Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cheapass Christmas Part 4: Wrap it!

God I'm having a lot of fun with this Cheapass Christmass stuff! Next week is going to be a real challenge though.

But enough about next week--as Garth Algar would say, "Live for the now man!"

This week is wrapping presents and how to do it cheap!

I'll start with the old standbys. You can always take the super-duper cheapass way out and do what my mom did when wrapping our Christmas presents (from her and my dad--Santa always used store-bought wrapping paper) and use the Sunday funnies:


Check it out! It's even a Christmas Garfield!

Or you could stamp butcher paper or plain brown grocery bags cut open and turned inside out with festive stampy-doos; wrap stuff in fabric or fabric bags; use old maps; or simply by take an X-large roll of Charmin toilet paper and wrap it around and around your gift. All are pretty standard really.

I know I'll be wrapping the mommy and daddy presents to Chunky in the comics. I went to the Dollar Store and picked up two generous rolls of wrapping paper for the Santa presents and paid--you guessed it--a buck!!!

But sometimes it's all about the packaging!

Remember the Cat Poo Booga Bag for my office's White Elephant (Texas's version of a Yankee Swap) gift exchange?

As a cheapass I'm notorious for hording gift bags. When we moved down here, I finally parted with a gajillion of the ones from the baby shower my coworkers threw for me five years ago.

However, I did save a few Christmas themed bags from last year and I decided to toss my White Elephant gift into one for our party next Wednesday.

But after I stapled the bag up, true to the spirit of the Poo of the Cat Poo Booga Bag, it looked like shit:


The staples were pretty obvious and you could see where my old Secret Santa had taped the bag shut at one time.

So borrowing a page out of an episode of The Carol Duvall Show (another HGTV show I watched religiously pre-Chunky) I made a cute little topper for the bag to hide the ugliness:


Who said TV rotted your brain?

I used some scrap card stock, scrap ribbon, some of those 99 cent Provocraft edging scissors, and some Stampin' Up Stamps I got suckered into buying. Although I must say I've used them for tons of Christmas stuff, so they've paid for themselves.

The best part is, even though I smudged the stamps a bit attaching it to the bag, and the holes for the handles aren't exactly perfect, my uncrafty co-workers will be wowed.

Cheapass Tip: If you're crafty, it helps to make friends with the uncrafty. They are easily wowed by anything consisting of glitter, paint, egg cartons and popsicle sticks!

Finally, gift wrapping can be a great way to compensate for the shortcomings of any cheapy present you're giving. I'll use the present I bought T. this summer as an example--the thing only cost me $4.00.

Today at work my Baby Bear Boss was about to toss this into the trash:


It's the box that held her business cards. Never missing an opportunity to be a cheapass, I realized it would be the perfect size for the teensy gift I bought T.

Again using some scrap scrapbook paper (actually leftover from last year's Christmas cards!) and some rubber cement, I covered the box, wrote "Do Not Open Until Dec. 25th" on the sides, addressed it, and sealed it up.



You'll see on the side there that the paper doesn't perfectly cover the box, but screw it, it's not like T. is going to cry herself to sleep because I didn't take the 20 minutes to make the edges match perfectly.

I had another wrapping I was going to spotlight today as well, but because a certain other sister also reads this blog, it would give away what her present is. Therfore, I'll hold off showing you that one.

Instead I'll finish up with a link to Danny Seo's book Simply Green Giving: Create Beautiful and Organic Wrappings, Tags, and Gifts from Everyday Materials .


I must make the disclaimer that I have not read this book. However, if you go to his blog you can see excerpts from the book.

Ok, I don't claim to be a creative genius--but look over this blog. Most of the stuff he puts in there to me seems kind of blasé. I mean glueing two business cards together, folding them and turning them into a gift tag? Please! We all know there are much cooler things to do with business cards!


I will admit I do dig his electrical tape and grocery bag wrapping. My grandma packages all of her mailed packages that way. What he fails to mention is that you shouldn't pull the electrical tape too tight like Grandma does or else it will stretch and pop off at the most inopportune time! I was awakened one night when I was in college by the sound of electrical tape on a box of hers popping. What can I say? I was saving the box!

