gift wrapping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11614/all en-US 10 Affordable Ways to Make Your Holiday Gifts Look Amazing http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-ways-to-make-your-holiday-gifts-look-amazing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-affordable-ways-to-make-your-holiday-gifts-look-amazing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wrapping_christmas_present_000053050904.jpg" alt="Woman learning affordable ways to make holiday gifts look amazing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the steep price of holiday gift wrap, gift tags, and bows, they're practically gifts in their own right. If you'd like reserve your holiday budget for what goes <em>inside</em> the package, it's time to get creative. First, brush up on clever ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-clever-and-attractive-ways-to-save-on-gift-wrapping-paper">save on wrapping paper</a>. Then, express yourself by trying some other inexpensive gift-wrapping ideas this year.</p> <h2>Bows and Embellishments</h2> <p>Once you've carefully wrapped your gifts, dress up the package with some frugal options.</p> <h3>1. Twigs and Pinecones</h3> <p>These beautiful objects are literally growing on trees. Hunt for artistically shaped twigs or small pinecones and make them part of your gift presentation by weaving them through other natural elements like raffia and jute twine.</p> <h3>2. Dried Flowers</h3> <p>Dry or press flowers throughout the year and add them to your wrapped gifts in place of traditional bows. Sure, it takes some Martha Stewart-style planning, but it's a great look &mdash; and it's green!</p> <h3>3. Vintage Buttons and Beads</h3> <p>String buttons and beads through narrow satin ribbon or twine. Space evenly, and then tie knots on both sides of each bead or on the back of each button to hold them securely in place. Instead of tossing them out at the end of the season, save and reuse each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving?ref=seealso">Reusable Gift Wrapping: The Wrap That Keeps on Giving</a>)</p> <h3>4. Vintage Ornaments</h3> <p>Ornaments don't always have to go on the tree. Use beautiful single ornaments or group two or three smaller ones together and secure with ribbon. Avoid using glass ornaments for this purpose; they're not kid-friendly and you don't want one rolling underfoot during Christmas morning chaos.</p> <h3>5. Vintage Postcards</h3> <p>Classic black and white vistas or serious kitsch works equally well. Attach to gifts with adhesive photo corners.</p> <h3>6. Vintage Snapshots</h3> <p>Old family photos add a unique touch to any gift. Slip one under a raffia bow or center on the package with a dot of glue and frame with scraps of synthetic ribbon or paper.</p> <h3>7. Garland</h3> <p>Great for large gifts, use brightly colored garland instead of a traditional bow. Just tie as normal or secure in place with a hidden twist tie.</p> <h2>Gift Tags</h2> <p>Every gift needs a tag &mdash; why not make the tag a clever adornment, too?</p> <h3>8. Recycled Holiday Cards</h3> <p>Repurpose last year's holiday cards by turning them into gift tags. The heavier-weight card stock and seasonal graphics make them perfect gift tag material. Just trim to size and add a hole with a paper punch.</p> <h3>9. Tiny Picture Frames</h3> <p>Thrift stores are loaded with small vintage frames in every style imaginable. Collect several throughout the year. Insert a printed name card and attach to gifts with twine or raffia.</p> <h3>10. Wallpaper Scraps</h3> <p>One roll of vintage wallpaper will add up to enough gift tags for a lifetime. Choose seasonal colors or intricate antique patterns. Just trim tags to size and fold or use the wallpaper as unique matting for some other handmade label.</p> <h3>11. Bottlecaps</h3> <p>Print the gift recipient's monogram on a small piece of paper, cut it to fit the interior of a metal bottle cap, and glue in place. Then, circle the outer edge of the cap with jute twine and secure with a thin bead of glue (leave enough extra twine for tying later). The result is a metal hanging tag that can be tied to a bow, a bottle of wine, or the handles of a gift bag.</p> <p><em>Are you an innovative gift wrapper? What are some of your favorite ideas? What have you seen others do?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-ways-to-make-your-holiday-gifts-look-amazing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-money-moves-to-make-before-the-holiday-season-begins">9 Smart Money Moves to Make Before the Holiday Season Begins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-totally-regift-and-7-things-you-shouldnt">10 Things You Can Totally Regift — And 7 Things You Shouldn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-overpriced-holiday-gifts-you-should-skip">7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-holiday-gifts-that-arent-worth-the-money">13 Holiday Gifts That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Christmas embellishments gift wrapping Holidays packages presents Thu, 17 Dec 2015 22:00:04 +0000 Kentin Waits 1621570 at http://www.wisebread.com Reusable Gift Wrapping: The Wrap That Keeps on Giving http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4978445919_3dda84d43f_z.jpg" alt="gift tins" title="gift tins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, what a wonderful time of the year! &lsquo;Tis the season of beautiful litter.