Hard to believe, but you can buy shredded paper to use in gift baskets. Retail locations that sell party supplies and gift wrap accessories, sell bags of crinkled, shredded paper, to use as gift-basket bedding, for about $3 a bag.
You can make your own, in minutes, using your home-office paper shredder -- for nothing, if you don't mind using junk mail paper. Or for a couple of pennies, you can use plain paper, or tea-stained paper, or scraps of gift wrap.
Commercially-shredded paper is crinkled. This gives the paper loft and cushions items better than flat paper shreds. When you shred documents at home, you get a pile of matted paper bits. For disposal, those matted shreds are easier to deal with, as they take up less space in your recycling bin. However, for filling a gift box or basket, you want loft in your filler.
You can crinkle your own, home-shredded paper, super-duper easy.
See what happens when you take some of these matted paper shreds --
if you tightly pack these into "snowballs", about the size of your fist,
then fluff it up, you increase the volume of your paper filler, almost by double.
When I was filling my spa basket, I wanted something prettier than our financial documents all shredded up, to cushion the spa gifts.
The day that I tea-stained the poetry scripted papers, I had leftover tea in the baking pan. So, I took an extra few sheets of blank paper and tea-stained those with the leftover tea. Once dried, I put them through our paper shredder. They had a natural look that went well with my basket.
I also had some colorful scraps of wrapping paper that were really too wrinkled or too small to wrap anything. I put those pieces of gift wrap through the shredder, too.
When I tossed the colored and ecru paper together, I had a pretty confetti blend of papers for basket filler, in my spa basket.
I crinkled this filler, using the snowball technique, then filled my gift-basket.
I lined my basket with a large square of pink plastic, which was part of a large shopping bag that I'd acquired a while ago. I opened that bag along the seams, and cut out a large square.
Ten minutes of my time and I saved about $3.
Just a frugal shredded paper tip -- over the holidays, you may receive some gifts wrapped in gift wrap. The good and large pieces can be reused for future holiday gift-wrapping. You can iron on a very low setting to smooth out wrinkles. The smaller pieces, or those with writing on the wrap, or places where tape peeled off the print -- you know, the pieces that you really don't want to reuse -- can be run through your paper shredder in batches of like color. You can make some basket filler for future gifting, with these gift wrap scraps. Remember to tear the tape pieces off, first. They might gum up your shredder.