Why choose boring gift bags when you give a gift to your loved ones when you can get gift wrap for FREE!

And I’m not talking about shopping the after Christmas sales or using coupons to get it for free.

I’ve got some super simple ways to find free gift wrap inside your very own home!

I’m talking about DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas presents!

Because wrapping paper is one of those after-the-fact expenses that just adds to the total price of a gift, while all it truly “adds” is something that is torn up and thrown away.

In essence, we are paying good money for fancy trash!

That’s why I love coming up with creative ways to get free gift wrap because you’ll never feel like you are wasting money. Win!

Plus these ideas are so easy, that you’ll love to get your family involved into saving more money this holiday season!

And the best part about these ideas are…they are FREE!

With the frugal gift wrapping ideas I’ve got for you, even free gift wrap can easily make your gifts special. So are you ready to learn how to make simple holiday gift wrapping ideas? Let’s do this!

gift wrap

Go Old-School With The Paper Bag

Remember the days when we got paper bags with our groceries? And we used them to wrap our school books so they didn’t get damaged during the school year?

Well, that same paper makes the perfect gift wrap. And guess what… it’s FREE!

This first DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas presents starts by asking if you can have a bag or two at your local grocery store instead of plastic. They will gladly give them to you, or, even better, ask for a couple extra while they are bagging! They will think you are eco-friendly… and you ARE because you are reusing them for a dual purpose! Yay!

And the best part about the brown paper is that you can turn it into frugal gift wrapping ideas with so many decorations! Use markers, glue, and glitter, stickers or whatever you have lying around to jazz it up!


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And to make it special, you can use duck tape (like I did in my photo above) or twine or ribbon to dress it up.

My favorite thing to do is to use school glue & glitter to make a big giant monogram on the front of the package. It feels completely “Martha Stewart” when I give it to someone. And they always oooo and ahhh when they receive it.

And since you’ll probably have enough to wrap ALL your gifts in it, it’s one best simple holiday gift wrapping ideas!

gift wrap

The Classic: Comics

Okay, so this might cost you around $2 if you don’t already receive the newspaper each Sunday. But really and truly, you can use almost every page inside that newspaper to wrap your gifts!

And don’t worry about the newsprint getting on your fingers… as long as the paper is about 2 weeks old, the ink has had time to “set” and it won’t rub off on your hands.

The comic section is a classic looking wrapping paper, especially if you are giving any gifts to a teenager.

Add a red ribbon…and you’ve got a classic looking gift.

This is one of my favorite DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas presents!

gift wrap

Last Year’s Calendar

Don’t you always feel sad throwing away last year’s calendar? Well now, you can get one last use out of it by using those papers to wrap your gifts!

In fact, it looks really cute if you plan it just right to have a significant date on the front that you can circle in marker (and coordinate a ribbon of the same color) for either a birthday, anniversary or Christmas!

No peeking until….

I love these simple holiday gift wrapping ideas!

gift wrap

Cereal Box

Dig around in your garage for a can of spray paint. Any color will do because you can paint some kind of clip art on the front to make it perfect for the right season (a present for a birthday, or a Christmas tree for Christmas).

You could also cover it with scrapbook paper and modge-podge, if that’s what you have on hand.

Add some ribbon as a handle and you’ve got your very own gift bag as well!

These frugal gift wrapping ideas anyone can do!

gift wrap

Chip Bags

Ever heard the saying… one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Well, in this case, the trash truly IS the treasure and they make for great DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas presents!

Instead of throwing away that chip bag once it’s empty, open it up, wash off the grease (seriously it takes seconds and about 1 drop of dish soap) and you’ve got an instant shiny gift wrap that’s sure to be a hit!

At first, my boys used the CHIP side of the “paper” because they thought that looked neat… but I forced them to change it over to the plain side so that we could add a bow and make it look more festive.


Save Money On Your Craft Supplies


Download this FREE Guide to find 25 Ways to save money when you buy craft supplies so that your beautiful creations cost less.

Note that not all chip bags are the same and not all of them have shiny centers. So the next time you eat a bag of chips, you’ll have to pay attention in case you specifically wanted shiny silver or shiny white.

{Spoiler Alert: Lay’s chip bags have a white inside and Wise chip bags have a silver inside.}

gift wrap

Print It Yourself – Personalized Word Search

If you have a relatively small box to wrap, then the sky’s the limit with printing your own gift wrap. One search on Pinterest will yield so many results your head will spin.

