How to Wrap Gifts Without Buying Wrapping Paper

How to Wrap Gifts Without Buying Wrapping Paper |

Buying new wrapping paper, bows, ribbon and tissue paper every Christmas can get expensive—and wasteful. With a little creative thinking and a bit of scavenging around the house, you can find everything you need to wrap gifts with recycled or reused materials. Here are some ideas that I used this year.


This versatile classic never gets old. Newspaper makes the perfect reuse wrapping paper. It even has the same fun ripping sound and sensation as traditional wrapping paper. And, you can even wrap the gift in the section of the newspaper that best fits the recipient. Funnies for the kiddos. Home and Garden for mom. Sports for dad. Style for sis. I’m being stereotypical here. Please be more creative than I am.


Head out to the backyard and trim some pieces off that pine tree and whatever those other trees are called that are green all winter (Are they just evergreens?). Whatever they’re called, snip off a few boughs and incorporate them into your gift wrapping. A simple twig or two tucked into some ribbon or string will make a package look rustic. For the package above, I made a mini wreath out of snippets of greenery. The middle of my mini wreath didn’t look so good, but I fixed that with a button and a little hot glue.

Grocery bags/brown paper

When you wrap gifts in brown paper, you create a blank canvas to personalize your presents. (And, it’s a great way to reuse all of those paper grocery and shopping bags you saved.) Dress up your brown packages with ribbon, stamps, scrap paper, yarn and personalized gift tags. Check Pinterest for lots of pretty inspiration.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Buying Wrapping Paper |

Toilet paper rolls

Wrapping your presents in toilet paper rolls? No, you can’t do that. Well, you probably can, I’m just not crafty enough to figure that one out. You can, however, create snowflakes to adorn your packages out of toilet paper rolls. Here’s a tutorial. After you make a few toilet paper roll snowflakes, affix a snowflake or two to your wrapped gifts to make your packages a tad more fancy.

Odds and ends

If you want to wrap your presents using recycled or repurposed materials, you have to get imaginative. Assemble a bunch of odds and ends from around your house to potentially use to dress up your packages. Think unused ornaments (like the snowflake below), doilies, stones, buttons, twine, old jewelry, whatever you can find. Place it all in your work area, so you can gather inspiration as you wrap.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Buying Wrapping Paper |

If you save materials all year, it makes wrapping presents the repurposing way a lot easier come Christmas time. Plan ahead and save all of those paper bags, tissue paper, ribbons, bows, and other crafty items you come across during the year. Don’t forget to also keep packing materials, like boxes, bubble wrap and the paper that items come shipped in, too.

Do you wrap presents in reused materials? Tell me about your favorite ways to wrap gifts in the comments section!

Looking for other crafty Christmas projects? Check out how to make this fabric wreath and this do-it-yourself hanging collage.

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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

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