</p> <p>According to the Environmental Protection Agency, holiday wrapping is responsible for a 25% spike in trash between Thanksgiving and New Year&rsquo;s Day.</p> <p>Oh, I know. You are really, <em>really</em> good about recycling. You&rsquo;d <em>never</em> throw all the used wrapping paper into the trash. In fact, your family laughs at you because you are so ding dang persnickety about removing all the sticky tape from the paper before you put it in the recycling bin. Well, guess what? That shiny finish on most wrapping papers makes it unrecyclable. Your annoying uncle who doesn&rsquo;t believe in global warming can now laugh at your naivety.</p> <p>Speaking of your annoying uncle, burning Christmas trash, his favorite method of holiday garbage disposal, is also terrible. While burning wrapping paper often results in magnificent colored flames in the fireplace, the inks and foils used to make gift-wrap contain a lot of chemicals that are toxic when burned. Roasting chestnuts over an open fire shouldn&rsquo;t involve lung or liver damage.</p> <p>The easiest way to reduce holiday trash is not to wrap your gifts. (Duh). Alas, this method of trash reduction isn&rsquo;t that fun, because most people get great enjoyment out of unwrapping gifts and watching others unwrap gifts.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are many reusable alternatives to gift wrap that are not only good for the planet, but can also save you money. Why pay for something that will only be used once and then becomes garbage? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas">10 Cheap,&nbsp;Handmade, and Green&nbsp;Wrapping Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Reusable Cloth&nbsp;Bags</h2> <p>Reusable cloth gift bags are a growing trend among frugal and green families. Instead of wrapping paper, gifts are packed into decorated cloth bags that are used year after year. Drawstring bags are probably one of the easiest projects for the home sewist to make. For non-sewers, there are plenty of reusable gift bags on the market for just about every price point and holiday. Just plunk the gift inside and tie the bag shut. (For extra credit, use shoelaces, hair accessories, bow ties, or luggage tags as reusable closures).</p> <p>Because I don't have the space to store seasonal decorations at my house, Dinky Manor, my reusable cloth gift bags are usually referred to as, <em>ahem</em>, &ldquo;pillow cases.&quot;</p> <h2>Furoshiki</h2> <p>If you can tie a necktie or make an origami crane, then you have the hand-eye coordination necessary to use <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furoshiki">furoshiki</a> instead of wrapping paper. Furoshiki are traditional Japanese cloth scarves that can be folded into a variety of carrying cases to transport wares or decorate gifts. Furoshiki are commonly used to wrap bento (lunch) boxes, with the furoshiki doubling as napkins or tablecloths. There are tons of free instructional videos available online that show how to use small pieces of fabric to wrap everything from glass bottles to books for beautiful portability. &nbsp;</p> <p>By the way, if anyone wants to make me a present, I would love a furoshiki cloth printed with this extremely Japanese <a href="http://www.env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.html">diagram of popular furoshiki folds</a> created by Japan&rsquo;s Ministry of the Environment. It's a gift that wraps itself!</p> <h2>Other Reusable Fabrics</h2> <p>As with furoshiki, a reusable wrapper can be the real gift. Consider wrapping small or breakable items in scarves, vintage linens, or even t-shirts. For example, you could roll sunscreen, guilty reading material, and maps into a beach towel (and tie with a luggage strap) to create a &ldquo;vacation gift package&rdquo; for your favorite honeymooners.</p> <h2>Tupperware</h2> <p>If you love holiday baking, forgo the dollar store disposable plasticware and buy reusable Tupperware containers that have a lifetime guarantee instead. Your friends and family will think of you every time they reuse the containers, long after the cookies are gone. If you are on a really tight budget, you can freecycle for interesting jars or metal tins instead.