A couple of weeks ago, the Times Observer, a small-town newspaper in Pennsylvania, went viral when it published, essentially, a page of wrapping paper.

The page could be found on A-10 and it featured Christmas kittens doing Christmas kitten things, like adorably sleeping in a Santa hat. Someone on Reddit spotted the page, posted a photo and, boom, the Times Observer won the internet for a couple of days.

Which got us thinking.

There are so many creative ways to wrap presents this holiday season! We don’t have to stick with rolls of dollar store paper (our go-to) or dollar store gift bags (our second go-to) or just thrust the naked gift into our friend’s hands and run away before they figure out what the heck is going on (our third go-to).

There are millions of options, from newspaper comics to fabric remnants, most of them environmentally friendly and/or reusable and/or cool gifts in their own right. Millions!

OK, at least 11 options.


• Christmas character fleece, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, $15.99 to $16.99 per yard (plus 60% off)

Think Mickey Mouse Santa, the Grinch, Jack Skellington from “The Nighmare Before Christmas” and . . . the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story”?  All of those and more! Use several yards to wrap a big gift and your loved one will basically get a bonus blanket. Huzzah!

Also, don’t forget to check for coupons on Jo-Ann’s website before you go. Earlier this week, the site sported 14 of them, including 40% off any regularly priced item and 30% off Christmas cotton fabrics. Well worth a slight digital detour.

Simplicity Vintage tea towel, $3.96 at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft.

• Simplicity Vintage tea towels, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, $3.96

On-clearance tea towels featuring drawings of 1940s women and irreverent sayings like “Make yourself at home! Clean my kitchen.” Perfect for wrapping up that gift card you got Mom. Or will get. Soon. Because there are just 19 days left until Christmas.

• Sacks-N-Things treat bags, 10-pack, Hobby Lobby, $4.99


Make that homemade fudge look official with these little treat bags that have cellophane windows and a fold-down edge to seal in freshness. Or to seal in well-she-tried. Either way.

• Creations of Grace pettiskirt, Hobby Lobby $15.99

Swishy hot pink skirt with ruffles, tulle and white polka dots. Great for any child’s dress-up box, and the elastic waistband means it can grow with your toddler through elementary school. Use it to wrap up some Hot Wheels cars, a magic fairy wand or a small stuffed animal for two gifts in one! And for less trash that the dog will eat come Christmas morning. Good for everyone.

• Cube bin, Hobby Lobby, $7.49

This collapsible covered bin is beige and features a kid-friendly felt lion, monkey or elephant on the front. Guaranteed to solicit awws from everyone who sees it. Use in lieu of a gift bag for maximum aww and you-shouldn’t-have and omg-you’re-my-new-favorite-in-law.

• Quilting fabric, Fabric Warehouse, $3.98/yard


On Washington Street in Auburn sits a squat, unassuming building filled with amazing, whimsical fabrics. How filled? Well, an entire back wall is covered just with bolts of 100% cotton quilting fabric. Or as we like to call it now: the world’s best wrapping paper. Want red with subtle snowflakes? They have it! Something with fish? They have it! With “Downton Abbey”? They have it! Amoebas? They have that too! It’s wrapping with personality.

• Doodles fabric, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, $5.99/yard

The Award for Most Awesome Pattern came down to a tie between a seafoam green with tiny silver mermaids and striped with cat faces. Basically, follow your heart.

• Netting or tulle, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, $4 for three yards

Due to the shapes and sizes of some gifts, all the wrapping paper in the world can’t disguise that you’ve just gotten Mary a vacuum or Danny a broom. So just wrap them unabashedly in see-through tulle and top with a bow. Also expect some blowback when Danny sees that vacuum.

• Star Wars Rogue One cotton storm trooper print, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, price unknown (plus 70% off)


It’s Star Wars! It’s a sale of unspecified greatness! And after you’ve used this amazing fabric to wrap Brad’s toaster, take it back and make yourself a pillow.

• Plain canvas bags, Hobby Lobby, 99 cents to $3.49

Some small and zippered, some totes with handles, all art-able. Create your own masterpiece on the outside or encourage your giftee to go wild. Bonus points if their actual gift is a vintage BeDazzler.

Best find: Hat boxes, Hobby Lobby, $6.99 and up (plus 50% off)

Open. Stuff in scarf/sheets/trail camera/pearls/mace. Walk away. It doesn’t get much easier.

Think twice: Upholstery fabric remnant, Fabric Warehouse, $7.98

Large swath of tan fabric. It’s soft but thick and stiff, which is perfect for wrapping a worn cushion, but maybe not so great for wrapping Great Aunt Lia’s gift box of chocolates. Stick with something a little easier, a little more holiday festive.

Something like, ahem, the Sun Journal! After you’ve wrung every bit of reading and joy from its pages, it makes a delightful gift wrap. We recommend folding it so Mark LaFlamme is on the front.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who find gold wrapping paper tastes best) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at baglady@sunjournal.com and shoppingsiren@sunjournal.com.

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