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Low-Cost Gift Wrap

Martha Stewart Kids

Faster than you can say "glee," the paper from kids' presents is lying in a heap -- an excellent reason to use inexpensive wrapping. Household materials make wonderful papers. Children's doodles look cheery; shopping bags, stylish; and paper towels, snowy soft. Or, use the pages of old phone books and calendars. A pretty bow makes even plain paper look festive.

Comments (32)

  • 10 Dec, 2010

    Don't forget about using old clothes for wrapping, too. I just wrapped a gift in an old
    T-shirt with a great length of ribbon I had saved from another gift. I just trimmed the fabric to size and wrapped. It is so soft!

  • 10 Dec, 2010

    Don't forget about using old clothes for wrapping, too. I just wrapped a gift in an old
    T-shirt with a great length of ribbon I had saved from another gift. I just trimmed the fabric to size and wrapped. It is so soft!

  • 10 Dec, 2010

    Years ago my husband and I owned a gourmet food and wine shop. We had an order for 30 cases of wine wrapped. That could be expensive. One of our employees took two potatoes cut them in half and made stamps. One was a star and the other a tree. We bought inexpensive stamp pads in red and green. We wrapped the cases in brown butchers paper, stamped them and made flat bows criss-crossed with our logo in the middle. Everyone loved it and we used that method for years when we had a bulk order.

  • 10 Dec, 2010

    I used to wrap my Dad's presents in the Wall Street Journal and ties from the rag bag. He loved that I recycled. The Sunday funnies also make great wrapping paper.

  • 10 Dec, 2010

    I love to use kraft paper and also use the paper that comes as packing in certain mail order shipments. I flatten it out and sometimes stamps on it. You can also iron it to get it even flatter, but I happen to like the crinkly distressed look. I use jute, twine, recycled ribbons, etc to tie it all together.

  • 10 Dec, 2010

    I buy kitchen towels in the 99cent store for small gifts and tie them with a ribbon. I attach little kitchen gadgets to the ribbons (from the 99cent store again) as decorations that can be used later.

  • 10 Dec, 2009

    I also use the fronts of one year's Christmas cards for the next year's gift tags.

  • 12 Aug, 2008

    I wrap all my gifts with brown craft wrap and tie jute twine as the ribbon. It costs less than normal wrapping paper. For special occassions I will add dried flowers or some simple greenery. For the Holidays I make the cinnamon-applesauce ornaments, they are dark brown and offer great texture

  • 28 Jul, 2008

    You could use diaper pins to wrap the gift with a baby blanket. I have done this several times.

  • 28 Jul, 2008

    To wrap with the baby blanket I would just tie it with nice ribbon. You could even sew it loosely closed. I've seen this done to a nice result.

  • 28 Jul, 2008

    for wrapping with the baby blanket, how do you "tape" it together??? i think it is a great idea.

  • 28 Jul, 2008

    for wrapping with the baby blanket, how do you "tape" it together??? i think it is a great idea.

  • 28 Jul, 2008

    MORE GREAT IDEAS... child's hand prints (craft paint or traced on paper, copy a report card (great for grandparents), decorating the wrapped gift with other gifts - taped or tied on (lollypops, stuffed animals, gift certificates (age appropriate things), turn a hat upside down, stablize it and then fill it full of little treasures! Roll up fabric items, secure items to paint brushes (ribbons, ponytails, shoes laces) to lift something above the rest. Attach a helium balloon for an air balloon.

  • 28 Jul, 2008

    For baby showers and gifts for the moms-to-be I have used pretty baby blankets then put a little rattle or toy on it. It looks great to present as a gift and is part of the gift too!

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    We have grandchildren who live on the other side of the US and we don't see them often enough. So when I use the white butcher paper mentioned below I dress up their packages with a photo or two of us for them to add to their photo albums. THis worked especially great when they were too small to read, the picture showed them who the package was from, and when we visited we weren't total strangers.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I use white butcher paper to wrap EVERYTHING! For a bow I grab rolls of fabric ribbon when I find a good sale. I have been getting raves on the wrapping. For my grandsons 3rd birthday I made it fun drawing circles with colored markers on the package. The party was hosted by friends who are "status conscious" so I didn't expect to hear anything about the wrapping, but the mother and 1 of her daughters each asked about the wrapping, planning to start using the idea!!

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I have used tea towels, pretty hand towels, or fabric that was purchased on the cheap to wrap gifts. Gives the person a 2nd gift as well.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    When you receive gifts wrapped in regular gift wrap, if you unwrap them carefully, you can often iron the good parts of the used gift wrap paper and re-use it. I remember my grandmother doing that when I was a little girl, and I've tried it, and it works!

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    One of my favorite tricks for a bow to make anything look cute is to use plastic bags of any color. First squeeze the bag into one longish tube, then fold it over on itself several times. Then take a piece of ribbon or twine and wrap around the middle of the folded bag and tie it very tight. Then cut the ends. You can place several folded bags together. Or shred the ends of the loops for a fancy, frilly look. I learned this when I was wrapping presents for a boutique 25 years ago!

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I the gift is small you can spray diluted food coloring on a coffee filter and let itry and then use the coffee decorated coffee filter. Doonorget even scrap pieces of cloth and almimun foil

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I have used paper bags and have had the children stamp their hands on it with paint first. I also have a stamp that I had made that says "Save Your Mother-Recycle!" and stamp that on anything that I give away that I used a recycle paper with ie. comics, bags, drawings from my boys, heck I have even used color book sheets in a pinch. The fact I stamp it with "recycle" takes it from cheap to "Bio chic"! hahah

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    i use leftover wallpaper too..and the comic section of newspapers plus a 'bow' out of the same colored section of the paper. (cut strips; loop into a bow shape and tape the undersides down.) its different and like another commenter here..it saves at least a little tree or two..

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    Old maps are great, too.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    Old maps are great, too.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I love to do this, but just for my close family, you know...

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    These are great ideas and about me all the way. Of course my "status conscious" sister-in-law would be insulted. I'd say just use them with caution. Food for thought.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I use my 3 yr olds art paper for wrapping. After I am finished wrapping I write Artwork by(your child'd name). He is happy he was a part of the process and it saves paper and may be a tree or 2 as well.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I have been known to save and recycle my gift wraps.
    They always come in handy.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I have used leftover wallpaper to wrap gifts. It also makes an excellent shelf liner for cabinets and or drawers.

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    I often use my 'practice' emboidery designs (embroidery machine practice pieces) as accents on a home made wrapped gift--trim, zig zag edges and glue to package--received many comments on my wrapping--

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    We use kraft paper and write our birthday (or other) messages all over it in different colors and add a few quick doodles. We often skip the card purchase by doing this too. :)

  • 27 Jul, 2008

    An additional suggestion is to use the Sunday paper's comics for wrapping children's gifts.