</p> <h2>Jars and Tins</h2> <p>I save pretty glass jars throughout the year. At Christmastime, I spray-paint over any ugly logos on the exterior of the jar lids and fill the freshly washed jars with colored gumballs that I buy in bulk. A handmade ribbon or a gift tag is all I need to turn recyclables into charming wrap. In addition to making cute and inexpensive stocking stuffers, the gumball jars are my go-to gift for postal workers, hairdressers, teachers, and anyone else who helps make my life better on a regular basis. And, if your jars or tins are cute enough, they will have a second (or third) life for the giftees.</p> <h2>Thrifted Casserole Dishes</h2> <p>Vintage Pyrex casserole dishes are easy to find at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">most thrift stores</a>. Put the dry ingredients of your favorite brownie mix into a Ziploc bag. Put the bag, along with the recipe card, into the Pyrex dish, and tie the lid down with kitchen twine.</p> <h2>Plant Pots</h2> <p>Clay pots are an excellent gift-in-a-gift for gardeners or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-things-new-homeowners-dont-prepare-for">new homeowners</a>. Simply put a small plant, flower bulbs, or packets of vegetable seeds inside a pot and use the saucer as a lid. Tie the saucer to the top of the clay pot with reusable garden twine.</p> <h2>Altoid Tins</h2> <p>Lastly, there are entire websites devoted to showing all the <a href="http://artofmanliness.com/2011/01/30/22-manly-ways-to-reuse-an-altoids-tin/ ">ways Altoid candy tins can be reused</a> and turned into everything from flame throwers to pinhole cameras. Buy new tins of Altoids for stocking stuffers, but also print out a miniature instruction book or put links to your favorite instructions onto a USB drive to show the giftees how to turn the tins, once empty, into aftermarket DIY toys of their choosing.</p> <p>Ta da! All the surprise, and none of the trash. Happy (green) holidays!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-reuse-detergent-bottles">15 Ways to Reuse Detergent Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-uses-for-stale-cereal">5 Creative Uses for Stale Cereal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-eco-friendly-water-bottles">The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products">9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas">10 Cheap, Handmade Gift Wrapping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Christmas gifts gift wrapping reusable Mon, 17 Dec 2012 11:24:30 +0000 Max Wong 958199 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cheap, Handmade Gift Wrapping Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-179508239.jpg" alt="gift" title="gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve noticed that people spend a fortune on wrapping and embellishing holiday gifts. And for what? Football fields full of shiny bows and acres of that gorgeous paper just get wadded up and tossed in the trash (unless you&rsquo;re my grandmother, and then the bows get saved for next year). What are some simpler, more cost-effective and earth-friendly ways to present a stunningly wrapped gift without all the waste? Here are some ideas. </p> <h2>1. Go Natural</h2> <p>Lying outside under my five pine trees at this very moment are no less than 100 pine cones. I kid you not. Combine with some crisp brown shipping paper, twine, and a sprig of cut evergreen, and you have an elegantly wrapped gift. If you don&rsquo;t have access to pine cones, try pressed leaves, shells, or dried flowers.</p> <h2>2. Twine and Raffia</h2> <p>For a simple, natural, and elegant look, tie your wrapped gifts with twine or raffia. Both go best with solid-color matte wrapping paper. Since they&rsquo;re completely natural products, they&rsquo;re biodegradable.</p> <h2>3. Shipping Paper</h2> <p>Humble brown shipping paper is my favorite choice for gift wrap. It&rsquo;s the perfect blank canvas for creating a little drama with natural bows and other creative and unexpected wrapping ideas.</p> <h2>4. Old Photographs</h2> <p>Old family photos or black-and-white antique photos of nature scenes set in photo-mounting corners on a gift or tied with twine make an artful bow replacement. Keep an eye out for them at yard sales or flea markets all year long, and you&rsquo;ll have more than you need when the holidays hit.</p> <h2>5. Vintage Postcards</h2> <p>Vintage postcards or the fronts of antique holiday cards are great ways to embellish gifts with or without a bow. Use that standard brown paper, or let the color pallet of the card dictate your paper color. Matte-green paper with green raffia and an antique Christmas card in various shades of green creates a stunning presentation.</p> <h2>6. Plain Paper Bags</h2> <p>Plain paper lunch bags work especially well if you&rsquo;re wrapping gifts for kids or getting kids involved in the gift-giving. Let them decorate the bags with markers, acrylic paint, or collages.</p> <h2>7. Make Your Gift Part of the Wrapping</h2> <p>Depending on the gift you&rsquo;re giving, replace the bow with part of the gift itself. Use twine or raffia to securely tie a piece of wrapped chocolate or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-can-you-do-with-unwanted-gift-cards">gift card</a> to your main gift.