Wednesday, December 14, 2011

upcycling trash into wrapping paper

Hidden deep in the recessives of my craft room for the past five months has been my personal shame.  My husband accused me of hoarding when he found it.  Stacked precariously in the closet was a collection of seeming garbage.  Now it looks a lot more reasonable.  It’s my holiday wrapping gear.

Way back in the heat of summer, I decided not to buy wrapping paper this holiday season.  No new boxes, no unrecyclable paper, no metallic bows.  Instead, I raided the recycling bin and removed a variety of wrapping superstars: newspapers, old boxes, catalogues, brown paper bags*, and, yes, one outdated textbook that no self respecting professor would have used after 2007.  I found a bagful of supplemental ribbons for $0.50 at a thrift store on the Cape.     
There are brown paper packages tied up with string...

Catalogue pages to make old boxes sing...

Newspaper pages from sometime last spring...

And a textbook from that guy who gave me a ring.

These ideas and tutorials can help you get started if you also want to limit your contribution to the four million tons of trash created annually from gift-wrap and shopping bags:

Wax Paper Flowers (I used old pattern pieces for mine) 

* Beau can attest to the fact that I frequently get into arguments with cashiers when attempting to refuse bags in favor of using my reusable canvas one or even my purse.  Home Depot is the worst.  Sometimes, they’ll continue to put things in plastic even as I pull them out and repeat “No really.  No bags needed.  For real.”  On occasion, I just give in and walk out with one.  Mostly though, our brown bags are conspicuously in the shape of wine bottles, which appear on my doorstep in the hands of friends.  I’ll never, ever turn those ones away.    

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