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Twenty Frugal Gift Wrapping Ideas: Cheap Yet Classy Ways to Wrap Your Christmas Presents

Cheap and Chic Gift Wrap!


I love wrapping gifts for birthdays and holidays. It makes gift-giving so much more special and personal. That is why choosing gift wrap that’s unique but wont break the bank becomes important around the holiday season. Over the years, though, I’ve discovered and used several inexpensive yet smart gift wrap solutions for the presents under the tree as well as for birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings and other special occasions.

Here are 20 of them, so take your pick and save money on Christmas gift wrapping this season!

1. Newspaper – The easiest and probably the cheapest way to wrap presents. Choose the comic or colored pages to wrap a child’s present. Pair it with inexpensive twine and you have a masterpiece!

2. Toddler Artwork – I have tons of white drawing paper scribbled on and colored by my daughter. The paper is good quality and makes a great gift wrap. I pair it with a colored ribbon and am good to go.

3. Scrap Cloth – I get quite a few clothes tailored and so usually have pieces of cloth left over that can be used  to bundle up oddly-shaped gifts.

4. Baby Towels and Wash Cloths – Soft, beautiful colors and nearly always available, these are ideal for wrapping up small baby and toddler gifts.

5. Baby Blankets – I have a pile of small baby blankets that we received as gifts when our daughter was born. Now how many blankets does a baby need? One, right. So, I’ve used the rest over the years to wrap gifts for new moms and babies.

6. Brown Paper Bags – Cheap yet classy, you can easily use a brown paper bag to double up as a gift bag. Pair it with a ribbon bow and you have some really neat gift wrap.

7. Brown Paper – This is an idea that one of my aunts actually used last year for our Christmas gifts. She wrapped all our boxed gifts in plain brown paper, tied them with simple twine, printed off personal stamps and addressed them to us as mail packages.

8. Dish Cloths – Again, a great idea to wrap home-related gifts in. Inexpensive and easy to use for oddly-shaped gifts. Pair it with kitchen-related items (wooden spoons or sponge scrubbers) as name tags for a homey touch.

9. Glass Jars – You know my love of reusing glass jars, right? So, go ahead and reuse some of them this year to present dry mixes, homemade fudge and other goodies.

10. Recipes – Print out recipes and use them to wrap a cookbook or even, a batch of chocolate fudge in a box.  (Yes, chocolate fudge is my favorite holiday food!)

11. Magazine Articles – The paper for most magazines is high-quality, colored and makes great gift wrap. Simply, tear out the more brightly-colored pages from old magazines and you have instant wrapping paper.

12. Photographs – While you can’t really wrap a gift in a photograph without ruining the photo, you can easily use it to add some style. Wrap the gift in plain white paper and stick a holiday-themed photo, a family photo or a candid shot of the recipient. Wow factor at hardly any cost.

13. Boxes and Baskets – If you have empty shoeboxes, hatboxes or other baskets lying around, you can easily turn them into a gift box, using some paint, glitter and stencils.

14. Cookie Tins – I use spare cookie tins to gift not only food gifts (yes, fudge) but also a collection of small gifts, like hair accessories for small girls.

15. Cloth Bags – I have a bunch of reusable plain, solid-colored cloth shopping bags that can easily be used to gift t-shirts, jeans or even a bunch of books. All I need to do is use some ribbon and a tag to tie up the bag’s straps.

16. Fabric Gift Bags – If you’re crafty, unlike me, you can easily make your own fabric gift bags from left-over pieces of cloth. Sarah Tennant shares some easy tips on how to make one on Untrained Housewife. Me? I get them made. It still turns out to be cheaper than buying rolls of gift wrap since I’m using cloth that I already had lying around.

17. Clear Cellophane – Not the most eco-friendly, but definitely cheap and very easy. Especially for a gift basket or box where you want the gifts to be visible.

18. Reusing or Recycling Paper Gift Bags – Gift bags are expensive and it is so easy to reuse them. Simply store the ones you receive, flat in a box or under the bed’s mattress. Then, take out and recycle.

19. Use the Gift as a Wrap – Okay, this isn’t possible with everything but it is a possibility. Think, a handbag filled with a small collection of makeup or travel cosmetics, a trinket box with a pair of earrings or a set of coffee mugs on a tray.

20. Make Your Own Gift Wrap – Buy a roll of plain white paper and use paint, some stamps, stencils or a toddler’s handprints to create personalized wrapping paper in next to no time. This is also, a fun way to introduce your toddler to holiday traditions.

If you’re looking for more ideas, here’s my list of links from around the blogosphere sharing fun and frugal gift wrap ideas.


Your turn! What’s your inexpensive gift wrapping trick or tip? Do share! Its always fun to learn more.

Photo Credit: Jules


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  1. What a list – good for you! I second the cloth gift bag idea. After making some two summers ago it’s been a fun tradition to wrap my husband’s gifts this way. His birthday was this week, so out they came!

    • Glad you liked the tips, Charissa! Thanks for visiting and sharing. I heart cloth bags completely. You can use them all year round for any occasion whatsoever.

  2. I’m doing a green holiday blog carnival that you may want to check out. :)

    Reusable bags and cloth bags are two of my favorite ways to wrap gifts.

  3. I have been collecting interesting pillowcases from the thrift shop to use as fabric gift bags this year. Less interesting ones could be decorated by kids too!

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