</p> <h2>8. Vintage Ornaments</h2> <p>Vintage tree ornaments can become &ldquo;bows&rdquo; when artfully tied with ribbon or raffia. Pick up orphaned ornaments at yard sales or thrift stores for an economical way to embellish your gifts.</p> <h2>9. Custom Tags</h2> <p>Recycle old greeting cards or card stock for customized holiday gift tags. A bit of calligraphy, drawing, or water-color design adds a handmade touch.</p> <h2>10. Wallpaper Remnants</h2> <p>Vintage wallpaper (especially toile designs) is perfect for holiday gift wrapping. It&rsquo;s a bit thicker, but it folds nicely and has a classic tailored look.</p> <p>See? Wrapping gifts doesn&rsquo;t have to be expensive or routine. With a little ingenuity and some creative effort, your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">gifts</a> will not only look amazing, but you&rsquo;ll also spend less money too.</p> <p><em>What are some ways that you let out your inner Martha Stewart when it comes to wrapping gifts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20">Almost 50 Unique Housewarming Gifts for Less Than $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-a-piggy-bank">How to Make a Piggy Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love">15 More Cheap and Easy DIY Toys Kids Will Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving">Reusable Gift Wrapping: The Wrap That Keeps on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY gift wrapping gifts reusable Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:36:32 +0000 Kentin Waits 793192 at http://www.wisebread.com The 2010 Gift Wrapping Challenge http://www.wisebread.com/the-2010-gift-wrapping-challenge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-2010-gift-wrapping-challenge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift wrapping challenge pic.JPG" alt="alternative gift wrap" title="alternative gift wrap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="223" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Myshca&rsquo;s recent conglomerate of <a target="_blank" mce_href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-green-gift-wrapping-ideas" href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-green-gift-wrapping-ideas">green gift wrapping ideas</a> prompted me to share with you my own gift wrapping strategy &ndash; or rather, gift wrapping challenge.</p> <p>You see, I abhor two things:</p> <p>1) Spending money when I don&rsquo;t need to</p> <p>2) Consuming &ndash; and wasting - products and resources that I don&rsquo;t need</p> <p>Half of the paper consumed in the U.S. every year is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. This seems absolutely ludicrous to me. That is to say, <b>we could save 50% of paper consumed in the </b><b>U.S.</b><b> each year simply by finding an alternative to wrapping and decorating gifts</b>. By this rationale, why on earth wouldn&rsquo;t we?</p> <p>Last Christmas a friend of mine noticed that I had used some creative techniques to avoid wrapping any presents with wrapping paper or gift bags. She so appreciated the idea that we mutually challenged each other to wrap all presents throughout 2009 with not one piece of new wrapping paper, plastic wrap, or gift bags.</p> <p>One year later, we both emerged victorious. <b>Not only did we spend less money on gift wrapping materials, but in many cases the gift wrap actually formed part of the present itself. </b></p> <p><b>Here are a few of the techniques that we used, as well as a few extras that complement Myshca&rsquo;s list:</b></p> <h2>Second Hand Store Blitz</h2> <p>Besides ransacking our own homes for goods, we visited some local second hand stores for gift wrapping inspiration. Here are a few of the things we bought/recycled/wrapped with:</p> <h3><b>Purses &amp; Bags</b></h3> <p>At less than $1 per purse, we got some pre-loved beach bags, toiletry bags, day packs, clutch purses, and other bags that could hold the present itself and become a part of the gift. We made no qualms about the bags being used&hellip;and gave our recipients permission to recycle it/give it away/wrap another gift with it if they didn&rsquo;t like the idea of using it as a purse or bag themselves.</p> <h3><b>Baskets</b></h3> <p>I remember looking for decent baskets one year and being appalled at the cost to buy them new. Go to the second hand store though, and you can get them for 20 cents to a dollar per basket. Great to fill with presents.</p> <h3><b>Basket Accessories</b></h3> <p>The only problem with filling a basket with presents is that it leaves little to the imagination unless you wrap the basket in plastic wrap &ndash; which contradicts the point. So how did we finish wrapping our basket-clad presents? A few ways:</p> <p><em><b>Silk Scarves</b> </em>&ndash; Line the basket with a scarf and tie it up at the top with a few ornaments for flare. Scarves are dirt cheap at the second hand store, if you don&rsquo;t already have one. Alternately you can use fabric scraps of any kind.