Simple Ways to Save Money on Holiday Wrapping Paper

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It's tough enough to stick to your budget when buying holiday gifts - and you still have to wrap them. Here's some advice on wrapping for less.

This is a guest post from Lisa at

Not only does the holiday budget include gifts, you have to figure out how to wrap all of those presents without going over budget and breaking the bank. By using recycled materials from throughout the year, you can not only save money, but it is a great way to incorporate going green into your holiday.

You will need:

  • used gift bags
  • used tissue paper
  • used packing paper
  • markers
  • crayons
  • stickers
  • cloth napkins
  • scraps of fabric
  • holiday stencils
  • small sponge
  • holiday colored paint
  • holiday stamps

The easiest way to save money next year is to start with this year’s presents. Whenever you get a present in a gift bag, save the bag and the tissue paper. Every year for Christmas, I start by pulling out my overflowing bag of last years gifts bags, along with the tissue paper that was in them. I can get at least 75 percent of all gifts given into last year’s gift bags. I have not bought a gift bag in more than 10 years.  I do the same thing with nice ribbons.

If you have a small gift, you can wrap it in a nice cloth napkin. It’s like giving two gifts. Throughout the year, I look for Christmas-colored napkins at thrift shops and yard sales. If they are in good shape, they make a beautiful wrapping. You can also find Christmas napkins on sale after the holidays are over.  Tie it together with a nice ribbon from last year and you have a wonderfully creative gift.

Save all of your packing paper from all of your deliveries to your home or work and wrap the larger gifts with those. For adult gifts, you can stencil holiday images like holly, a Christmas tree, a wreath, or a sled. You can find holiday stencils at hobby shops, craft supply stores, or places like Walmart. Again, the best time to find great deals on the stencils is just after the holidays. You can look at places like Lowe’s or other home improvement stores for holiday-colored paints on sale through out the year. Really, you can use any color you find. I like to use brighter colors because they are so much fun. You just dip a sponge in a bit of paint and press over the stencil.

If you are wrapping children’s gifts in packing paper, you can decorate them with markers, crayons, and stickers. If your family is anything like mine, we always have a huge supply of stickers that can be added to presents.

For both the children’s and adults’ gifts, when you use packing paper you can write the name of the recipient on the gift wrap and there is no need for labels. The same goes for using holiday stamps. I like to use brighter, fun colors for the children’s gifts and darker more muted colors for the adults, but feel free to use whichever color is fun for you.

If you belong to a wholesale club, you can get great deals on paper there. Four years ago, I bought a super-sized roll of double-sided paper there and finally this year it will run out. A great deal for eight dollars!

All of this is great for the Holidays when there are presents to wrap for the family, but you can use all of these ideas for birthdays and anniversaries as well, you just need different stamps or stencils for different occasions.

Happy wrapping!

Stacy Johnson

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