Thrifty gifty

Recently I went thrift store shopping and happened across a couple of big rolls of solid blue wallpaper. It was boring as wallpaper, but I decided it would probably make excellent thick, rich-feeling gift wrap. I snagged both rolls for the princely sum of $2. On a hunch, I scanned the next two thrift stores I visited for discarded wallpaper. At one thrift store I found a good-sized roll of brown craft paper with gold stars for 99 cents.  At another, I found two huge rolls of grey and silver foil wallpaper for $3 total.

The elegant foil is cloth-backed and feels way nicer even than Current gift wrap.  It will be great for weddings, baby showers or girls’ birthdays. Altogether I paid $6 for five big rolls of paper that will most likely last me years. I was pleased with my find. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve found at a thrift store?

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  1. a northface hiking back pack. used maybe once? retail-close to $200. i bought it for $2.49!!!! i think that is my best find!! oh and a few months back i found $7000 in a pocket at goodwill, but that doesn’t count…… 🙂

  2. Shelley – you found $7000 in a pocket?! Oh my goodness! What an amazing find! Somebody just made $40 off of my foolishness last night, as I drove away from the ATM without taking my cash. 😉

    Mary – I cannot wrap my head around your mind! Crafty, thrifty, cook-y… I would have walked right past that wallpaper and thought, “Huh, wallpaper is totally out. Like anyone will ever buy that.” Good eye! And beautiful wrap job.

  3. totally snagging that Idea Mary

    I found a black iron, over the stove pots & pans hanger thingy I had been pining for… they were $50- $100 online and I got mine for $2.00. I still look at it everyday and think what a deal that was. At a garage sale I snagged a vintage little people set for $1 that I turned around and sold on ebay for $60

  4. For a long time, my sisters and I made a pact to not spend more than $5 on a gift for each other. Being able to crochet helped a whole bunch with staying within that budget. Yarn is so much cheaper than finished item.
    One sister collects a certain pattern of china. I spotted a serving platter at a yard sale for $3. I actually asked the hostess to write out a receipt saying I paid only $3, then sent it along inside the mailing box. That story still comes up every so often at family gatherings.

  5. What a find! Seriously, I love how these look together. I found you while doing research for my blog about gift wrapping (, and your post is the second I’ve read in the past week about using wallpaper for gift wrap. It’s a great idea. Being fairly frugal myself, I’m curious to see what the local thrift shop has in store the next time we swing through.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. That is a fabulous idea!! I hadn’t thought of looking for old wallpaper for wrapping paper. My wife likes using the butcher paper for simplicity and price, but this would be a great way to mix things up. Thanks!!

  7. I did this years ago from an odd-and-ends kind of sale. Some warehouse had a sale of floor tiles, wallpaper, discontinued paint, etc. My bedroom still has the wallpaper border on it, my kitchen has the ceramic tiles, and a number of gifts were wrapped in the big wallpaper rolls. I haven’t seen one of those again since, and I’ve often thought how I’d like to get more again. It didn’t occur to me to look in thrift stores. Great idea.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Pretty cool, no recent finds at a thrift store…but another “thrify” idea for “different” gift wrap. As long as it’s not stained, and the gift is small in size I’ve also heard of cutting up your old cottom tee shirts for wrapping

  9. Hi
    Another thing I do is if I have been given a pretty paper bag with my perchase I will carfuly open them out and iron them flat and keep fro wrapping small items. I always save back any ribbon/string or twine that is used and embelish the gift wrap with that. Another good thing is saving back the paper sacks/shopping bags some stores use and use that to wrap a package if I am sending anything through the post.

  10. This is a great idea…even my husband thinks so, since I always make us go around to all the stores at Christmastime to buy the thickest wrapping paper we can find.

  11. Tea towels. Sometimes you can find pretty ones that are new with tags on them at the thrift store. They look really pretty with ribbon! Love the wallpaper idea!

  12. Shannon says:

    Considering the average person spends $5-6 to wrap one gift that is a totally awesome and frugal use of $6. I’ll be on the lookout! Resale shops are surprisingly pricy in my area, but I haven’t given up totally.

  13. Stephanie says:

    Wow! Great idea! Recently I found a new in box pair of Born shoes (very comfy and pricey) in my size for $2 (retail $150) I also got a new wardrobe for me (shopping with birthday money) for $50 (9 new skirts, 12 shirts 3 dresses) and got a whole bolt (20 yds) of pink Mainsail fabric for $5, not to mention clothes and shoes for my little ones and 6 shirts for my husband all in the last month! God blessed us great and right when we needed it!

  14. My grandmother always used wall paper to wrap our birthday and Christmas presents. We always knew which one was from her before we ever opened it! It became her trademark and something that I fondly remember all these (many) years later.

    Glad to see others have embraced her sense of style and frugalness. Just a side note, she had stacks and stacks of wallpaper sample books, if you ever have the opportunity to get some of those they work well for smaller packages.

  15. At my baby shower for my 6 yr old son, my step mom used a hooded baby towel that she had bought at a thrift store for 49 cents to wrap up the other presents that she had bought for him. She pinned it with diaper pins that she had picked up for a quarter at another garage sale….I love using the comics to wrap presents in…….My kids always laugh at it and they spend hours trying to read them instead of opening the presents……..

  16. I love using the ends of the newspaper reels. You can find them by asking your local newspaper for the end reels. I teach preschool and use it for big drawings and paintings. I also have had the kids wrap their gifts with our help with the paper after stamping or painting it. We add a ribbon and it is as unique as the gift itself.