Wrapping paper is big business. This time of year stores tout it in their displays, tempting us to wrap our gifts in shiny, colorful, and expensive papers. I’m always amused at the cost of gift wrap after the holidays, it’s 50 percent off. Nice.

Anyprettypaper, after years of spending big bucks on wrapping presents, I’ve decided to put a wrap on this needless expense. This year I’m getting creative, green, and frugal when wrapping presents for loved ones. Besides, I’d rather keep the pretty paper in the forest, on the trees.


Here are 11 frugal (and green) alternatives to wrapping presents without gift wrap:

1. Roll it in Reusable Shopping Bags

Many readers have mentioned they are wrapping their gifts in reusable shopping bags this year. The readers are smart. Reusable shopping bags reduce the number of plastic bags released into our environment and provide an awesome alternative to gift wrap. Give a gift and give it in a reusable bag.


There are many colorful reusable bags to choose from nowadays. Here’s a frugal Reusable Grocery Tote Bag 6 Combo Pack ($9.95 Amazon) in multiple colors. Split the pack and you’ve got 6 ways to wrap gifts.

2. Swaddle it in Baby Blankets

If you’ve got a new parent on your gift list, try swaddling holiday baby presents in a receiving blanket. Very creative, and very helpful to new moms and dads.


3. Can it in Cookie Tins

Who doesn’t have a few cookie tins laying around the house? Get gifty this year by placing presents in a simple can. Vintage cookie tins make especially nifty gifties.


4. Put a Lid on it with Jars

Give a homemade gift in a jar. If you’re not into giving food then place toys or other smaller items in a jar, then put a lid on it.


5. Drape it in Fabric

Use leftover sewing notions to drape gifts in fabric. Add some ribbon and you’re good to give.


6. Bag it in Reused Gift Bags

Re-gift those gift bags and see if you get yours back next year. Snicker.


7. Tie it in a Scarf

Giving a warm winter hat with a pair of gloves? Tie it in a scarf to complete the set!


8. Crate it in a Jewel Box

If you’re giving something small, try placing it in an old ring box. So pretty.


9. Dress it in Wallpaper

Use your wallpaper scraps to dress up holiday gifts.


10. Wrap it in Used Gift Paper

Get some crinkled gift paper and wrinkle it some more. The extra folds and wrinkles give it an intentionally disheveled feel.


11. Pack it in Painted Postal Parcel Paper

Go postal with some simple brown postage paper and add some painted stripes. Get the kids to draw designs with markers, paints, or crayons.


For stripes, I often paint random and uneven lines to give it the homemade look. If you’re into perfection, here’s how to paint perfect stripes.


There are so many ways to put a wrap on gift paper. Got any other gift wrapping ways to add to this list?