Did you ever feel guilty about your carbon footprint when you open all those gaily wrapped gift packages or your online order packaging?
My solution? Reuse, repurpose to get through the mountains of ribbon, stuffing, wrapping and cardboard.
Before opening all those gaily wrapped packages, here are a few pointers
- Set a box aside to collect the reusable ribbons, bows, and other package decorations.
- Most gifts boxes can be flattened and reused throughout the year for other items.
- Recycle boxes that can’t be reused.
- With all the excitement, people usually tear through the gift wrap, so set aside a large box or bag to collect the torn gift wrap. If there are large uncrumpled pieces of wrap, consider using those pieces for wrapping future gifts.
CAUTION: Before taking the bag of used gift wrap out to the trash can, check to make sure toy or game parts have not been accidentally dropped in the bag.
Salvaging Gift Wrap
Used gift wrap isn’t always the pristine, beautiful paper that it was when it was on the present. It gets torn and wrinkled, so you’ll need to do a little salvaging to make it look nice again. Here’s how to revived wrinkly wrapping paper:
1. Set your iron on low and lay a piece of fabric over your paper on the ironing board.
2. Iron just like you would a wrinkly garment, but be a bit more gentle to avoid tearing the paper more. Gently work those creases out of the paper.
Now that your wrapping paper is all ready to use, let’s get to the list of ways to reuse it!
Did you know that if we all wrap 3 gifts each year in reused paper, we’d save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. If you plan to give gifts for holidays, etc. consider using items from around your home to use as wrapping instead of buying more wrapping paper.
1. Origami – Cut your left over gift wrap into squares. It makes beautiful origami paper!
2. Make bunting – Bunting is any festive strand that you’d use to adorn walls for a party or just for fun. To make gift wrap into bunting, you can follow this tutorial and use reclaimed gift wrap in place of vintage paper.
3. DIY Gift Bow – Turn that paper in to pretty gift bows for the next gift. Instructables here
4. Paper beads – Paper bead tutorials usually call for using magazine pages, but reclaimed gift wrap will work just as well.
5. Homemade envelopes – If you have big enough pieces of gift wrap left, fold them up into homemade envelopes! To put the address on, you can either glue light-colored scrap paper or use adhesive labels.
6. Create tin can organizers – Cover an empty, clean in can in reclaimed gift wrap to make a simple organizer for craft supplies or for your desk. Just use a hot glue gun to attach the paper to the can, wrap it around, and use a glue stick to stick the paper to itself to finish it off.
Here are a 10 more ideas…
- Laminate it and make a bookmark.
- Shred it and use as gift bag stuffing.
- Line the back of bookshelves, drawers or cupboards.
- Wrap the cover of a note-book to turn it from ordinary to extraordinary.
- Use ripped scraps for decoupage projects.
- Create gift labels by adding card to the back of the wrapping paper.
- Grab your scissors or decorative punches and use that gift wrap to make a fun collage!
- Cover shoe boxes and use as stylish storage.
- Cut into strips and make paper chains.
- Wrap more presents – duh!
Can you think of any other ways to reuse your wrapping paper? Let me know in the comments below…