How To Fake A More Expensive Christmas Gift

The key to faking a cheaper gift into feeling more expensive is 100% related to the packaging the gift is presented in. If done right, you can take a $3.00 batch of cookies and make it feel like so much more than that. People will immediately recognize the thought and effort put into the packaging details which is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. They won’t even notice that you only actually gave them a few homemade cookies.

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would share a few great packaging ideas to help with your Christmas budget. A little effort in this area and you’ll be able to save on the gift itself!

Gift Cards or Cash

Who doesn’t love receiving either of these? (Unless of course you’re friends with Miss LBee). Gift cards and cash are great gifts (one of my personal favorites) but most people like watching someone open their gift with anticipation and these particular things are sort of difficult to wrap in any special way. Here are a few cute gift card or cash gift-wrapping ideas:

Gift Card Snow Globe:How fun is that?! The instructions to make this can be found here.

Gift Card Stockings:These I have made and are super fun. These ones are from Mrs. Stewart.

Book of Money:I’ve never seen anything like this until today and I love it! Instructions found here.


Bottles of wine can make a great hostess gift or Christmas gift alike. Again, they’re sort of hard to jazz up. Most people stick it in one of those very distinguishable wine gift bags and away they go. Why not take an inexpensive bottle of red (or white) and dress it up a little? Get it? Dress it up?! I kill myself.

This idea was found here.

Got some old Christmas socks lying around? Use them to wrap your wine up! Ok, please buy new ones because that’d just be beyond cheap and disgusting.This fun idea comes from here.

Don’t like wine? How about some beer? or glass bottled pop (I’m from Canada, we don’t sell soda, sorry). This is a Valentine’s idea but could be adapted for any holiday.Or these super cute reindeer beer/pop bottles:


Food is probably one of the most economical gifts to give, pennies worth of ingredients and you can make large batches at once for not much more.

DIY S’mores kit (from here):

Use old Pringles containers to wrap cookies up:

You could also do something like this, using old paper CD sleeves and stickers to wrap homemade gingerbread men:

Other Snazzy Inexpensive Gift Wrapping Ideas

Christmas whisk, super cute, found here.

‘DIY’ Christmas soap wrapped up pretty, found here.

You could make a simple foot soak or bath salts, jazzing up the glass jar up.

It’s amazing what a little effort in the wrapping can do for the ‘value’ of a gift! Hope you were inspired to put a little more effort into the packaging in hopes of saving you some cash this holiday season.

Make sure you come back Wednesday, I’m having my very first Giveaway!! (hint…it might make the insanity of Christmas a little easier! or a lovely gift!)



  1. I love the reindeer bottles – what a great idea! Although I would feel like I was killing them every time I opened one 🙁

    I wish it was creative enough to think of cool ideas like that.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..6 Things You Should be Spending Money onMy Profile

  2. SOMEONE has been on pinterest 😉 Just kidding, these are cute, cute, cute. Great job Cat! And thanks for the link-up 🙂
    Lauren @ LBee and the Money Tree recently posted..100th Post Celebration-The Best of L Bee and the Money TreeMy Profile

    • I’m totally addicted. I’ve been using it since it’s first week live. I waited what seemed like FOREVER for an invite.

  3. Good ideas! My wife will regularly do things like this in gift giving. I think it does show the person getting the gift that time & effort has been put in to the gift and are generally much more appreciative.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Be an Advocate For Your Own Health CareMy Profile

  4. Fancy celophane wrapping and $1 store “crystal” trays do quite a good job of making a gift of holiday cookies seem pretty classy. I’ve had people go to great lengths to return the trays because they thought I spent so much on them (and were so eager to get the tray refilled the next year!).
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..Our First Ever Spending CleanseMy Profile

  5. These are some great ideas. Gifts don’ t have to cost a fortune it’s all about the wrapping and the look IMO, We bake cookies for our friends at Christmas and put them on platters, or in tins and jazz them up with bows, ribbon , you name it and they love it. A little work to show you care is all that it takes. Money is not everything when it comes to gifts.. Great post. Mr.CBB
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..Mr.CBB’s Cream Filled Homemade Twinkie Style CakesMy Profile

  6. Looks like you had a good time on pinterest!
    I once regifted a super-cute wine bottle gift bag thing at an exchange and it was by far the most sought after gift!
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted..Engagement Gift Ideas – Part IIIMy Profile

