Every year I cringe as I straighten the living room on Christmas morning. With every crumbled wad of wrapping paper my mind tallies the dollars and cents that those rolls cost a few weeks earlier. The idea is impractical - purchasing paper only to throw it away. Recycled paper is a nice eco-friendly alternative, but why buy something I already have? This year, I'm going to personalize my wrapping and save some paper, the kind with Christmas trees and the kind with presidents.
Every day I receive a pack of wrapping paper delivered to my door. It's my newspaper. This type of wrapping paper not only has a charm to it, but it replenishes itself daily. To make newspaper wrapping look stylish rather than cheap, try to cater it to the receiver, then add a flamboyant bow which coordinates nicely. (Bows can be tied easily in a variety of methods, and they're all recyclable as well.)
Theme your paper choices. A fun lover or child can receive presents wrapped in comics and a card with a coordinating comic character. Sports fans will have their presents wrapped in the sports section with a black and white checkered bow or maybe a small soccer ball tie-on. Look over the sections of the newspaper and match them to the recipients. Raffia bows look vintage with the black and white print, and red gross-grain ribbons add style.
Sometimes less is more. Plain brown paper and a raffia ribbon gives a gift a country feel, and it stands out as well. Cookie cutters or even sprigs of pine can be tied to the ribbon to add interest. Brown paper can be purchased in large rolls in the packaging section of office supply stores or even in craft sections.
A slightly different twist is to purchase white paper rather than brown. This can be found on large rolls as well. The ribbons are the main attractions to these packages, but you can adorn the paper with stamps, stickers, or even drawings that appeal to the recipient.
This requires planning, but utilize part of the gift as the wrapping. If you're giving towels, use one of the towels to "wrap" the gift. Instead of tape, pins are now used. Gifts that include tablecloths, linen napkins, or table runners can benefit from this treatment. I've used a warm fleece blanket to wrap a bathrobe - two gifts in one.
However you wrap it, remember the golden rule of gift wrapping. It truly is the thought that counts, not the gift or its wrapper.
I use brown GROCERY bags. I have for several years now. I pick a Christmasey Picture - last year was the Little Town of Bethlehem from my Printmaster program. I print the picture on a 8 1/2 X 11 poster page and then glue stick it on the area that has the name of the grocery store on it. That way the bags can can be recycled and costs very little. Make my own To: From: tags as well with labels program. Certainly has saved me a quite a few bucks over the years. I think I am the only one in my family that does this but they still get their gifts. I enjoy being creative and also use this idea for other seasons of the years, birthdays, Thanksgiving just any day that might be celebrated using the appropriate pictures. I also reuse gift bags that I received for giving. Eloise Gulick, Franklinville NYS
use the sunday comics
we use the tins that we get from fruitcake, popcorn or even just buy a few at garage sales. only drawback is having a place to store them thru the year
This year we are using brown grocery sacks, too. I slit the bag open so it is flat, cut off the bottom, and let my children paint, stamp, or draw on the side that doesn't have the store logo. This keeps the kids busy and helps recycle. I now look at any big piece of paper that comes into the house as potential wrapping and recycling.
At home this year I am using my stacks of fabric, the wads on Christmas morning just get a quick fold and back to the sewing pile they go. I can't bear the thought of throwing money down the drain on paper or paper into land fills.
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