‘Green’ Wrapping Ideas

The key to keeping your wrapping environmentally friendly (and inexpensive) is to use supplies you already have in your house.

Here are 10 creative tips to spruce up your gifts without buying anything. (Or at least less than usual!)

Use scrap paper ― You know all of that extra paper that comes out when you print directions that only has one line or printing on it? It’s perfect for wrapping a small gift, especially if the printed side is down. White paper plus a pretty ribbon (recycled from another gift) is elegant.

Children’s artwork ― If you’ve been saving all of the drawings and finger paintings your child has created this year at school, why not turn them into memorable wrapping paper? This is sure to be a huge hit with grandparents, too.

Paper bags ― The hearty brown bags you get at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s work great as wrapping paper. Put the logos on the inside and keep the outside plain. You can have your kids decorate the outside with markers, crayons or glitter, or for a sophisticated look, recycle a ribbon to glam it up. Bronze, gold and white ribbon will look elegant.

Old maps ― Look in your glove compartment for some old maps that you never use (if you rely on a GPS now, take all of the maps out). They’re a fun, colorful alternative to wrapping paper.

Newspapers ― Don’t dump the Sunday paper in the recycling. Instead, save the comics section and wrap your gifts in Hagar the Horrible, Zits, Hi and Lois to give the gift of laughter!

Make your own bows ― Making your own bows is easy. Take a page from an old magazine and cut it into long strips. You need eight strips that are 6 inches long, 4 that are 5 inches long and one that’s 4 inches long.

Fabric ― This can be one of the most elegant ways to wrap a gift. Cut up old sheets, shirts or pillow cases to make a beautifully wrapped package. A new scarf can be used as both a gift and the wrapping!

Buttons ― Old buttons are a fun and creative way to add some personality to your gifts instead of using ribbons and bows. Use several different sizes and styles for an eclectic look.

Use nature ― Pine cones, pine needles, sprigs of berries and bright red leaves are perfect adornments to any present. Tape or glue them onto the box instead of using ribbons and bows for a festive look.

Make the gift the present ― Let’s say you’re giving someone baking ware. You could buy a cookie jar and place the spatula, cookie cutters and oven mitt inside the jar for a festive display. Or give someone a teapot and fill it with teas, coffees and chocolates!