Old Magazines and Newspapers
Yes this is the classic old standby, but consider new color combinations and maybe even make your bow from the same stuff. With all the gorgeous magazines we keep around we could certainly use a pages to help wrap a gift. Martha has an idea for newsprint too.
If you already have this in your kitchen drawer, use 2 sheets to sandwich some ribbon or leaves from the backyard , then iron the 2 sheets to fuse them together and use it as wrapping paper!
Brown Bagging It
Use the brown paper bag from the grocery store (from that time you forgot to bring in the canvas bags, which for us is way too often). Draw a picture (kids are great for this), write a note, try some fun stamping or just leave it blank, but cut it apart and use it as wrapping. (Top image of brown bagged gift is from bugs and fishes check it out for how to make yarn pom poms too.)
If you've saved some boxes from online purchases you can gussy them up and wrap a ribbon around it and you're done!
We hope we're not the only ones with a box full of crepe paper (we like decorating for parties) but sometimes we love wrapping present in layers of crepe paper. It's good for weird shaped gifts and has a fun crinkly texture that makes the gift more festive. You can actually make a lot of other things with it too. Bonus: it's pretty stretchy so sometimes it's difficult to tear off a gift and can be more frustrating than you'd think. Great for impatient recipients (or maybe we're just cruel). Image from storexbuy.
Reuse Old Wrapping Paper
Call us frugal, call us cheap, but we reuse wrapping paper. Growing up my family got very good at being very careful when opening gifts, because if the paper was nice enough you knew you'd see it on another gift the following year. It's a habit that's hard to break. And the same goes for nice ribbon too!