Wrap It Green: Alternative Gift Wrapping Ideas

Make the package part of the gift and make a party of wrapping it up.


| November/December 2005



wrapped gifts

A flurry of activity on a December afternoon yeilds a stack of lovely and unique packages.

Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

In the midst of all the hubbub, it’s easy to forget that the holidays are meant to be a time for connecting with others and that gifts are a happy token of kinship with those we love. This year, turn what’s usually a harried, solitary to-do into a fun excuse to get together with friends by throwing a wrap party. A little food, some holiday music, and lots of great ideas for eco-conscious wrapping make for a creative, festive, and productive afternoon.

We gathered seven creative, environmentally aware friends and asked each to bring a half-dozen gifts that needed wrapping. We prepared a light, healthy selection of sandwiches (wraps, of course!), fruit, and bite-size cookies to nibble. The real smorgasbord, however, was the table laden with wrapping materials: recycled papers crumpled to resemble Florentine fabric; colorful, eclectic wallpapers cut from discarded sample books; raffia, hemp, and jute string; an intriguing pastiche of baubles and tags; and rubber stamps, stickers, and colorful pens to put a personal stamp on the packages.

After a couple of hours—and a heaping helping of enjoyable chatter —everyone had an armload of stunning, unique packages to share with others.

Crushed Paper 

Transform paper that looks unfashionably utilitarian into something that has a handmade texture resembling crushed silk. Paper that would otherwise be too stiff to use as wrapping can be crumpled and crushed to make a soft paper that wraps beautifully and defies its roots. The secret is to first ball up the paper, then unroll it, then crumple it repeatedly until it crushes easily into a small ball. Unroll it, smooth it out, and it’s ready to wrap.

What to recycle (and re-create!): 

hkjaye
12/6/2014 8:22:21 PM

Cute ideas, but I have used the 'new' newspaper (soy inks) and they smear easily and do not end up nice like the pix on the page. Just know that ahead.






elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on Natural Health, Organic Gardening, Real Food and more!

LEARN MORE