December 4, 2012

HOW TO: Make Personalized, Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper

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Every holiday season, the gifts that we spend so much time and money wrapping in fancy store bought wrapping paper get opened in record time and the paper is quickly tossed aside. This Christmas, save money and the earth by creatively wrapping presents in items you probably already have around your house. Doing so is a unique, personalized, eco-friendly way to present your offerings to loved ones. Here are some quick and easy ideas for making your own wrapping paper!

Materials you will need:

  • Brown paper bags- I know we all use reusable bags, so pick up a few brown bags the next time you go to the grocery store.
  • Small paper lunch bags
  • Shredded recycled paper
  • December issue magazines with beautiful holiday pictures!
  • Copies of family photos
  • Raffia, ribbon
  • Glue and scissors
  • Newspaper, butcher paper

1) Following the folds of your brown paper shopping bags, cut open the sides, and then cut out the bottom. Wrap your gift items in the brown paper, using it as the base layer before you start decorating it.

2) Once you have wrapped your gift in the brown paper, cut out your selected magazine pictures and glue them to your package. You can use colored paper underneath the magazine pictures as well, to make them 'pop.' You can even make a bow for your package (like the one I made above) using colored paper, newspaper, or old scraps of wrapping paper.

3) Give gifts an extra personal touch by using photographs. Make a copy of a cute photo of your kiddo, the trace his hands on construction paper, cut them out and glue them on a gift bag. Grandparents will especially love this!

4) Other sweet touches include cookie cutter or candy cane embellishments. Note the red filler in the gift bag on the left -- I simply ran red recycled paper through the shredder and used it as filler instead of buying tissue paper. You can do this with any scrap paper, or even newspaper.

  • Eco tip: Save all of the gift bags and wrapping paper you receive throughout the year, so you may pull from this collection and reuse these materials to wrap gifts you give out for every occasion.

  • Other clever gift wrap options: new dish towels (which the recipient may then use instead of paper towels, colorful comic pages from the Sunday paper, scarves or other scrap fabric.
Using household items to wrap gifts is a great lesson in green resourcefulness, reusing, recycling and upcycling! Kids will carry on this tradition with their own families and we can collectively stop piling gift wrap into landfills. You can make your own gift wrap for any holiday or occasion- simply pick a different theme and let your imagination run wild!


Julianna said...

I've saved all of my daughter's paper that she draws on at her easel and use it for wrapping gifts of all occasions.

melanie said...

Love this post. We are always looking for eco-friendly gift wrap ideas.