7 Ways That I Get Gift Wrap for Free

gift wrap
Photo by Bogdan Sonjachnyj / Shutterstock.com

I grew up helping my mother wrap gifts — in anything but wrapping paper.

We used outdated maps, the Sunday funnies and even leftover pieces of wallpaper.

With rare exceptions, Mom refused to spend money on gift wrap. “It goes right in the trash,” she always said.

Thanks to the tricks I learned from my mother, I estimate I’ve saved a few hundred bucks over the years.

If I must buy something, I usually hit the dollar store. Gift bags and boxes and wrapping paper are steals there, as we note in “21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store.”

The rest of the time, I cloak gifts in all kinds of no-cost items, including all of the following:

1. Newspapers

The funnies section of the Sunday newspaper is great for wrapping kids’ gifts.

Other sections of the newspaper work, too — front pages, sports, special weekend sections. I used to use stock market tables pages a lot because the tiny print makes a nice backdrop for colorful gift bows.

2. Magazines

Colorful magazine pages make distinctive wrapping paper for small boxed gifts.

You can also make gifts bows with magazine pages that you have cut into strips. Just do a web search for a tutorial like that of How About Orange, a blog of graphic designer Jessica Jones.

3. Shopping bags

Paper shopping bags make for sturdy wrapping paper. Just cut out a flat piece that’s big enough for your gift.

Of course, you can also use paper bags as gift bags. I like to use the festive brown bags that Trader Joe’s has this time of year as gift bags.

4. Wallpaper

If you happen to have leftover wallpaper stashed away in a closet or garage, roll it out. It’s essentially just a thicker version of wrapping paper.

5. Maps

Paper maps also make for sturdy and colorful wrapping paper. They’re hard to come by these days, but that just makes it all the more special to receive a map-cloaked gift.

So, check your junk drawers and glove compartment in case you buried any outdated maps there and forgot about them.

6. Old greeting cards

Gift tags are ridiculously overpriced. You can make your own for free with any sturdy paper. It takes seconds.

I love to use the front half of holiday or other greeting cards I have received.

The side with the imagery becomes the front of the tag. Just cut it off neatly and crop it to the size and shape you want — I use a basic paper trimmer. Then, write “to,” “from” or whatever on the back side and punch a hole in one corner so you can attach it to your gift with a ribbon.

Alternatively, write on the front size and use double-sided tape to attach it directly to the gift.

7. Used gift wrap

Name a form of gift wrap, and you can often get multiple uses out of it — bows, boxes, sometimes even wrapping paper.

I have enough used gift bags and tissue paper on hand to last me for years. No gift recipient is the wiser — except maybe for Mom.

What’s your favorite way to cut gift wrap costs? Share them with us by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
Top 5 Activities That People Dream of Doing in Retirement
Top 5 Activities That People Dream of Doing in Retirement

No. 1 isn’t visiting grandkids, and No. 4 might surprise you.

How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things
How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things

Find out where to sell, donate or recycle items — and feel good about it.

9 Things Anyone Can Get for Free on Amazon
9 Things Anyone Can Get for Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone with an internet connection.

8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report
8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report

Federal law lets these entities peek at your credit — regardless of whether you’re borrowing money.

5 Upgrades That Help Seniors Grow Old in Their Own Homes
5 Upgrades That Help Seniors Grow Old in Their Own Homes

Are you planning to “age in place”? These safety-conscious home renovations can help.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.