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10 Frugal Ideas For Gift Wrapping Christmas Presents : The Saturday Weekend Review #201

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Unique gift wrapping is nice but the sometimes fake ooh la la only lasts for a few seconds before the recipient rips open their Christmas gift. Instantly he/she forgets about all that effort and potential money you sunk into gift wrapping.

Wrapping gifts is more about the effort you put into the project because that’s really what it is, a project of love. I’m not saying that no one will care about your gift wrapping skills all I’m saying is not everyone will appreciate what you do so why not do it on the cheap.

This way you can give an elegantly wrapped Christmas gift that you’re proud of even if they don’t care about your efforts. Plus, you won’t be spending a fortune on gift wrapping paper and ultra expensive accessories at places like gift card shops or Chapters.

Luxury Christmas wrapping paper is for people who don’t care about how much they are paying for Christmas wrapping so they just pay the price because they like what they see. Some people like to show off so they buy the most expensive wrapping paper and bows and hope that will impress everyone. Sometimes that might work, but not on everyone. You know where this stuff ends up right? Exactly, directly to the recycle bin.

There are lots of cute ways to wrap Christmas gifts but you can still spill over the Christmas budget if you’re not careful about how you approach your gift wrapping projects. Today I wanted to showcase crafty Christmas wrapping ideas so you can step aside from traditional Christmas wrapping paper.

Where to buy wrapping paper and accessories at the end of season?

Any store that sells Christmas items will reduce the costs by 50% or more come Boxing Day and even further as the week progresses. This is the time you will want to stock up for the next year so you don’t spend more than you need to. Whether you plan to be crafty or not grab those discounts even on the accessories while they are being offered.

Creative gift wrapping doesn’t mean that you have to rush out and buy luxury Christmas wrapping paper. There are many ways you can jazz up gifts sustainably without all the fuss and waste. You’ll get to see a couple of gorgeous gifts below using wrapping I bet you never thought to use.

I’m the guy in charge of the scissors, tape and wrapping paper in the CBB house. Mrs. CBB can’t wrap a Christmas present to save her life. Imagine a gift placed in the middle of the wrapping paper. She then takes both sides and  folds them up and tapes them . To finish up she rolls the ends as if they were a giant bon-bon candy. No word of a lie she did this the first Christmas I spent in Canada before we were married. It was then I knew I was going to be gift wrapping for every occasion for a long time to come.

If you don’t have a master gift wrapping pro at home like myself  please don’t pay someone to wrap your gifts. I know you want it to look perfect but trust me when I say the person you are giving it to will appreciate the gesture without the expense. Mrs. CBB still wraps gifts although I’m there to coach her. She wants to be part of the process and that’s fine even if she messes up. She’s my tape girl.

Gift wrapping costs can be very pricey if the shop where you buy your product doesn’t offer the gift wrapping free. I believe Shoppers Drug Mart gift wraps but I’m not sure if they still continue this practice. You might find small boutique shops will gift wrap for free because they want your business and shopping there is pricey to begin with.


Furoshiki Gift Wrapping




When I found this I knew right away that it was simple to do and inexpensive. Furoshiki is Japanese style gift wrapping using fabric which was originally used to bundle clothes in ancient Japan at the baths. Once wrapped you can accessorize your holiday bundle with whatever you have in mind.

You can find fabric for cheap at fabric sales, old clothes, table linens or even curtains that you find at the second-hand shops, free online or on buy and sell sites. Your friends and family will think you’re a gift wrapping pro.

Towel, Scarf, Clothing or Blanket Gift Wrapping

Just about any fabric material will do when it comes gift wrapping especially colourful, sparkly scarves, Lace, blankets and towels.


Painted Gift Wrapping and Tags


easy-jingle-bell-painted-gift-tags-a-holiday-art-project-for-kids-at-b-inspired-mamaInspired Mama

The kids may not be old enough to participate yet but have them paint, stamp or colour the Christmas wrapping to add their personal touch that they can brag about.

