Homemade Recycled Wrapping Paper and Gift Tags

You can give your holiday gifts a personal touch by making recycled wrapping paper and gift tags from recycled and repurposed materials.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
December 2008/January 2009
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Make these homemade recycled wrapping paper and gift tags. Kids love participating in holiday plans; let them create wraps for the gifts they give.
Photo by IStockphoto/Bronwyn

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This year create custom designed recycled wrapping paper and gift tags.

Homemade Recycled Wrapping Paper and Gift Tags

This may be the year that you finally keep that promise you made to yourself to spend less on gift cards, ribbon and wrapping paper during the holiday season. Here are ideas that will help you reuse, recycle and reinvent, plus add a creative, personal touch to the gifts you give.

Gift Wraps and Bags

•use the color comics section from Sunday newspapers
•reuse shopping bags from high-end stores, especially cosmetic bags
•wrap kitchen gadgets or food in cotton dish towels
•use bandanas or leftover fabric scraps
•wrap with a scarf or shawl; tie it with a ribbon
•package gifts in reusable tote bags or baskets

It’s even better if you can make the wrapping fit the occasion or the person. For example, pages from seed catalogs make great wrappings on gifts for gardeners.

WrapSacks are a new and innovative way to reuse a gift bag and have the fun of knowing where the bag has traveled in its lifetime. It’s meant to be used again by the person who receives it, and you can track where the bags have been.

Gift Cards and Tags

•craft your own with markers, rubber stamps, or clippings from magazines, postcards and calendars
•use personalized business cards folded in half
•you can use squares of left-over wrapping paper as a gift “tag” or write directly on the wrapping paper with brightly colored markers
•transform last year’s holiday cards into gift tags

Ribbons and Ties

•plain wrappings will stand out if you add pretty ribbons
•plain use yarn, twine or rafia for a crafty look
•recycle ribbon from year to year, or pick up new ribbon when you see it on sale or at thrift stores

Post a comment below.


12/19/2008 10:40:19 AM
I use paper shopping bags from grocery stores (whenever I forget my canvas bags - shamefully often) and save them all year. At the end of November, I unfold them out carefully, cutting off any rough edges, and on the blank sides (usually the insides as most stores stamp their logo across each bag) I spatter red, green, and/or white paint with an old toothbrush for a holiday motif, or make stamps out of potatoes like stars, trees, or hearts and decorate the brown paper that way. It sure beats wrapping paper that is fragile and rips when you're carting your wrapped gift around, as the brown paper wrapping is much more durable. I tie it up with random string or ribbon that I've got laying around the house. Big, colorful rubber bands work, too.

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