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Gift wrapping hacks for the holidays

We've got ideas to use what you have on hand to make your gifts look their best.

TAMPA, Fla. — You've bought your presents and now you're ready to wrap them up. Maybe your pockets are a little bare after all your shopping, so let's not spend more money just on wrapping paper and gift bags that get thrown away.

We've got some ideas to use what you have to make your gifts look good!

First, when it comes to wrapping paper, look around your recycle bin. You could use newspaper, paper grocery bags, re-use boxes from your online purchases and even the packing paper tucked inside the boxes. 

If you use any of these items to wrap, you're giving them one more use before getting tossed.

Gift topper

You can also make a gift topper out of leftover paper scraps or cardstock. You'll need a long strip of paper — twice as long as the size of the bow you want. 

Fold it in half, hamburger style, to the strip of paper is half its length. Cut out the shape of a bow tie, not cutting the folded end. You'll then cut notches into the bow and slide the ends together before cutting another little strip of paper for the center part of the bow. 

Odd-shaped gifts

When it comes to those odd-shaped gifts that aren't quite as easy to wrap, consider making your own gift bag instead of buying one. 

Use a sheet of paper, at least twice the width of the item you're trying to wrap. The video attached above includes a visual demo of how to do that.

Easy-open gift wrapping

If you have young kids or people who have a tougher time opening gifts, you can make it easier for them to open by adding in a pull tab. Use a piece of string or ribbon inside the wrapping paper and then wrap it as normal. Just pull the loose end of the ribbon or string to tear open the paper.

Not enough paper?

If you have a piece of paper that's not quite big enough for your gift the traditional way, try turning your present diagonally on the paper and wrapping it on a bias.

All of these hacks are demonstrated in the video at the top of this page.