Stylish but Cheap Gift Wrap Ideas

Beautiful gift wrapping doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can wrap gifts with everyday items you already have around the home. Not only will you save money, but people will also appreciate your thoughtfulness and creativity.

Get Crafty

  • Use the Sunday comics section. Extra points for having a Calvin and Hobbes strip prominently displayed.
  • Leftover wallpaper or fabric from your home improvement projects can add a touch of class to any gift.
  • Hat and shoe boxes for sentimental gifts, especially mementos or keepsakes.
  • Spray paint boxes with bright Christmas colors. This works great for large gifts that already come in their own boxes.
  • For the rustic look, use craft or construction paper and dress up the package with twine, strings, sprigs, or pine cones.
  • You can also dress up plain construction paper with stickers, stencils, and stamps.

Use Things Related to the Gift

  • Use pages from magazines related to your gift. For example, Vogue for clothing, Rolling Stones for CDs, National Geographic for business traveler's gifts, Wired for gadgets, etc.
  • If you wrap anything with The Onion, the wrapping becomes a gift in itself.
  • Old school computer paper (the kind with hole-punched edges) for computer products.
  • Maps for gifts related to traveling (i.e. those annoying travel size grooming kits).

Use Child Labor

  • Children's drawings they create for school are great for gifts to grandparents. Hey, it's about time your kids earn their keep!
  • Children's hand prints on white construction paper. Acrylic paint is usually the best choice for these kinds of projects.
  • If you have a baby, little foot prints would also work (Warning: this might be nauseatingly cute).
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Greg Go's picture
Greg Go

Using the newspaper is brilliant!

Personalize it even more by using sections (or specific comic strips) that mean something to the recipient -- business section for the CEO, arts and entertainment for the film buff, etc. How about the personals for the bachelor or home listings for the house shopper?

A free and easy way to personalize gifts -- very cool idea! Great post!

Guest's picture

Keep an eye out for nice fabric ribbon, on sale or at a garage sale. Really classy ribbon makes the whole thing look better. Also, if you buy Christmas ornaments after Christmas, they can be used as part of the wrapping on a Christmas gift.

Guest's picture

I also love to save on expensive bows by using fresh flowers from the garden in the spring or attaching colorful leaves and berries in the fall.

Guest's picture


great wriite up. very informative. it is sure a cost effective way

Guest's picture

How about a page from a scenic calendar for a very small gift? If the calendar is an inexpensive one (like the free ones you get at the bank or dry cleaners) the paper should be floppy enough to use.