</p> <p><em><b>Extra Tinsel</b> </em>&ndash; A friend who moved house gave me a box of old Christmas decorations that were bound for the garbage. I used some of this extra tinsel to stuff the tops of baskets and bags so the recipient had something to unwrap, an element of surprise, and some fun with the tinsel.</p> <h3><b>Used Gift Bags</b></h3> <p>At 20 cents a piece for some used gift bags that didn&rsquo;t look used, I saved a pile of money. Each gift bag was a minimum of $3 brand new.</p> <h3><b>Stockings</b></h3> <p>I love to wrap presents in Christmas stockings. You can regularly find them at the second hand store for a pittance, and they add a festive flare to the gift without having to do anything more than stuff the stocking.</p> <p>Aside from looking at the local second hand store for inspiration, here are a few other cheap and environmentally friendly tactics to help meet the gift wrap challenge:</p> <h2>Children&rsquo;s Art</h2> <p>The best Christmas cracker I received this year was one hand-made by a friend and her three year old daughter. They took some of her artwork, wrapped it around a toilet paper tube, threw in a few knick-knacks, and tied off the ends.</p> <p>You can also use your kiddie&rsquo;s creations to wrap gifts of all manner and size.</p> <h2>Recycled Paper</h2> <p>And I&rsquo;m not talking about the recycled gift wrap &ndash; or any type of recycled paper for that matter &ndash; that you buy in the store. Although it&rsquo;s better, it still breaks the challenge rules. The recycled paper I am referring to are comic strips, butcher paper, old calendars, and old maps. Take a look around your home for anything that you don&rsquo;t need or might throw away (or recycle) which could wrap a present. If the paper itself is a little blas&eacute;, then pretty it up with some color contrast, drawings, or writing.</p> <h2>Fabric Bags</h2> <p>If you are quick with a sewing machine or needle and thread, you can take a scrap of material (preferably old clothing that's still in decent nik), fold it in half, sew up the sides, and whamo &ndash; you have a fabric bag. If you are industrious enough to add a ribbon drawstring, it is surely a form of gift wrap that will be proudly re-used by the person you give it to.</p> <h2>Wallpaper Samples</h2> <p>As long as you&rsquo;re not too picky about patterns for your gift wrap, your local paint and wallpaper supplier might be able to give you samples that have been discontinued. These are great for small to medium sized gifts, and you can combine complementing samples to wrap larger gifts.</p> <h2>Glass Jars and Plastic Containers</h2> <p>Instead of recycling those glass jars and bottles and plastic containers from the grocery store, wash them out and re-use them! The most elegant gift I made this year was an old clear champagne bottle filled with olive oil, hot peppers, and kaffir lime leaves. This flavored olive oil could have sold in stores for a small fortune given the beautiful bottle and unique ingredients &ndash; and it took me five minutes to make.</p> <p>I also decorated old yogurt containers and filled them with baked goods for gifts. Fill an old glass jar with beads and watch the little crafty girl in your life go bananas.</p> <h2>Origami Paper Box</h2> <p>Although I didn&rsquo;t try it, I found <a target="_blank" mce_href="http://www.netflixorigami.com/box.htm" href="http://www.netflixorigami.com/box.htm">this technique</a> for making small boxes out of paper, and I love it.</p> <h2>E-Cards</h2> <p>Although this has little to do with gift wrapping, it is another way to save a crazy amount of paper that gets consumed each year. Although some people are die-hard card collectors, most people throw them away within days of receiving the card, and the sentiment is all that remains.</p> <p>The sentiment can be equally weighty with an e-card. It&rsquo;s free, it doesn&rsquo;t waste paper, and e-cards are interactive, creative, and fun.</p> <p>By virtue of the gift wrapping challenge I shared with my friend for 2009, the word was spread, and two friends were so pleased with their creatively wrapped gifts that they have decided to take on the challenge too&hellip;.and wrap all gifts in 2010 with wrapping paper alternatives. Down with buying new gift paper and gift bags!</p> <p><b>Are you in for the challenge?