Friday, December 19, 2008

Frugal Friday: Under the Tree

I hate wrapping paper: it's expensive, it gets torn and wrinkled, and it makes a mess on Christmas morning. If you only use it once, it's wasteful; if you save it and re-use it, it often looks tacky.
I hate those paper gift bags with tissue paper sticking out the top: I think they're ugly, and a lot of times the presents peek out (since they're just dropped in rather than really wrapped).

So today I'm sharing a list of ideas of wrapping alternatives (one of the things I love is that the frugal options are also green!):
  • Make your own gift tags out of construction paper and/or last years Christmas cards [link]
  • Use fabric gift bags (this is what we do) [link to my crafty shop blog where I talked about them] They are super easy, even little kids can wrap/unwrap with ease, and in the off-season we use them for storing breakable ornaments and twinkle lights!
  • Cut up paper shopping bags to be your paper (some are colorful already, others can be decorated with stamping or stickers) [link]
  • Get a roll of plain craft paper (so it's nice and wide), and decorate it--or leave the paper plain and just use pretty ribbons to brighten the package [link]
  • Use old vinyl record covers (very cheap at thrift stores) to make cards or stiff mailing/packing envelopes [link]
  • Use old maps--they are visually interesting, and most of us have some outdated ones (or ones from areas where we no longer live) [link]
  • Reuse those metal cookie/popcorn tins--just wash them out and fill them back up!
  • Save, trim, and re-use regular wrapping paper (though like I said, I think that reusing more than once or twice gets looking tacky pretty fast...)
  • Try newspaper
  • Do you have any other suggestions?! Leave them in the comments!


Mae said...

Ooo! Thanks for the suggestions! I HATE wrapping presents. I can never get it to look nice and as you said, reused (or even whoops, let's try folding that again) looks tacky.

I use bags and tissue paper for all my gifts but I make sure the bag is large enough and wrapped in tissue paper and shoved to the bottom of the bag. But I love the idea of cloth bags (we resuse the paper gift bags so saving and reusing cloth bags would be old hat).

In a pinch, I have used a pillow case (Ej and I never wrap each other's gifts).

Thanks for the suggestions!

Memarie Lane said...

You can buy Christmas themed fabric on clearance after the holidays and just wrap the gifts with it next year. You can use tape and ribbons to close it, and reuse it every year.

Carrie said...

Because everything that we get has to be shipped in, I use the packing paper and decorate it with stamps, just like you did with the shopping bags (I use reusable grocery bags, though). Plus, I never throw out a packing box...well, almost never.

Mommy Bee said...

LOL Carrie, you think everything YOU get is shipped! Even my groceries are shipped!!!!!
I generally use the brown packing paper for my shipping, and yes, I reuse the envelopes/boxes all the time. I use reusable shopping bags for lugging stuff around, but one grocery store uses paper bags as the stuffing paper in their shipments, so I get some of those too. :)

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