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What? Adorable Gift Wrap at an Affordable Price?

January 30, 2013 - Jen Zbozny
Sometimes gift wrap can be as expensive as the gift. We want our gifts to look exciting. Special paper with careful wrapping can really put a finishing, thoughtful touch on a present. It can also cost a fortune. We don't want people to think we don't care enough to wrap their gifts, but let's agree, they'll probably be crumpling up that paper and tossing it into a big plastic bag within minutes of revealing their latest treasure.

Or, maybe they use it as a cat toy.

If they have a cat. Or a baby.

Babies love crumpled up paper balls. They're soft. They make crinkly noises. Their matter transforms with the application of saliva. They can be eaten without necessarily having one's stomach pumped.

I digress. Here are some festive ideas for gift wrap that won't cost a fortune. They'll also provide a sweet look to kids' birthday gifts. Other kids will appreciate that your child helped make it special just for them.

In my house I tend to have wrapping tissue on hand in the craft room. It's inexpensive, multipurpose, and works for any occasion. We also have larger sheets of plain newsprint paper. You can find this on sale CHEAP at one of your local discount shops. Buying 100 sheets of tissue or newsprint type paper is cheaper in the long run than wrapping paper and has multiple uses. That's a plus too.

Next, take yourself to the office supplies section of your house, grocery store, or office supplies store. The office supplies store is dangerous for me because I LOVE office supplies and will blow my budget by purchasing fine tipped sharpies in a zillion colors.

What you want are file dots and reinforcements. File dots are colored circle stickers. Reinforcements are stickers that look like flat fruit loops. These are old world relics of a time when people lived in caves. People used to keep actual paper files in manila folders. They used the dots as indicators for certain types of data (green dots for Spring Registration, etc). Reinforcements are stickers used to reinforce the pieces of paper that cavemen would punch holes into and file in three ring binders. Sometimes the holes would become fragile.

Now they are your new favorite craft supply.

Take your tissue or newsprint and wrap your gift. It will start out looking rather plain. Now let your kids go wild with the file dots and reinforcements. Your results will be suprisingly adorable no matter how many dots your kids rain onto the wrapping or where they place them. Your gift will go from bla to bright in no time and your kids will be super proud of themselves.

For an extra touch, have your child make a homemade birthday card too. Little ones tend to love these best because someone made it special for them. The look goes well with your wrapping (and it's cost effective too).

If you need a little upscale design touch (but don't want to spend a fortune on designer package decorations), you can usually find a roll of ribbon for 99 cents at a craft store. Better yet, go to the hardware store and get some bailer twine. Tie it around your gift and it too makes a suprisingly elegant finish. It's good to have around in case you need to tie the barn gate closed too!

The before and after photos of this morning's gift wrapping adventure will give you an idea of how to wrap it up without getting too wrapped up in cost.


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Step one. Plain tissue or plain newsprint. Not too cheery, but it's the gift that counts, right?