Last Minute Wrapping Paper: 5 Options
I've been known to wrap presents literally five minutes before the family has planned to open them — and that means there's no time for a last minute run to the store for a roll of wrapping paper. If you're in the same boat (or you just want to wrap presents with something you already have), don't worry about buying wrapping paper — you've got a couple of wrapping paper alternatives at home.
If you've been wondering what to do with the drawings your children produce after you've run out of room on the fridge, consider re-purposing them for packaging. They'll be appreciated far more than what some factory produced. If you've got a box a little bigger than a standard piece of paper will cover, you may need to commission something a little bigger from your young artist. While butcher paper might be ideal, paper bags from the grocery store can work out just as well. Cut the bags apart and turn them inside out — if you're worried about getting colors to show up, this is an opportunity to break out the glue, glitter, macaroni and other craft stuff your kids enjoy.
2. The Funny Pages
I've been known to hoard the Sunday comics in the weeks leading up to the holidays. They're just as brightly colored as any other wrapping paper, and they're already on hand. And I don't get the feeling that I'm buying pretty papers just for the privilege of tearing them off of a package.
3. Fabric Bags
My grandmother used to sew small draw string bags in the time it would take me to wrap a present. These bags were always festive, and I've been known to reuse them in my gift giving. It's as simple as cutting a rectangle of fabric about twice as long as the gift you want to wrap, preferably in holiday colors, doing a bit of sewing and running yarn through for the strings. There's a great pattern on Yarn Envy if you need a little more detail.
4. Tape, Tin Foil and More
While I'm pretty sure the box I got entirely wrapped in duct tape was a last minute emergency measure, it did have a cute little bow on top made from colored electric tape. That elevated the wrapping job from emergency measure to cute conversation piece. The same goes for the gifts I've seen wrapped in tin foil and construction paper: if you take a moment to personalize the gift, the recipient is more likely to think you're being cute than you were in a rush.
5. Skip the Wrapping Paper Entirely
The best gift I remember getting as a kid wasn't even wrapped — my dad got me this kitchen set that he just draped a quilt over. I didn't even care: I was playing with my little kitchen the moment the blanket came off. I think it's perfectly okay to do a minimal wrapping job for some presents, especially if you're working with little kids or oversized gifts.