</b></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-2010-gift-wrapping-challenge">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-we-keep-buying-that-are-killing-the-planet">8 Things We Keep Buying That Are Killing the Planet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-more-places-to-buy-sell-and-trade-books">17 More Places to Buy, Sell, and Trade Books</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Shopping alternative gift wrapping Art and Leisure gift wrapping Mon, 04 Jan 2010 15:00:03 +0000 Nora Dunn 4426 at http://www.wisebread.com 36 Green Gift Wrapping Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/36-green-gift-wrapping-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/36-green-gift-wrapping-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4989983759_d6446f06ec_z.jpg" alt="green gift wrapping" title="green gift wrapping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trying to maintain eco boundaries in the middle of winter holiday chaos? It can be tough, particularly with all of those ribbons and bows tempting us at every turn. If your tastes lean more towards silk and satin than burlap and tin foil, here are thirty-six green gift wrapping ideas to get you started. (See also: <a title="10 Cheap, Handmade, and Green Wrapping Ideas" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas">10 Cheap, Handmade, and Green Wrapping Ideas</a>)</p> <p>These ideas were all included for various reasons. Some were ideas that used less plastic. Others recycled materials that might otherwise go to waste, or included something that could be reused time and again. The overall theme is that they all take planetary impact into consideration in some way. Feel free to contribute your additional thoughts and ideas below so we can all enter the holiday season armed with strategies which will let us celebrate with style.</p> <p><strong>1. Tulle, lace or other semi-transparent fabric.</strong></p> <p>Use this to wrap gift baskets instead of several sheets of cellophane and plastic ribbon. The clear cellophane tears easily and isn&rsquo;t something most folks would think to save and reuse anyway. Embellish with live flowers and twisted paper ribbon.</p> <p><strong>2. Skip the tape.</strong></p> <p>For gifts with simple shapes such as books, carefully fold the paper and avoid tape altogether. Finish off the overlapping points in the back with an attractive foil seal.</p> <p><strong>3. Wired fabric ribbon.</strong></p> <p>Using this instead of traditional plastic curling ribbon is not only reusable, but much more elegant.</p> <p><strong>4. Paper tape.</strong></p> <p>Beth Terry&rsquo;s <a href="http://fakeplasticfish.com/">plastic reduction blog</a> was my inspiration for this, as she recommends paper tape over plastic for shipping purposes. Now, when it comes to gift giving, I&rsquo;d advise going a step further and making paper tape loops that can tuck underneath the paper folds unseen. These would come in handy when the tape skipping suggestion above won&rsquo;t work, for example on larger boxes.</p> <p><strong>5. Paper gift bags.</strong></p> <p>The ones I buy tend to be pretty sturdy and come in shapes suitable for wine, bath product collections and much more. If you are looking for affordable sources, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-it-done-at-dollar-tree">Dollar Tree</a> has a decent selection.</p> <p><strong>6. Fabric bags.</strong></p> <p>These can be picked up inexpensively at various discount stores and international market stalls. I still have a small stash left from a trip I took to Thailand years ago. If you&rsquo;re feeling crafty however, you can <a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/8508086/Green-Bag-Lady-Gift-Wrap-Bag-Pattern">make your own fabric gift bag</a>.</p> <p><strong>7. Furoshiki.</strong></p> <p>Otherwise known as Japanese fabric folding, this technique is basically origami with fabric instead of paper. This page shows instructions for numerous <a href="http://www.env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.html">Furoshiki gift wrapping styles</a>, courtesy of the government of Japan.</p> <p><strong>8. Brown paper packages tied up with string . . . these are a few of my favorite things.</strong></p> <p>Unbleached brown craft paper brings a certain rustic elegance to the table that can be helpful if you&rsquo;re going for that sort of look. Accent your packages with plaid hair ribbons, colored twine or other appropriate green items that suit your taste.</p> <p><strong>9. Canning jars.</strong></p> <p>My love affair with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sanity-saving-ideas-for-canning-jars">canning jars</a> is well documented, but for those who love to make homemade gifts, these things rock. Cut out a circle of fabric and tie it on the top with twisted paper ribbon. Then add a label. This idea works well for dry mix recipes like this one for <a href="http://webesharin.com/2007/07/02/gift-recipes-beer-bread-mix-in-a-jar/">beer bread mix in a jar</a>.</p> <p><strong>10. Homemade gift tags.</strong></p> <p>There are many ways to incorporate this, including <a href="http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/oceancrafts/a/blbcgfttag.htm">using outdated business cards</a>. I&rsquo;d modify their suggestion a bit and glue the information side flat to the package, leaving the blank side available for writing or stamping.