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Wrap Your Gifts in Garbage: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas

12/10/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: Christmas, holidays, gift wrap, wrapping paper, gift wrapping

Yesterday I heard a radio DJ say there are less than two weeks until Christmas…what? It creeps up on me every year. And now it’s solidly time to start rooting around in the store room for the “garbage” (scrap paper, beads and baubles) I save all year to wrap presents.

I quit buying wrapping paper more than a decade ago, when Natural Home ran its first article on simplifying the holidays. Over the years, we’ve given readers many fun new ways to wrap beautiful gifts using newspaper, paper bags, fabric scraps and even those mesh bags that onions come in. All of this material—which would otherwise be filling up a landfill—makes for beautifully wrapped gifts and eliminates the need to buy wasteful wrapping paper.

Americans create an extra 1 million pounds of garbage per week during the holidays. Wrapping gifts in a bit of this detritus is an easy way to save money—and give the planet a break—this holiday season.

A few of my favorite ideas: 

green gift wrap 1 
Photo By Susan Wasinger. 

A paper bag wraps the gift. Aluminum foil encircles it. Yarn and raffia bind it. The tag is secured with a pom-pom.

green gift wrap 2 
Photo By Susan Wasinger. 

Scraps of tissue paper mix with a strip from a fleur-de-lis-printed bag. The pom-pom is trimmed with beads.

green gift wrap 3 
Photo By Susan Wasinger. 

Colored paper circles are laced with yarn that knots over a tall wooden bead.


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