Friday, March 25, 2011

it's a wrap

I just laid down the law with myself--I am not allowed to buy another roll of wrapping paper as long as I live! I know, I know, buying wrapping paper is quite an un-green thing to do, but what can I say--I'm an addict. Cute and whimsical, beautiful and elegant, and definitely the old "nature-inspired"...oh yes, I had to buy it all. Those after Christmas sales--oh my.

Addict, yes. But a recovering addict. With great restraint, I've been much, much, much better the last few years. I've started "creatively wrapping" many more of the gifts given here within our family. However, I've been hesitant to give gifts to others wrapped this way. Why? I honestly don't know. I mean, come on, I'm guessing that no one is going to turn up their nose at a gift because it's not wrapped in store-bought paper. And they can always bury them under the pretty packages under their tree, right? (Of course, some will be spared for a while I work my way through the rather large stash of store-bought paper I've accumulated over the years.)

Anyway, guess what? I've decided to share my alternative methods (a.k.a. bore the living shit of you) from time to time. (Thank god for that "mark as read" button, huh?)

Most things we buy around here are used. Used book stores, thrift shops, antique malls, whatever. And when buying used, there generally isn't a lot of wasteful packaging, but many shops still wrap things up your goodies in newsprint, etc. Now if we're just buying one or two things, we'll just tell them to skip it figuring we can manage to get things home safely. But sometimes it seems prudent to let them wrap our treasures up. And here is where I get the paper for one of my favorite ways to "creatively wrap." Yes, it's generally a little (or sometimes, a lot) wrinkled, but who really cares. (That brown packing paper that sometimes comes in boxes that arrive in the mail also works wonderfully. And stamped images on newspaper are fantastic, too.)

So when I head down to the laundry room to hang the clothes, but find the washer hasn't quite finished its cycle yet, I just use those few minutes to whip up a few sheets of wrap using a little bit of acrylic paint and my collection of foam stamps from past craft/decorating projects. (Seriously great way to use up those little dribs and drabs of paint left from other projects.)

Okay, I admit that this pile of presents may not be terribly stunning to look at, but it's reusing something I already had before sending it on to the recycle bin. Plus it's saving me from buying something new that will end up sent to the same place.

(And yes, I'm sorry--I really should have my blogging privileges revoked for using such a corny title.)


Kailana said...

That's very creative! I tend to just use gift bags that I get gifts in... I am 'creative' like that. And, well, I hate wrapping with a passion. It happens once a year: Christmas!

Amanda said...

A couple years back, my dad and stepmom wrapped mine and Jason's presents inside those cloth grocery bags, brand new ones for us to use. They said it was their green way of wrapping. I loved the idea! I haven't had a chance to use it - mostly we just reuse the same gift bags over and over - but it got me thinking about all sorts of ways I can do things without buying and wasting more paper.

Jason Gignac said...

I love the brown paper in Amazon boxes - It's so much more DURABLE, too :).

Chris said...

Are you kidding me??? This is one of my favorite posts I've read in a long time :D :D :D Oh I love you so much,'re just such a damn cool woman. And you've inspired me...I'm totally doing this myself for now on!

Jean said...

Your stamped paper is lovely, Debi! I just wrapped Steve's birthday presents in old maps. And I used calendar photos for some birthday presents for two friends. Blaine's birthday present is wrapped in a recent Time cover, because the cover story fit so well with the present itself.

Debi said...

Maps are one of my favorite things to use! And old calendar pics, fact I just wrapped one for Annie this morning using a wolf pic from an old calendar. Also wrapped her a couple things using one of the posters you sent us from the Book Festival. (I'd had the poster hanging in the laundry area, but accidentally splashed water on it--figured I might as well salvage the good parts.)

You do know that you're way to kind to me, right? :)

Yep, that's good stuff!

I try to do that with our "bags" of free stuff thing we do each Christmas--that is, make the bags themselves shopping bags or some other reusable sort of container. :)

Reuse + Easy = Big Win :D

DesLily said...

oh wow! I love the look of the paper debi!! And as far as the wrinkled look.. hell, that's me all over lol.. how can I not like it??

I do remember my brother one year for Christmas wrapped all their gifts in the colored comic pages from the newspaper. then did a black and white christmas once where all decorations were black or white (doesn't sound great but was beautiful!) and wrapped all presents in the black and white newsprint. One last recycle they always did (way before it was popular) was always saving the picture half of cards sent to them and reusing them as name tags for presents.

Heather said...

I love it, I love it, I LOVE it! I've done something similar. I got a HUGE roll of white wrapping paper and let the kids decorate it everytime I use it. We've done birthdays, Christmas, and a couple of other holidays. They love it and it's so much fun. I love the stamp idea!