Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gift Wrap, Be Gone!

My family has been working on getting greener and greener, starting with setting up a recycling center in our kitchen a few years ago.

One green goal I have for this year: I'm trying to avoid buying any wrapping paper this holiday season. I do have a couple rolls I bought on sale after Christmas last year, so I'm saving that for some of the gifts for Spark under the tree and for a couple of the kids he'll exchange gifts with.

So far, what has worked for me? Using old maps! Crazy but true. I saw this idea in a magazine while waiting at the doctor's office the other day, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE some maps, so I decided to try it. The results are amazingly chic!

Here are some other alternatives I'm coming up with wrapping up gifts:
  • pillowcases (These work great with oddly shaped items, like plush animals. Just put the gift inside and tie it up with string.)
  • reusable bags and containers (So nice to get a gift wrapped inside a gift!)
  • newspapers, posters, anything that you might be about to toss in the paper recycling bin (I've even seen gifts wrapped in user manuals.)
  • patchwork wrap-up (Do you have a lot of scraps of this and that wrapping papers? If so, create a patchwork wrap-up out of them. The result can be very shabby chic if your patterns are just right. If you sew, you can do the same with fabric scraps. Hem the edges and you have a cool gift in itself.)
  • buy gifts that come in cute (and hopefully reusable and/or recyclable) containers so that you don't have to wrap them at all.
  • decorate plain boxes you have stacked in your garage. Instead of wrapping them, let your kids paint handprints on the boxes or stamp them with cute images.
Get even greener by
  • tying things up with ribbon or yarn (If you're like me, you have a drawer of ribbon and yarn just waiting to be used. This option uses no potentially toxic adhesive.)
  • using recycled products to create to/from labels, writing your to/from message directly on the package or gift, or
Fun (and useful) embellishments (instead of throwaway bows):
  • cookie cutters
  • bandanas
  • whistles (Spark got a gift at his birthday party and the wrapping was done in the shape of a old fashioned piece of candy, with the sides twisted. The package was tied up on those ends with the strings of two whistles. )
  • real hairbows on packages for girls
  • something that matches the gift (Think fishing lure on a fisherman's gift, pens to go with a journal, a spool of thread on a sewer's gift...)
Some other tips:
  • wrap fragile items in fabric scraps or napkins/hand towels instead of tissue paper
  • start a wrap box where you drop items that you think might come in handy for wrapping later on
**This post is first in a series of Green Wednesday Tips. I decided to add it to Shannon's Works for me Wednesday link list. Check out all the other WFMW links on RocksInMyDryer's Works for Me Wednesday post.


Linda said...

Cool ideas. Happy Thanksgiving.

Life with Kaishon said...

These were really great ideas! I thought I was doing good by buying wrapping paper made from recycled paper but these ideas are WAY smarter than that! Happy Thanksgiving.

Mommy Bee said...

I use fabric gift bags (I posted about them here ) I love your other ideas though. I'm posting about frugal gift wrapping options soon, and I'll be linking to you here. :)

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