</p> <p><strong>11. Use the picturesque front flap of a topical greeting card.</strong></p> <p>Use a glue stick to center it on the front of a gift wrapped in solid color paper. This takes up enough space on the package that ribbon really isn&rsquo;t necessary, and makes use of older greeting cards in a way that doesn&rsquo;t look tacky.</p> <p><strong>12. Naked as the day it was born.</strong></p> <p>Consider skipping the wrap job altogether when appropriate. This works well for hostess wines or homemade soaps tucked into gift baskets. It&rsquo;s also a fantastic way to present that wooden train set under the Christmas tree.</p> <p><strong>13. Cash in a decorative folded paper envelope.</strong></p> <p>Use an old fashioned wax seal for extra drama and pizzazz.</p> <p><strong>14. Stuff it.</strong></p> <p>Since smaller gifts are often easier to wrap without plastic tape, go smaller with the gift packages and fill a good old fashioned Christmas stocking.</p> <p><strong>15. Hit the sewing department.</strong></p> <p>In addition to craft stores, the sewing departments of various discount stores offer a selection of fabric ribbons and other embellishments. These offer attractive alternatives to the plastic bits and bobs you might otherwise normally use.</p> <p><strong>16. Take a tip from Tiffany&rsquo;s.</strong></p> <p>The blue paperboard boxes with the white satin ribbon make a classic statement. If you want to save even a few more pennies, order plain white boxes from a jewelry supply wholesaler and use thin black satin ribbon to tie the tops on. Black and white is not only incredibly sophisticated, it&rsquo;s a classic gift wrapping look you can use all year long. Experiment with other color combinations as you deem appropriate.</p> <p><strong>17. Use decorative paper stickers or labels to seal the ends of packages.</strong></p> <p>You have a ton of latitude here. Just choose a basic design that you find attractive and can easily restock.</p> <p><strong>18. Plain paper boxes usually designed for Chinese takeout food.</strong></p> <p>These are perfect for homemade candies and other baked goods. They are also low on packaging and can be decorated with stamps or glue-on gift tags.</p> <p><strong>19. Fabric gift items that can actually serve as the wrapping medium.</strong></p> <p>Think <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bang-up-ideas-for-bandanas">bandanas</a>, scarves, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sassy-uses-for-sarongs">sarongs</a>, baby blankets, etc. A colleague of mine even uses these <a href="http://www.thegreengarmento.com/BASE/SS/">eco-friendly garment bags</a>. This technique provides a reusable wrapper and also doubles the gift you are giving.</p> <p><strong>20. Gift box with a removable top.</strong></p> <p>These are like those great fabric gift bags in the sense that you can use them over and over again, year after year. Some stores even have them with a gift already inside, saving you time as well as extra money you might have spent on wrapping supplies.</p> <p><strong>21. Maps.</strong></p> <p>Save old road maps and use them for wrapping presents you intend to give to travelers, teachers or students. Maps are colorful, sturdy and often free at your local tourist information center.</p> <p><strong>22. Organic elements.</strong></p> <p>If you are tying fabric around a gift, consider tucking in rosemary, holly or ivy into the knot. It adds a little something extra, and can easily be composted afterward, making it a perfect green gift wrapping idea.</p> <p><strong>23. Wallpaper.</strong></p> <p>Use your leftovers or free samples to wrap various gifts. Wallpaper comes in a variety of colors and styles. Just take care to select one that doesn&rsquo;t look dated, unless you are going for a more vintage style of wrapping job to add to the theme of the gift.</p> <p><strong>24. Purchase sustainable or otherwise eco-friendly consumable supplies.</strong></p> <p>If buying recycled wrapping paper or gift cards studded with flower seeds isn&rsquo;t in your budget, pick up a good condition, partially used roll of wrapping paper at a local thrift shop or yard sale.</p> <p><strong>25. Brown lunch bags.</strong></p> <p>These can be stamped with topical designs and have holes punched at the top for fabric ribbons and gift tags. Use them for caramel corn, homemade crackers, etc. This is one of those ideas where you can recruit the kids to help you out.</p> <p><strong>26. Mother nature.</strong></p> <p>Use large leaves with twine and tie on a cinnamon stick or pine twig. Those in northern woodsy climates can use giant oak or maple leaves. For those who live in island locations, banana palm leaves give a nice look that celebrates the location.</p> <p><strong>27. Sweaters.