Using Kraft, Butcher or white paper to wrap your gifts you can then have the kids paint polka dots, random colours, Christmas trees and other festive art to compliment the wrapping.

Sponge painting is another great way to add a touch of colour. They will have fun and you will too.

The Inspired Mama has a few excellent ideas to include the kids in making Christmas tags and painting art that goes on Christmas cans that you can fill up with goodies.


Butcher Paper/Kraft Gift Wrapping


You will find that many of the gift wrapping today revolves around butcher paper or Kraft paper. The reason is that it is inexpensive to buy and it has many uses. Sure you can buy Christmas paper very cheap at the end of the season however uses are minimal. This way you can use the extra paper to do other future projects.

Buying butcher paper or Kraft paper should be easy but searching at shops like Staples and Michael’s craft store may yield the best deals. Michael’s typically offers a 50% off coupon that you can use towards your purchase of one regular price item.

You might even find that Walmart sells it or you can buy it online as well. If you are looking for coloured butcher paper you may need to special order that so keep that in mind. If you’re still uncertain talk to the local butcher who might be able to help you out.


Magazine Gift Wrapping




There are creative people who can take magazines and turn them into art. You can do the same by using pages from magazines that you find for free. Wrapping gifts with magazine pages and finishing the wrap with holiday accessories will add personal touch and probably a few laughs for all those around the Christmas tree. This can easily be an elegant gift wrapping idea if you put your mind to it.

If wrapping your entire gift in magazine pages isn’t your frugal style then you can l earn how to make Christmas bows from magazine pages. I know, who would have thought of that right? You don’t have to make them all this way but even a couple will save you some cash if buying those pricey bows is what you normally splash out on.


Newspaper Gift Wrapping



The White Bench

Hang on to your old newspapers or check with the corner store to see if they can give you yesterday’s newspaper for free. Using newspaper, twine, glue, cardboard, tape, wax paper and glitter you can create this awesome Christmas wrapping for the gifts.

I absolutely think this is one of my favourites because it screams re-purpose, recycle and reuse. One of my CBB fans Della gave me this idea because it was something that was done in her family years ago.


Interactive Gift Wrapping



I came across gift wrapping that was a word search but then I thought how many people would actually have the patience to do the word search before ripping open their Christmas gift? Not many however it’s a super easy gift wrapping idea for the word find lover you are buying for.

2-crayons-color-me-plain-white-wrapping-2For the kids I found this wonderful page Lines Across that shares some awesome gift wrapping ideas. I’m going to be stealing the Hot Wheels car idea. You wrap your gift in brown Kraft paper, use black construction paper to create a road and a white marker or china market to add lines.

You can either tie the Hot Wheels car on or use a glue gun to keep it in place until your child rips it off. I think this is a brilliant idea that any car loving kid would have fun with before opening their gift.

The other outrageously simple idea for Christmas wrap was to wrap the gift in white Kraft paper, attach a pack of crayons and stencil ‘Colour Me’ on the top of the package. You can add other holiday bells and whistles to jazz it up as well.


Tissue Paper Gift Wrapping



Tissue paper is inexpensive to buy but I have to be honest and say that we have a boatload of the stuff. Whether it be from other gifts we’ve received, leftovers from gift bags we’ve stuffed full or random products we’ve bought packaged in tissue paper.

The great thing about tissue paper is that it comes in various colours so you can mix and match your gift wrapping or keep it one colour.

Alternatively again you can use butcher paper or Kraft paper as gift wrapping and use the tissue paper as a topper by creating designs. I found some tissue paper Poinsettia at Hoosier homemade that screams holiday inspiration for your gift wrapping this Christmas.


Chalkboard Gift Wrapping




The mix and match of Kraft paper and chalkboard gift wrapping and gift tags 8.5×11 come together with this free printable that I managed to find.

You can print your 11×7 chalkboard gift wrapping paper for less at shops like Staples who will mass print whatever you need. Then you use your magic for wrapping presents and away you go.

An even cheaper option is to order black butcher paper and use chalk to make designs. The only downfall is you must be gentle when handling the gifts so the chalk does not smudge.



Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize



Even gift wrapping is a beautiful art and needs accessories which don’t have to be costly just add a bit of holiday flair. Accessorize with string, bows, greenery, cut-outs, buttons, felt, free printable designs, marker, paint, potato painting, stickers, ribbons, pine cones, chalk, stencil.

There are so many ways you can jazz up gift wrapping for far less than it costs to buy over-priced posh gift wrap. The problem is not everyone is crafty and a bog-standard gift wrapping with a bow and name label is cut and dry.

One of my favourites that I stumbled across that is inexpensive is the yarn topper gift wrapping at The Shady Acre. You wrap your gift in butcher paper or Kraft paper and then create designs using yarn. How cool and frugal is that? I love it.

Some of the best places to find accessories to dress your gift wrapping up are the Dollar Store, Thrift shops, online buy and sell, freebie sites, warehouse sales, end of season products, reduced products.

If being crafty at Christmas is your goal start your search at the end of the year and keep your eyes open for deals whenever you go shopping.

Just remember Christmas is not a time to show off how much money you have (or pretend to have) it’s about family, friends, love and spending time together. Adding your personal touch to gift wrapping will only reiterate just how much you care about those people close to your heart.

Discussion Question:

What inexpensive unique ways have you wrapped your Christmas gifts?


CBB inside scoop


What a miserable, crappy week we’ve had with this weather. I’m not a fan of the snow but I accept that because living in Canada has been a wonderful journey so far. I never seem to get much done when it rains because I’m stuck indoors and our son wants to play with me ALL the time.  I’m that parent you see in parenting meme’s that hits the deck if our son so much as moves if I get out of bed.

The elf on a shelf is back and working his way around the house. Our son seems a bit confused about Mr. Elf this year because all he wants is the chocolate prize without doing the work. That’s sure going to change. No laziness in this house. You work for what you get. He’s gonna love me when he grows older but he’ll thank me one day.

Christmas shopping has started here and we’ve already passed by Santa in the mall and the answer was a big, loud, NO. Our son wants nothing to do with him yet again. Last year it took 4 tries to get him on his lap. No pressure this year. He’s not the type of kid to believe in the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter bunny. You watch and see.

Next week we are off to an out-of-town appointment one day which will take away from my only time off. That means if I want to get anything done I need to wear a costume and pretend I’m a contractor and not Dad.

How was your week?



CBB Published Posts


maple-bourbon-pecan roasted almonds fb-png-2If you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Contact me for more info at

Top Post This Week: How much should my grocery budget be?


Making a difference (MAD)


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email.

I’m currently booking for January 2017.

Today lets welcome the personal finance blog, The Debt Plower.

Hi Mr. CBB and Fans,

Experienced in the art of plowing food and beer, now I am ready to plow through my student load debt.  Determined, constantly learning, and with an impeccable sense of humor, I am the “debt plower”.

I am your average millennial on the pursuit of financial freedom. Currently I’m hanging out in the city of brotherly love executing my plan to be debt free while trying to retire early.  I enjoy eating and always down to have a pop up dance party in my living room. Besides obsessing about being debt free (my fiancé definitely thinks I am) I enjoy the simple things in life: binge watching Netflix, dabbling in the stock market, enjoying the outdoors and eventually traveling once I am debt free.

The main focus of my blog is student loan debt and how the average person struggles with repayment and quality of life at the same time. I do not solicit any investment and/or financial guidance in my blog but rather highlight the mistakes I’ve made and share my experiences so other people can benefit. I want my blog to be an open forum for conversation.

Student loan debt can seriously hinder and delay one’s life. From what I’ve personally experienced, not many college students/graduates really understand what they get them selves into when they take out student loans (myself included).  So for me, my blog is not some amazing 18-month journey where I pay my remaining $50,000 of debt back (although I love those stories and inspire to be like those individuals) but rather solely the slow and sometimes roller coaster journey of a person (and significant other) to financial freedom.

