Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guest Post: Hold the Wrapping Paper!

The Frugal Hostess loves to wrap gifts.  Honestly!  It's the way she made her mother-in-law love her - by wrapping all her Christmas gifts.  Here are some great ideas for alternatives to paper wrapping from Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer of

Box it up
Hat boxes, fabric-wrapped storage boxes and photo boxes are great for "wrapping" gifts for any occasion, but are great options for winter holidays. They can be used for storage later on and they stand up to a few flurries better than paper. Add some fabric ribbon tied in a bow and you have a lovely package.

Basket case
Pile a bunch of small items into a banana leaf or wicker basket, and finish off with fabric ribbon secured with an ornament or a broach picked up from a second-hand store.

Wrap gifts in fabric remnants. You can pick up remnants at most fabric stores, often at 50 to 66 percent off the regular price. Fold the fabric around the gift and secure with raffia or a fabric ribbon, or sew a simple sac to hold anything from an iPod to a bottle of wine.

The Old World
Use out-of-date maps to wrap gifts you're giving to travel lovers. It's a great way to reuse a paper item before it hits the recycling bin. Secure with raffia or butcher's twine.

Jar head
Use a glass container or large mason jar for giving homemade treats. If you're sharing your favorite recipe, layer the dry ingredients in the jar, and attach the recipe to the jar with a ribbon.

If you truly can't resist the urge to tear away at a paper-wrapped gift, look for recycled wrapping paper. (Just say no to foils and sparkles.) And be sure to use every last scrap!
The Frugal Hostess insists that you come hang out on Facebook. What? Like you don't already spend three hours there a day.

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  1. Your great suggestions are frugal and super classy, too!
    Mine are frugal but kind of ghetto:
    1) Newspaper
    2) Magazines
    3) Brown paper from paper bag
    4) Just hand it over in the bag it came in

  2. We've got 14 years worth of gift boxes and bags up in the attic. Growing up we joked that only one family member had ever bought something at Macy's, but at least a dozen of us had received clothes in that same Macy's box.

  3. Love the fabric and map ideas! I've done the newspaper idea that Cheapskate mentioned, using the Sunday funnies so it would be colorful. I also save tissue paper anytime I run across it, and I've wrapped gifts in that. Throw a little ribbon on there and use scissors to curly-que the ends and it looks quite nice!

  4. 5) Get a shopping bag from a fancy store - a store much fancier than the one where the gift was purchased (especially if it was purchased at a thrift store or garage sale) - and give your gift in this bag.
    "Wow! Thanks! I can't believe you bought me a gift from Tiffany (or other expensive store)."


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