It's perhaps not always appropriate to give someone a gift wrapped in recycled materials. It can look a bit mean and thoughtless and can appear as if the recipient is worthless in your eyes. Some people would be offended.
However, if you do like to recycle and know people who are like minded you can enter into a pact with such friends, relatives, and work colleagues to always use recycled paper, ribbon, string, and bows when giving presents to each other. This could include pre-used gift wrap, newspapers, pages from magazines, and tags cut from old envelopes or cereal packets.
For free/cheap gift wrapping, save old red and green shirts or find them cheap at the thrift store or at yard sales throughout the year. Cut them up and use for wrapping gifts. Any buttons can be used to make cute package ties.
By vaylmer from Boston, MA
I suppose it would be tacky if you just cut them up any old way and threw a gift together. I meant use the fabric to make cloth wrapping for gifts. I have lots of old Christmas shirts people gave me that I don't like, and I also have cute I-don't-wear-them-anymore shirts that I don't want to throw out. Wrapping paper is just one more unnecessary thing filling our landfills at an unbelievable rate - A typical American generates 64 tons of waste during his/her lifetime. Wrapping paper is wasteful and is actually often made with high amounts of lead. Before you go buying brand new, unnecessary paper or fabric, try looking around your house to see if you can save something from the landfill. I often see nice quality shirts at yard sales for 25 cents. Guess where they go if no one buys them? That's right - landfills. So, this Christmas I'm going to try to NOT add to landfills by recycling and reusing. I'm going to use pinking shears or fringe fabric to remake old shirts into nice wrapping. And guess who uses old (or "vintage") fabric to wrap gifts? Martha Stewart.
I would love to see a picture, thanks for the post. :)
Looking for a fun, frugal, and green way to present gifts this holiday season? Save those pop-tab cans from fruits and veggies and you are sure to make everyone on your gift list smile.
By Teri M from Omaha, NE
I did this for my daughter & son-in-law 3 years ago, the 1st Christmas after their twin boys were born. They were buying formula in the big cans at Sams & would give me a can since I watched the babies while they worked.
So I emptied one from the bottom & filled it with tissue paper & all kinds of odds & ends like a gift card to the movies & another to their favorite place to eat, candy, etc. I sealed it & put a bow on top. When I gave it to them, I told them it was because I knew formula was so expensive to buy nowadays. My S/L was really puzzled when I told him he had to open it - the look on his face when he did was priceless!
I'm positive this was one of my first tips on this site, but it's not showing up. It's a fun prank to pull!
Pretty gift wrap is very expensive. When I receive gifts, I carefully unwrap my present, fold the gift wrap it came in and put it away for later. Then I put my iron on DRY and COTTON setting.
If you have clear 2 litre plastic soda pop bottles, you can use them to hold a gift. Just cut an "H" on the side of the bottle, peel open the plastic, insert gift, be it a wrapped gift with ribbon, a teddy bear or doll, or a fresh baked treat.
When my UPS packages arrive, they have brown paper in large sheets for stuffing. I iron them and use colored ink and stamps to decorate the paper for wrapping paper.
Wrappings don't have to be wasteful. I love gift bags! It's become so much easier to wrap things and to put together the collections of little gifts I usually give. What's more they can be recycled almost indefinitely if you are careful with them.
Save gift wrap; put it through your shredder. Place the shredded gift wrap in two separate bags: one for general gifts and one for Christmas time. These bags can hang on hooks most anywhere until needed for packing, separating items or whatever.
Seeing as chip bags pile up fairly quickly, I decided several years ago to put them to good use and save money at the same time. I wash them good, let dry, cut off the top edge, and turn them inside out.
Recycled Christmas Gift Bag
Gift wrap can get expensive, plus it tears easily if you are wrapping an odd shaped, or sharp cornered gift. I used cloth remnants from sewing projects instead of wrapping paper and found they were oohed and aahed over as much as the gift was.
More Christmas wrapping ideas. Small gifts like gift cards, small toys, jewelry items, etc. fit inside toilet paper rolls nicely, and then you just wrap overtop of that, twist the ends of the wrapping paper, and you have a cute little "Christmas cracker."
Don't buy new Christmas wrapping paper if at all possible. There are lots of things you can use instead; try to recycle and reuse instead.
I like to give little presents at holidays like Easter to my neighbors and their children - and although they looked great, all the wrapping were recycled! The violet ribbon was saved from a gift, the yellow stripped cellophane around a bunny came from a bouquet, and the gift bags and tissue and the bows all had been around before. So be careful in unwrapping your gifts - you can use the ribbon/bows, even the paper again for someone else. It's ecological and thrifty, too. (And fabric ribbon, even the thin rayon kind can be ironed to make it look nice and fresh, too, My great aunt taught me that.)
By Pam from L.A.