I hope to help any of my current or new readers/followers in bringing to light the dark cloud of student loan debt that lingers over most people.  I want everyone to be aware of what student loans can do to you if you let them linger or do not have them under control.  I want them to use me as the guinea pig and learn from my experiences.

Millennials need to stick together because student loan debt is defining our generation and holding us back from life. I want readers to know I don’t praise my thoughts and opinions as the almighty outline of how to do your personal finance, because as a fellow blogger  (Financial Panther) once said “Personal Finance is Personal” and it should be your own. I want readers to take ideas or see my experiences so they can better themselves in the long run.

Finally, I want others to know they are not alone in their own struggles. I want others to be aware that its okay to not have it all figured out yet, I don’t either. I am not preaching how I paid off massive amount of debt and living the good life (see above). I am currently in this situation trying to make it out, just like the majority of individuals around me. I want it to be a mutual journey and create a community of financial freedom. As such, if you are with me, please share in this experience and visit my blog at


Weekly fan brag


If you have a brag that you want to share email me at with a photo and small write-up of your deal. It can be anything you saved money on that you are excited about.

If your story gets featured you get two ballots in the yearly draw for a PC Financial Gift Card and at least one ballot for emailing me your entry. Either way, you get a ballot in the draw.

Check out this awesome Brag from CBB fan Colleen who shares her hot $0.99 steals of the week.

colleens-food-haul-december-3-2016Hi everyone!!

Here are my amazing $0.99 cent deals today. I picked up 2x litres of whole milk, 4x pints whipping cream, 2x 500gr pkgs of Bologna and a large jug of Sunny D juice. Some large savings for our grocery budget.

Colleen shared more of her $0.99 deals that she found this past week. I am envious of the deals she finds and although we find some on occasion they aren’t always a buck.

Well done Colleen. The whipping cream in Ontario is well over $3.00 for 500ml so $0.99 is a steal. Even on sale I’d never get it for that price. We’ve even froze it before until we needed it then defrosted it.


Spotlight on finance



If you don’t love what you do the money will come but it won’t blossom into success. You must find what you love and work your way up to not worrying about when your next pay cheque will be deposited in the bank.


Top finance post


I read lots of finance posts from all over the world every week and I learn something new from each one of them. This week I stopped by the personal finance blog, Afford Anything and read, “The Incredible Power of 10x The Thinking” that perhaps offers some debate for those who love to save money clipping coupons and those who use time to learn how to invest.

I agree with her that we can’t do it all because you then lose focus of your main goal. You can choose to “Fast track your results”and be successful or focus the ‘any benefit’ approach. This means that you grab any benefit you can without successfully mastering one that will take you from 0-100 fast.

You’ll see what a difference each makes. Paula certainly offers a different perspective about how we chose to spend our efforts and time with a bit of humour.


Frugal recipe box

slow-cooker-steak-soupFood is a big part of any budget and a struggle for many which is why it has been important for me to create frugal recipes for my fans.

I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world.

Since we are officially in Christmas Holiday season I’ll be sharing recipes that you can make at home just in time for special gatherings, celebrations and gift-giving.

Check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB compiled of frugal recipes that are 100% tested and accepted by family and friends! Over at there is a Steak and Potato Crock-Pot soup recipe that looks delicious and hearty.

This time of year we love making soups in our house but don’t often have the time. If I get up a bit earlier I can get all the ingredients ready to go in the crock-pot and away we go.

Using our slow-cooker is a great way to come home to a nice hot bowl of stew or soup. This way I can spend my time with the family rather than cooking and cleaning in the kitchen.


Search term giggles


Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • What kind of knife to use when cutting date squares?– A sharp one. Ha!
  • Perks for long-term Telus customers– Turn around and bend over. Communication companies are the biggest rip off.
  • Easy Peacock drawing– This one is funny as it’s related to one of my long-time fans last names. She has contributed to the blog many times over the years.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see ya all again next Saturday!


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  1. Last year I wrapped big bulky presents in fabric I purchased for $1.00, at a thrift store. I love the other ideas you have shown here.

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