Maybe you guys are on to something. I mean if this guy, who can't even spell the word "professional", can get a book deal and schill books for $20.00 a pop, my ghetto-Martha Stewart shit might have a chance.

Ok, let me shut up already.

Final price breakdown:

Cat Poo Booga Bag Gift Bag: $0.00 (leftover from last year)
Custom Made Gift Box: $0.00 (rescued cardboard box + scrap scrapbook paper)
Wrapping Paper for Santa Gifts: $1.06 (includes tax)
Wrapping Paper for "From Mom & Dad" Gifts: $0.00
T.'s Present: $4.00

Total Remaining Of $250.00 Budget Goal: $203.74*

*This total was arrived at by using the final total of budget money left after Cheapass Christmas Week 3.

Woot! $203.74 cents left! Course I haven't bought (or mailed!) many presents yet either!


Blogger Kaitie Tee said...

My DH grew up pretty poor. As a kid, he and his brothers used to wrap presents with the classified ads - they would circle the gift they would have bought if they could afford it.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Still love that skirt! Tee Hee.

BTW Bezzie, did you know you can carve your own rubber stamps out of white erasers? The really smooth white ones. You can get packs of 'em cheap at the dollar store. Carve a holly leaf and stamp a cluster of them in green. Use a pencil eraser as the red berry stamp. VoilĂ !

(ps, verification word wbwtf. I'm digging the "wtf" part.)

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Birdie said...

I don't know what you're even talking about. I don't read this blog. *cough*
Good save on the gift bag topper. I like it ah-lot.
And did you know that pic. of you in that skirt is the very same one I have hanging on my wall? True story.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Yay for comics! That's about all my parent's used for us!! I really like just plain brown kraft paper..then like maybe I would decorate it with stamps..oops don't have any (thanks for the idea Elizabeth!) and use some recycled ribbon..

Awesome job on the gift bag cover doohicky!! Way to save the day! And that skirt...just no words ;)

haha! My word verification ijinx and hehe I do, often times myself! ;)

11:02 PM  
Blogger T. Budnik said...

Hmmm...You bought my gift over the summer? Could it be from Graceland?

Let's just say that I matched the amount you spent on me with my gift to you. Booyah!

Oh, and I will be crying myself to sleep.


PS. I'm really diggin' this series.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Love the bag topper!!! Actually loving it all. Great ideas and yes your Ghetto Martha Book would be a hit in my opinion.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the business card skirt. Have you worn it to work yet?

You are one of my very favorite cheap asses!

Hugs to you.

7:54 AM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

You really need to write a book yourself!! That skirt is awesome!

I always liked the idea of sewing gift bags from scraps of fabric that can be re-used.

10:22 AM  
Blogger The Fluffy Ewe said...

You are a Cheapass Rock Star, girl!! :) Carol does come up with some actual useable projects every once in a while. Great save with the bag topper. I'll have to steal that. :)

I've wrapped gifts in the funnies before, I thought it was cool. :) Why not? Its just paper you're gonna rip and toss anyway!

Nice skirt, so ghetto! Lol I would buy your Martha book over the real Martha any ol' day.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy! am I loving this series! I am glad that you kids hold no grudges of the Cheapass up bringing I gave you! And I still love that skirt!! You really should wear it! You can always iron the cards straight after you wear it. It is fun to see what you can come up with when you have no money but want to give something. Keep up the good and fun work! I am proud of you! Love, Mom

12:39 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

I looooove the skirt, you look so smart and creative in it!!!

9:22 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

It was that very skirt that led me to you a year ago. Ahh memories.

And I must correct you on your total. Unless your subscription to the paper is free...

Hey, I'm a nitpicker. I pick nits in my down time.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I love the business card skirt. Very nifty? does it wrinkle?? and if you are using newspaper to wrap presents, you can use the non coloured kind too. We actually use pages that have no pictures and it looks really cool....

9:33 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

That skirt is hilarious - you have way too much time on your hands.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Bufanditas said...

Project Runway beware! Ms. Bezzie is going to knock your socks off. The skirt looks fantastic.

4:16 PM  

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