How to Save Money on Gift Wrapping …

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Many times throughout the year, we all find the need to give gifts for all kinds of events such as birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, special days like Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Christmas and so on. And while sticking to a budget to purchase these gifts, the cost of wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, bows, boxes and cards is often overlooked. These extra items can be quite expensive and can significantly add up of the space of one year.

Here are some tips and suggestions that I use to help reduce the cost:

  • Buy your wrapping paper from a discount store. Wrapping paper purchased from a Department store or Newsagency can be expensive and you can pay on average $5.00/sheet. Head to a discount store instead (like Crazy Clarks, Sams Warehouse, Stacks and The Reject Shop to name a few) and you will pay as little as 50 cents/sheet. That’s a big difference, so let’s do the maths. Say you had to wrap 25 gifts/year and you purchased a new sheet of wrapping paper for each gift: 25 x $5.00 = $125.00. Now buy those same 25 sheets from a discount store @ 50 cents/sheet and it will only cost you $12.50. Now that’s a great saving of $112.50 … think about what you could use that money for. And if you still need to be convinced, just remember, that beautiful wrapping paper that you agonised over in the shop, is most likely going to be ripped off in the excitement of the moment and end up in the bin!

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  • Try buying rolls of wrapping paper instead. Once again, I would head to the discount stores but another trick is to purchase full rolls of wrapping paper at the Boxing Day Sales after Christmas. Just choose a pattern that can be used at any time of the year, like spots or stripes or even consider simple plain colours. I did this last year and bought rolls of wrapping paper that were 750 mm wide and 10 metres long and paid only $2.50 each. A couple of these would be more than enough for the entire year.

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  • Create a Gift Wrapping Box to keep a supply of paper on hand. This means you won’t have to run out at the last minute to buy wrapping paper (and pay top dollar) because you’ve forgotten it. Buy a plastic crate with a lid, add a selection of paper from your local discount store (their range is really very good), add to the box a pair of scissors and sticky tape if you like and you’re good to go. I keep a second box with blank cards in various sizes and in a third box I keep some curly ribbon and bows, also from the discount shop, to jazz up my gifts if I feel like it.
  • Now here’s another little trick that I came up with only recently. When I’m wrapping a present using a sheet of wrapping paper, I always end up with lots of offcuts … you know, the pieces that get cut off the edges of a sheet of wrapping paper when you cut it down to size. They are usually too small to be used to wrap another gift. I always save them because I hate waste but they seemed to accumulate in the Gift Wrapping Box and mock me every time I opened it looking for a piece to fit the gift I needed to wrap. Not any more! I’ve discovered that by joining the pieces together, I can create a new sheet which saves me money and eliminates the waste. I don’t worry too much about “matching” the pieces I put together and in fact I think a lot of the character comes from the mismatches. It’s a bit like scrapbooking or putting together a patchwork quilt … some of the most unlikely combinations of pattern and colour just seem to work! Don’t worry too much about the size of the scraps left over, just mix and match, sticky tape them together to create a new sheet and then neatly trim the edges. Here are some examples of some I’ve put together recently and I think they look really unique and interesting:

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  • Get creative and use “non-traditional” items for gift wrapping. On occasions I have used humble brown paper with a doily attached as a card. It look amazing and so many people have liked it and commented. Brown paper is one of the cheapest items you can buy and a pack of doilies picked up at a local market will cost you as little as 3 – 4 cents/doily. I love any idea that will give you maximum impact for minimum cash.

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  • Now, just a word on Christmas wrapping paper. This all goes on sale on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) for ridiculously low prices (sometimes as much as 90% off) so this is definitely the time to stock up. As long as you have a spot to store it, in either a cupboard or maybe in the office, make sure you buy enough for the following Christmas and your budget will thank you.

It really is worth the effort to create a Gift Wrapping Box and then you will always have a supply when needed, saving yourself some money as well. It’s the little things that we do every day without even thinking that can drain cash from our wallets and I personally believe that we work too hard to earn it in the first place, to spend it without making conscious choices.

So tell me, have you ever stopped to consider the amount of money that can be potentially spent (and wasted) on things like gift wrapping?


  1. I am a huge fan of brown paper and white paper which we stamp or decorate ourselves except at Christmas – Christmas I tend to splurge cause I like looking at it under the tree. I also like to wrap things in teatowels as it becomes part of the gift. I do love your idea of piecing together leftover bits. So clever! xx

    • Hey Sonia, I love that idea of wrapping gifts in tea towels … your family and friends must love that … two gifts in one! x

  2. You have some great ideas here and I love how you’ve created new paper from off-cuts. I always buy rolls of paper as I stand them in a big urn in our storeroom so I know exactly where they are. I love to stock up on Christmas wrap right after Christmas! xx

    • Just after Christmas is the best time of year to stock up, isn’t it! I love being organised for the next year and saving some money at the same time. x

  3. I do a lot of these, but haven’t done the ‘patchwork’ paper and I love it – very cute idea!

    • Try the “patchwork” with your paper because the result I think is really interesting and fun!

  4. What a great idea! I always wonder how people come up with this stuff. I will certainly implement this in my house as lots of wrapping paper does go to waste. Such a creative and fun activity to join cutoffs. Can come up with so many fun combinations.

    • I love doing this because the end result is a really creative gift … saving some money also make it really worthwhile!

  5. I have always bought rolls of paper for cost and convenience. I also recycle gift bags that can be used for future presents… Just be sure to take off the attached gift tag!

    • I like to recycle gift bags as well as it’s a great way to save some money! I can imagine there might be some embarrassed “red faces” if the old gift tag wasn’t removed!

  6. I definitely need a gift paper box, at the moment what I have is rolls of wrapping paper in random cupboards all over the place! We often use the girls’ artwork as wrapping paper too. I love the brown paper and doily idea, very clean and crisp!

    • Love the idea of using the kids artwork … very clever! When you have some time, try to round up all your gift wrap because keeping it all together will save you time and money and reduce any frustration. Good luck!

  7. I bought a roll of ‘Cars’ wrapping paper last year year and am still using it, only this week for a boy present. Earlier in the year I used kindy painting to cover a present.
    Great tips here. I bought ribbon real cheap after christmas and use that too here and there. Our local woolies even have free trolleys(one per customer) of stuff after halloween and christmas if you’re there at the right time!

    • Glad to hear your already using some of these ideas. Grabbing some free Christmas and Halloween wrapping paper would be a real bonus and help save some money!

  8. I’m always running out of wrapping paper, but I find I just have nowhere to store it. I need to find a spot in the house especially designed for storing paper, and then I’ll be happy!

    • Try to find a little corner somewhere and create a gift wrapping box … top of a wardrobe or under the bed is a good spot!