time to find big swim towels on clearance!)  Again, a cloth-diaper pin is great for securing the wrapping.
    • A basket:  You can find some really cute baskets (scroll down to the bottom of the page) at your local Dollar Tree.
    • A cloth bag: There are so many options out there with cloth bags!  For under $1 after shipping, you can get unprinted bags in many different colors.  These reusable cloth bags are perfect for gifts and are incredibly affordable!  If you're extra creative, you can add the recipient's name or another fun design on the bag.  And who doesn't want a re-usable cloth bag these days!    But how do you get that "tissue paper" look?         
    • A blanket or two or pre-fold cloth diapers (which make great burp cloths) all make really nice "tissue paper" for filling the top of a bag.  They're not necessary, but really add a nice, fun touch!
    This is one of my favorite gift-giving cloth bags.

    What creative ways do you have for wrapping gifts?


      Charissa said...

      I like the way you think! I think my favorite is the baby blanket with the pins - it reminds me of a cloth diaper (in a cute way!).

      I write a blog about gift wrapping (www.thegiftedblog.com) and love to see others share their ideas. Thanks for posting!

      Kim Van Klompenberg said...

      Those are great ideas!
      I have 100's of "Made with Love" pictures that my daughters have stashed all over my house. So when I am looking for something to wrap a gift with, I take all the pictures that just missed the "tuck them away for when their older pile" and I tape them to the box. My family members love the wrapping, and I can see my counters again! :)

      Crazy Mom Of The 3 Cubs said...

      One year, I wrapped all the guys' Christmas gifts (hubby, my dad, my brother) in gently used paper grocery bags, and tied up the bags with bungee cords instead of ribbons. They used the bags to stash the smaller gifts they got from others to simply the ride home, (and one got used to stash the reusable bags and wrappings from other gifts) and guys can ALWAYS use bungee cords!

      Other ideas I've seen but may or may not have used personally :
      Old stray rolls of wallpaper or borders, a new bath towel (similar to the blanket concept), several new dish towels, kids' drawings/paintings, strips of material or old pairs of jeans can be used for ribbons, outdated bottles of nail polish (instead of tossing them, the kids can "decorate" their packages with them), old pieces of costume jewelry (strings of beads or chains can be used as ribbon, broaches, pins and such be a centerpiece) and of course NATURE makes a great decorator too! pinecones, small pieces of driftwood, rocks or crystals (even dull colored ones can be painted), interesting twigs or branches w/ pretty leaves, cut flowers (or even just flower petals, especially fragrant ones), curly sections of a vining plant, etc.

      Meg @sleepynewmommy said...

      You are so stinkin' smart! I love these ideas and am totally going to use them.

      I'm known as the person to keep all gift bags and tissue paper we receive and then I reuse them. We have pictures from all 4 of Cam's birthdays thus far that show her opening a gift from us in the same bag!

      TulipGirl said...

      Great ideas!