Making Your Frugal Gifts
By Cyndi Roberts
A big part of most families' treasured Christmas traditions is the ritual of
opening the presents. A big part of getting ready for Christmas is Buying the
Presents! Most of us must do our best to save money where we can when doing our
It's always been my belief that even the most inexpensive gift is made special
by the wrapping. It's an added pleasure to be able to admire a package before
These are some of the ways I have made our frugal, holiday packages beautiful
This year, I have discovered "Tulle". Tulle is available at discount and craft
stores by the yard--in many different colors and in many different widths. I
happened to find a spool of white tulle in a 6-inch width (on the clearance
rack)and used it for a bow on a birthday present recently. I cut it into a
3-inch width and just wrapped it around the box like ribbon and tied it into a
big bow and I was astounded at how good it looked! It's kind of stretchy and is
easy to work with, plus it doesn't crush if a gift is going to be mailed.
My other favorite ribbon is the curly ribbon. After Christmas, it's usually
available very cheaply and it's so easy to use. Just cut several lengths and
curl and glue to the package. No need to buy separate bows! It also makes a gift
bag look really festive.
During the year, when a merchant bags my purchases in a paper "gift" bag with
handles, I always save them. Even though they may have a store logo or name on
them...just cut the front off an old Christmas card and glue it over the logo.
Cover the edges with flat ribbon or dimensional paint or glitter if you wish.
And there you have a FREE gift bag!
Children (and adults, too!) love to see candy on their packages! Candy canes are
fun to use. Place two candy canes flat on the package with their tips together
and the curved end at the bottom...you have a Christmas tree shape...top with a
star cut from self-adhesive felt or gold paper. Or use the mini-candy canes and
make a trio of Christmas tree shapes.
Another idea is to spell out a child's name in small candies. If you don't use
wrapped candies, be sure children understand the candies aren't to be eaten.
Wrapping packages can be a fun part of your holidays, if you just let your
imagination lead the way!
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly e-newsletter "1 Frugal Friend 2
Another", bringing you practical, money-saving tips, recipes and ideas. Visit
her online at
http://www.cynroberts.com to subscribe
and receive the Free e- course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".