Green Manolo » Wrapping Presents the Eco-Friendly Way

Wrapping Presents the Eco-Friendly Way

By Christa

Still haven’t wrapped those last minute Christmas gifts? Yeah. me neither. But I’m not running out to the drug store this year for wrapping paper that has a good chance of not being at all recyclable. I’m not even going to check for recycled gift wrap, even though the plain brown stuff is a favorite of mine because it looks so rustic tied with twine. Nope, this year I’m trying to go even greener, with green wrapping paper that doesn’t require me to go out and buy something new. What will my loved ones find under their trees? How about:

Shopping Bag Wrapping Paper
It sounds dull until you go on to step two, which involves cutting down an old cork – or, heck, a potato – to make a pretty stamp and then creating signature designs on all your gifts. You can also use store-bought stamps like these if you happen to have them already. Just choose plain paper bags, not paper bags covered in logos. Unless, I suppose, you really love the logo.

Cloth Gift Wrap
In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called furoshiki, and it’s a wonderful way to curb paper wastage around the holidays. Gifts can be wrapped in scarves, bandannas, or towels that then become part of the gift, or you can use fabric scraps from other projects if you’re a crafter. Bonus: If your gift recipient is another crafter, they can use the fabric! Some people will secure cloth wrapped parcels with buttons or safety pins, but you can also tie a knot in your fabric or use a separate strip of fabric to create a bow.

Repurposed Wrapping Paper
Any paper can become stylish gift wrap with a little ingenuity on the part of the wrapper. For example, old folding maps can be used for larger gifts, while sheets of newsprint (I like the pink sort usually reserved for financial papers) are great for medium gifts, and vintage paper or even pretty stationery can be used to wrap smaller presents. There are plenty of tutorials for DIY gift bows – like so – and you can always embellish your parcels with things like beads, charms, leaves, flowers, and whatever else you have handy.

Hand Decorated Gift Wrap
Lastly, if you have kids or are artsy yourself, you can always break out the great big sheets of white paper and the crayons and create beautiful (or at the very least, fun) wrapping papers that certain recipients like grandparents and indulgent aunts and uncles will go ga-ga over. Of course, if you’re the artistic one and you have a bit of talent, this is another case in which your gift wrap can also serve as a secondary gift!

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