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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Frugal Gift Wrapping Hacks

I've posted these two hacks previously, but old tricks can be useful again and again.

My son and daughter-in-law are celebrating birthdays this week!. I thought I'd get out to a store long before now to pick up more gift wrap. As you can guess, that just didn't happen this year.

For my daughter-in-law's 3 gifts, I had 2 large sheets of pink tissue, 1 small sheet of black and white striped tissue (from a Sephora birthday freebie two years ago), and some silver holiday curling ribbon. In addition, I printed another sheet of homemade birthday gift wrap, a tip that I posted about in 2019.

Here's how the wrapping went:

Gift no. 1

gift wrap hack -- wrap the package on the diagonal to save paper

the sheet of tissue was too small to wrap with the traditional method

turning the box on the diagonal means less paper is needed
(I placed a sheet of white copy paper on the top side of the box - here seen as under the box - so the label would not be visible through a single layer of tissue.)

fold up opposing corners and tape
fold in and up remaining corners to cover the rest of the package

once the package is flipped over, it looks well-wrapped
added some shiny silver curling ribbon to finish the package

Gift No. 2

gift wrap hack -- turning a sheet of paper into a gift bag

I had an assortment of small items for which I wanted a small gift bag. I used a single 9 X 11-inch sheet of homemade birthday wrap. A 9 X 11-sheet can make a bag that is about 4 inches wide, 1 inch deep, and as much as 6 or 7 inches tall. I chose to make a 4 X 1 X 5-inch bag.

I found a box with similar width and depth dimensions to the size of bag I desired. The length of the box simply overlapped the edge of the paper -- not a problem for this.

I wrapped the sides of the paper over the box and taped the paper side together (but not onto the box itself).

I trimmed the excess length of the paper, so that my bag base would be neater. Then I folded the remaining bottom end of the paper as I would do when wrapping the ends of a package -- sides in,

flaps down and taped

I creased the corners all around the box 

before carefully sliding the box out of my newly-formed bag.

I added handles with two short lengths of black ribbon by threading the ribbon through holes punched in the top of the bag and stapling together the ends of each ribbon (overlapped) inside the bag.

Once filled, I added a crumpled half of the striped tissue to the top. 

Obviously, a single sheet of copy paper makes a very lightweight bag, the sort that would not support being held by the handles alone if the gift has much weight.

Gift no. 3

No hack, just wrapping an upright gift in the second large sheet of pink tissue, other half of the striped tissue, and a bit of the silver ribbon.

I'm pleased with how they turned out and I hope my daughter-in-law will be too!


  1. I don't remember seeing these hints before so I'm glad you posted them again. I never knew the diagonal paper trick and I think it's brilliant. Wrapping gifts is not my favorite thing to do so any ideas for simplifying it are welcome. I love the gift bag! So pretty.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you!
      Wrapping gifts can be a chore, and I think many, many people would agree. I think that's where the whole gift bag industry was inspired.

      Have a great day, Kris!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Happy birthday to your son and daughter in law!

  3. Birthdays and Christmas and gift giving. The only thing I can say is that we give very few gifts during these special times. Gasp! You are probably thinking how awful but we give gifts (not wrapped) all year long to all of our kids. We feel that having those more thoughtful gifts all year long is way better than clutter gift giving at special occasions that will end up in next spring's give-away pile. Call me grinch or someone with a bad attitude but this really is how things have turned out (didn't plan it this way) maybe things will change in the future but for now we give as they need all year around!

    But back to the wrapping...Yes, I heard of this diagonal trick and have used it. I even made bows out of strips of wrapping paper and that was nice too. I have a cabinet full of gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping paper, bows, curling ribbon so when I need a wrapped gift, I'm all set with decoration


    1. Hi Alice,
      I don't think you're a grinch at all! Not one bit! We all have a different way of approaching life. And that's what makes this world (and this blog) interesting. I'm glad to receive comments from people who do things differently because it gives me something to think about.

      I save ribbons and bows, and buy Christmas gift wrap at Dollar Tree after the holidays for 25 to 50 cents/roll, but I never seem to have much birthday wrap on hand, except an occasional purchase of colored tissue paper. Someday, I'd love to have a super tidy and complete shelf in a closet for wrapping stuff.

      Thanks for commenting, Alice. Your perspective is interesting. Have a great day!

    2. Alice, something I've been very grateful for with both my parents and my husband's parents (and our siblings) is that none of us gets crazy with gift giving. I enjoy giving gifts when I feel like I have found something I know the recipient will truly love--otherwise, it feels like an obligation and I think that's where the pile of gifts no one wants comes into the picture. I like how you approach gift giving, especially since your kids are all grown. It makes a lot of sense and I bet it relieves a lot of pressure to "have" to find a gift with the members of your family.

  4. Just this morning on FB I saw another thing about gift wrapping hacks. They used several things you did and a few more that I think you would elevate to a new level. Search on Blossom, clever gift ideas and how to wrap them. In the meantime, I'm sure that your son and DIL will appreciate their gifts AND how they are wrapped.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Thank you for the other site. I'll search for Blossom and see what else can be helpful.
      Have a great weekend, Live and Learn!

  5. Lili, you are so very creative, as your blog title says!! I love your gift bag made from a flat sheet idea, using the bottom of a box as a template. I'm also one who never gives physical gifts and now I'm no longer needing cards. I do all our gift giving online these days. It used to be a hand carried card with money, but now I've learned an easier way during this pandemic. We also call the recipient on the special day, so not even a card. However, I think it means more to the recipient to receive a curated gift from a special someone. Just that I'm never confident of my gift selection, and money seems to be the most practical thing these days. I also buy things as I see the need, but they usually are best given in time and not saved for a special occasion.

    1. Thank you, Laura!
      I understand the lack of confidence in selecting gifts for people. The last thing I want to do is create a new problem for the recipient of where to store/how to unload a gift that I give. Especially in that respect, cash is often most appreciated. On the other hand, I do like to choose something that they wouldn't buy for themselves due to cost. That to me is part of my fun. I like the idea of buying gifts when the need arises, too. We've been the fortunate recipients of others' generosity at those moments.

      Thanks for your thoughts. Have a great day, Laura!


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