| Savings & Tips
Cute red wrapping paper with white cars and snowflakes

Gifts are one of the many things that make the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year! After driving around town and picking out the perfect present for everyone, turn to our gift-wrapping guide. With money-saving alternatives to traditional wrapping paper and instructions to teach you how to wrap a present, you won’t need to stress one bit.

Wrapping Paper Alternatives

Tired of regular wrapping paper or want to save some money? We understand! Here are five items you might have lying around the house that serve as stylish stand-ins for wrapping paper.

1.     Old Maps

Grab your ladder and climb into the attic to search for old paper maps. If you don’t have any, take a trip to your local thrift shop or used bookstore to find a stack for a fraction of the cost of wrapping paper. If you want to go for an even more thoughtful touch, pick a city, town, or country that holds a special memory for you and the recipient. Bonus points if you can coordinate a ribbon or bow with one of the colors on the map!

2.     Sheet Music

Is there a musician in the house? They may have a piano stool overflowing with sheet music! Extra credit if you use this option for a music-lover in your life or find sheet music for the recipient’s favorite song.

3.     Brown Shipping Paper

Do you need to mail a lot of presents? If so, brown shipping paper (or brown butcher paper) is a super idea. Rolls are typically available at the post office, and you can cut the paper off as needed. If you want to add personal touches, don’t be afraid to do a little artwork. Have kids? Let them draw on or paint the paper! Your recipients will love it, and the arts and crafts session will entertain your children for hours.

4.     Newspaper

If you still have a subscription to your local newspaper, this will be no problem for you. If you’re not a subscriber, don’t worry. Your recycle center should still have stacks of newspapers for you to choose from! When wrapping a gift, consider using different sections depending on the recipient or what’s in the box. If you’re wrapping a present for the family prankster, find a funny comics section. If you’re giving someone sports equipment, use the first page of the sports section to wrap.

5.     Waxed Paper

Are your gifts a labor of love? If so and you’re giving away baked goods, this is an easy and inexpensive way to dress up your delicious gifts for the holidays. Waxed paper is also a nice change from zip top bags or a mess of tin foil. If you want to get fancy, you can create custom designs for your gifts! Simply press small pieces of construction paper or ribbon between two sheets of waxed paper and iron the two sheets to fuse them! You’ve now made handcrafted wrapping paper for your baked goods!

How to Wrap a Christmas Present, Step by Step

Ever seen photos of perfectly wrapped presents and think I wish I could do that. Well, you can, and we’re going to show you how! First, you need to gather supplies. This is what you need to wrap a gift.

  • Wrapping paper: Grab your preferred roll of wrapping paper or one of the alternative options we suggested above. Please note, if you use sheet music, you’ll need to tape pieces together to follow the steps below.
  • Scissors: You’ll need to cut your paper into the proper size for each present.
  • Tape: This will help you seal the paper shut.
  • Tags: These will make sure you remember who the gift is for and help your recipient identify who the gift is from.
  • Ribbons or bows: These are entirely optional, but they can be a nice touch on top of any present.

Here’s how you can wrap a beautiful gift in seven easy steps. Before you get started, remember to remove any price tags. Also, place the gift inside a square or rectangular box for an easier wrapping experience.

  1. Place the box on your wrapping paper and measure a section big enough to cover the whole box. This part is a little tricky and takes some practice. Make sure it’s big enough, but not so big that you have lots of excess paper.
  2. Center the box on the paper. You want to ensure everything is even before you start to use tape.
  3. Fold the side opposite of you up and tightly across the top of the box. If everything still looks centered and snug, attach the paper with a piece of tape.
  4. Fold the paper on your side up and tightly across the top of the box. If you’ve measured correctly, the paper should overlap slightly. Use another piece of tape to secure the paper.
  5. Crease the wrapping paper down over one of the uncovered sides, creating two ‘wings.’ Fold these wings in and crease them when they’re nice and tight. You should be left with a trapezoid or triangle shape lying on the table or floor. Fold this flap up, make sure it is creased tightly, and use tape to secure it.
  6. Repeat step five on the other uncovered side to finish wrapping your present.
  7. Add a bow or ribbon. This step is optional, but it can be a nice finishing touch.

As your loved ones unwrap your perfectly wrapped presents, it’s never too early to think about wrapping gifts for future holiday celebrations or birthdays. Instead of throwing away all the materials, save bags, bows, boxes, and ribbon. Reusing them can save you money. Know what else could save you some money? Choosing Direct Auto for your car insurance needs! Call, click, or come in for a free quote today.