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21 creative and free ways to wrap gifts for your loved ones


How many of you feel that wrapping gifts in paper is too boring and frankly, too expensive to be treated as something to be torn and thrown away? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Say goodbye to purchasing wrapping paper, for here are 21 cheap and elegant alternatives to traditional gift-wrapping!

Brown / White Paper 

One of the easiest ways of wrapping anything is using Brown or White Paper. If you have blank paper around the house, you can now use them as wrapping paper.

Handwritten message


What’s a better way to decorate your plain old brown paper with a handwritten message to your loved one? This way you can save some cash on those store-bought greeting cards too!



Want something simple? Put a short blessing or the receiver’s name on the plain wrapping. Instead of a handwritten message, you can cut out the letters from an old newspaper or magazine and stick that on.



Take an eye from here, another mouth from there, and tada! We have a gift literally staring at you. These facial parts can be drawn on or taken from a magazine.

Paint Splatter 


Who says making gift wrap can’t be fun? For this gift wrap you need to have:

  • Old Comb
  • Old Tooth Brush
  • Paint (Any kind will do)
  • Rubber Bands (Optional)

Place all the rubber bands on the plain paper, put some paint on the toothbrush and start scraping the comb to splatter the paint on the paper. Pretend you’re giving the comb a nice brush of colour. There’s no limit to the number of colours you can paint your gift wrap, so you can stop whenever you feel your masterpiece is complete.

Doily Paper


Remember those doilies under the teacups in fancy restaurants? You now have a reason to take them home. Used as an accessory to the plain paper wrappings, these doilies can be used to change the whole look of your presents.



If you’re lazy or have run out of creative juices to decorate your gift, let your receiver do it for you. Just tape some unused crayons or colour pencils to the surface to turn that gift wrap into a drawing board.



Don’t throw the remains of the bruised paper away – instead, use them as an accessory to your plain paper. Just place a few lines of double sided tape on your packaging, scatter some hole-punched circles, and you have a confetti-decorated gift.

Gift Bags

Paper Bag


Finally, a way to get rid of all the paper bags we collected during our shopping trips! All you have to do is stick a score sheet or anything decorative to cover the unsightly labels, and we are done.

Cereal Box Gift Bag


Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Turn your cereal box into a gift bag by just emptying out its content and attaching ribbons to the top.

Magazines & Newspapers

Keep it Simple


Just treat them like a new generation of wrapping paper – but free!

Magazine Bow


If wrapping with magazines or newspapers gets too plain for you, add a ribbon to the top.




No idea what to get your friends? Just give them some cash. Instead of giving them cash in the traditional red packet or green packet, pack the cash in a balloon. It’s definitely a more interesting way to get a present.

Please make sure your receiver is not globophobic.

Kachang Puteh


If you yearn for the days when kachang puteh was packed in a triangular cone, bring back the past and pack your presents that way.

Old Calendars


Finally, a good reason to not throw out your past year calendar. Simply tear out the pages and use them as wrapping paper.

Paper Cups


Leftover unused paper cups no longer need to go to waste. Just cut up the top and transform them into a holder for your presents.

Old Clothes


This will only work if your old laundry is a long-sleeved shirt or blouse. You might need some pins to achieve this level of wrapping.

Toilet Paper


Use leftover toilet paper as gift wrapping! For this to work, you have to learn to wrap the gift delicately in order not to tear the paper.

Toilet Roll


With the remains of the toilet paper, decorate and fold the ends of the tube in to close it up.


Now that you’ve wrapped your gift, let’s add some cherries on top.



For this, just get some decorative strings, thread the button, and tie a ribbon.

Candy Cane



Same concept as the button – tie the candy cane in the middle so your receiver gets an extra minty treat.

Cupcake Paper



For this, just layer cupcake paper to create a flowery bow.

Any more great gift ideas?

There are many ways you can decorate a gift. All you need is a few ideas and the creative juices in your head will start to flow.

Have more ideas for Cheap Gift Wrapping 101? Contribute below!