Eco-friendly gift wrap ideas

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

By MarthaStewart.com
Source: Yahoo!Green

Why buy fancy wrapping paper when it will only end up crumpled in the recycling bin? Every year, Americans spend billions on ribbons, paper, and bows, only to see them ripped up and tossed away.

These creative, eco-friendly gift wrap ideas make use of materials already lying around your home — maps, shopping bags, even kids’ artwork. Did we mention they don’t cost a cent?

(Photo: Martha Stewart)

Biodegradable stuffing

Biodegradable stuffing cushions small, fragile items just as well as plastic bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts, a recycler’s worst nightmare.

(Photo: Martha Stewart)

Potato-chip bag gift wrap

Give a new life to empty potato-chip bags by dressing up your gifts in them. Cut open a potato-chip bag along its seam to reveal the shiny white or silver inside of the bag. Flatten the bag, wash it with soap and water, and air dry. Then wrap your present and adorn it with ribbons and homemade cards.

Clockwise from top left, we used: vintage scarf, burlap rice bag, wool scarf with a knitting needle, tea towel with rickrack, scrap from a vintage kimono. (Photo: Martha Stewart)Clockwise from top left, we used: vintage scarf, burlap rice bag, wool scarf with a knitting needle, tea towel with rickrack, scrap from a vintage kimono.

Cloth gift wrap

In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts in cloth is called furoshiki, and it’s brilliantly eco-friendly. Use scarves or towels (which become second gifts) or fabric scraps leftover from other projects. Secure open ends with a button, safety pin, or knot.

(Photo: Martha Stewart)

Stamped shopping-bag gift wrap

Have shopping bags around the house? Repurpose them into festive gift wrap. Cut an open paper shopping bag along one fold and scissor out the bottom of the bag. Wrap your gift in the paper. Dip one end of a wine cork into ink or a dark fruit juice and begin stamping patterns.

Clockwise from top left we used: Vintage wallpaper, Chinese newspaper topped with colored paper, recycled map, grocery bag with Japanese beads. (Photo: Martha Stewart)Clockwise from top left we used: Vintage wallpaper, Chinese newspaper topped with colored paper, recycled map, grocery bag with Japanese beads.

Vintage and repurposed paper gift wrap

Easy to find and work with, vintage and repurposed papers add pop to presents. Layer several colors and textures, or add vintage beads for a finished look.

(Photo: Martha Stewart)

Kids’ artwork gift wrap

Children’s drawings make for inexpensive and delightful homemade gift wrap, especially for family members. Have kids doodle on Kraft paper, calendar pages, shopping bags, magazine pages, and phone book pages.



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