image by Clip Art from Microsoft Office
If you're unaware of that stashed away, leftover wrapping paper and ribbon from last year, now is the time to find it and make a list of inventory. If you're down to the bare minimum, here are a few tips to work with what you have and to also help you cut back on spending. Get creative and wrap your gifts in an economic (and chic) fashion.
Make a list of inventory--last year's wrapping paper, construction paper, magazines, newspaper. If you have leftover paper, ribbons, bags and tissue paper, use those items before purchasing anything. Check to see if you also have nice gift boxes. Many stores give a box with a purchase or package a gift in tissue and a bag. See if you have any leftover items and if they can be jazzed up with colorful tissue paper.
Use magazine pictures. Make a collage of magazine pictures, selecting pictures to fit the theme of the gift. Perhaps you're giving jewelry--select images of jewelry or rocks or stones and cut and paste the images onto the box. If you're giving a tie or a train set, select images that allude to these items. Tie a bow, ribbon or name tag on the box and you're set.
Cut out crossword puzzles. This is fun, fast and recyclable. Cut out crossword puzzles from your newspapers and wrap gifts with the puzzles. You can even write in the boxes a message for the receiver. Dress up this black and white wrapping with a red and green bow--or a homemade name tag.
Tie on a ribbon. You may not need a box, tissue or wrapping paper. If the gift speaks for itself (or is too big to wrap) tie on a beautiful, durable ribbon.
Choose solids. Each gift bag can cost up to five dollars and is used for only one gift whereas a roll of wrapping paper may cost three dollars and can wrap many gifts. If you need to purchase a bag, stick with simple, solid-colors and solid-colored tissue.