Pinterest-Worthy Gift Wrapping on a Dollar Store Budget

Chelle Roman

Pinterest is full of amazing gift wrapping ideas that look incredibly ambitious. But many of these otherwise-great ideas are time consuming and impractical, considering the amount of gifts that we generally need to pump out this time of year. So I’m here to give some awesome tips on how to get Pinterest-quality wrapped gifts that are easy. And not only are they easy, they’re CHEAP! That’s right, all of these ideas can be executed after a trip to the dollar store.

Let me start by saying this...there is only one wrapping paper you ever need to buy for the rest of your life for every occasion, and it can be found at Dollar Tree. Yep. I swear. Meet Kraft Paper. Yeah, good old packing paper. And yes, Dollar Tree sells it...for $1. You can get it elsewhere (such as Amazon) but for gift wrap I actually prefer the thinner Kraft Paper sold at Dollar Tree. Even then, It’s still a little sturdier than typical gift wrap, so it’s a win. For most of the looks, I will be using Kraft Paper, because, honestly, this is what I use for most gifts in my own home and I just love the flexibility.


Let’s start off simple. Wrap your gift like you would any old gift. But here’s my first pro tip: you may call me crazy, and I might just be, but if you’ve got a lot of gifts to wrap and you want a super clean look, bust out your glue gun. Just try it. Instead of tape, fold over the rough edges of your paper and glue down.  No icky tape, easy peasy, and you’ll never be hunting around for the tape that was just right there because trust me, you will not lose a glue gun. Your gifts will come out looking crisp and professional. Obviously, I’m not completely crazy and don’t wrap all my kids’ presents like they just came from a Hallmark movie (I use tape on those like a normal frazzled holiday Mom, while shouting “I JUST had it right here! Who took it?!?”). But for those extra special gifts for that one cousin who always has her shit together and looks like she lives in Pottery Barn, remember this simple move. And yes, I know about double sided tape, but nothing compares to the level of crispness that hot glue will give you.

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Bonus tip: Use an old metal pie pan or foil pan, also from Dollar tree, as a glue gun docking station to catch drips. This one has seen some crafty times in her day. Don’t judge me and my messy glue gun situation.

Second easy upgrade: take that simple brown paper package and add an easy bow. This ribbon is a fun burlap-like mesh and is so easy to fluff out. Wrap it around the edges for a different look. Try with satin or wired ribbon as well. Costco usually sells HUGE rolls this time of year that are high quality and affordable. I have a roll that I have been using since before I had children, eight and a half years ago. The fancy two sided green and red is Costco ribbon, folks!

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Bonus tip: google “how to tie a Tiffany bow” for the best way to wrap a and tie a ribbon bow around a box. I would show you how, but trust me, the videos will explain it better than I can!

Brown paper packages tied up with strings. Need I say more? Give them their favorite things wrapped in our favorite Kraft Paper and twine. Add a sprig of pine or rosemary, a jingle bell, or a simple paper tag to jazz it up. I have a tag shaped paper punch but really all you need is scissors and card stock.

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Bonus tip: Cut out a rectangle and then cut off two corners on one end. Boom. Easy tag. Get out those fun pens you got that one time when you were trying to learn hand lettering and put your skills to good use.

Let the kids go nuts. Wouldn’t Grandma and Grandpa adore a gift wrapped in love? Hand over a freshly wrapped gift and have them draw and write all over the package. Plus, no card needed.

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Bonus tip: bust out your metallic Sharpies and do some quick lines or polka dots for a glam touch.

Ornaments add pizzaz. Now, this was not a dollar store purchase, but I did get it for 99 cents at Walmart, so it totally counts. It’s actually for hanging on a stocking but it adds a perfect touch to personalize a gift. Tie bow as usual (in this case I didn’t even bother with a bow and literally tied a knot. That’s it!) and just hook it on using the hanger it came with.

Final Thoughts:

1. Have a designated gift-wrap bin where you keep all your supplies year-round, so it’s all there when you need it. In my bin I have: scissors, tape, glue gun and sticks, ribbon, twine, random ornaments I find for a steal, pens, paper, gift bags, small boxes, and other random items that make me think “ooh, that would be good slapped on a present.”

2. Keep a wrapping station set up and ready this time of year. If that means setting up a small table in the corner of the kitchen (like I do) or taking over the guest room until guests arrive, so be it. I set up my gift-wrap bin with my trusty roll of Kraft Paper next to it. When I need to throw something together before heading out to a holiday party or get a gift wrapped before the boys get home and spoil the surprise, I can do it easily and quickly. Then I stuff it all back in the bin and stash it in the garage when holiday guests visit.

3. Too lazy for wrapping paper? Yeah, been there. These bags were 3-for-$1, and larger ones were available as well. Same idea applies. Keep it simple, classy, and jazz it up just enough to make people think you’re crafty as hell. Dollar Tree also sells tissue paper. Fold asymmetrically and shove it in there.

Gift presentation is half of the fun when opening a gift. A lowly gift card can be turned into a personalized experience with a few quick touches. Keep it simple, quick, and affordable, without sacrificing beauty. Happy gifting!

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