SLIDESHOW: Gift Wrap for Free
Put outdated paper maps to good use as inspired gift wrap. They're especially appropriate for wrapping up travel-related gifts.
- Sheet music
Unless you can find someone to take old sheet music off your hands, it's a great way to personalize a gift for a music lover.
- Gift bags
Collect gift bags from favourite shops, and cut them into sheets of gift wrap, logos optional.
- Japanese Furoshiki
Japanese furoshiki is a tradition of wrapping gifts with colourful cloth. There are several blogs and websites online that show you how to wrap different kinds of objects, including wine bottles, books and jars. Not only is the fabric beautiful and reusable, but it's a wonderful present in and of itself.
Everyone has a stack of magazines in the basement or attic, gathering dust. And the ones we hold onto tend to have beautiful illustrations (hello Martha Stewart and National Geographic!) Put those beautiful photos and illustrations to good use by using them as wrapping paper.
Newsprint might not strike you as a very decorative paper, but you can add a gorgeous bow, or paint over top of it to add more colour. An elaborate topper or oversized bow will help to add interest as well. Read on for some more ideas.
Books can get musty and damaged sitting around in basements and attics, and it's almost impossible to sell them to bookstores. Put those old tomes to good use by using the pages as gift wrap for smaller packages, and dress it up with a colourful ribbon.
- Old calendars
Like glossy magazine images, the large photos on old calendars make beautiful gift wrap.
- Paper bags
Cut up grocery brown bags and use seasonal stamps or potato prints to jazz them up with a holiday motif.
- Recycle buttons and string
Quirky old buttons and coloured string can be used to add a festive touch to a package wrapped in newsprint or plain brown paper.
- Ribbons from burlap
For a warm, earthy look, cut strips of burlap or other natural fabrics into ribbons, great for tying up into a big bow. A blog called How About Orange has a step-by-step tutorial on making an impressive bow from all kinds of materials.
- Greeting cards
Save old greeting cards and cut them into gift tags that are seasonally appropriate and unique. Use a hole punch and a piece of ribbon or string to attach to your gift.
- Use Natural Trimmings
The plainest paper wrapping can be dressed up for the season with a few things taken from Nature. Find pine cones, acorns and berries in your garden and hot glue them together into a gift topper. Or simply tie a pine cone to a ribbon for a festive, personal touch.
- Used Boxes
When you get a box in the mail, and it's unscathed and a good size, save it for future gift wrapping. They almost always come in handy down the road.
- Cardboard boxes
Corrugated cardboard cut into smaller strips make a nice wrapping element for homemade items, like soap and food.
- Big appliance boxes
Big boxes can be wrapped with paper but a much easier and cheaper solution is to paint them with a few swipes of poster paint.