  7. Loved the beer Reindeer. We have a few gift exchanges and it seems alcohol is always the preferred gift. I think I may steal this idea! The sock and wine idea was pretty clever too, but considering I wear my sock until there are holes in the heels it probably won’t work for me!
    I’ve recently started giving gifts with the pricetag still on, ESPECIALLY if I got a great deal. I figure i need to be the change I want to see in the gift giving world, and it’s not about how much you spend.
    Mandy @MoneyMasterMom recently posted..It’s only a deal if you need it (Black Friday Tip #1)My Profile

  8. I love these ideas!
    Michelle recently posted..Spending, Life, Extra Income, Food Updates…My Profile

  9. These are all super cute! My fave has got to be the gift card snow globe, though. Sometimes we’ll take old gift cards that still have a small balance on them and increase their value by paying up and regifting. An easier way to save $5 on a giftcard than buying them on one of those discount websites.
    femmefrugality recently posted..How the NHL Lockout effects the Local EconomyMy Profile

  10. I love the decorated alcohol bottles!!! I think that liquor is a great Christmas gift anyway. Who wouldn’t want a big bottle of booze for Christmas!?!?! Great ideas.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..So You Want to Win the “Lawsuit Lottery”?My Profile

  11. OMG these are awesome ideas! I love it because I’m trying to make some more homemade gifts this year. I love the wine sock idea!
    Budget & the Beach recently posted..Falling in love again with your stuffMy Profile

  12. These are so neat! I like the book of money idea for teenagers. Pringle container cookies is a great idea too. Some people are so creative.
    Veronica @ Pelican on Money recently posted..Making Money From Home – Is It Possible?My Profile

  13. Thanks for sharing all of those wonderful ideas! The chocolate kisses in the whisk look so cute and I always love snow globes.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Do You Even Bother Creating New Year’s Resolutions?My Profile

  14. Oh, some of those are really adorable! I especially love the reindeer beer/pop bottles 🙂
    Jackie recently posted..Black Friday SaleMy Profile

  15. I love getting beautifully wrapped gifts so I can definitely agree with this post. I’ve dressed up wine bottles before and hidden gift cards inside a pretty package but never thought to create something like a snow globe!
    CF recently posted..Why I use a car shareMy Profile

  16. Very cute! I really like the sock idea. I made a really cute gift basket with cookies and some decorations from the dollar store one year for my neighbors. They loved it, and it was just some cookie dough mix.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..How Do You Prepare A Budget With Irregular Income?My Profile

  17. K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! says:

    These are some great ideas! I really liked the book of money along with wrapping up the old containers of Pringles!
    K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! recently posted..Financial Literacy Month – My Two CentsMy Profile

  18. How beautiful! I particularly like the reindeer beer and the gift card stockings. As a kid I used to get a stocking with little gifts, like chocolates or a necklace, all wrapped inside. Nothing expensive but made with love.
    Pauline recently posted..Preparing Financially for a BabyMy Profile

  19. Justin@thefrugalpath says:

    I’ve never thought of dressing up less expensive gifts. These are some great ideas because it’s like marketing for gifts. The gift card stocking are great. I guess Martha does come up with a good idea once in a while.
    Justin@thefrugalpath recently posted..Frugal Lifestyle: Why Bother?My Profile

  20. Great tips here… I love the little decorations on the liquor bottles, especially.. It shows the person who received the gift that you care about them enough to put in a little bit of extra time… Great idea.
    jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted..Should You Refinance Your Home Loan… Again?My Profile

  21. At first when I read the title I thought, “Look, it’s about the thought, nto about the price, why would I want to fake something expensive? Ruins the whole purpose.” But I see, you’re actually talking about taking your gift and putting more time into it to show you care and stuff. I”m down with that. The beer bottle reindeer things are coolio.
    TB at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..Blue Collar Holiday BonusesMy Profile

  22. Precious ideas, love the wine bottles with the teeny scarves and hats. The reindeer beer certainly wouldn’t last long around my family. Thanks for sharing these, bookmarking this for inspiration.
    Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy recently posted..A Lovely Family Portrait and a Canvas Print GiveawayMy Profile

  23. I love these ideas for ‘adding value’ to gifts!!! Like Glen, I love the reindeer plan. That says to the other person ‘Wow they must really like me having spent a fortune on these over-priced novelty versions’!! 🙂
    Savvy Scot recently posted..An Exciting Passive IncomeMy Profile

    • The beer one seems to be quite popular, I see people buying pipe cleaners and googly eyes in mass qualities now!

  24. The ideas are cute, crafty and cheap! It’s a triple threat!
    MakintheBacon$ recently posted..The 13th Month of the Year: “Christmasember”My Profile


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