Use these tricks to make your gift stand out!

10 Ways to Make Inexpensive Wrapping Paper Look Great

by Laura Foor


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Remember when you were a kid how excited you were when you got to open a present? You probably didn't pay attention to how beautiful the wrapping paper was or how perfectly the present was wrapped. Instead, you only cared about getting to what was inside. After about ten seconds of ripping and tearing, the wrapping paper was instantly tossed aside without a second thought.

As an adult, we tend to look at gift wrapping a little differently. We know how much wrapping paper costs, and we know how much time it takes to wrap a gift so it looks presentable. So what to do? How can you save money when wrapping gifts and still make them look beautiful?

No longer do you have to spend a small fortune on beautiful wrapping paper that's just going to be ripped apart and thrown away. All you need is some inexpensive wrapping paper and the ideas below to make your gifts look impressive, as they'll all have quite the unique twist to them.

The following are 10 things you can do to make inexpensive wrapping paper look so stunning that everyone will want to be on your gift-giving list!

  1. After wrapping the gift, you can use a simple flower template that will allow you to make a few well-placed cutouts that create a 3D look. If the box is a solid color underneath, simply use a contrasting wrapping paper color as it will show through the cutout area.

  2. Before wrapping, use glass jars of various sizes to draw circles all over any solid color wrapping paper. You can use colored markers or crayons to make many overlapping circles for a fun design. Or you can use one color, like silver or gold, to give the gift a classy appeal.

  3. Before wrapping, gather a few pencils and some stamp ink (or paint). Lightly dip the eraser end of the pencil into the ink to make polka dot wrapping paper. Using one color will make the gift look expensive, while using a variety of colors will make the gift look fun. You can also use potatoes as a stamp. This allows you a little more versatility, as you can carve out your own shapes in the potato.

  4. After wrapping a gift using a solid color of very dark wrapping paper (black butcher paper works well), simply use a white paint pen to decorate for a chalkboard look, which is especially fun for kids and teachers.

  5. Multi-colored yarn can add a lot of fun to your gift. After wrapping, simply wrap the yarn around the gift using clear glue, covering the whole gift or a portion of it.

  6. If the recipient loves the outdoors, after wrapping, simply add some outside decor to your gift with clear glue. Add flowers, twigs, pretty leaves, and pine cones.

  7. Handmade bows are easy to make and tend to add a whole new level of beauty to a gift. You can make your own bows by cutting strips of colored paper (magazine pages work well, too) and shaping them into a bow, using a stapler to keep it all together.

  8. Whether you're an artist or not, simply drawing on the paper adds a very personal touch. Such a personal addition makes the wrapping paper part of the gift.

  9. After wrapping, use fancy cupcake liners to decorate. Simply flatten out, using a little glue in the center to attach them to the wrapping paper. Contrasting colors tend to work best when using this method of wrapping paper decoration. Looking for a little extra pizzazz? Lightly spray the liners with adhesive and then sprinkle confetti or glitter over them.

  10. After wrapping, glue homemade paper cutouts to the gift by using a spray adhesive. Cutouts should be specific to the recipient, such as letters and numbers for a teacher.

Laura Foor is a freelance writer who specializes in writing quality articles for online publication for 6+ years. Graduating from UCB with a degree in Environmental Sciences in 2009, she also works part time as a Farmers Market manager where she focuses on healthy food education.

Take the Next Step:

  • Sick of the holiday stress? Use your time to enjoy the season with these 10 steps to zap holiday stress.
  • Maybe you enjoy giving gift cards. Here are several creative ways to wrap gift cards.
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