The scariest thing about Christmas is not all the money you spend on presents, food and alcohol but the cost of wrapping paper and cards. I can’t believe it costs $30 for some bits of paper and gift tags that literally end up in the bin.
Here are my tips on how to save myself a bucketload of cash this year and have a bit of fun with the kids.
Make your own wrapping box
Buy or make yourself a box with a lid that you can store all year round and keep all your gift tags, ribbon, scissors, tape (I like regular and double-sided tape) and other little embellishments like stickers or plastic holly. I also stash Christmas stamps in there too.
Buy plain wrapping paper in bulk
You can buy recycled paper on a 10m roll, ask your butcher or delicatessen if you can buy some from them. You can also buy brown paper in commercial quantities from packaging wholesalers . You can jazz them up with my decorating ideas below!
Buy coloured wrapping paper in red or green
If you really can’t resist the gorgeous colours of shiny Christmas wrapping, buy plain wrapping paper in bulk in Christmas colours like red or green which can be used to wrap all kinds of presents year round. Make a ribbon-width band of a more expensive wrapping paper to give the plain parcel a more expensive look, for just a fraction of the price.Odd shaped presents can be neatly stuck in a recycled shoe box and cover in your wrapping paper.
Make your own cards
Make your own christmas cards, gift tags and even stickers on your home computer. For the amount of actual cardboard you get, cards and tags are hideously expensive in the shops!
Kidspot has a range of cute Christmas card ideas which are easy enough to make yourself. More advanced crafters can try making these Christmas cards. The kids will probably enjoy helping out too. Whilst you are at it, make some matching Christmas crackers .
Make your own potato stamp wrapping paper
What you’ll need:
- Paper – either butchers, recycled or brown paper
- Paint – acrylic works well, just water it down with a few drops of water until the paint is a thick runny consistency
- Large washed potatoes, cookie cutters and a small paring knife to make potato cutter
- Stamps if you have them
To make potato stamps:
- Cut your potato in half and press down your cookiecutter until it’s about 2cm into the flesh of the potato.
- Remove the cookie cutter.
- With the paring knife, carefully cut away the edges until the just the shape is left
- Place diluted paint on a paper or plastic plate, and dip and stamp on paper as you like!
- Allow the paper to dry and wrap gifts for family and loved ones.