I really love gift wrapping. I love it so much that I wish I could do it for a living. In fact, shortly after college, I had a brief (and mostly unsuccessful) stint in retail, which was so lovely–I handled all their gift wrapping for the store. Unfortunately, I also bungled the cash register and never could figure out sales tax and broke out in hives when I had to make change. You know, math. But with the scotch tape? I was a wizard.
Here are a few fun (and cheap) gift-wrapping tips I’ve learned over the years, especially for Christmas, when you’re gift-wrapping on a large scale.
Consider using only one style of wrapping paper. This is mostly a matter of personal preference, but I think it’s lovely when all the presents under the tree match. Plus, it makes it easier to piece together leftover scraps when you get to the end of the roll.
The dollar store is your friend. Those stores where everything costs a dollar are great places to buy wrapping paper, though if hyper-frugality is your thing, you might want to check the amount of paper you’re getting for your money (i.e., it would make more sense to pay $3 for 75 sq. feet of paper than to pay $1 for 10 sq. feet. Thank you, math.)
Use address labels. I slip a sheet of plain white address labels into my printer, and I type up one page with every label I expect to need this season. For a custom look, you can use a pretty font, colors, and even clip art, and, best of all, all your labeling is done. Slip the sheet of labels into the place you keep your wrapping supplies to use all season.
Let kids wrap the gifts they give. This requires a little deep-breathing if you tend to be particular about how your gifts look, but it’s a satisfying thing for a kid to be involved the process. Especially if the gift is from them. (And, incidentally, the dollar store is another excellent place for kids to buy gifts for siblings.)
Make your own paper! One year I wrapped everything in plain brown shipping paper and let the kids go crazy with stickers and markers all over the packages. It’s a fun activity for them.
Tulle is cheap, easy and pretty. Tulle–you know, the type of fabric netting you might see on a bridal veil–is incredibly cheap. I bought some last week, on sale at the fabric store, for only 75 cents a yard. Cut a strip about 6-8 inches wide, and tie up your gift with that, instead of some other kind of ribbon. I wrapped a gift yesterday to demonstrate:
Have a marathon wrapping session. I know plenty of people who gift wrap throughout the month, as they go. True, this helps keep your gifts concealed, if nosy little creatures go snooping. But I find it to be a real handful to be constantly lugging the gift wrap supplies in and out. I hide my gifts, and then I have one big gift-wrapping session (with the door locked!) when I’m finished with my shopping. If you are inclined to wrap as you go, though…
…consider keeping all your supplies in one place. Find an out-of-the-way corner and stash everything together: scissors, tape, ribbon, paper, labels, pens, etc.
What am I forgetting? Have you stumbled across any helpful giftwrapping tips over the years?
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