But my favorite printable paper is a word search paper found here. (Choose the 40 x 40 size and cut & paste it into a Word Document to fill the entire page before you print.)

You can actually add in each of your own kids (or family members) names!

That means you can even circle them and strategically place the paper before you wrap the item so that their name shows up right on the front of your gift.

Pretty neat for some frugal gift wrapping ideas, right?!

gift wrap

Maps – An Adult Option

Maps are a classic (and more adult) looking gift wrap.

Plus, now that we have google, you don’t really need the paper maps any longer so this is a good excuse to use them up and clean out your house!

gift wrap

Wrapping Gift Cards:

  • Bundle it with a real-world counterpart. Find products to gift wrap with your gift card―nail polish with a manicure certificate, the current issue of a magazine with a subscription confirmation, a gift basket of popcorn, toppings, boxed candy and soda with a RedBox rental.
  • Make a Cracker Jack surprise. Place the gift card in a plastic bag, then gently open the bottom of a Cracker Jack box and place the bag inside. Reseal the bottom with clear tape and gift wrap the box.
  • Create a “nesting-doll” box. Place the gift certificate inside a small box. Wrap it up and place that box inside a larger one, and so on. It gets aggravating for the recipient, but it sure is fun to watch their surprise as they open it up!
  • Slip rolled money into a deflated balloon. Inflate the balloon and attach some pretty holiday ribbon to the end; the money will be visible inside.
  • Hide it in something else. Put the gift card inside a Toilet Paper roll and then hid the roll inside a jar full of M&M’s or simply wrap it like a tootsie roll with lots of extra wrap on the ends, tied with ribbon.
gift wrap

Save The Paper & Bows:

After all the UNwrapping happens…Don’t toss away all the wrapping paper and ribbon that once covered all those gifts.

Instead, run it through a shredder (cut to size first, if needed) and use it for lining gift boxes, bags or baskets throughout the year!

You will make the inside of the box look really good and you’ll never have to pay for the stuffing to gift wrap!

Basket stuffing costs $1 a Dollar Tree and you normally need 2 or 3 bags to fill a regular sized basket. That’s some savings right there!

If the bows are still good, save them! I try to buy ones that are neutral during the after Christmas sales so I can use them during the year.

You might think that’s a little too much work, but I call them simple holiday gift wrapping ideas that save me money!

gift wrap

Tips To Make Your Life Easier:

Since we have a large family and a slew of great friends, we are always wrapping up some kind of gift.

We really try to stay organized with our supplies so I thought I would share some of my favorite gift wrapping storage and tool finds.

Storage: It’s important to stay organized with your supplies so you know what you have and know where to find it when you need it in order to gift wrap. Easily stay organized with this wrapping paper storage and organizer! It hangs in your closet and has room for everything including cards and bows!

Wrapping Paper Cutter & Ribbon Curler: I love having multitools that help me get the job done fast! Grab one of these cutters with a built-in ribbon curler to get your gifting done fast.


Save Money On Your Craft Supplies


Download this FREE Guide to find 25 Ways to save money when you buy craft supplies so that your beautiful creations cost less.

Tape Dispenser: Give your hands a break with this pop-up tape dispenser. It fits on your wrist you just pull a precut piece of tape out just the size you need. So easy and simple which is what I love!

Choose a “Theme” Paper. Before I start wrapping, I “assign” each person a Theme Paper…James’ wrap has Christmas Trees on it…I always use Christmas lights for my Dad, etc. Then I don’t need any “tags” because everyone knows what present belongs to them. 😎 Super easy and fun gift wrap for everyone too!

How to Wrap the Perfect Box – The secret to a beautifully wrapped box? Not using too much paper, which causes bulky, sloppy folds. Before trimming, wrap the paper around the box — the ends should overlap just a couple of inches. When folded over the ends, the paper should extend a little more than halfway. You’ll have perfect seems every time!

You’ll never feel like you are wasting money when you are gift wrapping again with these frugal gift wrapping ideas!

These ideas are so easy, that you’ll love to get your family involved into saving more money this holiday season! Especially since you can pull most of these DIY gift wrapping ideas for Christmas presents out of your recycling bin!

The best part about these ideas are…they are FREE! These simple holiday gift wrapping ideas mostly won’t cost you a dime!


Your Turn: How do you recycle your leftover paper & bows? Do you have any other gift wrap tips to share? Let us know below!

7 Simple Ways To Get Impressive Gift Wrap For Free