I realize that posting this three days before Christmas may not be helpful to anyone, but hopefully you can use this idea for other non-holiday wrapping projects and next year as well!
As I was getting ready to wrap a few presents for Christmas this year, I realized I had paper left over still from years past and decided that, instead of going out and buying new rolls of paper that I probably wouldn't use up completely (thus adding even more to my holiday stash), I was going to use up what I already had and then buy new paper next year.
I decided to go with a rustic sort of look because the paper I had had an old-fashioned feel to it. Instead of using the traditional ribbons and bows, I bought a spool of jute from Joanns and used that as my "ribbon." You could also use twine, which I have seen at hardware stores for $8 or so a spool. The jute (I think that's what the store girl called it) is in the jewelery-making section of Joanns and cost me about $1.70 for the entire spool. The girl who led me to it said that it's cheaper because it is "less refined," which was fine with me because that's the look I was going for anyway!
For gift tags I used (free) paint chips in holiday colors that I picked up on a trip to the hardware store. I have been meaning to write about paint chips for awhile - I love them! I use them on gift tags year-round. They are great because they add a splash of color and fun and, sometimes the color's name somehow relates back to the recipient or to the gift itself. For instance, if I'm giving a gift to someone who I know loves to bake, I might write "happy birthday!" on a paint chip in the color "Wooden Spoon." I think it's a really cute way to add some color and it's unexpected too. I also use paint chips as book marks or I'll have a stack of them and use them to jot quick notes to myself. They are great because I love color, but won't necessarily use a bright orange in my house somewhere, so I still get to enjoy it on a much smaller scale without the commitment of actually painting something in my house that color.
Below is a picture of the finished product. I was pleased with the overall effect and the $1.70 price tag! I look forward to using the jute throughout the year on other packages as well, or perhaps recycling it for next Christmas as well!
Hope your family has a great holiday!