Instead of relying on shop-bought wrapping paper this Christmas, why not make your own?I delight in tissue paper and ribbon, adore boxes of all shapes and sizes, and cannot resist vintage-style luggage labels as name tags. But every year I feel guilty – especially at Christmas – on seeing piles of bought and used wrapping paper forming mountains of waste on the living room carpet.
This year, try upcycling the various kinds of paper and potential wrapping materials you already have at home.
It’s cheaper, your gifts will take on a unique, creative look, and some of these materials really can be used again without the need of an iron. So, after scouring the craft boxes, here are my top alternatives for homespun gift wrap.
1. Magazine pages
Try tailoring the magazine to the recipient – gorgeous pages of Living Etc will befit your mum, but if your little sister is mad about fashion, Vogue is the way to go.
2. Paper gift bags
Likely to only work on very small gifts, but these kinds of bags (see above) that may have once held a birthday card or a piece of jewellery tend to be really pretty and it’s a shame to throw them away. You could also used the bag itself and seal with a sticker or stamp.
For the complete upcycling craft experience, carefully sew pages of an old newspaper together, then use the tape from your old VHS cassettes as ribbon.
4. Paper prints of your photos
You could make it really personal by creating a photo collage on your laptop and printing it off – use black and white ink to save on colour cartridges. The only problem you might have is the recipient may not want to tear it open.
5. Baking parchment
Baking paper is very durable and creates a classic ‘package’ look, especially when tied with string foraged from the shed.
This is good for using up old scraps of material that uselessly fill up your sewing box, and is also a more secure option for those who are tempted to peek before they are allowed to open as no risk of tearing. If you don’t have much fabric available, tie a thick strip around a plain box and decorate with old buttons.
Simply make sure your gift won’t leak, otherwise the paper may be hard to remove.
8. Pages of old books or an atlas
For those books that fell in the bath and you can’t even donate to a charity shop, use the non-wrinkled pages as wrapping paper for the well read, studious members of your family.