5 Tips to Save Money on Wrapping Paper

Wrapping presents can be a fun holiday activity, but the cost can add up! If you’re looking for cheap wrapping paper or DIY wrapping paper ideas, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also got some easy ways to make last year’s paper look like new.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read

Saving Money on Wrapping Paper

Holiday wrapping paper can cost nearly $10 a pop—and for the amount of paper we need each year for gifts, the costs quickly add up. Instead, buy your wrapping paper at a craft store like Michael’s, where you can often find giant 200-foot rolls of solid-colored paper for as little as $7! Look for holiday colors like gold or red, but even if they only have brown paper, you can easily dress up your packages with elegant ribbons, inexpensive bows, or even a pine cone or pine sprig.

Free Wrapping Paper Ideas

You probably have a lot of free wrapping paper around your home, if you know where to look! If you have paper napkins that feel “too pretty to use” then use them in a way that takes advantage of their design—as wrapping paper for little gifts or candy bars. Have your kids draw on some taped-together printer paper and use it to wrap gifts that are “from them.” And, you can use pages from the past year’s calendar (photo-side up, obviously) to wrap smaller gifts—two taped together are great for books or video games. Other great ideas are photocopied sheet music or book pages, or gather up those maps you don’t use anymore to wrap a present for a traveler!

Save By Sending Gifts Ahead

Especially when you have to pack tons of presents, it’s usually more frugal to pay to ship the contents of your suitcase to your destination ahead of time. Most airlines charge between $15 and $30 for the first checked bag and much more for the second, while it only costs around $14 to mail up to 70 pounds via the post office. If you’re mailing books, DVDs, or CDs, make sure to ask the post office for the “media mail” rate, which is a discounted shipping rate for these three items.

How to De-Wrinkle Last Year’s Bows

Planning to package your gifts with bows and ribbons from last year? If they’re smashed and wrinkled, don’t toss them out! Instead, stick them in the dryer on low heat along with a dampened cloth and run it for two minutes. The heat plus the moisture from the cloth will pump them back to life.

How to De-Wrinkle Old Wrapping Paper

Quickest buzz kill when wrapping presents: trying to reuse tired out, wrinkled tissue paper and hoping the recipient won’t take it personally. Turns out you can iron used tissue paper or wrapping paper on low to get it to look “like new.” Amazing (if a bit anal)!

How to Get Price Stickers Off

This tip doesn’t save you money, but it does save you frustration! Need to remove those pesky price tag stickers on your Christmas presents? Try hand sanitizer: The alcohol in the sanitizer works to de-stick the adhesive in the sticker glue. Just rub a bit into the spot and let it sit for a couple minutes, then use a coin to scrape it off. You can also use a hair dryer! Run it over the sticker to warm and loosen the adhesive, then peel off.

These tips are even better when you listen to them on our podcast—this episode included our usual Lifehack Lightning Round, a tip from ThePennyHoarder.com, and tips for baking cookies! Listen to it here or on iTunesStitcher, or Spotify. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook!

Image by Shutterstock.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.