- Children's Art Work: If you have children that are in school I'm sure, like me, you have a stack of artwork sent home from school. After proud placement on the fridge the artwork gets moved to a folder in our house and then when holidays or birthdays arrive I wrap gifts in the kid's art. There is no possible way to keep every masterpiece my sons make so I spread the love to grandparents and other family members.
- Old Magazines: I'm not a fan of using newspaper because of the ink transferring to your fingertips. If you have an Oprah fan on your list and you just so happen to subscribe to Oprah magazine, take the time to pull out some cool pages to wrap the gift. This is the key, I think, to make the present look unique and well thought out. Another example is to use pages of recipes from multiple magazines and use it wrap the gift for the "chef" in your family. Take the time to pick and choose the pages and because each wrapping is catered to that individual it won't come across as looking "cheap".
- Fabric: I'm a children's clothing designer so I have quite a stash of odd remnants of fabric. But fabric is something you can pick up for cheap or almost free at yard sales. This is a great wrapping for the crafter/quilter/sewer on your list. The wrapping is part of the present!
- A Present Within a Present: I can't remember who I did this for but I remember it was a boy gift. I found this awesome vintage t-shirt and wrapped the t-shirt (as if wrapping paper) around a hardcover book, using double sided tape to keep in place and adding a ribbon for the final touch. You could even have a t-shirt wrapping paper theme and wrap all your gifts in t-shirts, I'm sure you would get quite an applause for the creativity of it. I've also used this idea at baby showers and used a cotton baby blanket for the wrapping of the actual gift. A perfect environmentally friendly gift- no waste!
- Outdated Manuals: Go through your stash of manuals that have come with every appliance or computer program you purchased and purge the ones for the programs/ appliances you no longer own. Makes a great wrapping for the "geek" on your list. They may get a chuckle out of your original windows 95 manual and the bonus is you also purged random clutter in your life.
- For those of you who have adopted my Movie Book Space Saver Idea and don't know what to do with all those DVD sleeves you thought to save, tape a few together and wrap your child's gift in that.
- Old Calendar Pages: With the new year ahead the 2007 family calendar will soon be making it's appearance in the recycle bin, give it a detour and use it as wrapping paper and you'll be using something twice before recycling. LOVE THAT!
- This idea is for Gift Tags: If you use a photo processing place to print your pictures you may have too many copies of one shot or else what you thought looked awesome on the touch order screen is actually horrible. Or maybe, like me, you have a box hidden deep in a closet of random-not-so-good pictures from back in the day of film processing. Recycle those pictures as gift tags. Cut them to size and write the To and From on the back. You may want to embellish the pictures with funny mustaches and balloon phrases, I'm sure the humor will be much enjoyed.
Every year I try and come up with a clever way to wrap gifts for the holidays that is both environmentally friendly and frugal. As I passed a neighbors' house I noticed a box on the front lawn with the word "FREE" on it, I just had to stop and take a look. Not only did I find several hardback books for me and my husband but I also scored 2 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper. I think my family will be shocked this year to see actual wrapping paper on their gifts, I'll leave out the part that it was free. Here is a list of ideas for wrapping your gifts this year.
Labels: Living Green