</strong></p> <p>Some of those tacky holiday sweaters actually make decent gift wrapping material. Cut off the arm of a Nordic patterned sweater and stitch it across, leaving the seam inside. The cuff portion is narrower and will hug the top of a wine bottle nicely once it&rsquo;s been tucked inside. Add a drawstring or tie-on if you desire. <a href="http://kojodesigns.blogspot.com/2009/11/kojotutorial-super-simple-felted-wool.html">Here&rsquo;s a tutorial</a>.</p> <p><strong>28. Fabric envelopes.</strong></p> <p>Cut an extra long rectangle of felt with a pointed triangle top at one end. Fold it up part way, leaving the triangle end as the fold down part. Either glue the sides, add grommets or have the kids punch holes to string ribbon or twine through. You can come with any combination of materials that suits the look you are going for. If you want to get a little more in depth, <a href="http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/07/diy-wednesdays-fabric-envelopes.html">this tutorial</a> from Design Sponge offers another solution.</p> <p><strong>29. Old sheet music.</strong></p> <p>There are tons of ways to use this stuff. I like the pages dyed with tea or coffee to give them a more vintage feel. Great for the musician in your life. I also like this idea because I am constantly on the lookout for ideas that use a classic black and white color combination in a way that feels traditional and elegant. Sometimes, I&rsquo;m just not in the mood for stark and modern.</p> <p><strong>30. Embellishments that are also gifts.</strong></p> <p>If you are a fabric ribbon convert, but don&rsquo;t feel like making elaborate homemade bows every time, this is a great way to go. Tie on things like cookie cutters, silver baby rattles, wine stoppers, tree ornaments, brass or silver bells, beaded hair sticks or a classic letter opener.</p> <p><strong>31. Yarn.</strong></p> <p>Particularly the textured, popcorn style kind.</p> <p><strong>32. Unbleached organic muslin.</strong></p> <p>Cut a simple square and tie it on with hemp twine and leaf embellishments, or go crazy with stamps and fabric paint. You could also stitch it into a simple drawstring bag that the recipient can use for bulk bin shopping.</p> <p><strong>33. Cheesecloth.</strong></p> <p>Give a giant quart-sized jar of homemade jelly wrapped in cheesecloth with a recipe card attached as the gift tag. Thematic <em>and</em> eco-friendly. Gotta love that. Here&rsquo;s an <a href="http://www.ehow.com/video_4936456_cheesecloth-gift-wrapping.html">instructional video</a> on using cheesecloth to wrap a bottle of wine as a hostess gift.</p> <p><strong>34. Calendars.</strong></p> <p>I personally like the kind with the vintage travel labels or old fashioned liquor ads, as they add a bit of pop culture while remaining firmly in the traditional camp. Plus, I love the darker classic colors they tend to use on those things. Just rip the pages out and use for small gifts.</p> <p><strong>35. Spell out the person&rsquo;s name directly on the package by gluing on cut out letters.</strong></p> <p>Play around with newsprint letters from a glossy magazine placed on a solid red or black paper. Or try other combinations that work for you. I&rsquo;d love to take credit for this one, but the idea actually came to me via the Bugs and Fishes blog. Very clever, and in my opinion a green <a href="http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2008/12/gift-wrap-ideas-6-fun-with-fonts.html">gift wrapping</a> idea well-suited for children&rsquo;s presents.</p> <p><strong>36. Bojagi.</strong></p> <p>This is a Korean form of wrapping gifts in fabric that is very similar to Furoshiki, the Japanese technique mentioned earlier. You can use this link to find <a href="http://bobowrap.com/wrsc.html">Bojagi instructions</a>.</p> <h2>Related Readings:</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-going-green-is-classy">When Going Green Is Classy</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stylish-but-cheap-gift-wrap-ideas">Stylish and Affordable Gift Wrapping</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-wrapping-paper-5-options">Last Minute Wrapping Paper</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusing-your-christmas-cards">How to Reuse Your Christmas Cards</a></li> </ul> <p><em>What are your favorite green gift wrapping strategies? Sound off about your favorite techniques, products and materials below. (For example, has anyone tried the shredded paper gift basket filler as a replacement for the plastic stuff?)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/staff">Staff</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/36-green-gift-wrapping-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving">Reusable Gift Wrapping: The Wrap That Keeps on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-2010-gift-wrapping-challenge">The 2010 Gift Wrapping Challenge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas gift wrapping green gift wrapping Thu, 17 Dec 2009 14:00:02 +0000 Staff 4116 at http://www.wisebread.com