How to Gift Wrap on a Budget

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I am a little obsessed with gift wrapping for any occasion but especially for Christmas.  I love making gifts look beautiful under the tree.  Even unwrapping a pair of sock is more exciting when the box looks pretty.  And I do it all on a tight budget!!!  Starting in November I collect my empty cereal boxes, cracker boxes or any other boxes that might be a useful size and shape. This year, I collected our Good Food boxes and they were ideal for wrapping large blankets and even a coat for my husband. I just like the look of gift boxes instead of gift bags (which can also add up quickly in cost).

Every few years I buy a couple jumbo rolls of wrapping paper. I usually get mine at Home Depot.  I always stick with a gold and silver pattern since I know that will always go with our décor and then they are easy to ‘garnish’. It’s amazing how many years you can get out of the jumbo rolls of wrapping paper for $10 compared to the smaller combination packs that are just as expensive.  Check the length of the paper and you’ll be shocked.

It might look like this is expensive to wrap this way but we have used the same gold, silver, white, green, gray, and burgundy ribbons for 20 years.  They never wear out. I like to garnish the gifts with some faux greenery, berries or ornaments that are special to the person receiving the gift.  I have several collections of hand made ornaments that I’ve made over the years and it’s nice to see them on presents. I still have the children’s wooden and plush ornaments that were on the tree when the kids were little and they look forward to seeing them again. Now that our kids have moved out, it’s nice to put a new ornament on their gift so they can put it on their own tree at their home.

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I like it when the gift wrapping coordinates with the Christmas tree and it’s colour scheme.  It almost looks like a skirt.

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After presents are opened in the morning, we have a big box for everyone to throw their ribbons and any extra decorations in so they can be reused next year.

The funny thing is, the gift wrapping tradition has carried down to my children as well.  Now they enjoy wrapping as much as I do and I think it makes them think more about what they are giving and wanting to please the person who is receiving it. It just another little personal touch.

The key is to have every ready and organized.

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I have all the ribbons rolled up so it’s not overwhelming. Even though they are all in different lengths, you are sure to find just the right size. One large roll of ribbon from Costco for $7 will last for years (literally).  Again, I keep them in the colour scheme of my home décor. Keeping the ribbons in a clear bin not only keeps them dust free, but you can see everything that’s inside.  In the bin I also keep scissors, tape, labels, holiday cards and a pen.  It has everything you need to wrap a gift. I keep the rolls of paper in oversized clear bags as well so they stay clean until next year.

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I keep all the ‘garnishes’ packaged by colour and similar items so they’re easy and accessible.  When the paper is fairly neutral in colour, it doesn’t take much to make the gift wrapping go to the next level.  Again, these are used year after year so no wasting.  Even extra tree ornaments make a big impact.

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All the baggies fit nicely in another clear bin and head to the basement until next year.  I keep the ribbons separate and handy since they are used all year long and I don’t want to have to rummage through the Christmas bins to get to them.  It might take a bit of time to organize it before you put it away but you can relax doing this while watching TV.  Just think how much you’ll appreciate it next November/December as your schedule is twice as busy and you won’t have the time for this Gift giving is supposed to be enjoyable. Take the stress of the wrapping and be prepared.

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