From the Archives: Two Ways to Reduce and Save on Gift Wrap

This is a post from 2019. I’ve updated it a bit and added an extra two ideas at the end.

  1. Maps – Use old maps or atlases to wrap smaller objects. Recently a friend gave me a birthday present wrapped in a beautiful map with a vintage postcard attached to it with washi tape. I mean, come on! It was such a striking presentation that I didn’t want to open it. My friend told me that using maps as wrapping paper is her new go-to. The maps are inexpensive and make a very cool, homemade statement. I was instantly on board, especially because I purchased a huge atlas years ago to make various crafts. As you may imagine, I didn’t use all or even the majority of the atlas, so I’m excited to finally have a project for it. I’ve lugged it around for years, taking it with me to Oklahoma and then to Colorado hoping I’d find the perfect use for it one day.

2. Newspaper and twine – Other materials that I frequently use are newspaper and twine with colorful gift tags. Depending on the section of newspaper used, it can look more formal or more casual. I’ve been using this method since college when I started collecting mass amounts of our school newspaper in order to do the crossword. Sometimes I’ll even use puzzle pages that I’ve completed to wrap presents which tends to create a more informal vibe. One big drawback to utilizing used newspaper is it crinkles in weird places, especially if you use twine or ribbon around it. You can see the weird crinkle on the taller package in the newspaper wrapping photos. In most cases, it looks passably kitsch. And you don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money to get the job done– you’re using something you may already have laying around the house. Reduce, reuse, recycle 4eva.

3. Brown paper bags – You could also use brown bags from Trader Joes or other grocery stores. Depending on the thickness, the bags can be unruly, but These are best for medium sized items.

4. Ribbon from old tape and video cassettes – One of my dear friends once wrapped a present for me and used ribbon from a tape from her collection of 90s cassette tapes. It was the coolest, most ingenious idea I had seen in a long time. Video cassette tape is larger and can be a bit more difficult to manage, but it has a really cool effect. Old film from reels would work too.

What are your favorite ways to save on wrapping paper?



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