This week I am adding wrappings to our ways to save money and still have a gorgeous Christmas.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to spend $10 on cards and gift wrap? Here, at least, if you went to the news agent to buy a gift wrap, a ribbon and a card you would be already up to about $15. Holy cow, that is more than the present!
Don't mention what it would cost to buy a gift box or gift bag or anything extra!
Please never do this! I have covered lots of ways to make cards and tags. I won't repeat much of that here. These are so easy and to me a lovely card can be 50c or so and gift tags more like 10c. But gift wraps are a worthy subject as I haven't mentioned them much recently. They can be much cheaper than the main stores but I also love everything to look beautiful. To me making a gift look lovely is part of giving. It builds excitement and it makes the gift more special. So I am a big wrapper! And if there are several items in a parcel I wrap each one individuality. I think it makes it more special and we are no different to children... it is fun to have lots of things to unwrap! The trouble you went to says something.
I love Christmas and presents under the tree. And I love being able to give gifts to people I think might not have any or many... so something is under their tree. With making things yourself and keeping costs way down you can do that.
I really love good old brown paper and string. It is a classic. It looks lovely. Rolls of brown paper can be very inexpensive. I have added gum leaves, pine cones, stamped images and all sorts of things. This is lovely stuff.
As always I am very big on using what you have. If you have a Holly bush or one nearby pick Holly! I have access to gum nuts, pine cones and deer antlers. I have used them all time and time again, plain, spray painted, glittered ... all as Christmas decoration, table centre pieces and parcel decorations.
If you love lace the cheapest is buying a lace curtain from the op shop. Wash it up and cut it into strips. I once counted that this got me over 100 meters of lace "ribbon" for less than $4.
As I crochet I use that. I crochet flowers in glittery threads and left over yarn. These must work out a few cents each at the most.
If you can buy tulle by the meter this is usually really cheap. BUT it is still cheaper if you buy net curtains and cut them up (from the op shop) or from IKEA where huge panels of lovely soft tulle (sold as curtains) are about $6. This, cut up, makes the most heavenly bows and wrap. It softly gathers and is gorgeous. I love it. It makes the purchase of expensive ribbons seem crazy! Don't get me wrong I love ribbons, especially velvet ribbon... but this will get you hundreds of ribbons for the price of a meter of velvet.
Cut it generously. I might cut it 30cm/12 inches wide to get a soft bow like this...
Imagine this on a wedding gift... or in pale pink for a little girl... but I am getting away from Christmas!
One year I used black tulle and white parcels. I really liked it. However it is more economical to use white as this is how you are most likely to get large quantities cheaply.
If you buy tulle curtains you will have miles to use up. It makes the most sensational garlands...
The easiest way to cut it into strips is cut it while folded neatly and then you are cutting through layers and not great lengths. Speed stitch down the middle... if you adjust the tension on the sewing machine it will self gather. This looks gorgeous! I did this in palest blue for Chloe one year. I love this stuff. You could also do this with lace curtains.
Another is to rip up pretty fabrics into "shabby chic" style ribbons. Here I added a stamp and then dots of glitter. These looked really pretty around parcels and cost a few cents each. Pretty old sheets are great. I love anything that looks vintage and floral but even calico will look great like this.
Thinner strips of fabric make lovely ties for your gift tags. Sometimes I have run a glitter glue edging along the raw edges. Other times I just embrace the frayed look...
I love tissue paper. It is usually inexpensive and comes in such lovely colours. It looks soft and heavenly to me. So that is a basic I use a lot. When I have lots of small things to wrap I find that really good. And pretty.
As far as paper goes keep your eye out for things that would make good wraps. I love old sheet music and at times have bought great amounts for $1 or so. I have even found Christmas carols! This means you can wrap a gift with lovely words like Joy to the World across it (with some careful placement!)
Other ideas are things suitable for someone ie posters for teenagers, cross word puzzles for enthusiasts and so on. I have found free movie posters and used those.
For small gifts the luxurious pages of lovely magazines make great wrap! Again pick your subjects. I once wrapped a small gift in a page of gorgeous designer shoes for a friend who loves beautiful shoes. She loved it! This wrap makes me think of Mimi...
I also recycle paper, ribbons, bows, gift bags that come my way. Sometimes after Christmas in the sales I have bought rolls of luxury wrap for 50c a roll. THEN I will use normal wrap!
Last week I showed my latest gift bags. I just save the gift bags from stores... usually they have the store logo across the front. But sometimes the bags are really good. Also all sizes. I use a card or image of some kind to glue over the logo. Then add a ribbon or glitter or something... and they become free gift bags. You can ask people to save these for you as people throw them away (horror!)
All year I save boxes and collect nice tins and baskets. For a small basket my price limit is around 50c. Really ugly tins can be spray painted! And I usually paint baskets also. Sometimes I have used spray paint and had a mass painting session... in silver or white... other times like this year I have used up left over paint with a brush. It works but it is much more time consuming! These are really good for little hamper type gifts and food gifts. I really love having nice little baskets on hand.
Alternatives for a basket might be a pretty tray or even a bowl or planter.
It is really amazing if you look in stores or online at the prices of hamper gifts. Just incredible. We can do these things ourselves for a fraction of the price. They are great to look at though as you get a lot of really good ideas!
One year I used brown paper for parcels and brown paper bags for food gifts. I used wooden pegs to hold the paper bags shut. I added little birds to them and glitter... I still have some of these that I use to hold all kinds of packets shut...
Sometimes I have a theme and do all my parcels the same. Other times I have a use it up year and truly use up my supplies and do every parcel differently! I think this year will be one of those years as I have lots of ribbons and trims and different papers.
Wrapping and presentation are important to me but this is an area you can save a huge amount in. Use what you have! Look around at what you can make the most of. If you have a massive fabric stash maybe sew drawstring bags instead of using gift wrap.
What are some ways you have saved on wraps and presentation?
I hope this will help you to find some really inexpensive ways to make things look special. I hope it saves you a fortune over the next few years! xxx