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You finally did your Christmas shopping (gold star for you!). Now all you have to do is get it wrapped.

But that stash of wrapping paper you had last year has disappeared. And have you seen the prices of everything in the store?

Besides, who wants to pay money for something that’s destined to be destroyed and added to the trash tomorrow?

Hey, it’s not Scroog-ey to want to save money on gift wrap. Especially if you can find cheap ways to wrap gifts that still look beautiful in the end.

So let’s find some classy ways to wrap gifts when you don’t have wrapping paper on hand.

How Do You Wrap a Gift On A Budget?


What Can I Use Instead of Wrapping Paper?

Brown Paper


My favorite thing to use is the brown paper that comes in packages you ordered online.

You can also use lunch bags or paper bags from the grocery store (if your store still has them).

It’s the classic “brown paper packages tied up with string”.

You can find rolls of jute at the Dollar Tree to tie your gifts.

Fabric (Even If You Don’t Sew)

You know those bags in the back of your car that you’ve been meaning to drop off at Goodwill for months?

Well, go look through them.

Here are some things that would work to wrap a gift:

  • old tablecloth
  • throw blanket
  • towels (especially thinner kitchen towels)
  • fabric napkins
  • even a big t-shirt

It may be best to treat this like a gift bag rather than trying to use it the way you would use traditional wrapping paper.

Pull up the corners and tie them at the top.

Or you can use safety pins to keep it together. Just measure twice before you cut it to size.

You’ve Got Mail


If you still get the newspaper or printed magazines, the pages from them can make beautiful wrapping.

Just carefully choose the page filled with beautiful print rather than a huge car advertisement.

Plain black and white print tied up with any colorful yarn you have on hand can make a gorgeous gift.

And some of the junk mail you get this time of year comes with stickers and other freebies in hopes that you’ll send them money in return.

Use those things to decorate your packages.

Coloring Book


Find a few pretty pages, color them all nice and pretty, use to wrap your gifts.

You can also print a free coloring sheet.

You or your child can color it, or leave it black and white and let your giftee enjoy coloring if they want to.

If you need more than one coloring sheet to cover a larger gift, tape both sides of the paper at the edges to make it easier to work with.

Tissue Paper

You can usually find this cheaper than wrapping paper.

It is harder to work with, but if you take your time, you’ll save money.

Gift Bag

If you have a big stash of random gift bags, but maybe they’re the wrong season, that’s ok.

Unfold them all the way and use them as wrapping paper. You may be able to put the words on the bottom of the gift and the top will just be colorful.

If the print says something totally wrong, like “It’s A Girl!”, just flip it over and use the white side on the outside. You can decorate it with Christmas stamps, stickers, or just have a kid color it in red and green.

Shop Your Kitchen

What is lurking in your kitchen cabinets?

Maybe you bought rolls of butcher paper that one time your husband decided to go deer hunting…but never got anything.

Aluminum foil could make a shiny gift! (Don’t give this to younger kids who might cut themselves on sharp sides.)

Jumbo sized colorful napkins can wrap smaller gifts.

This one is outside the box, but if you have a container with a lid that you wanted to get rid of anyway, why not use that?

Maybe it’s last year’s plastic Christmas cookie container. Maybe it’s an old Tupperware container. If it can contain a gift, and your giftee has a good sense of humor, try it!

How To Save On Tape

Look, I’m just gonna be honest here. I don’t wrap very many of our presents.

Lucky for me, my Hubby loves to wrap gifts, so I pass everything on to him.

He says that if you use more than 3 pieces of tape to wrap a gift, you’re doing it wrong.

Try it like this:

How Do You Wrap a Gift Without A Box or Wrapping Paper?

If you have no boxes, congratulations on not overshopping on Amazon. 😉

If you really need a box, don’t forget to look in the kitchen.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wrapped a gift in a cereal box or any of the big boxes I get from Sam’s Club. No one has ever cared enough to complain about it.

But if you still don’t have a box, look back up at the ideas for wrapping with cloth like towels, blankets, or an old t-shirt.

If you have an extra reusable grocery bag or two, those could be dressed up as gift wrap, too.

These are just some ways you can get creative when it comes to cheap ways to wrap gifts!

Here are some more ideas that might help to keep your Christmas budget from getting busted:

Gift Ideas Under $10 (That They’ll Actually Want)

Gifts for Her Under $25

Free Christmas Gift Tags

Go On A Christmas Scavenger Hunt Drive