Projects & Improvements

The $4 Trader Joe’s Find That Makes Your Gifts Look Extra Fancy

updated Dec 11, 2019
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There are plenty beautiful, fancy-looking wrapping papers out there—but you don’t have to break the bank to give friends and family a gorgeous gift that looks professionally packaged. For an impressive (but secretly super cheap) solution, look no further than your grocery go-to: Trader Joe’s!

The floral section at the front of the store is a treasure trove of budget finds, but if you’re looking to upgrade your packages, two picks stand out: eucalyptus, available in a few varieties, and holiday greenery. Here’s how to put both of them to work.

Choose your greenery

Evergreen bundles are just $3.99 each; eucalyptus is even cheaper, at just $2.99 per bundle. You can get a lot of packages out of just one bundle, but if you’re looking for variety, grab one of each. From left to right above: Fir branches have a classic Christmas tree look; baby blue eucalyptus has big, bold leaves; cedar branches have softer, wider needles; and seeded eucalyptus has a floral feel.

Note: Eucalyptus is toxic to dogs and cats and while evergreen branches are generally safe, they can be harmful to pets if ingested. Be mindful of where the gift will be stored.

Gather your supplies

You’ll need sharp scissors, plus twine, tape, paper, and gift tags. We used plain brown wrapping paper for these gifts, but you can use plain white paper, too. If you’re looking for a truly green gift, you can also wrap your gifts in your Trader Joe’s bag, with the plain side facing outward.

We used two colors of twine and tags here for variety, but you can do your entire batch in the same color.

Wrap your gift, then top with a sprig or two

Once you’ve wrapped your gifts in paper, tie twine around the outside so that you get a classic criss-cross on front. Before tying in a bow, tuck a couple pieces of evergreen branches underneath.

Tie a tag on

Thread a tag onto your twine, then tie a bow to secure it. Cut off the excess twine.

Repeat with eucalyptus

Instead of evergreen branches, tuck in a single piece of either seeded or baby blue eucalyptus.

Both evergreen and eucalyptus will look good for a day or two out of water, but it’s still best to do this the same day you’ll be giving the gift. In houses with animals, make sure not to leave these gifts unattended under the tree.