Tips and Guides

RL Ideas: No-Cost Gift Wrap Ideas

Transform old paper products into 3 easy gift-wrap ideas that'll bring Christmas cheer to everyone, including Mother Nature


When it comes to giving gifts, they say it's the thought that counts. In that case, why not put a little more thought on wrapping your presents? These eco-chic wrappers would surely stand out under a tree, even if they're not shimmery. Plus, they're practically free!

Crafts by Dagny Madamba. Photographed by Jun Pinzon.

Read the original article ("Bohemian Wrap-sody") in the November 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

  • Old calendar, newspaper funnies, yellow pages, or magazine pages
  • Ribbons or twines
  • Small cards  
  • Tape
  • Scissors or cutter
  • Gift toppers such as small toys or dried flowers (optional)
Re-do it:

1. Remove your gift’s price tag. It's optional to put your gift inside a box if it doesn't come in a box, but take note that it's always easier to wrap the gift if it's inside a box.

2. Lay your recycled wrapper flat onto a hard surface and measure the size of your gift. Give allowances on each side of the paper to be sure. 

3. Wrap your gift bottom side up. By doing this, you can make sure that the face with the tape won’t be on the top. Fold and secure both ends one at a time with tape.  

4.  Round it off with a ribbon or twine and a card. 

Wrapping Variations

Here are more fun ideas that you may want to consider:

1. Calendar Girl

The huge, bold numbers on those freebie calendars that hardware stores give away can make a nice graphic statement as wrappers. Tie up your package with gritty twine, and add a hand-stamped note and a sprig of flowers to make it feminine.

2. Comic Timing

The Sunday newspaper's comics section is the perfect packaging for a child's Christmas gift-he may even read them after opening! Finish your package with a colorful, recycled ribbon, plus another mini-gift, like a small toy.

3. Yellow or White Can Do the Trick

Put your old telephone directory's many pages to good use. The fine print makes a nice, streamlined pattern for your gift. Finish it off with an origami bow, also fashioned out of recycled magazines.

RL Tip: On a super tight budget? Use ribbons from gifts you received last year instead! 

For more instant makeovers and tips, click here.


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