How to Make Your Holiday Gifts Look Amazing on the Cheap

Christmas gifts

Carefully matched wrapping paper, coordinating gift tags, beautiful ribbon and matching bows are expensive, yet we all spend entirely too much on just these things. It doesn’t matter that the gift in the paper is a very expensive Apple Watch, designer handbag or little blue box from the world’s most famous jewelry store. All that matters is that we feel this overwhelming need to now make the exterior gift wrapping look even better than the actual gift; because we haven’t already spent enough, right?

I have no room to talk as someone who coordinates her wrapping with her décor. I have certain colors for certain people, and all my wrapping paper is glossy, gorgeous and all in the sliver and blue families. It’s ridiculous; I’m sick and I know this. We spent entirely too much money on packaging these days, and it’s got to be killing a lot of Christmas budgets. When I spend $15 on one roll of wrapping paper that covers about 4 gifts, it’s a problem. With that said, we’ve decided that there has to be an alternative method of making our gifts look chic and elegant without spending a fortune.


Instead of a traditional ribbon on a package, why not tie your package with garland, instead? It’s fun and festive, and you can get miles of it for a dollar at the Dollar Store. It’s so much less expensive than the bags of bows you buy, and it’s just different enough to make it kind of special and exciting to anyone who receives your package. To really make it pop, try using a plain wrapping paper in a shimmering color such as silver or gold and then tie a bold red or green garland to it.

Gold Pens

My favorite thing to do this year with my gifts is skip the name tag all together. Instead of spending money on name tags, we’ve been writing the names of recipients on our packages with a gold Sharpie. It’s perfect on our shiny blue packages and even more gorgeous on our shiny silver packages. We had our annual gift exchange last week with our friends and their kids, and everyone was enamored by their names in gold Sharpie on a package. They would not stop talking about it; and I love that.

Add Greenery

The simplest way to add a little holiday cheer and elegance to any gift is to add a bit of greenery. Do you have any extra twigs or pinecones lying around that you’re not using for anything other than time spent cleaning up the yard? If so, go ahead and weave them through a little twine and tie them to a package to make the package look sophisticated. If I used this method at home, I’d go with a plain brown bag-looking paper and add the greenery as an embellishment for a shabby chic effect.

Think Monochromatic

Instead of focusing on all the additions that make a package look festive, go basic and quite simple. We love the idea of a monochromatic package that looks chic. It’s so simple that it’s impossible not to feel that this look is elegant. Choose one color and work it. A silver paper-wrapped package with a silver bow or a gold package with a gold bow makes a huge impact, and the concept is simply fabulous. Just do yourself a favor and be sure you are working it the right way by keeping everything in the same color family and as simple as possible. You can also go for custom corrugated boxes if you want to go minimal.

Cinnamon Sticks

I recently saw an Instagram post in which someone took their gift and wrapped up a few cinnamon sticks with twine and placed it around their gift. The effect was amazing, and it didn’t take them more than a few cents and a second of time to make this look happen. The smell is amazing, the look is cute and we have one idea that will make the entire concept even more fabulous. On a small note card, include a little set of instructions for boiling water, the cinnamon sticks on the package, a little vanilla extract and some lemon in a pot to create a smell that is all Christmas, all the time. It’s a fun addition that costs you nothing but time and makes the recipient of your gift feel as if you have gone above and beyond in an effort to make them feel as if their gift is the most important thing you’ve done all day long.

Photo by Getty Images


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