Christmas wrap doesn't have to be expensive to be festive. Here are several low-cost gift wrap ideas:
1. Oatmeal ContainersCardboard oatmeal containers are the perfect quick-wrap solution. Just wrap a band of wrapping paper around the outside of the container, and stick your gift inside. For a truly spectacular finish, cut a circle of paper to go on the top of the lid.
2. Recycled Gift BagsGift bags are pricey, and it's sad to think that many of them only get used once. Get in the habit of saving all of the bags that you receive, and you'll have a near-endless stash of Christmas bags to draw from.
3. Kids' ArtworkDo you have a budding artist in the house? If so, save his or her larger drawings and paintings, and you'll have a steady supply of wrapping paper. Want to work in that Christmas theme? Encourage your child to draw Christmas pictures – and prepare for an explosion of red and green artwork.
4. Kraft PaperGive your Christmas gifts an old-timey look by wrapping them in Kraft paper. You can pick up large rolls of this brown paper from office supply stores, or cut your wrapping costs entirely by saving your brown paper grocery bags (currently making a comeback).
5. Take-Out ContainersRinse out empty Chinese take-out containers or ask for a few extras when you order, and you'll have a clever gift box that doesn't cost a thing.
6. WallpaperThrift stores often have a large collection of wallpaper – no doubt the leftovers from countless do-it-yourself projects. Dig through the stores' offerings, and you're likely to find several patterns that would work perfectly for Christmas (green and white stripes, silver and gold designs, etc.).
7. FabricHave a box of too-small-to-use fabric scraps? Put them to use as gift wrap, and you'll turn clutter into a treasured gift. Long forgotten scarves can also be put to use for this purpose. Dig through your own collection, or sift through thrift stores to find what you need.
8. ReusablesGet creative, and make your gift wrap a part of the present. Wrap a gift in a purse, a tin, a trinket box, an old suitcase or a reusable shopping tote. Shop yard sales and thrift stores often, and there's no end to the number of clever containers that you can find to put presents in.