Cheap, Free, and Last Minute Gift Wrap Ideas

Holiday guide 2013 button


I love to wrap gifts.  It’s so exciting to see the packages piled up and think about the excitement of the recipient. Some wrapping paper can be expensive, especially when you consider most of it just gets ripped to shreds and thrown away or recycled anyway.  Here is some fun free and cheap ideas of gift wrap this year.

1.  Save gift bags and reuse them.  This is one of my favorite ways to save on wrapping paper.  I even save the tissue paper if it’s not too wrinkled up or torn.  This is a quick and eye appealing way to wrap a gift.  I save them from birthdays, Halloween, Christmas, etc.  The plain white and brown ones are nice too because you can have the kids decorate them or even decorate them yourself.


gift bag clip


2.  News Paper.  Seriously.  Add a red bow and your all set.  If you don’t think it’s festive enough, after you wrap your gift run a glue stick over it and sprinkle some festive glitter over top.  Or use festive washi tape or even duct tape if you’re creative enough to add some touches.  Another cute idea, save your comics every week and use those or save holiday inserts.


3.  Brown paper from sources like paper bags, department store bags, or kraft paper rolls.   This is great to make it look like a shipped gift or an old fashion twist.  Tie it up with some twine or again add your own touches with things like glitter, washi tape, curling ribbon, Christmas Stickers, ink stamps, and more.  I bet the grandparents would love their paper decorated by the grand kids.

4.  Don’t turn your nose up at promotional bags like these: Blog 006

You can easily cover the logo with a number of different ideas.  Have the kids draw a festive picture on a piece of construction paper or cardstock and glue it over the logo.  Also I save holiday cards.  Put them up with my Christmas decorations when I pack them away.  The front of Christmas cards are perfect to cut off and glue over the front.   If you’re desperate enough you can even take one of these bags apart carefully and put the logo on the inside and wrap a small gift in them and again….decorate as you please.

5.  Old scraps of fabric.  For a small gift like jewelry for instance you can take a round or square scrap of fabric set it in the middle, pull it up like a little sack and tie it with a bow.    You can use larger scraps if you like for larger gifts.  You can safety pin it or use fabric glue to glue it together.  With glue though, just remember it might take a little while to set!

gift wrap fabric scraps

6.  Disposable table clothes.  Seriously, I bought a roll of the thin plastic table cloth when I did my sister’s bridal shower over the summer.  I have a bunch left and was trying to think of uses for it. Other than using if for future parties at our house it would also work great as wrapping paper. The paper ones would work well too.

7.  Use part of your gift as wrapping paper.  Giving a gift for baby?  Wrap it in a receiving blanket or crib comforter.  Attach with safety pins.   Cooking gift?  How about wrapping it in dish towels, table runner, fabric placemats, etc.  A relaxation gift how about a pillow case or lap blanket.

8.  I also save nice baskets.  You can always grab a basket and make up a gift basket for the holidays.








Some great uses for Vaseline

Vaseline is one of those products that can have about a hundred different uses. So it makes it a great product for us frugal people. I’ve learned some great beauty tips (and money saving tips) with Vaseline and thought I’d share them as part of the program.

A lot of people already know some uses such as putting some on a baby’s bottom at diaper change to prevent diaper rash. Here are some that I’ve actually used/use my self.

1. Apply a generous amount to your lips like lip gloss. Leave it on for about 10 minutes. Then take a warm wash cloth and gently slough off the vaseline. This helps to take off the dead dry skin on your lips and makes your lips super soft and kissable. This is great to do before applying your lips stick. I do this about once a week.

2. Winter is coming up and some of us unlucky ones will be getting that dry cracked winter skin. For dry hands, apply vaseline all over your hands. Put on a pair of soft gloves over top. Leave on for about 1 hour (or overnight works great too). Then wash hands off and feel the difference.

3. To extend the life of your favorite lipstick, use a lip gloss brush or cotton swab. Take a little bit of your lipstick and mix with a little bit of Vaseline to make your favorite tube last long.

4. Have a shade of lipstick that maybe just too dark for you? Mix a dap of the lipstick with a little more vaseline using a cotton swab of lip gloss brush to lighten the shade or make a evening lipstick an anytime lipstick.

5. For dry cracked heels, apply Vaseline to your heels and put a pair of socks on over top. Wear it over night. You can slough it off with a warm wash cloth in the morning to help soften those dry heels.

6. Mix a little bit of glitter with Vaseline and apply to skin like your cheeks for a fun night out look or Halloween sparkle.

7. Do you have a splinter? Sometimes those little buggers are hard to get out. Apply a dab of Vaseline over the area with the splinter. Place a band-aid over top. Leave on overnight or at least a couple hours. The splinter will be much easier to get out because the skin with be softer and if it’s untreated wood (say from a log or old bench) the piece of wood will also plump a little bit making it easier to get a hold of. (Also works with Neosporin)

8. As an Occupational Therapy Assist, we’re sometimes asked to take part in local career fairs. We like to have hands on things for people to try. We try to demonstrate things we work on. We’ll take a pair of glasses and apply Vaseline to one lense and leave the other alone. We’ll ask people to try them on and see how people with Glaucoma may see things and have them try to write or read. This is often and eye opening experience for some people.

9. Crush a chunk of eyeshadow or blush and mix it with Vaseline to create a different or cool color lipgloss.

10. Apply Vaseline to your cuticles to soften dry cracked cuticles or before trimming or pushing cuticles back.

I’d love to hear your ideas for Vaseline too. I love a product that has so many uses.

***I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Vaseline blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.***

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