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Transformation Tuesday: Trash Turned Giftwrap

12/13/2011 4:32:00 PM

Tags: alternative giftwrap, green giftwrap, eco-friendly giftwrap, gift wrap, wrapping presents, diy giftwrap, how to wrap gifts sustainably, sustainable giftwrap, reuse giftwrap, wrap presents in trash, Jessica Kellner

The holidays are almost here! Start saving your giftwrap-able trash now! Conventional giftwrap is a waste of resources and money that ends up as a big pile of torn-up trash on Christmas morning. Save money (the giftwrap industry makes $2.6 BILLION annually — what better things could we do with that money?) along with trees and transportation resources by reusing household materials to wrap gifts. We've featured many fun alternative giftwrap options in Natural Home & Garden over the years, and many other creative people share their ideas online, too! Start by saving now: old newsprint, brown paper bags, sheet music, brightly colored shopping bags, ribbon, packing materials and more make great materials to choose from when you start wrapping. And take a look at some of the inspirational ideas below.

Here are some of my favorite tips and ideas:

When using utilitarian paper, ball it up, then unroll it. Crumple it repeatedly until it crushes easily into a small ball, creating a handmade texture that resembles crushed silk. From Natural Home & Garden.

Corinna Vangerwen 
Use nature to decorate! I love using pretty bits of nature to decorate indoors. Why not let wintry boughs decorate your gifts, as well? From Corinna Vangerwen.

Rather than plastic bows, use craft supplies such as twine and raffia or reusable items such as mismatched costume jewelry, stray Scrabble letters or extra buttons to decorate gifts. From Natural Home & Garden.

atlas shrugs 
Reuse pages of an outdated atlas or yellow pages for a gift with worldly style. From Marinana's photostream on Flickr.

shirt giftwrap 
Cut up an old shirt and wrap gifts in its parts. Blogger Make and Do Girl wrapped a cowl-neck scarf in this men's shirt sleeve. Adorable! From

pinking shears 
Use pinking shears to create colorful adornments out of just about any paper you have lying around the house: junk mail, packaging, magazines and more! From Natural Home & Garden.

paint deck 
Still have old paint swatches around the house from your most recent remodeling project? Use those complementary colors as the perfect palette for giftwrap or adornment! From Attention2Detail blog.

Make the name card the adornment! Here, old sheet music and maps are cut out into large graphic gift tags. From Attention2Detail blog.

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Post a comment below.


Sandy Davis
12/16/2011 8:04:58 PM
How very clever. I really liked using the old maps and paint color charts.

Deborah Abele
12/15/2011 12:45:16 AM
Great ideas, to which I'd like to add another. Furoshiki, or wrapping cloths, are easy, flex to wrap odd-shaped packages, can be bought or made or found, and used over and over again. Lots of instructions and inspiring images are available, including on our website, We use designer remnants, vintage sari silk, organic cotton, hemp/silk charmeuse, and lots of other interesting fabrics. Please come have a look!

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