Just so you know, we paint more than wood around here. We also paint brown paper, or as I like to call it, DIY wrapping paper.
I've always been a fan of using newspaper to wrap gifts, particularly the Comics, but I think DIY wrapping paper can come in handy when the occasion calls for something a bit more special.
All you need is some brown paper and something with which to decorate it. You can find large rolls of inexpensive postal paper, also known as packaging paper or Kraft paper, at your local drugstore or office supply store. Or you can just use old paper bags from the grocery store; just cut them open and decorate the unmarked side. And if your kids want to get in on the action, just pull out a bucket of crayons or markers and let them personalize the paper. Or if you're feeling particularly inspired, pull out your colored pencils, stamps, stencils, or paints and create something interesting, like this:
Et Voila. Not only have you saved money by not having to run out and buy fancy wrapping paper, but also, you've created a personalized, heartfelt gift.
If making your own wrapping paper is just too much for you, then consider making your own gift tags. Think old photographs, cut up paperboard (cereal boxes, beer cases, etc.), or my personal favorite, scratch off lottery tickets. One time I actually received a special gift in an orange powder Gatorade container. I'll always remember that one.
I agree with Maria: these are a few of my favorite things. What are your favorite gift wrapping ideas?